jm + health   95

Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) in cardiac bypass patients: A multicenter randomized trial of uncertainty and certainty of receiving intercessory prayer - ScienceDirect
hee hee:
Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from [coronary artery bypass graft surgery], but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications.
prayer  religion  funny  papers  science  research  health  medicine  surgery 
september 2019 by jm
It's later than you think
This is one heartbreaking blog post:
Eight years ago, during the same month, I had twin boys and co-founded Cloudability. About three months ago Cloudability was acquired. About three weeks ago we lost one of our boys.
death  kids  horror  probabilities  epilepsy  health  life  chance 
september 2019 by jm
Getting Started Guide to Metabolic Health
Leonard Lin's been having great success with this keto/intermittent fasting based approach
health  food  eating  intermittent-fasting  keto  diet 
august 2019 by jm
Coal Ash Is More Radioactive Than Nuclear Waste - Scientific American
I didn't know this:
At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.

Fly ash uranium sometimes leaches into the soil and water surrounding a coal plant, affecting cropland and, in turn, food. People living within a "stack shadow"—the area within a half- to one-mile (0.8- to 1.6-kilometer) radius of a coal plant's smokestacks—might then ingest small amounts of radiation. Fly ash is also disposed of in landfills and abandoned mines and quarries, posing a potential risk to people living around those areas.


(via Jamie McCarthy)
via:jamiemccarthy  coal  environment  nuclear  pollution  fly-ash  coal-ash  safety  health 
august 2019 by jm
Ireland putting profit before people with genomic medicine strategy
From David McConnell and Orla Hardiman at TCD:
Much of the medical information sought by GMI [Genomics Medicine Ireland] has been collected from patients in public hospitals funded by the exchequer at great expense [...]. Clinicians are being contracted and asked to obtain consent from their patients to transfer clinical information to GMI, along with a tissue sample for WGS [Whole Genome Sequencing]. We understand GMI will pay for the additional hospital clinical costs required for the project. It will obtain the full genetic code for each patient (WGS), and it will analyse all the data. For the most part .... there is minimal tangible benefit to the patient who participates in this programme.

It is important to realise that GMI will own all the clinical and WGS data that they have acquired from the health service, which is of considerable commercial value. GMI will also have complete control over the research and any outcomes. Participating patients do not appear to have access to their data held by GMI – and there does not seem to be a “right to be forgotten”, despite the commercial nature of the enterprise. Moreover, the genomic and clinical data may also be transmitted outside of the European Union, and thus will not be protected by the stringent data-protection laws within the EU.[....]

The Government has made a very big investment in GMI. There may be a view that it is not necessary to provide any additional public investments in genomic medicine in Ireland. However, to those of us who care about the longer-term development of genomic medicine in Ireland, this would be a seriously short-sighted approach. One person in 20 will develop a genetic disorder in their lifetime and half of the Irish population will experience a form of cancer. These and many other patients should be able to benefit from a publicly-available genomics project that can drive new medical care in Ireland.

Genomic medicine is here to stay. We urgently need a properly governed genomics programme in Ireland that will ensure that Irish genomics remains within the public (non-commercial) domain, and that data obtained from Irish citizens will be used to benefit the entire Irish population.

(via Aoife McLysaght)
gmi  wgs  genome  open-data  data-privacy  gdpr  privacy  health  medicine  ireland  genomics 
july 2019 by jm
'Looping' Created an Underground Insulin-Pump Market - The Atlantic
By 2014, the hardware components of a DIY artificial pancreas—a small insulin pump that attaches via thin disposable tubing to the body and a continuous sensor for glucose, or sugar, that slips just under the skin—were available, but it was impossible to connect the two. That’s where the security flaw came in. The hackers realized they could use it to override old Medtronic pumps with their own algorithm that automatically calculates insulin doses based on real-time glucose data. It closed the feedback loop.

They shared this code online as OpenAPS, and “looping,” as it’s called, began to catch on. Instead of micromanaging their blood sugar, people with diabetes could offload that work to an algorithm. In addition to OpenAPS, another system called Loop is now available. Dozens, then hundreds, and now thousands of people are experimenting with DIY artificial-pancreas systems—none of which the Food and Drug Administration has officially approved. And they’ve had to track down discontinued Medtronic pumps. It can sometimes take months to find one.

Obviously, you can’t just call up Medtronic to order a discontinued pump with a security flaw. “It’s eBay, Craigslist, Facebook. It’s like this underground market for these pumps,”
looping  insulin  diabetes  health  hardware  open-hardware  medtronic  glucose  medicine  fda  black-market 
april 2019 by jm
The Woolsey fire started at the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory
'The speculative and non-credible have now happened. A fire burned through most of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a site contaminated with radioactivity and toxic chemicals allowed by decades of shoddy environmental controls.'

This site is legendary as a place where dangerous, toxic and radioactive chemicals were experimented with - indeed it was where the 1959 sodium reactor partial meltdown occurred. I wouldn't want to have been downwind of this fire...
health  santa-susana-field-laboratory  nuclear  fast-breeders  atomic-energy  meltdowns  history  toxic-waste  california  woolsey-fire  wildfires 
february 2019 by jm
'digital health will lead to forms of enslavement we can barely imagine'
Author and Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr. Seamus O'Mahony:
Perhaps most alarming of all is his analysis of the future of the world of digital health - "Anyone with a smartphone will be monitoring themselves, or - more likely - will be monitored by some external agency. Health and life insurance companies will offer financial inducements to people to be monitored, and big corporations will undoubtedly make the wearing of health-tracking devices mandatory. The danger of all of this is that in countries where health care is paid for by insurance, a new underclass of uninsured people will emerge. Digital health," he points out, "is presented as something empowering, but the reality is that it will lead to forms of enslavement that we can barely imagine. Facebook and Google have shown how easily people hand over their privacy and personal data in return for a few shiny trinkets. They have also shown how this personal data can be monetised."
health  medicine  tracking  privacy  insurance  surveillance  data 
february 2019 by jm
We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to stop it
This is amazing:
If you bled when you brushed your teeth this morning, you might want to get that seen to. We may finally have found the long-elusive cause of Alzheimer’s disease: Porphyromonas gingivalis, the key bacteria in chronic gum disease. That’s bad, as gum disease affects around a third of all people. But the good news is that a drug that blocks the main toxins of P. gingivalis is entering major clinical trials this year, and research published today shows it might stop and even reverse Alzheimer’s. There could even be a vaccine.


