Space Coast Daily Healthcare Headlines of the Week
By Dr. James Palermo // August 21, 2014
Topics Include: Cyber Attack on Community Health Systems; Dangerous Connection Between Obesity and Cancer; See How the Sun Sees You – and More
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Welcome to SpaceCoastDaily’s Healthcare Headlines.
Reuters reports that hackers stole patients’ personal data from Community Health Systems (CHS), which leases or operates 206 hospitals in 29 states.
CHS said the information stolen included patient names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers and social security numbers (but not credit card information or medical records) of people who were referred or received services from doctors affiliated with the company over the last five years.
The cyber attack allegedly by a sophisticated hacking group in China extracted information on more than 4 million patients from the CHS computer network. (Finkle and Humer, Reuters, 8/18)
According to a 2004 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 15 million Americans work full time on evening shift, night shift, rotating shifts, or other employer arranged irregular schedules.
Disturbed sleep isn’t the only unhealthy byproduct of shift work, according to this Huffinton Post review of the issue.
Research has identified a myriad of health and safety risks associated with the night shift. (Chan and Klein, Huffington Post, 8/14)
According to new research out of the United Kingdom (UK), which is deemed the largest study to date of the link between Body Mass Index (BMI) and cancer, there is a dangerous connection between being overweight or obese and the risk of 10 common cancers.
With overweight and obesity a global health concern, lead researcher Dr. Krishnan Bhaskaran, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the UK, said, “The number of people who are overweight or obese is rapidly increasing both in the UK and worldwide.
“It is well recognized that this is likely to cause more diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Our results show that if these trends continue, we can also expect to see substantially more cancers as a result.”
Over 76 million adult Americans are obese, and obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 3 decades. (Whiteman, Medical News Today, 8/14)
This is a fascinating story from engadget.com that chronicles a delicate brain surgery procedure called deep brain stimulation (DBS) performed on an awake concert violinist as he plays the violin during the operation to implant pacemaker electrodes to treat his tremor.
With a motion-tracking sensor in the bow of his violin, Mayo Clinic neurosurgeons were able to determine the exact placement of the electrodes that would steady his arm and prevent the tremor.
The patient, Roger Frisch, and his Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon, Dr. Kendall Lee discuss the problem and incredible, innovative approach to a surgical solution in the YouTube video below. (Fingas, Engadget, 8/18)
Although touting themselves as the most transparent administration in history, and promising not to withhold government information over “speculative or abstract fears,” the Obama administration has now refused to comply with an Associated Press (AP) request under the Freedom of Information Act for documents pertaining to the security of the government’s healthcare website, HealthCare.gov.
This AP article on USNews.com reports that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concluded it will not publicly disclose federal records that could shed light on the security plan incorporated into HealthCare.gov because disclosure could violate health-privacy laws and might even give hackers enough information to break into the service.
The AP requested the records late last year amid concerns that Republicans raised related to the security of the website in light of its disastrous implementation and launch. (Gillum, AP/USnews.com, 8/19)
While we’re still in the middle of summer, here’s a reminder of how the sun affects our skin.
You might look like you have perfect skin in visible light, but this post on ScienceAlert.com and the Thomas Leveritt video show what you look like in UV light using a special filter and camera set-up in a park in New York.
Lots of freckles — little patches of melanin – or skin pigment, which are the signs of aging and sun damage that we can’t ordinarily see.
Knowing what you may look like in ultraviolet should be compelling enough to encourage you to use that sunscreen regularly. (Crew, Science Alert, 8/15)