Culture

New York, NY, May 27, 2009 – Despite the well-known benefits of having a lifestyle that includes physical activity, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, moderate alcohol use and not smoking, only a small proportion of adults follow this healthy lifestyle pattern, and in fact, the numbers are declining, according to an article published in the June 2009 issue of The American Journal of Medicine. Lifestyle choices are associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes.

It is time to realign research and policy making to promote better sexual health for all, according to the latest editorial from the PLoS Medicine team.

Sexual health problems arise from curable and incurable sexually transmitted infections, lack of access to contraceptives, lack of access to services and unsafe abortion, and occur at the intersection of health, culture, religion and politics. Curable sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis, cause a significant burden of disease in both high and low income countries.

Researchers long ago rejected the theory that vaccines cause autism, yet many parents don't believe them. Can scientists bridge the gap between evidence and doubt?

This week, PLoS journalist Liza Gross investigates why the debunked vaccine-autism theory won't go away.

BOONE, N.C. – A biological anthropologist from Appalachian State University working with an undergraduate student from Appalachian, an evolutionary biologist from UNC Greensboro, and a team of archaeologists from Deccan College (Pune, India) recently reported analysis of a 4000-year-old skeleton from India bearing evidence of leprosy. This skeleton represents both the earliest archaeological evidence for human infection with Mycobacterium leprae in the world and the first evidence for the disease in prehistoric India.

A new way of assessing professionalism among medical students could help to make better doctors, a new research study suggests.

A score given to medical students, called the Conscientiousness Index, can detect behaviours which may need investigation at an early stage, allowing targeted support to be given to ultimately make for better doctors, according to the Durham University study.

The care of patients with diabetes has improved over the last decade, but this does not seem to be a direct result of the quality and outcomes framework – the scheme that rewards UK general practices for delivering quality care.

The scheme in its present form may even lead to reduced levels of care for some patients, say researchers in a paper published on bmj.com today.

Despite being larger in size and heavier in weight, an analysis of the cardiovascular disease risk factors of about 500 National Football League players finds that overall, they have a similar cardiovascular risk profile compared to the general population. The NFL population was found to have a lower incidence of impaired fasting glucose and similar prevalence of abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels as compared to a sample of healthy young-adult men, but have an increased prevalence of high blood pressure, according to a study in the May 27 issue of JAMA.

HOUSTON ― Novel chemotherapy and biological agents for metastatic colorectal cancer, combined with surgical advances in liver resection, have resulted in a dramatic increase in survival for patients with advanced disease, according to researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Spring marks baseball season for more than 19 million children and adolescents who play each year as part of a team or in backyards throughout the United States. The good news for these players is that the number of injuries from the sport is on the decline.

Three University of Notre Dame researchers are among the authors of a new paper that describes a ground-breaking tool designed to help policy makers determine when and how to use an environmental strategy known as "managed relocation."

Driven by rising health care costs at home, nearly 1 million Californians cross the border each year to seek medical care in Mexico, according a new paper by UCLA researchers and colleagues published today in the journal Medical Care.

An estimated 952,000 California adults sought medical, dental or prescription services in Mexico annually, and of these, 488,000 were Mexican immigrants, according to the research paper, "Heading South: Why Mexican Immigrants in California Seek Health Services in Mexico."

ORLANDO (May 30, 2009)—When a cancer patient and his or her doctor discuss the value of a treatment option, the conversation usually centers on a consideration of the treatment's medical benefits versus its possible side effects for the patient. Increasingly, however, as the already high costs of cancer care continue to rise, a full view of the patient's welfare must also take into account the economic impact of the treatment on the patient and his or her family.

PROVIDENCE, RI – A new study published online in the journal Obesity provides further evidence that strict maternal control over eating habits – such as determining how much a child should eat and coaxing them to eat certain foods – during early childhood may not lead to significant future weight gain in boys or girls. Instead, this behavior may be a response to concerns over a child's increasing weight.

(Boston) - Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston University School of Public Health have found that no adjustment method fully resolves confounding by indication in observational studies, meaning when the validity of a study is threatened by unmeasured confounding, it is not straightforward to determine which method of adjustment, if any, is most effective in obtaining a valid and precise estimate of effect. The study appears online in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.

A new study from North Carolina State University indicates that regulators need to do more to ensure that banks are adequately computing their Value-at-Risk (VaR) to reflect fluctuations in financial markets. The study finds that the tests used by regulators do not detect when VaRs inaccurately account for significant swings in the market, which is significant because VaRs are key risk-assessment tools financial institutions use to determine the amount of capital they need to keep on hand to cover potential losses.