(via John Looney)
via:johnlooney  gingivitis  alzheimers  brain  health  medicine  teeth 
january 2019 by jm
certain Irish surnames inherited ‘the cure’
This is quite an odd superstition -- the belief that people with a certain surname could cure a specific ailment.
Wicklow-born reader Mattie Lennon reminds me that certain Irish families used to hold monopolies over the treatment of individual disorders, based solely on their surnames. Mattie knows this from experience. As a child in the 1950s, he contracted shingles. And it was an article of faith then that anyone by the name of Keogh could cure that painful condition. There were no mysterious herbal concoctions involved: the power resided in their veins, literally. Thus a man named Darby Keogh was called, “bled his fingers, mixed the blood with holy water, and applied it”. Scoff all you like readers, but “it cured my shingles”, says Mattie,
health  history  superstitions  ireland  wicklow  quackery  the-cure 
january 2019 by jm
Traditional Chinese medicine origins: Mao invented it but didn’t believe in it
Mikulski and the rest of the Senate may be surprised to learn that they were repeating 60-year-old justifications of Chinese medicine put forward by Chairman Mao. Unlike Mikulski, however, Mao was under no illusion that Chinese medicine—a key component of naturopathic education—actually worked. In The Private Life of Chairman Mao, Li Zhisui, one of Mao’s personal physicians, recounts a conversation they had on the subject. Trained as an M.D. in Western medicine, Li admitted to being baffled by ancient Chinese medical books, especially their theories relating to the five elements. It turns out his employer also found them implausible. 


via Dr. Jen Gunter
medicine  tcm  mao  history  china  health  naturopathy 
november 2018 by jm
Deep learning can "discover" new knowledge from scans/images
Amazing paper:
Here, we show that deep learning can extract new knowledge from retinal fundus images. Using deep-learning models trained on data from 284,335 patients and validated on two independent datasets of 12,026 and 999 patients, we predicted cardiovascular risk factors not previously thought to be present or quantifiable in retinal images, such as age (mean absolute error within 3.26 years), gender (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) = 0.97), smoking status (AUC = 0.71), systolic blood pressure (mean absolute error within 11.23 mmHg) and major adverse cardiac events (AUC = 0.70). We also show that the trained deep-learning models used anatomical features, such as the optic disc or blood vessels, to generate each prediction.
deep-learning  data  analysis  ml  machine-learning  health  medicine  papers 
november 2018 by jm
Google 'betrays patient trust' with DeepMind Health move | Technology | The Guardian

Now that Streams is a Google product itself, that promise appears to have been broken, says privacy researcher Julia Powles: “Making this about semantics is a sleight of hand. DeepMind said it would never connect Streams with Google. The whole Streams app is now a Google product. That is an atrocious breach of trust, for an already beleaguered product.”

A DeepMind spokesperson emphasised that the core of the promise remains intact: “All patient data remains under our partners’ strict control, and all decisions about its use lie with them. This data remains subject to strict audit and access controls and its processing remains subject to both our contracts and data protection legislation. The move to Google does not affect this.”

google  deepmind  health  nhs  data-protection  privacy  healthcare 
november 2018 by jm
What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick? - The New York Times
It is not possible to assay levels of COMT directly in a living brain, but there is a snippet of the genome called rs4680 that governs the production of the enzyme, and that varies from one person to another: One variant predicts low levels of COMT, while another predicts high levels. When Hall analyzed the I.B.S. patients’ DNA, she found a distinct trend. Those with the high-COMT variant had the weakest placebo responses, and those with the opposite variant had the strongest. These effects were compounded by the amount of interaction each patient got: For instance, low-COMT, high-interaction patients fared best of all, but the low-COMT subjects who were placed in the no-treatment group did worse than the other genotypes in that group. They were, in other words, more sensitive to the impact of the relationship with the healer.

The discovery of this genetic correlation to placebo response set Hall off on a continuing effort to identify the biochemical ensemble she calls the placebome — the term reflecting her belief that it will one day take its place among the other important “-omes” of medical science, from the genome to the microbiome. The rs4680 gene snippet is one of a group that governs the production of COMT, and COMT is one of a number of enzymes that determine levels of catecholamines, a group of brain chemicals that includes dopamine and epinephrine. (Low COMT tends to mean higher levels of dopamine, and vice versa.) Hall points out that the catecholamines are associated with stress, as well as with reward and good feeling, which bolsters the possibility that the placebome plays an important role in illness and health, especially in the chronic, stress-related conditions that are most susceptible to placebo effects.
placebo  comt  health  healthcare  medicine  enzymes  brain 
november 2018 by jm
LiV Pi
Air quality sensor board for Raspberry Pis, with a good quality self-calibrating NDIR CO2 sensor
co2  air  quality  monitoring  metrics  health  home  raspberry-pi  hardware  to-get 
october 2018 by jm
Surprisingly Little Evidence for the Accepted Wisdom About Teeth - The New York Times
Turns out there is little evidence for many dental practices:
A systematic review in 2011 concluded that, in adults, toothbrushing with flossing versus toothbrushing alone most likely reduced gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. But there was really weak evidence that it reduced plaque in the short term. There was no evidence that it reduced cavities. That’s pretty much what we learned recently.
teeth  dentistry  dental  health  medicine  statistics  science 
september 2018 by jm
A definitive blood test for post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome?: Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Vol 10, No 11
Very interesting! This paper and the one at https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0126438 discuss the increasing evidence that some kinds of IBS may be caused by post-infection autoimmune activity triggered by a gastroenteritis infection -- this matches the thing which put me on a restricted diet a few years ago.
digestion  ibs  medicine  health  diet  fodmap  gastroenteritis  papers 
september 2018 by jm
Russian Trolls Used Vaccine Debate to Sow Discord, Study Finds - The New York Times
But instead of picking a side, researchers said, the trolls and bots they programmed hurled insults at both pro- and anti-vaccine advocates. Their only intent, the study concluded, seemed to be to raise the level of hostility.

“You see this pattern,” said David A. Broniatowski, a computer engineer at George Washington University and lead author of the study, which was published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health. “On guns, or race, these accounts take opposite sides in lots of debates. They’re about sowing discord.”


So the Russian strategy is basically more of a "Hail Eris" than a "Hail Mary"?
russia  trolls  discord  vaccination  health  internet 
august 2018 by jm
Is America Ready for a Global Pandemic? - The Atlantic
The egg-based [vaccine manufacture] system depends on chickens, which are themselves vulnerable to flu. And since viruses can mutate within the eggs, the resulting vaccines don’t always match the strains that are circulating. But vaccine makers have few incentives to use anything else. Switching to a different process would cost billions, and why bother? Flu vaccines are low-margin products, which only about 45 percent of Americans get in a normal year. So when demand soars during a pandemic, the supply is not set to cope.

