Vol. 58 January 1, 2012 Top 15 Medical Fun Facts of Hubslist 2011

January 1, 2012

“WHAT IS PAST IS PROLOGUE”
-William Shakespeare, The Tempest

.

.

1. Measles vaccination does NOT cause autism and the author of that study, discredited as a physician in the U.K., now runs a profitable private clinic in Texas without a U.S. medical license. 1/15/11

2. Many hospitals, physicians and more than half of consumers currently favor a single-payer system. 5/1/11

3. Fishermen die at work 15 times more often than policeman and 45 times more than firemen. 5/15/11

4. Four men jogging can produce MORE carbon dioxide emissions than a hybrid car driving them the same distance. 5/15/11

5. 93% of 44 children who were avoiding 111 foods because of non-threatening allergic reactions (eczema, atopic dermatitis, and hives) were NOT allergic to those foods. Milk allergy was the most common over-diagnosis. 5/30/11

6. Your parenting style has less effect on your child’s “success” than your own educational level, income, and where you live. 9/1/11

7. Watching Sesame Street is entertaining for infants and toddlers , but it is NOT educational until they are 2 ½ years old. The educational benefits to the over 30-month old viewers persist to age 17 years. 11/1/11

8. Eating turkey is no more apt to make you sleepy than eating chicken, pork chops, lamb chops, or salmon. 12/1/11

9. The average DAILY number of text messages by a high school kid is 300-500. 11/1/11

10. 85% of teenagers take their cell phone to bed at night. 11/1/11

11. The five-year trial of “managed competition” between private health insurance companies in the Netherlands resulted in increased health care costs, increased percentage of people receiving government subsidy for health insurance, and increased number of uninsured, now called “defaulters”. 8/15/11

12. The many modes of obesity treatment other than surgical gastric bypass are only 4% effective. 8/1/11

13. Ninety million (90 MILLION) swine flu (H1N1) vaccinations were given in China and only 11 cases of Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS) occurred. This rate was less than the rate expected in a general, unvaccinated population. 5/15/11

14. Baseball players CAN see better than umpires. 2/15/11

15. If your friends on Facebook are obese, you are more apt to be obese. 1/1/11

Advertisements

Vol. 46 May 30, 2011 For Kids (and their parents) Only

May 27, 2011

“Apparently you can leave your heart in San Francisco, but your foreskin is going home with you.”

-Lewis Black on The Daily Show Nov.16, 2010

Age-old Circumcision Debate Heats Up in San Francisco
The 7,000 signatures required to put a question on the ballot in San Francisco have been obtained for a proposal to outlaw male circumcisions. A fine of $1000 or a year in jail would be levied against anyone circumcising a male under 18 years of age. A group called Bay Area Intactivists (check out their website at www.sfmgmbill.org -“mgm” stands for “male genital mutilation”) has been campaigning for the bill for years.

The debate, of course, has been going on for decades (see “The Rape of the Phallus” published in 1965). (1) The Cons have called it “unnecessary surgery”, “a needless expense”, a waste of excellent tissue for grafting if the person gets a serious burn in the future, and “something that diminishes sexual sensitivity for the male”. That last one is a particularly hard one to prove or disprove, or even get public testimony on. The Pros say it reduces the occurrence of penile cancer (a study done in Bowery bums), reduces risk of urinary tract infection in males in the first year of life, reduces HIV infection in African males, and may reduce the spread of HPV (a cause of venereal warts and cervical cancer) to females. Up until this point no one has opposed it as a form of genital mutilation.

Given the religious and cultural traditions of male circumcision (Jews and Muslims consider it a religious event, not a medical one. Australian Aborigines have practiced it probably the longest) and the non-compelling medical evidence of its benefits despite low risks, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association neither recommend nor advise against male circumcision. A reflection of this lack of compelling medical evidence either way is the family of one of my pediatric colleagues. Half of his sons are circumcised, and half are not. None of them are Jewish or Muslim, and they all seem to be doing very well in life, and love.

Screening for Autism in the Pediatric Office
Of 800 toddlers screened for autism in a Utah pediatric office 10 children “had significant signs of autism”. This is close to the CDC estimated occurrence rate of 1 in a 100.(2) 192 (24%) kids had “positive results for autism” on the 23 question paper checklist, MCAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers), completed by a parent. Only 47 (25%) of these were deemed “still positive” after a 6 question, structured telephone interview, and they were asked to return for an in-person evaluation. Of the 30 who returned, 10 of them “remained positive for significant signs of autism”.   

