Health and Healthcare, Research and Concerns

Empathy Aids The Healing Process: Research has indicated that the diabetic patients of doctors who are more empathetic towards them have a 41% lower risk of developing complications than diabetics being treated by doctors who are less empathetic.

Researchers used 2009 data to compare questions given to physicians in order to determine their empathy with the complication histories of the physician’s patients. Although the study didn’t consider other factors that can effect patient outcomes, the correlation between being empathetic and fewer  complications is statistically significant.

Birth Trauma More Likely In Boys: According to a study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine newborns are predisposed to certain birth injuries. Girls are most susceptible to  clavicle fracture and boys are most susceptible to scalp injury.

The rate of other types of birth injuries were lower. Boys, however, have higher rates of birth related injury than girls for unknown reasons. The study analyzed birth related injuries among a group of infants born in Israel between 1986 and 2009. Results were adjusted to consider things such as body weight, length and head circumference. Further study is suggested to assess sex differences in bone density and strength.

Kidney Stones: According to a study in BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal, people who have had kidney stones are at an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.

This increase in risk is most pronounced in women. After adjusting for age, sex, and other factors, data showed that the risk of kidney failure was twice as high in subjects with one or more episodes of kidney stones than those who never had kidney stones.

Researchers speculate that this may be because the calcification process that leads to kidney stone formation causes permanent damage kidney damage and that male anatomy provides some additional protection against this damage. However, other factors that may predispose a person to kidney stones were not analyzed.

Drug Prescription Compliance Among Patients: A meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Medicine suggests that text message reminders may be effective in getting people to remember to take their medication. Non compliance with prescription regimens is a major hurdle to effective patient treatment. Previous studies have shown the messages to be effective in getting people to use sunscreen and oral-contraceptives.

The meta-analysis used prescription refill data from 20 studies done between 1998 and 2010 to determine compliance rates. The average compliance rate was around 57%. Many different kinds of drugs were included and the data showed that factors such as dosage size, potential side effects, gender, age and method of payment did not have a major impact on compliance. People are likely just forgetting to take their medicine. However, there are limits on the reliability of the data since getting a prescription refilled does not guarantee that the drug will actually be taken.

Skipping Breakfast Hurts Kid’s School Performance: According to a recent study published in the journal Appetite kids who eat breakfast before a school day on average perform better than kids who don’t. The study compared the performance of a group of girls and boys throughout the U.K. by testing their memory, cognitive ability, reaction time and attention span.

It found that the reduction in performance suffered by non breakfast eaters is significant and it increases as the school day goes on. The performance decline among the test subjects was most pronounced in girls. The study did not distinguish the different types of food and drink that was consumed by the kids who did report eating breakfast.

Serge Kozak is the founder of and writes on a number of commercial blogs. In his spare time he loves a little retail therapy shopping for himself or gifts for others that are dear to him.

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