American hospitals, which often operate unnervingly close to full capacity, likewise struggled with the surge of patients. Pediatric units were hit especially hard by H1N1, and staff became exhausted from continuously caring for sick children. Hospitals almost ran out of the life-support units that sustain people whose lungs and hearts start to fail. The health-care system didn’t break, but it came too close for comfort—especially for what turned out to be a training-wheels pandemic. The 2009 H1N1 strain killed merely 0.03 percent of those it infected; by contrast, the 1918 strain had killed 1 to 3 percent, and the H7N9 strain currently circulating in China has a fatality rate of 40 percent.

That the U.S. could be so ill-prepared for flu, of all things, should be deeply concerning. The country has a dedicated surveillance web, antiviral drugs, and an infrastructure for making and deploying flu vaccines. None of that exists for the majority of other emerging infectious diseases.
vaccines  health  diseases  h1n1  flu  pandemics  future  scary 
june 2018 by jm
DNA databases: biology stripped bare
Unlike other biometrics, [DNA] also provides revealing [data regarding] thousands of other related individuals; even to an entire ethnic group.

Such markers may reveal a genetic predisposition towards cancer, or early onset dementia. Mining that data and linking it to family trees and thus, individuals, might interest insurance companies, or state health bodies, or – as ever – advertisers. Or? Who knows?

And the ability of a third-party potentially to reveal such information about me, about you, without us having any say, by providing their DNA profile for some personal purpose? Consider how furious so many have been on the basis of their Facebook profile data going to Cambridge Analytica via some Facebook friend deciding to do a quiz.

Facebook profile data is revealing enough. But DNA is you, fully, irrevocably, exposed. And whatever it displays about you right now, is trivial compared to what we will be able to read into it in the future.

That’s why this case isn’t just about a solitary law enforcement outcome, but about all of us doing an unintended, genetic full monty.
dna-matching  dna  data-privacy  privacy  future  health  cancer  insurance  karlin-lillington 
may 2018 by jm
Securing wireless neurostimulators
The latest generation of such devices come with remote monitoring and reprogramming capabilities, via an external device programmer. The manufacturers seem to have relied on security through obscurity (when will we ever learn!) with the very predictable result that the interface turns out not be secure at all. So we end up with a hackable device connected directly to someone’s brain.
security  brain  health  medical  devices  iot  exploits  neurostimulators 
april 2018 by jm
Examine.com
Scientific review of nutritional supplements and vitamins, rounding up hundreds of papers and weighting them based on the level of evidence provided
health  food  nutrition  vitamins  supplements  science  medicine  review  vitamin 
march 2018 by jm
What's in your migraine kit?
Good post on workarounds/pain relief/migraine-abortive treatments from the /r/migraine subreddit. Some of the things I've found helpful (ice-cold Coke, headache stick, and of course triptans), and I few I haven't tried yet, so may give them a try. God damn migraines :(
migraine  headaches  medicine  health  pain  reddit  tips 
march 2018 by jm
7% of Scott Kelly's Genes Changed After a Year in Space - Universe Today
The study took into account possible genomic and cognitive changes between the two [twin] brothers. These findings were recently clarified by NASA, which indicated that 93% of Scott Kelly’s genes returned to normal after he returned to Earth while the remaining 7% points were missing. These were attributed to “longer-term changes in genes related to his immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, hypoxia, and hypercapnia.”

In other words, in addition to the well-documented effects of microgravity – such as muscle atrophy, bone density loss and loss of eyesight – Scott Kelly also experienced health effect caused by a deficiency in the amount of oxygen that was able to make it to his tissues, an excess of CO2 in his tissues, and long-term effects in how his body is able to maintain and repair itself.
nasa  space  iss  spaceflight  scott-kelly  zero-gravity  future  microgravity  health  via:elliot 
march 2018 by jm
Boost your immunity: Cold and flu treatments suppress innate immune system
The next time you feel a cold coming on, maybe what you really want is just a little teensy bit of innate immune suppression, not an immunity boost. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and antihistamines should help you feel better. Meanwhile, sit back while your acquired B and T cells do the rest. And if you aren't yet sick, stay up-to-date on your vaccines, including the yearly influenza vaccine. Most importantly, practice vigorous hand washing — after all, the skin is also a component of your natural defenses and one that actually can be enhanced by good hygiene. Take care of yourself by keeping a balanced diet, maintaining good sleep habits, and minimizing stress. These are interventions that have been shown to help keep your immune system at its best. These alone can "boost" your odds of staving off an infection this cold season.
immunity  health  immune-system  colds  b-cells  t-cells  flu 
january 2018 by jm
Post-apocalyptic life in American health care
My god, this is so dysfunctional.

'I observe that American health care organizations can no longer operate systematically, so participants are forced to act in the communal mode, as if in the pre-modern world.
Health care is one leading edge of a general breakdown in systematicity — while, at the same time, employing sophisticated systematic technologies.
For complex health care problems, I recommend hiring a consultant to provide administrative (not medical!) guidance.'

