Thursday, July 30, 2009

Study: Patients don't discuss hospice care

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (UPI) -- A U.S. study of lung cancer patients found that half of them did not discuss hospice care with their doctors. The study by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that blacks and Hispanic patients were significantly less likely to discuss a hospice with their physician within four to seven months after diagnosis than were whites and Asians. "Many terminally ill patients who might benefit from hospice aren't discussing it with their physicians and may not be aware of the services hospice could offer," said Haiden Huskamp, the study's lead author. For the study, Harvard researchers surveyed 1,517 patients diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. The study's findings were published in the May 25 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kidney stones being seen in children

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (UPI) -- A U.S. urologist reports seeing an increase in young children with kidney stones -- something more often seen in middle-aged men. Dr. Gary Faerber of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor says modern diet and lifestyle are probably at fault. "I am seeing more and more children who have kidney stones," Faerber says in a statement. "It's a real phenomenon." Family history of kidney stones is a significant risk factor, but Faerber says consuming sugar-filled drinks and fast-food high in sodium may play a role. Sodium is a known risk factor in the formation of kidney stones, he says. "The sedentary lifestyle we're starting to see in the younger age group and the pediatric group is also a risk factor because we know that obesity increases the risk of forming kidney stones," he adds. A diet high in oxalates can also play a role. Oxalates are found in leafy greens, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, chocolate, peanut butter and nuts. However the most common reason people have kidney stones, says Faerber, is that the urine becomes super saturated and it doesn't take much for a small crystal to form. This is why it's really important for kidney stone patients to keep their urine really diluted by drinking lots of water, Faerber says.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Monday, July 6, 2009


WASHINGTON (UPI) -- This year's swine flu outbreak refuted many of the predictions about how the next large-scale flu pandemic would originate and spread, experts say. The world's medical community had based much of their pandemic planning on the 2004 H5N1 "bird flu" outbreak in Southeast Asia, which proved to be a poor model for predicting how the latest novel flu strain, H1N1, would play out, The Washington Post reported Sunday. In planning to cope with future pandemics, experts after 2004 wrongly assumed it would be an avian flu strain. They also assumed that, like H5N1, it would be deadly in 60 percent of those who caught it, instead of the less than 1 percent mortality rate of the H1N1 virus. "Everyone was thinking about H5N1 and the possibility that we would be in for partial global population collapse," influenza expert David Fedson told the newspaper. "We never addressed severity, because we knew it would be severe. And now we have this funny virus coming out of pigs." The consequences were that the world was largely unprepared for the swine flu virus that emerged despite five years and hundreds of millions of dollars spent on getting ready, the Post said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press InternationalWhat to do if mower sev