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July 2013

Forbidden topics in health care–Part one

By popular demand, we are making this a regular feature on HND. The first installment deals with the elusive matter of just what constitutes "best" health care, and just hits the tip of the iceberg on what's wrong with Electronic Health Records (EHRs). As the story points out, "While there is nothing wrong per se with the transition to EHRs, there are dozens, nay hundreds, of issues in health care reform that should have taken precedence."

Read the complete article.

Plastic surgery: Making you whole again

This HND story reminds us that plastic surgery is an ancient medical art, and far from being overly concerned with cosmetics, exists primarily to increase functionality. Most of the major advances in the field have come--sadly enough--from repairing war-damaged individuals.

We also cover the relatively rare condition of microtia, and how great strides have been made to treat this affliction.

Read the complete article.

A stop at willoughby (1960) retrospective

Submitted for your approval...

Over at the Mike's Comments, we analyze one of the most popular episodes of the iconic Twilight Zone TV series. Besides being one of Rod Serling's personal favorites, this pic is unique in other ways.

For one thing, biting social commentary that hits very close to home, and does not favor the designated victim group du jour is generally not attempted, and when it does appear, is usually ignored. A few examples would be Over the Edge (1979); Meeting Evil (2012); and Unthinkable (2010). But, "Willoughby" was always popular. For another, the twist ending was very "meta" for its day, and the irony as well as the pun inherent in the title is--as they say in New England--wicked.

Read the complete retrospective.

It ain't over till the fat lady sings–-but what's fat?

This HND piece takes a look at obesity, in light of the AMA's new recommendation that obesity should be considered a disease. We examine the causes, and journey to yesteryear, when public health legend Lester Breslow was warning about this stuff--back in 1952. And, believe me, obesity then was nowhere near the problem it is today.

Read the complete article.

Blood glucose numbers and acronyms demystified

This HND piece explains several clinical assays that are important to diabetics, and some of the science behind them. It also seems to be only of the few places on the Web that summarizes this information in a single article.

We also look at the reasoning behind the new eAG, or estimated average glucose concept, and how it is supposedly better than the long-used HbA1c. Hint: It isn't.

Read the complete article.

Are we all crazy?

This HND piece takes a few shots at the new DSM-5, quoting two very prominent critics. But wait, there's more.

ADHD inventor, Leon Eisenberg, MD backed way, way off from his creation toward the end of his life, and I dug up some choice lines from him. And then, there's the absurd contention from our CDC that one in five American kids have mental illness. You'll love my wrap-up quote form gadfly Mike Adams.

Read the complete article.

Risk factors: More risky than you might think

Indeed. This HND piece skewers some of the silly conventional wisdom regarding so-called risk factors. We again make the point—and it bears endless repetition these days—that the famous risk factor linking smoking with lung cancer is in a class by itself.

Moreover, no chemical agent or lifestyle factor has ever come anywhere near such correlation with a disease, and it is quite doubtful that another ever will. But that doesn't stop people from constantly proclaiming such correlations—touting them as would-be risk factors—virtually nonstop. Sadly, the "science" behind most of these pronouncements—and it matters not how esteemed the source—is questionable at best.

We also look at the overblown obesity/type 2 diabetes link, and the notorious PSA/prostate cancer debacle.

Read the complete article.