via Craig.
bureaucracy  healthcare  health  systems  us-politics  insurance  medicine  dysfunctional  fail  fiasco  via:craig 
january 2018 by jm
SE Asia travel pro-tip from Naomi Wu
Naomi Wu on Twitter: "Honestly Saccharomyces boulardii solves the problem [of dodgy tummy] for most people, it's what I take when I travel to SE Asia"
food  diarrhoea  s-boulardii  bacterica  digestion  health  travel  se-asia  tips 
january 2018 by jm
Webdoctor.ie
An online doctor appointment -- you fill out a questionnaire, are interviewed via VC, and receive any prescription you need. Recommended by devxda on the ITC slack
doctor  medicine  ireland  services  health 
january 2018 by jm
Study: wearing hi-viz clothing does not reduce risk of collision for cyclists
Journal of Transport & Health, 22 March 2017:
This study found no evidence that cyclists using conspicuity aids were at reduced risk of a collision crash compared to non-users after adjustment for confounding, but there was some evidence of an increase in risk. Bias and residual confounding from differing route selection and cycling behaviours in users of conspicuity aids are possible explanations for these findings. Conspicuity aids may not be effective in reducing collision crash risk for cyclists in highly-motorised environments when used in the absence of other bicycle crash prevention measures such as increased segregation or lower motor vehicle speeds.
health  safety  hi-viz  clothing  cycling  commute  visibility  collision  crashes  papers 
october 2017 by jm
Sickness absence associated with shared and open-plan offices--a national cross sectional questionnaire survey. - PubMed - NCBI
occupants in open-plan offices (>6 persons) had 62% more days of sickness absence (RR 1.62, 95% CI 1.30-2.02).
health  office  workplace  data  sickness  open-plan  work  offices 
september 2017 by jm
We’re more likely to get cancer than to get married. This is a wake-up call | Ranjana Srivastava | Opinion | The Guardian
Later, in clinic, I see patients ranging from a stoical university student to a devastated father to the frail octogenarian who can’t remember the day, let alone that he has cancer – each patient an illustration of a recent Macmillan Cancer Support UK finding that it is more common for an individual to be diagnosed with cancer than to get married or have a first child. One in two people will encounter a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, which is why the report says that, alongside marriage, parenthood, retirement and the death of a parent, cancer is now “a common life milestone”.
cancer  life  milestones  death  uk  health  medicine 
september 2017 by jm
Cycling to work: major new study suggests health benefits are staggering
We found that cycling to work was associated with a 41% lower risk of dying overall compared to commuting by car or public transport. Cycle commuters had a 52% lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 40% lower risk of dying from cancer. They also had 46% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 45% lower risk of developing cancer at all.
cycling  transport  health  medicine  science  commuting  life  statistics 
august 2017 by jm
Rule that patients must finish antibiotics course is wrong, study says
Patients have traditionally been told that they must complete courses of antibiotics, the theory being that taking too few tablets will allow the bacteria causing their disease to mutate and become resistant to the drug.
But Martin Llewelyn, a professor in infectious diseases at Brighton and Sussex medical school, and colleagues claim that this is not the case. In an analysis in the British Medical Journal, the experts say “the idea that stopping antibiotic treatment early encourages antibiotic resistance is not supported by evidence, while taking antibiotics for longer than necessary increases the risk of resistance”.
health  medicine  antibiotics  bmj  bacteria 
july 2017 by jm
Screen time guidelines need to be built on evidence, not hype | Science | The Guardian
An open letter signed by about 100 scientists 'from different countries and academic fields with research expertise and experience in screen time, child development and evidence-based policy.'
If the government were to implement guidelines on screen-based technology at this point, as the authors of the letter suggest, this would be on the basis of little to no evidence. This risks the implementation of unnecessary, ineffective or even potentially harmful policies. For guidelines to have a meaningful impact, they need to be grounded in robust research evidence and acknowledge that children’s health and wellbeing is a complex issue affected by many other factors, such as socioeconomic status, relational poverty, and family environment – all of which are likely to be more relevant for children’s health and well-being than screens. For example, there is no consistent evidence that more screen time leads to less outdoor play; if anything the evidence indicates that screen time and physical outdoor activity are unrelated, and reductions in average time spent in outdoor play over time seem to be driven by other factors. Policy efforts to increase outdoor play that focus on screen time are therefore likely to be ineffective.


(via Damien Mulley)
via:damienmulley  science  children  psychology  screens  screen-time  childhood  development  evidence  policy  health  open-letters 
june 2017 by jm
EpiBone Grows New Bones Using Stem Cells
To grow EpiBone, Tandon explained, scientists take a CT scan of the bone they’ll need to engineer. This helps them create a 3D model. Then, from the model, a 3D printer produces a scaffold (this can be made out of protein and collagen from animal bones or synthetic material). After that, they take stem cells from the patient out of their fat, and those cells are put into the scaffold and then incubated. They regenerate, and form around the bone. This process results in a bone that the body will recognize as the patient’s. The crazy part is that it only takes three weeks to grow a bone that’s personalized to the individual patient.
stem-cells  epibone  bone  body  healing  health  medicine  3d-printing 
may 2017 by jm
JPM | Free Full-Text | Accuracy in Wrist-Worn, Sensor-Based Measurements of Heart Rate and Energy Expenditure in a Diverse Cohort
The ability to measure physical activity through wrist-worn devices provides an opportunity for cardiovascular medicine. However, the accuracy of commercial devices is largely unknown. The aim of this work is to assess the accuracy of seven commercially available wrist-worn devices in estimating heart rate (HR) and energy expenditure (EE) and to propose a wearable sensor evaluation framework. We evaluated the Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Mio Alpha 2, PulseOn, and Samsung Gear S2.


tl;dr: wrist-based calorie counters were inaccurate by up to 93% in tests.
fitbit  microsoft  mio  pulseon  samsung-gear  apple  apple-watch  basis  gadgets  health  heart-rate  calorie-counters 
may 2017 by jm
Seeking medical abortions online is safe and effective, study finds | World news | The Guardian
Of the 1,636 women who were sent the drugs between the start of 2010 and the end of 2012, the team were able to analyse self-reported data from 1,000 individuals who confirmed taking the pills. All were less than 10 weeks pregnant.

The results reveal that almost 95% of the women successfully ended their pregnancy without the need for surgical intervention. None of the women died, although seven women required a blood transfusion and 26 needed antibiotics.
Of the 93 women who experienced symptoms for which the advice was to seek medical attention, 95% did so, going to a hospital or clinic.

“When we talk about self-sought, self-induced abortion, people think about coat hangers or they think about tables in back alleys,” said Aiken. “But I think this research really shows that in 2017 self-sourced abortion is a network of people helping and supporting each other through what’s really a safe and effective process in the comfort of their own homes, and I think is a huge step forward in public health.”
health  medicine  abortion  pro-choice  data  women-on-web  ireland  law  repealthe8th 
may 2017 by jm
The Forgotten Story Of The Radium Girls
'The radium girls’ case was one of the first in which an employer was made responsible for the health of the company’s employees. It led to life-saving regulations and, ultimately, to the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which now operates nationally in the United States to protect workers. Before OSHA was set up, 14,000 people died on the job every year; today, it is just over 4,500. The women also left a legacy to science that has been termed “invaluable.”'
osha  health  safety  radium  poisoning  regulation  history  us-politics  free-market  cancer  radiation 
may 2017 by jm
Put Down the Pink Dumbbell
So, ladies, let’s first put down the two-pound, pink dumbbells. We have been sold a false story about fitness, health (and its connection to weight loss).
I was exercised by wolves. And I’m going to tell you all the secrets and tricks I learned by avoiding the fitness-industrial complex.
Most of what I’ll say applies to men, but I have discovered that most of the outrageously wrong advice is given to women. [...]
So, here: truth number one. Very few of us consider strength-training as essential exercise, but it is. It is especially crucial as one ages, because a natural part of the aging process is losing muscle. Women, especially, need to lift weights, and the trick to lifting weights is stressing muscles. And that weight has to be a real weight, progressively increased, and barring health issues, an average woman should not even bother with two pound weights because that won’t stress your muscles enough to benefit you.
Exercise industry is surely partially to blame for why people don’t exercise regularly: they promise the wrong thing (weight loss) and then don’t push/guide people to do the right thing.
exercise  health  fitness  weight-loss  zeynep-tufekci  strength  aging  weights  training 
april 2017 by jm
Data from pacemaker used to arrest man for arson, insurance fraud
Compton has medical conditions which include an artificial heart linked to an external pump. According to court documents, a cardiologist said that "it is highly improbable Mr. Compton would have been able to collect, pack and remove the number of items from the house, exit his bedroom window and carry numerous large and heavy items to the front of his residence during the short period of time he has indicated due to his medical conditions."

