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WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- American seniors living in rural areas face a higher risk of hospitalization and death, and a lack of medical specialists may be the reason why, researchers report.

"People on Medicare with chronic conditions such as heart failure or diabetes who live in rural areas have higher death and hospitalization rates than their urban peers," said s...

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you have a neurological disorder, a video chat with your doctor might be as good as an office visit for checking on your condition.

That's the conclusion of researchers who analyzed 101 studies on telemedicine use for concussion, traumatic brain injury, dementia, epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, neuromuscular condi...

THURSDAY, Nov. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients who have an artery-opening procedure don't understand or remember information they receive before their surgery, and most have unrealistic expectations about what it will do for them, a new study finds.

Researchers examined the effectiveness of informed consent -- which is meant to provide the risks and benefits of a procedure ...

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a ban on all e-cigarettes and vaping products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help people quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.

The move is in response to a sharp rise in youth e-cigarette use and an outbreak of more than 2,000 illnesses and 40-plus deaths caused by ...

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- How much pain you feel when blood samples are taken could depend on how nice the person wielding the needle is, new research suggests.

Patients were 390% more likely to say their pain was well-controlled when the person taking their blood was courteous, according to a study presented recently at the Anesthesiology annual meeting, in Orland...

THURSDAY, Nov. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The extra care that black women's hairstyles can require is often a barrier to exercise, but many U.S. health care providers aren't even aware of the problem, a new study finds.

Researchers surveyed doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the department of family medicine at Ohio State University, and found that 95% of t...

MONDAY, Nov. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a growing need for mental health care for children and teens -- including a rise in youth suicide -- many areas of the United States lack any child psychiatrists, new research reports.

The study found that almost three-quarters of American counties don't have a single child psychiatrist.

"There are about 17 million children ...

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Language barriers between doctors and patients may translate into return visits to the hospital for certain heart or lung conditions, a new study suggests.

Conducted at two urban hospitals in Canada, the study found the heightened risks among patients with limited English skills who were suffering from either heart failure or chronic obstru...

FRIDAY, Oct. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Melanoma is the most lethal type of skin cancer, and a new study finds that the diagnosis of a suspect lesion gains accuracy when a specialist pathologist is brought on board.

Many patients with melanoma are first diagnosed by general practitioners, dermatologists or plastic surgeons. A biopsy sample of the suspect lesion might then be sent to...

THURSDAY, Sept. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Among hospitalized patients, infections with the fungus Candida are common and deadly.

In the United States, 25,000 cases occur each year, and nearly 45% of infected patients die. But a new study reports that the death rate can be cut by 20% if an infectious disease specialist takes charge of such cases.

These specia...

MONDAY, Sept. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is in the news a lot, and now newer research has prompted a leading pediatricians' group to update its guidelines for diagnosing and treating the disorder for the first time since 2011.

Dr. Mark Wolraich, lead author of the guidelines, noted that there weren't any dramatic differences between t...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A leading group of U.S. doctors has broadened its guidelines on birth control, recommending that all forms of hormonal contraceptives, including vaginal rings and contraceptive patches, be sold over the counter.

In addition, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said DMPA (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate) injecti...

FRIDAY, Sept. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As terrified as you might be of a possible cancer diagnosis from your doctor, a new study warns that you still need to keep your appointment.

Why? Patients who blow off appointments for cancer symptoms are 12% more likely to die within a year of diagnosis, British researchers report.

Those most likely to skip appointments are me...

MONDAY, Sept. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As the day wears on and doctors are rushed and tired, they are more likely to prescribe opioid painkillers, a new study finds.

Interestingly, they weren't more likely to prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, or physical therapy, the researchers said.

"These findings support the widespread perception among provi...

FRIDAY, Sept. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite calls for more diversity among doctors in the United States, a new study shows that minorities remain underrepresented in medical schools.

Researchers found that between 2002 and 2017, the actual number of minority students in medical schools increased, but the rate of increase was slower than that of age-matched members of those minor...

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Amid an epidemic of opioid painkiller addiction, Americans are still being overprescribed narcotic painkillers compared to many other countries, researchers report.

A case in point is Sweden, where patients are less likely to be prescribed opioids after surgery than American patients. In fact, in the United States and Canada combined, surgi...

FRIDAY, Aug. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans who die waiting for a kidney transplant actually had donor organs offered to them multiple times -- but their transplant center declined them.

That's the finding of a new study of over 280,000 U.S. patients who were on kidney transplant waitlists between 2008 and 2015.

It may come as a surprise to anyone who's assumed ...