The messages here are: 1) ask your pediatrician for the MCAT questionnaire if s/he hasn’t offered it by age 18 months, 2) obviously don’t panic if s/he asks for more information since the MCAT is designed to be very sensitive and has lots of “false positives”, and 3) remember, the sooner that educational and behavioral resources are supplied to the child who shows significant signs of autism, the better the outcome. 

Autism is the biggest unspoken fear of new parents and has replaced fear of SIDS.
At least, that is my impression in my pediatric practice. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) occurrence has dropped dramatically in the U.S. from a level of 1.53 deaths per 1000 live births in 1980 to the current rate of 0.51 per live births. Since the cause (or causes) of SIDS is still unclear, the reason for this great reduction in risk is also unclear. Most people credit the extensive campaign of the American Academy of Pediatrics to get parents to put their infants to sleep on their backs, “Back To Sleep”, started in 1990 on the basis of studies done in Australia. Unfortunately, SIDS remains the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. under 1 year of age, and the American SIDS Institute is striving to reduce the occurrence rate this year to 0.25 per 1000. The Institute of Medicine has found no association between SIDS and vaccinations.

Most kids who avoid certain foods because they are allergic are NOT ALLERGIC TO THAT FOOD.
The “gold standard” for diagnosing a food allergy is an “oral challenge”; you give the food to the child to eat and see if an allergic reaction occurs in a medically controlled setting. 93% of  food oral challenges were NEGATIVE in 44 children who were avoiding 111 foods because of non-threatening allergic reactions (eczema, atopic dermatitis, hivesalso) AND also had positive allergy skin tests or blood tests.  Only 23% of the children who were avoiding peanuts were truly allergic to peanuts. Milk allergy was the most common over-diagnosis with only 13% of the children who were  told that they were milk-allergic based on blood or skin tests actually were. Children who had had life-threatening allergic reactions to food previously were excluded from the study. (3)

Caffeine can reduce sleep time in children, just like in “real people”.
A study of 228 children from age 5 to 12 years showed that increased caffeine consumption during the day slightly reduced their total sleep time at night. Not surprising, but what was interesting to me was that the average cola beverage consumed per day was 12 oz. for 5-7 year olds and 24 oz. for 8-12 year olds. Reassuringly, the average sleep duration for 5-7 year olds was 9.5 hours and  8.7 hours for the 8-12 year olds. (4)

But what about getting the child to actually go to sleep?
A study of over 500 New Zealand healthy 7 year olds  showed that on average they took about 26 minutes to fall asleep. The range of this “sleep latency” was 13 to 42 minutes. The 10% of these children whose parents had identified as “having difficulty falling asleep” had a much longer average sleep latency of 41 minutes. Increased physical activity during the day and sleeping longer during the night were associated with shorter sleep latencies. Each hour of sedentary time during the day added about 3 minutes to the duration of sleep latency. There was NO association between duration of TV exposure and length of sleep latency. (5)

Are those adolescents really asleep?
An estimated 75% of teens own cellphones. Since 54% of the teens use their phones for texting and about 25% log on to social media sites more than 10 times a day, cell phone use “under the covers” at night might be contributing to teen sleep deprivation(6) . An amazing  86% of 14 year olds take their cell phones to bed (7). Reminds me of the “old days” of reading magazines under the covers at night with a flashlight (note to younger readers: a flashlight is a silent tubular device without a screen that requires batteries).

References:

1. JAMA vol.193, 1965 pg. 123
2. Pediatrics 2011 May 127:866
3. J Pediatric 2011 Apr;158:578
4. J Pediatric 2011 Mar 158:508
5. Arch Dis Child 2009 Sep: 94:686
6. Pediatrics 2011 Apr; 127:800
7. Robin D’Antona, EdD, BU School of Medicine Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Conference, Mar 25, 2011


Vol. 33 November 15, 2010 More Things That Threaten or Kill…or NOT

November 16, 2010

“When good things go bad,
and vice versa.”