After US law enforcement caught wind of this peculiar element to the story, police were able to secure a search warrant and collect the pacemaker's electronic records to scrutinize his heart rate, the demand on the pacemaker and heart rhythms prior to and at the time of the incident.
pacemakers  health  medicine  privacy  data  arson  insurance  fraud  heart 
february 2017 by jm
Pure Pharmacy
a low-cost online vendor in Ireland, recommended by @irldexter on ITS (along with webdoctor.ie):

'For basic consultations I halved the cost €55 to engage a GP with https://www.webdoctor.ie/ down to €25 (for limited domains) and after paying €8.48 and €9.48 respectively for a Ventolin inhaler, I now get them for €3.50 at http://www.purepharmacy.ie/ (closer to mainland EU costs). I also benchmarked my parents medicine costs which worked out 40% cheaper too.'
recommendations  pharmacy  ireland  doctors  health  medicine 
november 2016 by jm
iPhones4Autism
great idea -- donate old, obsolete iPhone 4/4s phones to a charity which repurposes them for autistic/non-verbal kids
autism  communication  health  phones  recycling  charity  iphones 
september 2016 by jm
“I Want to Know What Code Is Running Inside My Body” — Backchannel
Sandler wants to be able to explore the code running her device for programming flaws and vulnerability to hacking, but she can’t. “Because I don’t have access to the source code, I have no power to do anything about it,” she says. In her eyes, it’s a particularly obvious example of a problem that now cuts across much of modern life: proprietary software has become crucial to daily survival, and yet is often locked away from public exploration and discussion by copyright.
copyright  safety  health  pacemakers  law  proprietary-software  life  medicine  implants 
august 2016 by jm
Kelsey Hightower - healthz: Stop reverse engineering applications and start monitoring from the inside [video]
his Monitorama 2016 talk, talking about the "deep health checks" concept (which I implemented at Swrve earlier this year ;)
monitorama  health  deep-health-checks  healthz  testing  availability  reliability 
july 2016 by jm
The mysterious syndrome impairing astronauts’ sight - The Washington Post
Visual impairment intracranial pressure syndrome (VIIP) is named for the leading theory to explain it. On Earth, gravity pulls bodily fluids down toward the feet. That doesn’t happen in space, and it is thought that extra fluid in the skull increases pressure on the brain and the back of the eye.
viip  sight  eyes  space  zero-gravity  health 
july 2016 by jm
Westminster social engineering to blame for 'Glasgow effect' mortality rate
This is quite significant -- scientific proof that austerity/social engineering policies cause higher mortality rates:
Researchers found that the historic effect of overcrowding was an important factor and highlighted the strategies of local government, which prioritised the regeneration of the city centre over investment in the cities housing schemes as having a significant impact on the health of Glaswegians.

Data shows that Glasgow authorities spent far less on housing repairs, leaving people's homes poorly maintained and subject to damp. David Walsh, of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, said that their work proved that poor health had political causes and could not simply be attributed to individual lifestyle choices.
glasgow-effect  scotland  poverty  glasgow  lifestyle  health  mortality  housing  policies  uk 
may 2016 by jm
Public preferences for electronic health data storage, access, and sharing – evidence from a pan-European survey | Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Results: We obtained 20 882 survey responses (94 606 preferences) from 27 EU member countries. Respondents recognized the benefits of storing electronic health information, with 75.5%, 63.9%, and 58.9% agreeing that storage was important for improving treatment quality, preventing epidemics, and reducing delays, respectively. Concerns about different levels of access by third parties were expressed by 48.9% to 60.6% of respondents. On average, compared to devices or systems that only store basic health status information, respondents preferred devices that also store identification data (coefficient/relative preference 95% CI = 0.04 [0.00-0.08], P = 0.034) and information on lifelong health conditions (coefficient = 0.13 [0.08 to 0.18], P < 0.001), but there was no evidence of this for devices with information on sensitive health conditions such as mental and sexual health and addictions (coefficient = −0.03 [−0.09 to 0.02], P = 0.24). Respondents were averse to their immediate family (coefficient = −0.05 [−0.05 to −0.01], P = 0.011) and home care nurses (coefficient = −0.06 [−0.11 to −0.02], P = 0.004) viewing this data, and strongly averse to health insurance companies (coefficient = −0.43 [−0.52 to 0.34], P < 0.001), private sector pharmaceutical companies (coefficient = −0.82 [−0.99 to −0.64], P < 0.001), and academic researchers (coefficient = −0.53 [−0.66 to −0.40], P < 0.001) viewing the data.

Conclusions: Storing more detailed electronic health data was generally preferred, but respondents were averse to wider access to and sharing of this information. When developing frameworks for the use of electronic health data, policy makers should consider approaches that both highlight the benefits to the individual and minimize the perception of privacy risks.


Via Antoin.
privacy  data  medicine  health  healthcare  papers  via:antoin 
april 2016 by jm
[Updated] Using a Dyson hand dryer is like setting off a viral bomb in a bathroom | Ars Technica
Clumping the data from all six heights together, the Dyson produced 60 times more plaques than the warm air dryer and 1,300 times more than paper towels. Of the viruses launched by the jet dryer, 70 percent were at the height of a small child’s face.


(vomit)
gross  hand-dryers  dyson  fail  health  bathroom 
april 2016 by jm
No Harm, No Fowl: Chicken Farm Inappropriate Choice for Data Disposal
That’s a lesson that Spruce Manor Special Care Home in Saskatchewan had to learn the hard way (as surprising as that might sound). As a trustee with custody of personal health information, Spruce Manor was required under section 17(2) of the Saskatchewan Health Information Protection Act to dispose of its patient records in a way that protected patient privacy. So, when Spruce Manor chose a chicken farm for the job, it found itself the subject of an investigation by the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner.  In what is probably one of the least surprising findings ever, the commissioner wrote in his final report that “I recommend that Spruce Manor […] no longer use [a] chicken farm to destroy records”, and then for good measure added “I find using a chicken farm to destroy records unacceptable.”
data  law  privacy  funny  chickens  farming  via:pinboard  data-protection  health  medical-records 
november 2015 by jm
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity May Not Exist
The data clearly indicated that a nocebo effect, the same reaction that prompts some people to get sick from wind turbines and wireless internet, was at work here. Patients reported gastrointestinal distress without any apparent physical cause. Gluten wasn't the culprit; the cause was likely psychological. Participants expected the diets to make them sick, and so they did.
gluten  placebo  nocebo  food  science  health  diet  gluten-free  fodmaps 
august 2015 by jm
How to get your water tested for lead in Dublin
Ossian has written up this very informative post:
Irish Water is writing to thousands of people living in Dublin this week to warn them that their water is supplied through lead pipes. Irish Water says that most people receiving these letters have a level of lead in their water which is above safe limits. So, if you get one of these letters how do you get your water tested? Irish Water is refusing to supply test kits or to test everyone’s water who asks. However the HSE’s Public Analyst Lab has told me that they will test water for lead for a fee of €10.
ossian-smyth  dun-laoghaire  dublin  drinking-water  water  lead  green  hse  irish-water  health 
august 2015 by jm
I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss
“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. It made the front page of Bild, Europe’s largest daily newspaper, just beneath their update about the Germanwings crash. From there, it ricocheted around the internet and beyond, making news in more than 20 countries and half a dozen languages. It was discussed on television news shows. It appeared in glossy print, most recently in the June issue of Shape magazine (“Why You Must Eat Chocolate Daily”, page 128). Not only does chocolate accelerate weight loss, the study found, but it leads to healthier cholesterol levels and overall increased well-being. The Bild story quotes the study’s lead author, Johannes Bohannon, Ph.D., research director of the Institute of Diet and Health: “The best part is you can buy chocolate everywhere.”