MONDAY, Aug. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Forty percent of U.S. parents say they would likely find a new doctor if their child's primary care provider sees families who refuse childhood vaccines, a nationwide poll finds.

And three in 10 say their child's primary care provider should not treat youngsters whose parents refuse all vaccines.

Those are...

THURSDAY, Aug. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of U.S. patients don't tell their physicians about potentially life-threatening risks such as domestic violence, sexual assault, depression or thoughts of suicide, a new study finds.

"For physicians to achieve your best health, they need to know what you are struggling with," said study senior author Angela Fagerlin.

U...

THURSDAY, Aug. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Folks taking opioids for chronic pain may run into trouble if they need to find a new doctor.

A new "secret shopper" survey of 194 Michigan primary care clinics found that as many as four out of 10 primary care doctors would turn away patients who have been taking the pain-killing medications (such as Percocet) long term. And that's true e...

TUESDAY, Aug. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Amid an ongoing epidemic of opioid addiction and misuse, a national panel on Tuesday advised that doctors routinely screen all adults for illicit drug use.

That includes the misuse of prescribed medications, noted the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

"For the first time, there is enough evidence for the Task Force to re...

MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A kind, understanding doctor could spell the difference between life or death for diabetes patients, a new study suggests.

British researchers found that patients had a lower risk of early death if their primary care doctor exhibited empathy.

The study included 628 patients in the U.K. with type 2 diabetes. A year after their diagnos...

FRIDAY, Aug. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Americans' confidence in scientists is on the rise, but deep political divisions persist, a new nationwide poll reveals.

The Pew Research Center poll of more than 4,400 adults found that 86% have at least "a fair amount" of confidence in scientists to act in the public interest. That includes 35% who said they have "a great deal" of co...

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- So-called "conversion therapy" can trigger depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal thoughts and attempts, and it should be banished in the United States, medical experts say in a new report.

Conversion therapy is used in an attempt to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, most t...

TUESDAY, Aug. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose, but far too little of the lifesaving drug is used where it is needed the most, a new U.S. government report shows.

"Too many people in our country and in our communities are still dying from opioid-related overdoses," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the U.S. Centers for Disease Cont...

TUESDAY, Aug. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Can skinny doctors ever understand what it's like to be fat? A German medical school believes they can -- after they treat patients wearing "fat suits."

Having patients don fat suits may help teach medical students about obesity and uncover their biases against patients struggling with their weight, the researchers say.

They said red...

THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Say you go in for knee surgery and find the surgeon operated on the wrong leg. Or you received a drug you know you're allergic to.

It happens. In fact, about 1 in 20 patients is a victim of preventable medical errors, and 12% of such cases result in permanent disability or death, researchers say.

Most preventable harm is caused...

THURSDAY, July 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cutting back on the grueling hours that U.S. medical residents spend in training doesn't translate into poorer care, new research shows.

When training hours were capped at 80 hours a week in 2003, some critics said it would harm medical residents' preparedness to practice.

"This is probably the most hotly debated topic in medical e...

TUESDAY, June 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There's a good chance the doctor treating you at a stem cell clinic doesn't have any professional training related to your illness, researchers report.

Anesthesiologists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, radiologists and family doctors are among a wide range of physicians overseeing treatments at U.S. stem cell clinics for complex neurologic...

THURSDAY, June 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Before having that operation, you might want to ask your surgeon's colleagues about his behavior.

A new study finds that patients whose surgeons have more complaints from coworkers about unprofessional conduct are at increased risk for complications during and after surgery.

Researchers examined data on more than 13,500 adult patie...

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many health care workers are still on the job even if they have symptoms of a cold, flu or other respiratory infection, putting patients and coworkers at risk, a new study finds.

It included more than 2,700 health care workers at nine Canadian hospitals who completed online diaries whenever they had symptoms of a respiratory infection.

...

MONDAY, June 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you dread seeing the doctor and your blood pressure reading always seems to be high at the doctor's office, a new review says you should take those elevated readings seriously.

The problem is called white-coat hypertension (because of doctors' traditional white coats) and it may signal an underlying problem.

The research defined...

TUESDAY, June 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When people who are addicted to opioids make the difficult decision to quit, the last thing they need to face are barriers to treatment.

Yet, a new "secret shopper" study suggests most addicts seeking a prescription for buprenorphine -- which helps people stop using opioids -- would have trouble even getting an appointment with a doctor qualif...

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Reading the notes your doctor makes during your visit appears to be good medicine.