 

CELL PHONES DON’T CAUSE CANCER- (1)
Despite ample scientific evidence to the contrary much buzz continues about cell phone usage causing brain cancer. Why is that ? A recent review in Scientific American magazine points out how hard it is to prove a negative. I am reminded about the story of the English farmer spreading purple dust over his fields last year. When asked why he did that he replied “To keep the lions away”.  The questioner pointed out that there had been no lions in England for at least four centuries. “Works pretty well doesn’t it,” was the proud rejoinder.

A $24 million study (2) of 12,000 regular cell phone users, half of whom already had brain cancer, found no correlation between cell phone use and the two most common brain tumors. A recent article in Skeptic magazine stated that the non-correlation was because,  as my oldest son the engineer often says to me, “It’s just physics.” X-rays and gamma rays can cause cancer because their radiation energy can disrupt chemical bonds inside cells, about 480 kilojoules per mole (it’s just a physics energy term). A cell phone generates radiation of less than 0.001 kilojoules per mole. Whatever kilojoules per mole are, it is clear that cell phones don’t generate very much of them; no where near enough to disrupt chemical bonds. The article’s author notes that probably the only way to hurt someone’s brain with a cell phone is to throw it at his/her head. I would add that since HPV (a virus) is associated with cervical cancer and is more apt to be present in sexually active women, I guess you could cause cancer with a cell phone by sexting!

ALCOHOL EVERY DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY (3)
Italian researchers (God bless those guys) have shown that two or three alcoholic drinks a day reduces heart attacks or strokes by 25% in men who have already undergone cardiac by-pass surgery. Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers found that women who consume two to four drinks daily in mid-life may have better health at age 70 than those who didn’t imbibe.

At last the definition of “too much to drink” has been quantified. For decades the definition of “drinking too much” was “drinking more than your doctor”. Now moderate drinking has been defined as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. “One drink” is a shot and half of liquor, or 5 oz. of wine, or a 12 oz. glass of beer. One of the reasons that people drink too much is that they are unaware of how much they are becoming “addicted”. Recent data from a Boston Medical Center study (4) suggests that just by having people complete a questionnaire of a dozen questions they become aware that maybe they have an addiction. Fully a third of those “screening positive” on the self-administered questionnaire were voluntarily abstaining from alcohol and drugs six months later.

Of course, if you leave the country your alcohol problem may get worse. What? The alcohol consumption of college kids twenty-one or older DOUBLED their alcohol intake when studying abroad. For those under twenty-one, their alcohol consumption actually TRIPLED.(5) Hopefully that means that they went from one beer a day to three which doesn’t sound as bad somehow.

NATURAL FOODS AND HERBS ARE ORGANIC, BUT CAN BE HARMFUL
Of 40 herbal supplements tested by the federal Government Accounting Office 37 contained trace levels of at least one hazardous compound. Presence of steroids and other active pharmaceuticals were also found. The FDA has been “regulating” dietary supplements since 1994, but this new report from the GAO suggests how loose that regulation of a $14.8 billion industry (2007) is. Even pure supplements can cause more trouble than expected. Review of  nine clinical trials involving 118,000 people using Vitamin E revealed that those taking Vitamin E had a 22% higher risk 0f hemorrhagic strokes. (6)

EVEN DRUMMING CAN BE DANGEROUS…AND NOT TO JUST YOUR EARS
A 24-year-old woman came into MGH with belly pain and shock and spent 61 days in the hospital with the diagnosis of intestinal anthrax. As you might imagine, the state health department (two actually) and the CDC were soon joined by the FBI in pinning down the source of the anthrax. It turned out that she had recently participated in a drumming event in New Hampshire. Cultures from the site and two of the animal skin drums grew out anthrax. Presumably drumming of the anthrax-contaminated hides produced an aerosol of anthrax particles which she swallowed. (7)

References:
1.Scientific American, October 2010, p.98, Michael Shermer
2. Internat Jour of Epidemiology, “Brain tumor Risk in Relation to Mobile Telephone Use”
3. Am Heart Assoc conference, reported in Boston Globe, Nov 15, 2010
4. MASBIRT, reported in Boston Globe , Nov. 15, 2010
5
.Findings, Harper’s Magazine, December 2010, p.84
6. Scientific American, August 2010, p. 24
7. New Eng Jour Med, August 19, 2010, p. 766


Vol. 24 July 1, 2010 More Things That Can Harm or Kill Ya.