I am Johannes Bohannon, Ph.D. Well, actually my name is John, and I’m a journalist. I do have a Ph.D., but it’s in the molecular biology of bacteria, not humans. The Institute of Diet and Health? That’s nothing more than a website. Other than those fibs, the study was 100 percent authentic. My colleagues and I recruited actual human subjects in Germany. We ran an actual clinical trial, with subjects randomly assigned to different diet regimes. And the statistically significant benefits of chocolate that we reported are based on the actual data. It was, in fact, a fairly typical study for the field of diet research. Which is to say: It was terrible science. The results are meaningless, and the health claims that the media blasted out to millions of people around the world are utterly unfounded.


Interesting bit: the online commenters commenting on the published stories quickly saw through the bullshit. Why can't the churnalising journos do that?
chocolate  journalism  science  diet  food  churnalism  pr  bild  health  clinical-trials  papers  peer-review  research 
may 2015 by jm
Everything Science Knows Right Now About Standing Desks | Co.Design
"Overall, current evidence suggests that both standing and treadmill desks may be effective in improving overall health considering both physiological and mental health components."
standing-desks  treadmill-desks  desks  exercise  health  work  workplace  back  sitting  standing 
april 2015 by jm
Ask the Decoder: Did I sign up for a global sleep study?
How meaningful is this corporate data science, anyway? Given the tech-savvy people in the Bay Area, Jawbone likely had a very dense sample of Jawbone wearers to draw from for its Napa earthquake analysis. That allowed it to look at proximity to the epicenter of the earthquake from location information.

Jawbone boasts its sample population of roughly “1 million Up wearers who track their sleep using Up by Jawbone.” But when looking into patterns county by county in the U.S., Jawbone states, it takes certain statistical liberties to show granularity while accounting for places where there may not be many Jawbone users.

So while Jawbone data can show us interesting things about sleep patterns across a very large population, we have to remember how selective that population is. Jawbone wearers are people who can afford a $129 wearable fitness gadget and the smartphone or computer to interact with the output from the device.

Jawbone is sharing what it learns with the public, but think of all the public health interests or other third parties that might be interested in other research questions from a large scale data set. Yet this data is not collected with scientific processes and controls and is not treated with the rigor and scrutiny that a scientific study requires.

Jawbone and other fitness trackers don’t give us the option to use their devices while opting out of contributing to the anonymous data sets they publish. Maybe that ought to change.
jawbone  privacy  data-protection  anonymization  aggregation  data  medicine  health  earthquakes  statistics  iot  wearables 
march 2015 by jm
Can we have medical privacy, cloud computing and genomics all at the same time?
Today sees the publication of a report I [Ross Anderson] helped to write for the Nuffield Bioethics Council on what happens to medical ethics in a world of cloud-based medical records and pervasive genomics.

As the information we gave to our doctors in private to help them treat us is now collected and treated as an industrial raw material, there has been scandal after scandal. From failures of anonymisation through unethical sales to the care.data catastrophe, things just seem to get worse. Where is it all going, and what must a medical data user do to behave ethically?

We put forward four principles. First, respect persons; do not treat their confidential data like were coal or bauxite. Second, respect established human-rights and data-protection law, rather than trying to find ways round it. Third, consult people who’ll be affected or who have morally relevant interests. And fourth, tell them what you’ve done – including errors and security breaches.
ethics  medicine  health  data  care.data  privacy  healthcare  ross-anderson  genomics  data-protection  human-rights 
february 2015 by jm
Study: You Can't Change an Anti-Vaxxer's Mind
According to a major new study in the journal 'Pediatrics', trying to [persuade anti-vaxxers to vaccinate] may actually make the problem worse. The paper tested the effectiveness of four separate pro-vaccine messages, three of which were based very closely on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) itself talks about vaccines. The results can only be called grim: Not a single one of the messages was successful when it came to increasing parents' professed intent to vaccinate their children. And in several cases the messages actually backfired, either increasing the ill-founded belief that vaccines cause autism or even, in one case, apparently reducing parents' intent to vaccinate.
vaccination  health  measles  mmr  autism  facts  via:mrneutron  stupidity  cdc  papers  vaccines 
february 2015 by jm
Getting good cancer care through 3D printing
This is pretty incredible.
Balzer downloaded a free software program called InVesalius, developed by a research center in Brazil to convert MRI and CT scan data to 3D images. He used it to create a 3D volume rendering from Scott’s DICOM images, which allowed him to look at the tumor from any angle. Then he uploaded the files to Sketchfab and shared them with neurosurgeons around the country in the hope of finding one who was willing to try a new type of procedure. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he found the doctor he was looking for at UPMC, where Scott had her thyroid removed. A neurosurgeon there agreed to consider a minimally invasive operation in which he would access the tumor through Scott’s left eyelid and remove it using a micro drill. Balzer had adapted the volume renderings for 3D printing and produced a few full-size models of the front section of Scott’s skull on his MakerBot. To help the surgeon vet his micro drilling idea and plan the procedure, Balzer packed up one of the models and shipped it off to Pittsburgh.
diy  surgery  health  cancer  tumours  medicine  3d-printing  3d  scanning  mri  dicom 
january 2015 by jm
Of Course 23andMe's Plan Has Been to Sell Your Genetic Data All Along
Today, 23andMe announced what Forbes reports is only the first of ten deals with big biotech companies: Genentech will pay up to $60 million for access to 23andMe's data to study Parkinson's. You think 23andMe was about selling fun DNA spit tests for $99 a pop? Nope, it's been about selling your data all along.

testing  ethics  dna  genentech  23andme  parkinsons  diseases  health  privacy 
january 2015 by jm
Life expectancy increases are due mainly to healthier children, not longer old age
Interesting -- I hadn't expected this.

