Public Health

The Corpus Callosum

Category archives for Public Health

National Geographic reports: A new strain of hypervirulent, deadly Cryptococcus gattii fungus has been discovered in the United States, a new study says. The outbreak has already killed six people in Oregon, and it will likely creep into northern California and possibly farther, experts say… Cryptococcus infections in humans are hardly new.  And so far,…

Yes, this is old news.  I’ve written about it before, as have numerous other progressive scientifically-oriented bloggers.  But now that there is an opinion piece featured prominently in the New York Times, perhaps the issue is gaining momentum. Cows on Drugs By DONALD KENNEDY Published: April 17, 2010 NOW that Congress has pushed through its…

The January 2010 American Journal of Psychiatry has two articles pertaining to the relationship between dietary practices and mental health.  One article presents the results of a study; the other is an editorial. Association of Western and Traditional Diets With Depression and Anxiety in Women Jacka et al. Am J Psychiatry 2010; 167:305-311 (published online…

When Trucks Stop, Hospitals Stop

One of the more enlightening and worrisome articles I read recently was The Perils of Efficiency, by James Surowiecki.  The article was a discussion of the practical effects of the mathematical concept, that you can only optimize one variable in an complex system.  So if you optimize for lowest cost per unit of production, you…

Let Them Eat Anti-Psychotics

I couldn’t resist that title, but I must admit it isn’t mine; the author’s post is here.  This is about the NYT article about the finding that children on Medicaid are more likely to be prescribed antipsychotic medication, compared to those with private insurance.  The obvious correlation is that children with Medicaid are from poor…

General Fatigue of the Insane?

This is about chronic fatigue syndrome and the association with XMRV.  I apologize in advance for the provocative title, and the subsequent gratuitous references to the Nobel Prize, but there is a point to this. Take a look at this summary of the “old-fashioned disease”: During the nineteenth century general paresis of the insane emerged…

The SEIU website makes an astonishing claim: But, in DC and nine other states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming, insurance companies have gone too far, claiming that “domestic violence victim” is also a pre-existing condition. Words cannot describe the sheer inhumanity of this claim. It…

Where the Rubber Hits the Road…

…and the steel hits the flesh.  Mark Rosenberg, MD, representing the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research, had an opinion piece published in the Boston Globe.  He makes a good point about health.  It is not just doctors and hospitals.  Urban design, and infrastructure maintenance have a role to play. Roads that are…

Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) has been controversial, as noted in the Washington Post.  Admittedly, most of the controversy has been contrived.  Fortunately, the process is moving forward; there is no meaningful opposition at this point. A good summary of the objections of this was posted by Hilzoy at Political Animal.  I’ll deal with the objections…

Peak Psychology

Psychology is turning out to be a rather important field these days.  Nate Hagens has a post on The Oil Drum, The Psychological and Evolutionary Roots of Resource Overconsumption Revisited.  He reviews the evolutionary psychology of poor economic decision-making.  Calculated Risk has a post, Scientific American: Bubbles and Busts. It’s based on an article in…