July 1, 2010

Average number of Americans hospitalized each July with sparkler injuries: 1,020 (1)

Per cent of 1255 people (100%) going to the ER with serious food allergy symptoms due to peanuts or milk respectively:  23% / 15% (2)

Per cent of people who self-report having a milk allergy or a peanut allergy that actually have a positive skin or blood test for either allergy: <1% (3)

Amount spent by food companies on cross-promotion advertising (agreements between different companies to promote each other’s products) to children and adolescents in 2006:  $195 million (4)

Number of cross-promoted products in 2006 and 2008 respectively: 96 / 171

Per cent of cross-promoted food that met the Institute of Medicine’s standards for foods sold in schools: 18%

Increased risk of collision when texting while driving: X 23 (5)

Number of annual traffic accidents associated with use of cell phone talking or texting: 1.6 million

Per cent of all traffic accidents associated with same: 28%

Number of states that have passed laws regarding cellphone use while driving: 40

Rate of gastrointestinal bleeding within 30 days of a colonoscopy: 1.6 per 1000 exams (6)

  • This very low rate and the even lower rate of 1 perforation per 5000 exams means that colonoscopies are quite safe.

Per cent reduction in rates of all kinds of cancer in people who eat lots of fruits and vegetable: 3%

  • This massive study of 500,000 people in 11 European countries completing a year-long food-frequency questionnaire with an average of 9 years of follow-up led the NIH to the conclusion that “a broad effort to increase fruit and vegetable consumption would not have an effect on cancer incidence” …unless you are a smoker or a heavy drinker. (7)

Increased risk of dying from a motorcycle injury if you are over 40 years old rather than under 40:  x 2  (8)

Per cent of injured motorcyclists who were wearing a helmet:  73% for both over and under 40 years old

Number of poisonous gases , chemicals, or metals identified in tobacco smoke:  250 (9)

Number of those that are classified as class A carcinogens: 11

Chance that a lifelong smoker will die prematurely from a complication of smoking:  50% (10)

Per cent who resume smoking within one month after trying to quit on their own: 80%

  • There is no question that nicotine is addictive, and that smoking is a highly efficient means of drug administration.
  • Smoking tobacco “improves concentration, reaction time, and performance of certain tasks. Relief from withdrawal symptoms is probably the primary reason for this enhanced performance and heightened mood.”

Number of Burmese pythons captured in the Everglades in 2000 and 2008 respectively:  2 / 343   (11)

  • Such pythons grow to 20 feet in length, weigh up to 200 pounds, and EAT alligators! “By the time they reach two years of age, not much can eat them in the Everglades.” This population was started by the release of pet snakes which can grow from 20 inches to 8 feet in a single year.

Number of minutes of cell phone use equivalent to one day’s exposure to radio frequency waves if you live next to a cell phone tower: 30  (12)

  • This study of 1400 cancer cases in children over a 3 year period in the U.K. showed no increase in childhood cancers in offspring of mothers who lived near cell phone towers while pregnant.

References:
1. Harper’s Index; June 2010, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
2.Pediatrics April 2010
3. JAMA May 2010
4. Public Health Nutr March 2010
5. NEJM June 10, 2010; 362:23
6. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2010 Feb.
7. J Natl Cancer Inst 2010 Apr 21,
8. Univ. of Rochester medical Center
9. NEJM June 17, 2010, 326:24, pg. 2319 National Toxicology Program
10. NEJM 362:24 June 17, 2010, pg. 2295, “Nicotine Addiction”, N. Benowitz, MD
11. Sci Am Feb 2010, pg. 16
12. BMJ online, June 23, 2010, Paul Elliot


Vol. 18 April 1, 2010 APRIL FOOL’S ISSUE

April 1, 2010

APRIL FOOLS DAY (according to one theory that ignores the 13th century literature references to “april fools”) was created around 1582 when the Gregorian calendar moved the first day of the New Year from April 1 to January 1. Those who persisted in calling April 1 “New Year’s Day” were often sent phony invitations to  New Year’s parties. Other pranks to fool people, usually performed in the morning, were soon added to the phony party invitations. Someone who pulled a prank after noontime on that day was also called a “fool”.

THE TRADITION CONTINUES.