'Life expectancy at birth [in the US] in 1930 was indeed only 58 for men and 62 for women, and the retirement age was 65. But life expectancy at birth in the early decades of the 20th century was low due mainly to high infant mortality, and someone who died as a child would never have worked and paid into Social Security. A more appropriate measure is probably life expectancy after attainment of adulthood.' .... 'Men who attained age 65 could expect to collect Social Security benefits for almost 13 years (and the numbers are even higher for women).'

In Ireland, life expectancy at birth has increased 18.4 years since 1926 -- but life expectancy for men aged 65 (the pension age) has only increased by 3.8 years. This means that increased life expectancy figures are not particularly relevant to the "pension crunch" story.

Via Fred Logue: https://twitter.com/fplogue/status/532093184646873089
via:fplogue  statistics  taxes  life-expectancy  pensions  infant-mortality  health  1930s 
november 2014 by jm
'In 1976 I discovered Ebola, now I fear an unimaginable tragedy' | World news | The Observer
An interview with the scientist who was part of the team which discovered the Ebola virus in 1976:
Other samples from the nun, who had since died, arrived from Kinshasa. When we were just about able to begin examining the virus under an electron microscope, the World Health Organisation instructed us to send all of our samples to a high-security lab in England. But my boss at the time wanted to bring our work to conclusion no matter what. He grabbed a vial containing virus material to examine it, but his hand was shaking and he dropped it on a colleague's foot. The vial shattered. My only thought was: "Oh, shit!" We immediately disinfected everything, and luckily our colleague was wearing thick leather shoes. Nothing happened to any of us.
ebola  epidemiology  health  africa  labs  history  medicine 
october 2014 by jm
Ebola: While Big Pharma Slept
We’ve had almost 40 years to develop, test and stockpile an Ebola vaccine. That has not happened because big pharma has been entirely focused on shareholder value and profits over safety and survival from a deadly virus. For the better part of Ebola’s 38 years ‒ big pharma has been asleep. The question ahead is what virus or superbug will wake them up?
pharma  ebola  ip  patents  health  drugs  africa  research 
october 2014 by jm
Ebola vaccine delayed by IP spat
This is the downside of publicly-funded labs selling patent-licensing rights to private companies:
Given the urgency, it's inexplicable that one of the candidate vaccines, developed at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in Winnipeg, has yet to go in the first volunteer's arm, says virologist Heinz Feldmann, who helped develop the vaccine while at PHAC. "It’s a farce; these doses are lying around there while people are dying in Africa,” says Feldmann, who now works at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Hamilton, Montana.

At the center of the controversy is NewLink Genetics, a small company in Ames, Iowa, that bought a license to the vaccine's commercialization from the Canadian government in 2010, and is now suddenly caught up in what WHO calls "the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times.” Becker and others say the company has been dragging its feet the past 2 months because it is worried about losing control over the development of the vaccine.
ip  patents  drugs  ebola  canada  phac  newlink-genetics  health  epidemics  vaccines 
october 2014 by jm
A gut microbe that stops food allergies
Actual scientific research showing that antibiotic use may be implicated in allergies:

'Nagler’s team first confirmed that mice given antibiotics early in life were far more susceptible to peanut sensitization, a model of human peanut allergy. Then, they introduced a solution containing Clostridia, a common class of bacteria that’s naturally found in the mammalian gut, into the rodents’ mouths and stomachs. The animals’ food allergen sensitization disappeared, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. When the scientists instead introduced another common kind of healthy bacteria, called Bacteroides, into similarly allergy-prone mice, they didn’t see the same effect. Studying the rodents more carefully, the researchers determined that Clostridia were having a surprising effect on the mouse gut: Acting through certain immune cells, the bacteria helped keep peanut proteins that can cause allergic reactions out of the bloodstream. “The bacteria are maintaining the integrity of the [intestinal] barrier,” Nagler says.'
allergies  health  food  peanuts  science  research  clostridium  bacteria  gut  intestines  immune-system  mice  papers  pnas 
september 2014 by jm
Girl Not Against Fluoride
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) lists water fluoridation as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th Century. Today, Dublin City Council will vote on whether to remove fluoride from our water supply, and when they do, it will not be because the CDC or the WHO have changed their mind about fluoridation, or because new and compelling information makes it the only choice. It will be because people who believe in angel healing, homeopathy, and chemtrails, have somehow gained the ability to influence public policy.
dcc  dublin  law  flouride  science  zenbuffy  homeopathy  woo  health  teeth 
september 2014 by jm
A tick bite can make you allergic to red meat
The bugs harbor a sugar that humans don't have, called alpha-gal. The sugar is also is found in red meat — beef, pork, venison, rabbit — and even some dairy products. It's usually fine when people encounter it through food that gets digested.
But a tick bite triggers an immune system response, and in that high-alert state, the body perceives the sugar the tick transmitted to the victim's bloodstream and skin as a foreign substance, and makes antibodies to it. That sets the stage for an allergic reaction the next time the person eats red meat and encounters the sugar.


Via Shane Naughton
ticks  meat  food  allergies  immune-system  health  via:inundata  sugar  alpha-gal  red-meat 
august 2014 by jm
HSE data releases may be de-anonymisable
Although the data has been kept anonymous, the increasing sophistication of computer-driven data-mining techniques has led to fears patients could be identified.
A HSE spokesman confirmed yesterday that the office responded to requests for data from a variety of sources, including researchers, the universities, GPs, the media, health insurers and pharmaceutical companies. An average of about two requests a week was received. [...]
The information provided by the HPO has significant patient identifiers removed, such as name and date of birth. According to the HSE spokesman, individual patient information is not provided and, where information is sought for a small group of patients, this is not provided where the number involved is under five. “In such circumstances, it is highly unlikely that anyone could be identified. Nevertheless, we will have another look at data releases from the office,” he said.


I'd say this could be readily reversible, from the sounds of it.
anonymisation  sanitisation  data-dumps  hse  health  privacy  via:tjmcintyre 
june 2014 by jm
Minnesota Measles Outbreak Traced Back To A Single Unvaccinated Child
A single child caught measles while visiting Kenya, returned to Minnesota, infected 4 others, who in turn exposed others, with an ultimate count of 3000 exposed and 21 confirmed cases. (16 of the 21 were unvaccinated; 46% of the Somali children in this community were unvaccinated in a 2010 survey.)
minnesota  safety  measles  health  vaccination  kenya  somali 
june 2014 by jm
Paleo is the Scientology of Diet
Being paleo is like paying a stupidity tax. Again, it’s not you who is stupid, but the diet sure is, because it lets you drink paleo coffee while putting paleo butter and paleo syrup on your paleo waffles before you drive your paleo minivan to the paleo office to sit in your paleo cube and do spreadsheets on your paleo computer. See, the paleo diet made up a bunch of silly rules on how we allegedly ate, and then goes and twists them all to hell in the name of selling you a crappy, overpriced product. That is scientology-level stupid.
scientology  paleo  rants  funny  food  diet  health  bulletproof-coffee  stupid 
june 2014 by jm
A Closer Look At OC's Anti-Vaccination Cluster
In communities such as San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo and Capistrano Beach, where Dr. Bob Sears practices, there are clusters of unvaccinated children. Last year, at 15 of the 40 elementary schools in the Capistrano Unified School District, more than 10 percent of kindergartners had [Personal Belief exemptions], according to data from the California Department of Public Health. At one public charter school, Journey, 56 percent of kindergartners were unvaccinated, at least partially, due to their parents' beliefs.

