Is That Knee Replacement Surgery Really Necessary?

Posted On : November 18, 2014,   Time : 4:37 pm

A knee replacement is one of the most common forms of surgery in the United States, with more than 600,000 people undergoing the procedure each year – more than double the rate of a decade ago. The numbers of knee replacement surgeries are only expected to rise as the American population continues to age. But are all knee replacements truly necessary? The New York Times suggests that in many instances they're not. For example, even though patients between the ages of 45 and are experiencing the greatest growth in knee replacements, the parts wear out after 20 years or so. That means these patients will likely need to undergo an additional knee replacement during their lifetime. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University also concluded that up to a third of subjects who underwent a knee replacement were not really good candidates for the procedure, with many only suffering from minor arthritis or pain when they went under the knife. After they had their

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Six Ways Electronic Health Records Can Benefit Patients

Posted On : November 13, 2014,   Time : 10:00 pm

Patients can benefit in a multitude of ways by having some say on their electronic health records, but the publication MedCityNews zeroes in on five specific reasons: It improves patient participation in their own healthcare decision-making The patient can easily recall their entire medical history if they visit a new doctor for care Prescriptions, vaccinations and other physician notes are far more legible than in their original handwritten form Scheduling appointments are far easier for patients A complete medical history is at the fingertips of all clinicians   But perhaps the most important reason is that patients have control over their medical records. The New York Times has reported that it can take weeks for patients to obtain their traditional paper records from their doctors, often requiring multiple phone calls and f

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Thyroid Cancer Is Almost Always Over-Diagnosed

Posted On : November 12, 2014,   Time : 7:14 am

Is thyroid cancer the most over-diagnosed cancer of them all? That appears to be the case in South Korea, where the number of thyroid cancer cases are 15 times higher than they were 20 years ago, the New York Times has reported, citing a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The number of thyroid cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S. have doubled during that same period. Researchers say that the number of cases have grown due to the fact that clinicians have zeroed in on tiny and often harmless tumors and then treating them aggressively. However, the mortality rate for thyroid cancer has remained stable for many years, even though the number of cases diagnosed is rising faster than any other form of cancer, according to the American

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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, National Family Caregiver Month

Posted On : November 7, 2014,   Time : 6:41 pm

November has two specific events that correlate closely to medical diagnoses and obtaining second opinions to confirm them. The first event is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is a growing problem in the United States. In 2012, there were an estimated 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3 percent of the population, with diabetes, according to data from the American Diabetes Association. That's up a full percentage point just from 2010, when it affected 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. Although a large part of that increase is attributed to those who contract type 2 (adult onset) diabetes, a recent study by Kaiser Permanente researchers indicated that cases of type 1 diabetes are also increasing among children. Diabetes can lead to blindness, loss of limbs and kidney and heart failure. It is the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. An extremely unsettling fact is that more than 8 million Americans have diabetes and are not aware of it, and a s

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EHRs Can Help Detect Hypertension

Posted On : November 4, 2014,   Time : 7:45 pm

More than 30 percent of Americans may suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension, a condition that can lead to strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease. However, as many as 20 percent of people who have hypertension may not be aware that they have a potentially fatal medical condition. An electronic health record (EHR) can help solve that. Researchers have concluded that using a specific algorithm in EHRs can detect whether patients who use such records may have hypertension. The condition can be hard to diagnose with a single blood pressure reading in a physician’s office because there are so many commonplace reasons why someone might have a high reading. But using an EHR in the right way can aggregate and analyze several blood pressure readings and give doctors cl

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