Review Category : Health

Study: Minimally-Invasive Surgery Underused at Many Hospitals

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A surprisingly low percentage of surgeries in America is being done using minimally invasive surgery techniques, a new report from Johns Hopkins Medical Center found.

The study, published in the BMJ, looked at data from more than 1,000 hospital around the United States. The data showed that just 13 percent of hysterectomies, 28 percent of colectomies, 32 percent of lung lobectomies and 71 percent of appendectomies were done laproscopically.

Researchers had previously determined for each hospital and predicted percentage of laproscopic surgeries. They determined that larger hospitals, hospitals in urban areas or teaching hospitals were more likely to utilize minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Previous studies have shown that minimally invasive surgery reduces the risk of surgical site infection, length of hospitalization and post-operative pain.

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Study: Minimally-Invasive Surgery Underused at Many Hospitals

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A surprisingly low percentage of surgeries in America is being done using minimally invasive surgery techniques, a new report from Johns Hopkins Medical Center found.

The study, published in the BMJ, looked at data from more than 1,000 hospital around the United States. The data showed that just 13 percent of hysterectomies, 28 percent of colectomies, 32 percent of lung lobectomies and 71 percent of appendectomies were done laproscopically.

Researchers had previously determined for each hospital and predicted percentage of laproscopic surgeries. They determined that larger hospitals, hospitals in urban areas or teaching hospitals were more likely to utilize minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Previous studies have shown that minimally invasive surgery reduces the risk of surgical site infection, length of hospitalization and post-operative pain.

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Painkiller Naproxen May Increase Risk of Heart Problems in Older Women

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New research found that a popular painkiller may cause damage to the hearts of older women who use it regularly.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, looked at data from 160,000 postmenopausal women over the age of 50. Researchers learned that those women who regularly used naproxen for aches and pains had a 22 percent increased risk of heart attack of stroke. Researchers said that women who took the painkiller at least twice per week were considered regular users.

Ibuprofen, researchers say, was not linked to increased cardiovascular risk.

The study was conducted using 11 years of data from the Women’s Health Initiative.

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Painkiller Naproxen May Increase Risk of Heart Problems in Older Women

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New research found that a popular painkiller may cause damage to the hearts of older women who use it regularly.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, looked at data from 160,000 postmenopausal women over the age of 50. Researchers learned that those women who regularly used naproxen for aches and pains had a 22 percent increased risk of heart attack of stroke. Researchers said that women who took the painkiller at least twice per week were considered regular users.

Ibuprofen, researchers say, was not linked to increased cardiovascular risk.

The study was conducted using 11 years of data from the Women’s Health Initiative.

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Childhood Tuberculosis Cases May Be 25 Percent Higher than Estimates

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study found that current estimates on the rate of childhood tuberculosis in a selection of 22 countries around the world may be about 25 percent higher than current estimates.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Global Health found that about 15 million children are exposed to tuberculosis every year, and that 53 million children are living with latent tuberculosis infection, which can become active at any time.

Despite those numbers, the researchers estimate that about 650,000 children develop tuberculosis in those nations each year. That is about 25 percent higher than the World Health Organization’s estimate in 2012, which stated that about 530,000 cases of active tuberculosis are developed each year in children under 15.

The new study counts factors such as age, vaccination efficacy and the effect of HIV infection, compared to the WHO estimates, which rely on pediatric case reporting.

Researchers say that their findings offer a huge opportunity to provide preventive antibiotic treatment for the 15 million children living in a home with an adult who is infected with tuberculosis.

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Underage Drinkers More Affected by Ads from Popular Brands

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study from Johns Hopkins University found that advertising done by top alcohol brands may be drawing in consumers below the legal drinking age.

The study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, used data from magazine ads in 2011, and found that men between the ages of 18 and 20 were nine times as likely to be influenced by ads from popular brands than by all other alcohol brands. Similarly, women in the same age range were 5.5 times as likely to to be influenced by the ads from popular companies.

Interestingly, the ads in places that underage drinkers were more likely to be affected by were also less likely to resonate with legal drinkers between the age of 21 and 25.

