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Archive for July, 2012

MEDICAL RECORDS AND IDENTITY THEFT RIFE IN THE HEALTH SYSTEM

Monday, July 30th, 2012

IS YOUR IDENTITY RECORDED IN THE HEALTH DEPT SAFE FROM PRYING EYES

Glitches in patient identity details for the new e-health system have been found in about one-third of cases nationally, according to a report the Federal Health Department refuses to release.

Does everybody know what disease you have

Do the workers in the health system have access to your medical history

Medical histories of people at risk

Making sure your medical records are not accessed.

Security breaches in the health recording systems.
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The secret report shows patient identity information held by state public hospitals frequently fails to match the data that Medicare holds on the same individuals. Differences in the spelling of names or other variations can pose a significant obstacle, as the system requires an exact match before individuals can get e-health access.

The department has refused a request by the Herald to release the report under the Freedom of Information Act, stating that the report was subject to confidentiality undertakings given by IBM, the company that prepared the document.

The confidentiality undertakings are understood to have been made to state and federal agencies and no individual patient records were involved.

Insiders with knowledge of the project say the refusal to reveal the information has more to do with avoiding government embarrassment about more setbacks in the problem-plagued e-health development.

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A department spokeswoman said the report ”does not show up problems in relation to security and safety” of the new personally controlled electronic health record system, the PCEHR. ”And it does not contain matters in any way that identifies patients.”

Hopes for a national e-health system have already cost billions of dollars but the scheme has yet to deliver significant benefits. Electronic records are expected to deliver advances in the management of patient care, streamlining the availability of all treatment records, cutting waste and duplication of unnecessary repeat diagnostic tests and reducing the risk of mix-ups in patient care.
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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

WHAT HAS YAM FARMING & SICKLE CELL ANEMIA GOT IN COMMON..?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

YAM FARMING-RAIN FORESTS-MOSQUITOES & SICKLE CELL ANEMIA IN AFRICA

One fundamental insight from the last few decades of genetics is that nature and nurture aren’t opposites—they’re complementary. That is, it’s often meaningless to talk about a genetic trait without also discussing the environment in which that trait appears. Sometimes, genes don’t work at all until the environment awakens them.

Take perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is the ability to hear the B-flat above middle-C, or the F-sharp at the top of the treble clef, or any other note, and name it instantly, even without a reference note. Plenty of studies have found a genetic component to perfect pitch (also called absolute pitch). And while there probably isn’t a single perfect pitch gene, a few scientists have located stretches of DNA, including two on chromosome 8, common in Europeans with absolute pitch.
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Even a strong chromosome 8 doesn’t guarantee perfect pitch, though, and perfect pitch remains relatively rare among Europeans overall. By contrast, people who grew up speaking tonal languages, like Chinese, develop absolute pitch much more often. With tonal languages, changing the pitch of a word changes its meaning. So a high, squeaky “ma” can mean something different from a bass “ma,” and rising or falling pitches can change the meaning yet again. In other words, unlike with English, you can’t be utterly tone deaf and speak these languages well.

Still, even tonal language speakers can’t just expect to have perfect pitch—the environment sometimes needs to do more to turn this DNA on. Musical training before about age 6 probably plays a critical role, for instance. Overall, it seems that some (and perhaps all) people have a window to develop perfect pitch when they’re quite young. The size of that window might vary depending on their genes, but their linguistic or musical milieu must stamp the talent into their brains at some point. Otherwise, once the window shuts, neither a genetic predisposition nor hard work can pry it open again.

In some cases, genes and the environment do more than just interact—they evolve together. We know that genes shape human cultures and human societies: The DNA we inherited from our ancestors makes certain foods taste better, affects the way we care for children, influences what colors we find vibrant, and contributes to our love of socializing, among other examples. But there’s also good evidence that culture bends back and shapes human genes in turn. Genes and culture, in other words, can “co-evolve” and change in tandem.
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One profound example of co-evolution involves chromosome 11. Thousands of years ago, various tribes in West Africa began clearing out the dense, ancient forests near their homes and cultivating plots to grow yams and other crops. Their strategy worked well—the yams thrived, becoming a dietary staple—but had an unintended side effect. The old forests had slurped up excess rain quite well; the bare farmland did a poorer job, and left standing pools of water that attracted hordes of mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes harbor diseases, especially malaria, which became endemic among Africans there, and the tribes had to come up with genetic defenses to survive. One mutation in particular seemed to help, an A→T swap on the hbb gene on chromosome 11. This mutation changed the shape of some red blood cells, making them less like a disc (the normal shape) and more like a crescent. This in turn helped prevent malaria, which parasitizes red blood cells, from getting a foothold. As a result, the mutated hbb gene began to spread in the region, following the clear-cutting yam farmers wherever they expanded.

