Space Coast Daily Healthcare Headlines of the Week

By  //  June 14, 2014

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Topics Include Benefits Of Simple Exercise, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ From Your Doctor, U.S. Diabetes Crisis and More

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Welcome to SpaceCoastDaily’s Healthcare Headlines. 

The links to health and wellness topics will cover selected national and international sources to help you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s new and useful in achieving and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, and stay abreast of healthcare news.

U.S. TEENS LESS FIT NOW THAN EVER BEFOREsedentary teen

You may want to reconsider signing your child up for computer camp… because, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, teenagers are getting “wimpier,” with only about 42 percent of American kids ages 12 to 15 even close to being aerobically fit, down from 52 percent in 1999 and 2000.

Dell Children’s Medical Center’s Stephen Pont says the new data is “frightening” and should be a call to action for parents to help their teens be more active.

JAMA: THE KEY TO A LONG HEALTHY LIFE IS SIMPLE EXERCISE

elderly couple on beachThe largest and longest-running study to date on the effects of regular exercise finds that active seniors may be 28 percent less likely to become persistently—and possibly permanently—disabled than their sedentary peers.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), regular exercise, including walking, significantly reduces the chance that a frail older person will become physically disabled. The results reinforce the necessity of frequent physical activity for our aging parents, grandparents and, of course, ourselves.

VIDEO SPECIAL: BUILD YOUR OWN DIGITAL MICROSCOPE

Here’s a terrific tool for you amateur scientists. According to YouTube user “kmyoshino,”  for around $10, you can build your own digital microscope using your smartphone. With magnification capable of up to 375 times the normal size of objects, this DIY project could be used in a laboratory setting.

WIKIPEDIA UNRELIABLE SOURCE OF MEDICAL INFORMATION

doctor on laptopAccording to researchers, as many as 70 percent of doctors and medical students use Wikipedia as a source of medical information.

However, a new study  published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association suggests that Wikipedia contains errors in a high percentage of its health care-related pages, specifically finding that 90 percent of the entries contained information that contradicted the latest medical research on the condition.

Bottom line: Don’t rely on Wikipedia–if you have a health concern, check with your physician.

TO PATIENTS: ‘YOU GOT MAIL’ FROM YOUR DOCTOR

steth and emailPatient expectations related to timely communication with their physicians have evolved with technology and the culture.

According to a survey by Catalyst Healthcare Research, a majority of U.S. residents say they prefer physicians who offer email communication with their patients. For the study, researchers surveyed 433 U.S. residents over the age of 21 to gauge how they prefer to receive information from their health care providers and found that 93 percent of respondents prefer to see a physician who offers email communication.

Of those respondents, one-quarter said they still would choose a doctor who offers email consultations, even if there is a $25 charge for such communication.

DIABETES ON THE RISE IN U.S. WITH OVER 8 MILLION UNDIAGNOSED

diabetes_520According to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention report released Tuesday, about 29 million Americans—or 9 percent of the population—are living with diabetes, but nearly one-quarter of those diabetics are unaware of their condition.

The report, which is based on data from 2012, found that the number of Americans with diabetes rose from 26 million in 2010 to 29 million in 2012, with nearly 1.7 million people ages 20 and up diagnosed in 2012.

If the current trends continue, 20 percent of Americans will have diabetes by 2025 and 33 percent by 2050. Diabetes and complications related to the disease accounted for $245 billion in total medical costs and lost work and wages in 2012. 


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