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Underage Drinkers More Affected by Ads from Popular Brands

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study from Johns Hopkins University found that advertising done by top alcohol brands may be drawing in consumers below the legal drinking age.

The study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, used data from magazine ads in 2011, and found that men between the ages of 18 and 20 were nine times as likely to be influenced by ads from popular brands than by all other alcohol brands. Similarly, women in the same age range were 5.5 times as likely to to be influenced by the ads from popular companies.

Interestingly, the ads in places that underage drinkers were more likely to be affected by were also less likely to resonate with legal drinkers between the age of 21 and 25.

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Hospital Pharmacist Charged in Theft of Nearly 200,000 Pills

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The former Pharmacy Director at Beth Israel Medical Center was arrested on Tuesday and charged in the largest-ever theft of pills by a hospital worker prosecuted in New York City.

Anthony D’Alessandro, who worked at the hospital for 14 years, was arrested in Staten Island on Tuesday morning. He allegedly had been stealing oxycodone pills since 2009, securing almost 200,000 pills — which had a street value of approximately $5.6 million.

The Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York charged D’Alessandro with operating as a major trafficker under New York State’s Drug Kingpin Statute. In addition, D’Alessandro faces charges of grand larceny and 247 counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The theft was uncovered when Mount Sinai Medical Center merged with Continuum Health Partners. The new administration received an anonymous letter and accompanying documentation, the prosecutor says.

D’Alessandro was responsible for overseeing all medication at Beth Israel Medical Center and allegedly used his position to steal pills on at least 218 separate dates. The thefts started out in the range of 100 to 500 pills per day, but by January 2014, D’Alessandro was allegedly stealing up to 1,500 pills in a single day, prosecutors charge.

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Hospital Pharmacist Charged in Theft of Nearly 200,000 Pills

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The former Pharmacy Director at Beth Israel Medical Center was arrested on Tuesday and charged in the largest-ever theft of pills by a hospital worker prosecuted in New York City.

Anthony D’Alessandro, who worked at the hospital for 14 years, was arrested in Staten Island on Tuesday morning. He allegedly had been stealing oxycodone pills since 2009, securing almost 200,000 pills — which had a street value of approximately $5.6 million.

The Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York charged D’Alessandro with operating as a major trafficker under New York State’s Drug Kingpin Statute. In addition, D’Alessandro faces charges of grand larceny and 247 counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The theft was uncovered when Mount Sinai Medical Center merged with Continuum Health Partners. The new administration received an anonymous letter and accompanying documentation, the prosecutor says.

D’Alessandro was responsible for overseeing all medication at Beth Israel Medical Center and allegedly used his position to steal pills on at least 218 separate dates. The thefts started out in the range of 100 to 500 pills per day, but by January 2014, D’Alessandro was allegedly stealing up to 1,500 pills in a single day, prosecutors charge.

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Scientist Untangles Mystery of Jumbled Headphones

Photos.com/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A physicist may have solved the mystery of tangled headphones.

Robert Matthews, a visiting scientist at Aston University in Birmingham, England, has developed a mathematical theory that explains why headphones invariably tangle up into hopeless knots. It’s called the “Murphy’s Law of String” or the “Loop Conjecture,” and it’s a phenomenon that has driven headphone users bonkers since before the Walkman was popular.

Matthews’ years of study suggest that clipping the two earbuds together, then attaching them to the end near the audio jack to form a loop, will cause a tenfold reduction in knot formation.

“First, by forming the loop you’ve effectively reduced the length of string able to explore the 3D space by 50 percent, which makes a big difference,” Matthews said. “Second, you’ve also eliminated the two ends, which are the prime movers of knot formation.”

To test his theory, Matthews invited schools across England to participate in “the Great British Knot Experiment.” Participants compared different types of knots to determine which are the easiest to unravel. One school picked away at over 12,000 jumbled strings to provide data for Matthews’ predictions, he said.

Matthews, who has also studied why toast wants to fall butter side down, said he’s particularly satisfied that he was able to tie up the loose ends on headphone tangles.

“I hope it saves people a lot of grief,” he said.

He added that tangles are no trivial question for science. His work may help cast light on why DNA sometimes forms knotty mutations, and how knot formations in cancer cells can be undone with targeted drugs.

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