Unfortunately, when the mutated, crescent-cell-producing gene became relatively common, people started having children with two copies of it. And while having one copy still provided resistance to malaria, having two copies proved deadly, since the crescent, or sickle-shaped, blood cells died off prematurely, and also jammed up inside small blood vessels. Today we call this condition sickle-cell anemia. The hbb mutation never would have wreaked such havoc among these tribes if not for the ancient decision to farm yams so intensely.
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Cultural choices have expanded or contracted many other genetic traits as well. Different prehistoric diets (including the introduction of cooking) probably changed our teeth and jaw structures, farming starchy foods probably intensified the concentration of certain enzymes in our saliva that digest starch, and domesticating cattle and other milk-producing animals probably led to what by all rights should be called lactose tolerance (not lactose intolerance, since adults who can digest milk are the mutated weirdos). Many superficial human features, like eye color, also responded strongly to cultural cues about what different groups found attractive. In fact, modern civilization has curbed the ancient threats to our survival—exposure, droughts, starvation, predators, parasites—so well that culture probably shapes our genes as much or more than anything else nowadays.

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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

IS GINSENG THE WONDER DRUG, FIND OUT HERE WHAT THEY SAY

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Ginseng can fight cancer fatigue

I don’t know what’s worse — cancer, or the treatments.
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The disease itself is enough to leave you feeling drained. But throw in invasive surgeries, toxic drugs, radiation, and chemo and it’s no wonder cancer patients look and feel like death most of the time.

So OF COURSE they’re fatigued. Can you blame them? But a new study finds ginseng root can help bring a little of that energy back.

The only “catch” is that it takes a few weeks.

Researchers gave 360 patients receiving cancer treatments — including more than 200 breast cancer patients — either 2,000 mg of ground ginseng root or a placebo for eight weeks.

After four weeks, there were no differences between the two groups. After eight, bingo — 90 percent of the women on ginseng reported improvements. On average, the women started out at a 55 on a 100-point fatigue “scale,” but after eight weeks they dropped 20 points to a much more manageable 35.
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Those who got the placebo only had half that improvement.

The women who took the ginseng said they felt less “sluggish,” “tired,” “worn out,” and “pooped” than they did at the start.

The one caveat here is that low-quality ginseng supplements are processed with ethanol, and ethanol can actually stimulate the growth of breast tumors.

Clearly, you don’t want that — so stick to pure ground ginseng root rather than an extract.

By the way, it’s not a bad idea to take this stuff even if you aren’t “sluggish,” “tired,” “worn out,” or “pooped” — because ginseng can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, including cancers of the breast and prostate.

But while ginseng is great it’s not the only drug-free cancer beater. It’s not even the best of the lot — because there are even more effective natural cures that can help you beat the disease without drugs or even chemo

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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Archives of Internal Medicine looked at two statins — simvastatin (Zocor) and pravastatin (Pravachol)

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Statins can cause fatigue in 4 of 10 women
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Think it’s exhausting trying to keep up with all the warnings on cholesterol drugs? You should see what happens when you actually take the darned things — because the latest study finds statins can sap you of your energy faster than a weekend with the in-laws.

This isn’t some minor “maybe” side effect and it’s certainly not a rare one. New numbers show that up to 40 percent of women who take statins battle fatigue — and 10 percent of them feel like they’ve been hit by a truck.
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In a new study of more than 1,000 people, that 10 percent described their post-statin energy levels as “much worse” than they were before they started taking the meds.

The study in the Archives of Internal Medicine looked at two statins — simvastatin (Zocor) and pravastatin (Pravachol) — and a placebo, and found fatigue hitting women who took either drug. But overall, the researchers say the effect was stronger in women who took simvastatin and that it was much less noticeable in men.

But if you’re a guy, I’ve got an even better reason for you to lay off these drugs: Statins could shut down your internal testosterone factory and kill your erections.

If you ask me, that’s the worst kind of “fatigue” a man could have.

And for men and women alike, the drugs have also been linked to serious and debilitating muscle pain, memory loss, cataracts, and diabetes — and that’s the short list of risks.

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Forget these meds, and forget worrying about cholesterol in the first place — you’ve got enough on your mind as it is. As long as your total cholesterol is between 200 and 300, you’re doing just fine.

The real problems begin when your cholesterol is TOO LOW — and the best cure for that is the most delicious class of “drugs” on the planet: steak, bacon, sausage, and eggs.

All that protein will also boost your energy, leaving you feeling like you could lift a truck — not like you’ve been hit by one.
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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

 

SUPERFRUITS FOR A SUPER LIFE-PAW PAW-KIWI FRUIT-PASSIONFRUIT-FIGS-STRAWBERRIES-POMEGRANITES

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

SUPERFRUITS YOU SHOULD HAVE REGULARLY IN YOUR DIET

*PAW PAW [PAPAYA]

*PASSIONFRUIT

*FIGS

*STRAWBERRIES

*KIWI FRUIT

*POMEGRANITE

You’ve heard of Superfoods, but…Superfruits? Not every fruit qualifies. Those deemed “super” by nutrition scientists are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients that can help you live longer, look better, and even prevent disease.

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Best of all, most are widely available, even at your local supermarket or fruit shop, promises Keri Glassman, R.D., founder of NutritiousLifeMeals.com and author of Slim Calm Sexy Diet. One caveat: Superfruits are best consumed whole, not processed. So if possible, try to buy and eat these fruits fresh. Experts estimate that you should be eating five to nine portions of fruit or vegetables a day, and the majority of them should be Superfruits.
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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha