The Life Expectancy Of Your Favorite Presidential Candidate

Many of the front runners in the presidential campaign are octogenarians. President Trump, a virtual lock to be the Republican nominee, is 73 years old. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are 78 and 77, respectively. Which raises a question: if elected, how likely are they to survive a 4-year term in office? There’s no perfect […]

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Time To Ban Kid-Friendly Flavors For E-Cigarettes

Cinnamon. Buttered popcorn. Strawberry and banana. Yummy tastes and smells that have lingered in my TV room, after my teenage son and his friends finish vaping. E-cigarette companies like Juul are creating flavors designed to lure young customers, following a tradition established by their cigarette-manufacturing predecessors. For a while, the Trump administration appeared poised to […]

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It’s Time For Health Insurance To Pay For Dental Care

Last time I checked, the mouth was still part of the human body. If I remember correctly, when people experience mouth problems, they ache just as much (often more) than if they experienced problems elsewhere in their bodies. So why do we still treat care of the mouth differently than other types of medical care? […]

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Behavioral Economic Interventions – It’s Not a Choice Between Nudges and Shoves

The field of behavioral economics has brought attention to promising ways of motivating people to make better life choices. Many behavioral economic-inspired interventions are relatively hands off — they nudge people to make wiser decisions without in any way restricting their choices. The idea of nudges was made justifiably popular by Cass Sunstein and Dick Thaler […]

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Angered By High Health Care Spending? Here’s What Maryland Is Doing

US healthcare spending is maddeningly high. As in: fifty percent higher than what other wealthy countries spend, with no evidence we’re getting any bang for all those additional healthcare bucks. In 2014, the state of Maryland took direct aim at this profitless profligacy, enacting a bold (dare I say European?) approach : it gave hospitals fixed […]

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Your (500) Physician(s) Will See You Now

The day of solo practitioners is coming to an end . In its place will be gaggles of gastroenterologists and flocks of physicians. Mega practices are becoming the norm in American medical care. Here’s a few pictures of this trend, somewhat dated (they only go through 2015) but still quite revealing. (To read the rest of the […]

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Doctors Without Appointments

Jill Ladkin was already having a terrible autumn. It began with a seizure that put her in the hospital with what seemed like scores of unfamiliar physicians attending to her state of health. The brain scan revealed a mass in the lining of her brain, a location usually signifying a benign tumor; but, given her seizure, the […]

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If You Want to Avoid a C-Section Choose Your Hospital Wisely

We have an epidemic of C-sections in the US, now accounting for almost 1 in 3 births. That represents a 50% increase since the mid-90s, despite all the advances we’ve seen in obstetrical care. Sometimes C-sections are critical to saving the life of either baby or mother. But C-sections are major surgical procedures, with commensurate risks. […]

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Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer Just Dropped Precipitously. Here's Why

Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer don’t die of the disease. Between 2011 and 2015, 112.6 per 100,000 men per year were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the U.S., but only 19.5 per 100,000 men per year died of the disease over that same period of time. That is still far too many deaths. But the […]

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