An online survey of 20,000 adults treated at three U.S. health systems that have made clinical notes available to patients for several years finds that those who actually read them may be more likely to take medications as prescribed.

Patients listed se...

TUESDAY, May 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Exhausted, stressed-out doctors are responsible for poorer care, patient dissatisfaction and malpractice lawsuits that carry a huge cost for U.S. health care, researchers report.

In fact, it's calculated that physician burnout adds nearly $5 billion a year to health care spending in the United States.

"Physician burnout is known to b...

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many people do their best work in the morning, and new research suggests the same may hold true for doctors.

The study, of nearly 53,000 primary care patients, found that doctors were more likely to order cancer screenings for patients seen early in the day, versus late afternoon.

During 8 a.m. appointments, doctors ordered breast can...

FRIDAY, May 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The sooner a child with autism is diagnosed, the better, and now new research describes a novel way of catching it earlier than ever.

Well-child visits that include developmental screening might pick up the first hints of autism risk in some children, the study suggests.

"We think this has the potential to identify children at risk fo...

TUESDAY, April 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Need to see your doctor, but can't take time off from work? There's an app for that. And new research shows patients find the ability to see a doctor "virtually" convenient and satisfying.

Nine out of 10 people who had a virtual visit with a doctor said it was more convenient than other ways of getting care, and it addressed their medical n...

TUESDAY, April 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Parents who use both traditional and electronic cigarettes may be trying harder to quit smoking than those who only smoke regular cigarettes, researchers report.

"Our findings suggest that smoking parents who start using e-cigarettes may have done so out of a desire to quit smoking," said study author Emara Nabi-Burza, from Massachusetts Gen...

MONDAY, April 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer treatments save lives, but they can also compromise the heart in the long run. Now, new research shows that many U.S. cardiologists aren't trained to treat this unique group of patients.

Heart disease and cancer are the two main causes of death in the United States, but advances in early detection and treatment of cancer have resulted ...

FRIDAY, April 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you have unused or expired medications at home, be sure to take them to one of thousands of drop-off sites across the country on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Saturday, April 27.

Getting rid of excess meds could save a life, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

"From our studies of the opioid epidemic,...

FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When a neighborhood pharmacy shuts down, it could have dire repercussions for heart patients living nearby, new research suggests.

That's because such closures could mean patients skip or stop taking the prescriptions they need to stay healthy and safe, according to a team from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"These findings ...

THURSDAY, April 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- One out of every three U.S. cancer patients uses alternative or complementary therapies, but many keep that info from their doctors, a new study finds.

That's a real concern, the study's lead author said, especially when it comes to supplements and cancer radiation therapy.

"You don't know what's in them," said Dr. Nina Sanford, a...

THURSDAY, April 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Almost one in five multiple sclerosis patients may be misdiagnosed with the autoimmune disease, according to a new study.

Of 241 previously diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) patients referred to two major Los Angeles medical centers for treatment, nearly 18% did not actually have the autoimmune disease, the researchers found.

...

WEDNESDAY, April 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Because of the danger of "serious harm" to patients, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising doctors not to suddenly stop patients from taking opioid painkillers, or drastically lower the dose.

In a statement released Tuesday, the agency said it is adding a warning about sudden discontinuation of use to the prescribing informatio...

TUESDAY, April 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In a finding that suggests that not all weapons are being deployed in the opioid war, new research shows that nurse practitioners often face tough restrictions for prescribing a medication that treats opioid addiction.

At least six states with high opioid addiction rates have rules that restrict nurse practitioners (NPs) in prescribing bupren...

TUESDAY, April 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There's an upside and a downside to prescribing nursing home residents a long list of medicines, new research confirms.

Taking multiple meds can boost a resident's odds of survival after a heart attack, for example, but it may also lower their ability to safely perform daily activities, researchers reported April 9 in the journal Circulati...

THURSDAY, April 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In the medical world of baby-making, males rule.

A new study finds that female obstetrician-gynecologists who specialize in reproductive endocrinology and infertility get paid far less than their male colleagues.

Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus note that far more women than men go into obstetrics-g...

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You might think of seeing a skin specialist for cosmetic procedures, to freshen skin or to get rid of lines. But do you recognize the signs of problems that need the attention of a skin doctor?

Here are some of the most common skin conditions and their warning signs.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United State...

WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A bad doctor bedeviled by malpractice claims closes up shop in the dead of night and slips away to another state, hoping to leave his soiled reputation behind.

That's a common scenario many imagine. But the reality is almost as scary, a new study finds.

More than 9 out of 10 doctors who've racked up five or more successful malpr...