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Epidemiology

Dear Colleagues: We SUCK!

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 05.10.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

I'm not saying we are wrong. In fact, we may all be right, about everything. But we are all right about disparate and seemingly-competing bits of the same, whole truth. The result is that nobody can see that whole truth.

Abortion and Breast Cancer: How Abortion Foes Got It Wrong

David A. Grimes | Posted 04.27.2015 | Healthy Living
David A. Grimes

The theory that abortion increases a woman's risk of breast cancer was debunked long ago. Why then does the claim still appear from bumper stickers to Crisis Pregnancy Centers to the Internet?

What's What in Nutrition? What's on First

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.22.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The only measures of energy balance I apply to myself are: Do my clothes fit? Can I do the same number of chin-ups and pull-ups as yesterday? I don't care how many calories I ate yesterday, and it doesn't matter if my elliptical erred high, low, or was spot on.

How a 2,500-Year-Old Math Proof Can Help Determine When a Patient Improves

Rob Froud | Posted 03.10.2015 | Science
Rob Froud

For many chronic conditions epidemiologists agree that the correct point to choose is the point closest to the top-left corner of the ROC curve. As we stopped to think about it, it struck us as obvious that the way to choose this point is by using Pythagoras' theorem. But this was not what our epidemiologist peers and colleagues were doing.

Plague Plots: Dispatches From Geraldine Brooks

Joseph Cooper | Posted 02.22.2015 | Books
Joseph Cooper

To escape present-day harsh realities, one might do well to turn to literary portrayals in which lives are elevated. In Year of Wonders, the lives of those who care for the afflicted, and comfort the dying, are elevated.

Plague Plots: Dispatches from Sinclair Lewis

Joseph Cooper | Posted 02.03.2015 | Books
Joseph Cooper

Can a novel's depictions of healthcare workers in a plague-ravaged land inform our thinking about the lives of those who try to save lives?

What I Am Really Afraid of... And It's Not Ebola

Brian Castrucci | Posted 12.27.2014 | Healthy Living
Brian Castrucci

Whenever there is an outbreak, there is political and public outcry that dies out as soon as it is controlled. We have the great privilege of living largely free of fear from infectious disease, but it comes at a cost -- investment in and ongoing support for the public health system.

Troubled #hearts -- in 140 Characters

Wray Herbert | Posted 12.20.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

Is it possible that aggregate Twitter patterns might also be revealing in some useful way? Could Twitter offer snapshots of communities as well as individuals? A team of scientists has been exploring this possibility.

Rethinking the 21-Day Quarantine for Ebola Contacts

Manoj Jain, MD MPH | Posted 12.18.2014 | Healthy Living
Manoj Jain, MD MPH

With so little known about the Ebola virus, as a public health decision, it may be prudent to extend the quarantine or observation period.

Softer Care For Harder Cases, Of Ebola And Everything Else

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 12.16.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

As for Ebola containment, holistic thinking is clearly essential. Control of an outbreak is not limited to treating the sick, but managing the social network of every index case.

The Keys to Good Health

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 10.14.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Rather, leaving aside the swirl of aspersions that likely has Dr. Keys turning in his grave if such things are possible, I simply want to note that his work is...moot. It doesn't matter whether Keys was all right, all wrong, or inevitably -- somewhere in between.

Aborted Thinking

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 10.08.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

We all like autonomy, and all concede it has to end somewhere. As I once heard an ethicist quip, my autonomy to swing a stick certainly ends where your nose begins.

Bullets, Ballots and Bullies

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 07.29.2014 | Politics
David Katz, M.D.

If there is anyone who would still advocate for unimpeded access to guns for all on the basis of ideology despite such an extreme (and admittedly absurd) epidemiology, there are names for it. The kinder designation is fanaticism.

Women, Men and Alzheimer's

Dr. Tiffany Chow | Posted 07.20.2014 | Healthy Living
Dr. Tiffany Chow

"Why does Alzheimer's disease strike women more often than it does men?" Well, actually, it doesn't. When you hear that an illness affects one group m...

Childhood Obesity: Have We Turned the Tide?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 04.30.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The headline in the New York Times, was: "Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43 Percent in a Decade." This, and similarly effusive headlines reverberating throughout the news media, would seem to invite the question: have we, in fact, turned the tide? Is the mission accomplished?

Do We Need to Kill Our Heroes?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 03.19.2014 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

I am, of course, still a child of love and privilege. But I have at least this claim against naiveté: I have looked into the eyes of someone ready, willing, and eager to kill me. I have at least this notion of what's out there.

ICK! Guess Where Scientist Found New Kind Of Tick

| Lizzie Wade | Posted 10.08.2013 | Science

Tony Goldberg had been back from Uganda for only about a day when he felt a distressingly familiar itch in his nose. A veterinary epidemiologist at th...

Gabriela Aoun

Killer Diet Supplement? Liver Damage Cases In Hawaii Rise To 30

HuffingtonPost.com | Gabriela Aoun | Posted 10.03.2013 | Healthy Living

The number of recent liver damage cases linked to dietary supplements has risen from 10 to 30 in the last week. All 30 cases have been reported in Haw...

Poison Or Medicine?

John Berardi, Ph.D. | Posted 11.29.2013 | Healthy Living
John Berardi, Ph.D.

When it comes to heart disease risk, caffeinated coffee can actually be a "poison" for one person. And a "medicine" for another. It all depends on one little gene.

Dietary Supplements Linked To 10 'Severe' Liver Failure Cases In Hawaii

Posted 09.27.2013 | Healthy Living

Ten young, seemingly-healthy people have been admitted into Hawaii hospitals in the last five months for varying degrees of liver inflammation and fai...

Social(organ)ism

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 10.26.2013 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Socialism is a dirty word, perhaps deservedly so. But the real trouble resides with our persistent use, and misuse, of a word we made dirty. Vocabulary so encumbered is like bathwater we refuse to drain; it takes on an opacity that quite obscures the baby

The New 'Black Death': Why Are Black People Dying at Record Rates in Chicago?

Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston | Posted 09.08.2013 | Chicago
Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston

They say that no man knows the number of his days and that death comes like a thief in the night. However, for the black men and women in Chicago, death can seem less like a faraway event and more like a day-to-day certainty.

Why Most Diet Research Sucks

Dr. Jonny Bowden | Posted 07.28.2013 | Healthy Living
Dr. Jonny Bowden

What happens is that these observational studies become the basis of health policy. They don't generate hypothesis that can be tested and either proven or disproven, they generate the assumption of cause and effect, which is reinforced by the media, and becomes the basis of public health policy.

Can Eating Enoki Mushrooms Lower Your Cancer Risk?

Paul Stamets | Posted 06.18.2013 | Healthy Living
Paul Stamets

While there are no clusters of enoki growers and enoki eaters to study in the U.S. like there are in Nagano, this Japanese study could inspire epidemiologists to study the effect of higher mushroom consumption.

'Dramatic' Circumcision Study May Explain Procedure's Big Health Benefit

Posted 04.16.2013 | Science

By: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer Published: 04/16/2013 08:07 AM EDT on LiveScience Circumcision changes the bacteria ecosystem of t...