NIH REPORTS THAT ONLY 20% OF AMERICANS ARE ACTUALLY OBESE.
The NH discovered an error in its formula for calculating Body Mass Index  (BMI), a widely used standard of obesity which is posted on their website. The calculation error results in a grossly overstated BMI which negates decades of provocative research on obesity. The White House spokesperson for Michelle Obama declined comment by saying, “We have other more important health care issues on the front burner right now”. The NIH regrets any inconvenience that this may have caused, reassures researchers that study grant funds will not be reclaimed,  and states, “Hey, we can’t be right about everything.”

LAST SUPPER PORTIONS HAVE INCREASED 69.2% OVER THE LAST MILLENNIUM.
In a related study, and a timely one at that, two researchers studied 52 paintings of the Last Supper and concluded that the size of the main course in the paintings had increased by nearly 70% over the centuries. Plate size increased by 66% and bread size by 23%. The authors of this study published in the International Journal of Obesity just in time for Easter speculate that the increasing sizes reflect the increasing abundance and affordability of food over the years. (Apparently there is nothing new about “Super Size Me”.) (1)

H1N1 (SWINE) FLU PROGRAM A BIGGER STIMULUS THAN THE BANK BAILOUTS
The Government Accounting Office (GAO), the federal government’s premier watchdog agency, reports that the H1N1 (swine flu) epidemic efforts created more of an economic stimulus than the bank bailouts. The amount of money pumped into media outlets by the educational efforts was exceeded only by the amount paid to pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing and distribution of the vaccines, now readily available in excess supply due to underuse. More importantly, much of the trickle down economic benefits occurred in the offices of pediatricians, internists, and family physicians; our lowest income bracket health care providers. When asked by the GAO for comments, the CDC replied, “Hey, we can’t be right about everything.”

VIDEO GAME EXPERIENCE MORE BENEFICIAL THAN HONOR GRADES.
Army recruits with a history of prolonged play on video games have better success records as tank commanders and drone pilots than the valedictorians from the same schools. The study speculates that the better hand-eye coordination and enhanced perception of spatial relationships of the video game players accounts for the large discrepancy in skills between the two groups of students. The study authors speculate that these findings could be generalized to include endoscopic, laparoscopic, angioplastic, and other “minimally invasive”  procedures. “Perhaps it is time we altered our application standards for medical school and post-graduate clinical training.”

VEGETABLES CAN LOWER IQs.
Organic vegetables are suspected of  lowering the IQ in young children by at least 10 points. This result of a study of children in Western Massachusetts, Southern California, Oregon, and other tree-hugging communities surprised the authors who had received funds for the study from the National Association of Vegetable Investors (NAVI). A parallel study in rabbits revealed that carotene (the color in yellow and green vegetables) has a strong affinity for nerve synapse proteins in the brain. The carotene  binds tightly with the nerve protein, slowing the response time, EXCEPT in the occipital lobe which is responsible for vision. (Your grandmother was right after all. Eating carrots can help your eyesight.)

WEARING GALOSHES (OR RUBBERS) IN THE MOVIES DOES NOT HARM YOUR VISION.
This small study revealed no change in vision between children who removed their galoshes while in the movie theater and those who did not. The study authors concluded that “Mothers and grandmothers can’t be right all the time, either”, but admitted that the study result was weakened by its small size since they had trouble finding enough kids who still went to a movie theater to watch movies.

OLIVES IN A MARTINI ARE AS GOOD AS OLIVE OIL IN REDUCING CHOLESTEROL.
“You just have to drink enough of them” say the study’s authors.

PASSAGE OF HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL CAUSES MASSIVE SHIFT OF LOBBYISTS.
Lobbyists for bankers, business groups, hedge funds, insurance firms, Wall Street brokers, and others in the  financial sector are poised to reclaim their historical position as the number one group in expenditures to influence Washington policy now that the health care bill has been passed. The Committee for Truth in Politics, its membership and financing still a secret, has already spent $5 million in advertising opposing proposed financial reforms. The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks spending by lobbyists, speculates that the financial sector lobbyists want to get back to its spending level of the past decade of $3.9 Billion. (2)

CELL PHONE USAGE MAY INCREASE FERTILITY.
In the midst of the scientific controversy about whether or not the low-level radio frequency (RF) coming from cell phones can cause brain tumors, one study has unexpectedly shown an increase in the birth rate in those women using the cell phone more than an hour a day. The mechanism of enhanced fertility is not known. “We compared the actual time spent on voice calls, texting, twittering, and Facebook and found no fertility differences among them, so we don’t think it is associated with just an increase in social intercourse. Likewise, we found no differences between heavy daytime users and heavy nighttime users.” Dr. Siegal Sadetski, a researcher at Israel’s Gertner Institute, stated, “Scientifically speaking, we don’t have proof yet, but as a public health concern, I’m saying we definitely should adopt precautions.” (3)

References:

1. Believe or not, this fun fact is actually true. Wansink and Wansink from Cornell and VWI are the authors. Look it up!
2. Actually some of these names and amounts are true. Check out Center for Responsive Politics website.
3. This quote is true too, but is wildly out of context. 