This is going to end horribly. Typical OC (update: South County OC! sorry Tatsuya ;)
orange-county  health  vaccination  laguna-beach  oc  dr-bob-sears  kindergarten  measles  mumps  rubella  pertussis  epidemiology 
may 2014 by jm
co-founder of the Boston Beer Company swears by active dry yeast as a hangover-avoidance remedy
what [Joe] Owades knew was that active dry yeast has an enzyme in it called alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH). Roughly put, ADH is able to break alcohol molecules down into their constituent parts of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Which is the same thing that happens when your body metabolizes alcohol in its liver. Owades realized if you also have that enzyme in your stomach when the alcohol first hits it, the ADH will begin breaking it down before it gets into your bloodstream and, thus, your brain.

Plausible!
beer  science  health  yeast  alcohol  adh  medicine  enzymes  stomach  food 
april 2014 by jm
The science of 'hangry'
In the PNAS paper, Brad Bushman and colleagues looked at 107 couples over 21 days and found that people experiencing uncharacteristically low blood sugar were more likely to display anger toward their spouse. (The researchers measured this by having subjects stick needles into voodoo dolls representing their significant others.)
hangry  hunger  food  eating  science  health  blood-sugar  voodoo-dolls  glucose 
april 2014 by jm
Daylight saving time linked to heart attacks, study finds
Switching over to daylight saving time, and losing one hour of sleep, raised the risk of having a heart attack the following Monday by 25 per cent, compared to other Mondays during the year, according to a new US study released today. [...] The study found that heart attack risk fell 21 per cent later in the year, on the Tuesday after the clock was returned to standard time, and people got an extra hour’s sleep.

One clear answer: we need 25-hour days.

More details: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140329175108.htm --
Researchers used Michigan's BMC2 database, which collects data from all non-federal hospitals across the state, to identify admissions for heart attacks requiring percutaneous coronary intervention from Jan. 1, 2010 through Sept. 15, 2013. A total of 42,060 hospital admissions occurring over 1,354 days were included in the analysis. Total daily admissions were adjusted for seasonal and weekday variation, as the rate of heart attacks peaks in the winter and is lowest in the summer and is also greater on Mondays and lower over the weekend. The hospitals included in this study admit an average of 32 patients having a heart attack on any given Monday. But on the Monday immediately after springing ahead there were on average an additional eight heart attacks. There was no difference in the total weekly number of percutaneous coronary interventions performed for either the fall or spring time changes compared to the weeks before and after the time change.
daylight  dst  daylight-savings  time  dates  calendar  science  health  heart-attacks  michigan  hospitals  statistics 
march 2014 by jm
Why Google Flu Trends Can't Track the Flu (Yet)
It's admittedly hard for outsiders to analyze Google Flu Trends, because the company doesn't make public the specific search terms it uses as raw data, or the particular algorithm it uses to convert the frequency of these terms into flu assessments. But the researchers did their best to infer the terms by using Google Correlate, a service that allows you to look at the rates of particular search terms over time. When the researchers did this for a variety of flu-related queries over the past few years, they found that a couple key searches (those for flu treatments, and those asking how to differentiate the flu from the cold) tracked more closely with Google Flu Trends' estimates than with actual flu rates, especially when Google overestimated the prevalence of the ailment. These particular searches, it seems, could be a huge part of the inaccuracy problem.

There's another good reason to suspect this might be the case. In 2011, as part of one of its regular search algorithm tweaks, Google began recommending related search terms for many queries (including listing a search for flu treatments after someone Googled many flu-related terms) and in 2012, the company began providing potential diagnoses in response to symptoms in searches (including listing both "flu" and "cold" after a search that included the phrase "sore throat," for instance, perhaps prompting a user to search for how to distinguish between the two). These tweaks, the researchers argue, likely artificially drove up the rates of the searches they identified as responsible for Google's overestimates.


via Boing Boing
google  flu  trends  feedback  side-effects  colds  health  google-flu-trends 
march 2014 by jm
Health privacy: formal complaint to ICO
'Light Blue Touchpaper' notes:
Three NGOs have lodged a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner about the fact that PA Consulting uploaded over a decade of UK hospital records to a US-based cloud service. This appears to have involved serious breaches of the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and of multiple NHS regulations about the security of personal health information.


Let's see if ICO can ever do anything useful.... not holding my breath
ico  privacy  data-protection  dpa  nhs  health  data  ross-anderson 
march 2014 by jm
Inside the Mind of an anti-fluoridationist
An exceptionally well-researched and thorough disassembly of 'Public Health Investigation of Epidemiological data on Disease and Mortality in Ireland related to Water Fluoridation and Fluoride Exposure' by Declan Waugh, which appears to be going around currently
declan-waugh  debunking  flouride  flouridation  science  mortality  health  ireland  water 
march 2014 by jm
Irish Law Society takes a stand for "brand owners IP rights"
The Law Society will attend a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee today to outline its strong opposition to the Government proposals to introduce legislation that will require tobacco products to use plain packaging. The society’s director general Ken Murphy will be its principal representative at the meeting today to discuss its submission on the legislation, and to discuss its concerns that a plain packaging regime will undermine registered trade mark, and design, systems and will amount to an “expropriation of brand owners intellectual property rights’.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Murphy told The Irish Times the views contained in it represent those of the Law Society as a whole, and its 10,000 members, and have been endorsed by the society as a whole, rather than the committee.

Mr Murphy also said the purpose of the Law Society submission was not to protect the tobacco industry, rather the wider effect and impact such a law would have on intellectual property rights, trade marks, in other areas.
“There is a real concern also that plain packaging in the tobacco industry is just the beginning of a trend that will severely undermine intellectual property owners’ rights in other sectors such as alcohol, soft drinks and fast foods.”


Judging by some reactions on Twitter, "endorsed by the society as a whole" may be over-egging it a little.
law-society  gubu  law  ireland  ip  packaging  branding  trademarks  cigarettes  health  tobacco 
february 2014 by jm
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