The NPR call-in radio show “Talk of the Nation,” focused today on the increasing use of the Web for “do-it-yourself” diagnosis. Guests included Dr. Scott Haig, author of the article “When the Patient is a Googler,” published in October on time.com; Susannah Fox, Associate Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project; and Dr. Ted Eytan, Medical director of health informatics and web services for Group Health Cooperative. Ms. Fox noted that while many patients, families, and caregivers turn to the Web for medical information, the majority of users pay little or no attention to the source of the information or to its currency. Despite the National Library of Medicine’s emphasis on the importance of these details when evaluating health information on the Web, too few users consider these issues when using a Web site for important medical and health-related knowledge. The audio for this story is available on the NPR web site at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17214066. Additional information on this topic is also available on the NPR site.
NPR feature call-in discussion of using the Web for health information
Obesity: is the answer a return to traditional foods?
A recent story in the McAllen Monitor explains how the Latino Nutrition Coalition is advocating the return to traditional cultural foods as a method to combat the obesity epidemic in the United States. The supermarket guide produced by the Latino Nutrition Coalition, Camino Mágico, is a visual guide that can help consumers make healthier choices while shopping. In Spanish, it explains how to read nutrition labels as well as providing ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
October is National Dental Hygiene Month
Part of ACCORD trial stopped for safety
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute stopped part of a large, ongoing clinical trial of diabetes and cardiovascular disease a year and a half early due to safety concerns. Participants in the “intensive” blood glucose lowering treatment arm of the study are being moved to the less-intensive “standard” treatment arm after early data reported 54 extra deaths in the more intensive part of the study.
The ACCORD (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) study includes more than 10,000 adults with type 2 diabetes who are at especially high risk for heart attack and stroke. It is being carried out at 77 sites across the US and Canada; none of the study sites are in Texas.
The media kit from today’s press conference is available at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/heart/other/accord/.
PBS Affiliates KLRN and KBMH Broadcast Series on Health Disparities
Next Thursday, March 27, PBS affiliates KLRN and KBMH will begin broadcasting a four-hour series on health disparities entitled Unnatural Causes. Among the questions to be considered: “Why do recent Latino immigrants, who are poorer, enjoy better health than native-born Americans when they arrive, yet suffer a rapid decline the longer they are here?”
Presidential Proclamation – National Health Information Technology Week
President Barack Obama has declared the week of September 11-16, 2011 as National Health Information Technology Week. See the official proclamation at Presidential Proclamation – National Health Information Technology Week. In addition, the 2008 Federal Strategic Health IT Plan has been updated to meet the new realities for health IT and IT policies. See more on the Federal Strategic Health IT Plan: 2011-2015 at the Health IT Buzz Blog Post.
Public and Medical Library Team Up for Consumer Health Information
Working in partnership with the Alamo Area Library System (AALS), the UT Health Science Center Briscoe Library recently provided a health information presentation for the Universal City Public Library. Promoting the use of public libraries for consumer health information is part of an effort to address the information needs of growing numbers of Texas residents who are being diagnosed with diabetes. National Library of Medicine resources such as MedlinePlus and NIHSenior Health were demonstrated for attendees as examples of reliable sources of diabetes information.
Recent study finds that U.S. Latinos have increased risk of vision disorders
Research conducted through the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) and reported by the NIH has found that Latinos have higher rates of developing visual impairment, blindness, diabetic eye disease, and cataracts than non-Hispanic whites. Research participants were primarily of Mexican descent over 40 years old. During the four year study period, researchers found the following:
- Latinos developed visual impairment and blindness at the highest rate of any ethnic group in the country, when compared with estimates from other U.S. population-based studies. Overall, nearly 3 percent of Latinos developed visual impairment and 0.3 percent developed blindness in both eyes, with older adults impacted more frequently. Of Latinos age 80 and older, 19.4 percent became visually impaired, and 3.8 percent became blind in both eyes.
- U.S. Latinos were also more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than non-Hispanic whites. Over the four-year period, 34 percent of Latinos who had diabetes developed diabetic retinopathy, with Latinos aged 40 to 59 having the highest rate. Though increasing age did not play a role, Latinos with a longer duration of diabetes were more likely to develop the disease. In fact, 42 percent of Latinos with diabetes for more than 15 years developed diabetic retinopathy. Also, among participants who had diabetic retinopathy at the beginning of the study, 39 percent showed worsening of the disease four years later.
Read the complete NIH News (May 1, 2010) at http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2010/nei-01.htm.
Renewed MOU for Cross-Border Public Health
At the annual meeting of the Border Health Commission in McAllen earlier this week, Mike Leavitt and Jose Angel Cordova signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that updates previous agreements from 1996 and 2001 that focus on strengthening cross-border public health collaborations. “The United States enjoys a solid friendship with Mexico, and our two nations are stronger when we work together to improve the health of our citizens,” Leavitt said. “A commitment to the health and safety of our nations, and to the spirit of cooperation, provides opportunities for growth in science, cross-cultural training, health care delivery and the protection of our people.”
Resignation of 16 ER Physicians at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen
From the Valley Morning Star (and with thanks to Monica Tovar).