Posts tagged health
Recent anti-homosexuality laws don’t just violate human rights—they might worsen the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist warns in a PLOS Medicine essay published today. 

While many countries and communities are expanding civil rights to the LGBT community, such as marriage equality, some nations including Nigeria, Uganda, Russia and India are criminalizing homosexuality or intensifying present anti-gay statutes. 

More nations are poised to follow, putting public health initiatives at risk, Dr. Chris Beyrer writes in “Pushback: The Current Wave of Anti-Homosexuality Laws and Impacts on Health.” 

“These laws and policies make it much more difficult to provide HIV services particularly gay and bisexual men who have sex with men, who really need these services,” Beyrer tells Newsweek. “It can definitely lead to a worsening of the HIV epidemic in these countries.” 

How Anti-Gay Laws Worsen Diseases Like AIDS and TB

Recent anti-homosexuality laws don’t just violate human rights—they might worsen the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist warns in a PLOS Medicine essay published today.

While many countries and communities are expanding civil rights to the LGBT community, such as marriage equality, some nations including Nigeria, Uganda, Russia and India are criminalizing homosexuality or intensifying present anti-gay statutes.

More nations are poised to follow, putting public health initiatives at risk, Dr. Chris Beyrer writes in “Pushback: The Current Wave of Anti-Homosexuality Laws and Impacts on Health.”

“These laws and policies make it much more difficult to provide HIV services particularly gay and bisexual men who have sex with men, who really need these services,” Beyrer tells Newsweek. “It can definitely lead to a worsening of the HIV epidemic in these countries.”

How Anti-Gay Laws Worsen Diseases Like AIDS and TB

A full-blown nuclear meltdown would be devastating for pregnant women and their fetuses, which are particularly vulnerable to the lasting effects of radiation. Should the worst-case scenario become a reality, it could lead to a generation of children born with all manner of maladies, from congenital malformation to mental retardation.

Health care law deemed unconstitutional again. Score: 2-2

Might as well throw some news into the mix since we are Newsweek. Today’s main event is another dissing of Obama’s health care plan. Things appear partisan, as always. The latest count: two judges appointed by Republican presidents have struck down the law or its main attribute, while two judges appointed by Democrats have upheld it. Better get ready, Supreme Court. Here’s the main issue, according to Florida Judge Roger Vinson:

At issue here, as in the other cases decided so far, is the assertion that the Commerce Clause can only reach individuals and entities engaged in an “activity”; and because the plaintiffs maintain that an individual’s failure to purchase health insurance is, almost by definition, “inactivity,” the individual mandate goes beyond the Commerce Clause and is unconstitutional. The defendants contend that activity is not required before Congress can exercise its Commerce Clause power, but that, even if it is required, not having insurance constitutes activity.

Christine O’Donnell [may have] crusaded against masturbation in the mid-1990s, denouncing it as “toying” with the organs of procreation and generally undermining baby making, [but[ the facts are to the contrary. Evidence from elephants to rodents to humans shows that masturbating is—counterintuitively—an excellent way to make healthy babies, and lots of them.
The always tasteful (even when talking about masturbation) Sharon Begley, on the scientific case for masturbation.
“I’m a bit of an overproducer,” says Lynne Feldman, a mother in western Massachusetts who has FedEx’d 250 frozen ounces of her own milk on dry ice to another mother in California.

Maria Dolan writes about the secret world of underground breast-milk exchanges. (Newsweek.com, June 16)  (via katedailey)

And an oversharer…

Adults with the least-healthy habits didn’t fit this pattern, found scientists led by Suzanne O’Neill of Georgetown University. The unhealthier people’s habits were, the more they latched on to genetic explanations for diseases (in particular, colon cancer, skin cancer, hypertension, and lung cancer). “Those most at risk are often the most likely to downplay and distance themselves from threatening health information,” the scientists conclude.

They suspect that this was a defensive reaction, in which people knew at some level that they were engaging in behaviors likely to lead to illness down the road (remember, these were all healthy adults at the time of the survey) but wanted to blame potential health problems on factors beyond their control. In the study, 25 percent of the participants were smokers, another 25 percent were not physically active five days a week, and 36 percent had a body-mass index above 30. If you think your plaque-clogged arteries, uncontrolled diabetes, or lung cancer will be caused by genes in the fertilized egg that became you—rather than your junk-food diet and two-pack-a-day habit—it absolves you of blame.

jayparkinsonmd:

(via ilovecharts)
CureTogether and PatientsLikeMe are cranking out some interesting data findings right now. Notice that antidepressants don’t play a significant role in curing depression. Antidepressants are the modern snake oil. One day we’ll all wake up and realize that reductionist medicine and funny little pills don’t solve life’s complex social, behavioral, and situational challenges. 

This reminds us of Begley’s nice “Antidepressants are no better than placebos" piece from earlier this year. 

jayparkinsonmd:

(via ilovecharts)

CureTogether and PatientsLikeMe are cranking out some interesting data findings right now. Notice that antidepressants don’t play a significant role in curing depression. Antidepressants are the modern snake oil. One day we’ll all wake up and realize that reductionist medicine and funny little pills don’t solve life’s complex social, behavioral, and situational challenges. 

This reminds us of Begley’s nice “Antidepressants are no better than placebos" piece from earlier this year. 

The reality is that patients want to have a say in what happens to them when they’re sick and, more often than not, they don’t want heroic and often hugely costly measures to save them. In the new study, researchers found that more than 90 percent of the adults who had living wills requested either limited care or “comfort care” at the end of life. Only 1.9 percent (a total of ten patients out of 3,746) asked for “all care possible.” Aggressive medicine does not equal happy patients. Doctors must acknowledge this and have honest and informative conversations with their patients. In another study, published in 2008, researchers found that end-of-life discussions resulted in less aggressive care-including ventilation and resuscitation-and earlier hospice enrollment, which equaled better quality of life for patients.
Claudia Kalb, on end of life care