Volume 3 August 1, 2009 Health Care Lobbyists, Things That Can Threaten Life or Limb

August 1, 2009

Amount spent nationally in 2008 for all healthcare lobbying: $484 million    Amount per day: $1.3 million                                                                          Amount per each congressman and senator per day: $2,600

Number of health care lobbyists in 2008 and increase since 1998:  3,627 / x2

Number of health care organization in the top ten spenders for Massachusetts lobbyists: 5  Which?: MHA, BC/BS, SEIU 1199, Mass Assoc. of Health Plans, Partners Health Care

Per cent of total health care lobbying money attributed to pharmaceutical interests:  > 50

Amount spent by pharmaceutical companies for lobbying in just the first quarter of 2009: $66 million

Per cent increase that is over last year’s amount: +25

Rank of pharmaceutical industry spending on lobbyists of 121 industries monitored since 1998: 1

Number of years new drug patents are “exclusive” which prohibits generic manufacture: 12

Amount contributed this year by Amgen to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States

Senate at the University of Massachusetts: $1 million

Rank of health professionals lobbying and spending level compared to pharmaceutical: 12 and 1/2

Top five health professional organizations making political contributions in 2008 and amount spent:

Am Med Assoc./ $20.1 million; Am Coll. of Radiology/ $3.4 million; Am. Acad. of Family Practice/

$3.1 million; Am. Assoc. of Orthopedic Surg./ $1.7 million; Am Coll. of ER Physicians/ $1.6 million

Amount of money paid for “No.9” electronic cigarettes in the past two years: $100 million

No. 9 is an E-cigarette that dispenses propylene glycol and liquid nicotine and the plastic tip

glows when you inhale. It dispenses 1/5 as much nicotine and costs about one-half as much as a

real cigarette. One scientist has stated, “There is simply no evidence at this time that electronic

cigarette use poses any significant risk to non-smokers (emphasis added).”

Per cent of Massachusetts registered drivers over 75 and per cent of all auto accidents involving a

driver over 75 respectively: 7 / 3.6

Per cent change since 2004 of Massachusetts accidents involving over 75 year old drivers: -18

This is heartening to those of us who have noticed the recent spurt of stories about the

over 75 year old drivers who have confused the accelerator pedal with the brake pedal.

Ratio of fatalities in accidents at intersections for over 75 and those aged 26 to 64 yrs.:  2:1

Factor by which a driver using a cell phone is more apt to cause an accident: 4x

Chance of reducing that increased risk of an accident by use of a hands-free cell phone: 0

Per cent alcohol level in drivers having the same risk of an accident as a cell phone user: .08

Per cent of 50 states that define drunk driving as a blood alcohol level of .08 or more: 100

Conclusion: If you meet an over 75 year old on a cell phone at an intersection, get out and walk.

Number of Massachusetts soldiers killed in action between 2002 and 2007:  78

Number of Massachusetts  residents dying of a drug overdose in the same period:  3,265

Increased chance of having a blood clot develop in your leg during a long sedentary trip: x3

Per cent increase in risk for each two hour interval of travel: 18 (26% for air travel)

Absolute risk of developing a blood clot during an airplane trip: 1 in 4,600 flights


Quotable Quote

“Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem. Woody Allen

Seton Hall University Law School; http://www.healthreformwatch.com/2009/06/27/

Center for Responsive Politics, http://www.opensecrets.org

Boston Globe July 18, 2009,   Mass Secretary of State’s office statistics

Boston Globe, Biotech Firms Push Hard to Protect Profits, July 21, 2009, p.A1

Boston Globe, July 21, 2009, p. G22, Alex Beam

Boston Globe, July 19, 2009, p. B1, David Abel; Mass RMV; US Government Accounting

Office;Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Boston Globe, July 19, 2009, p. A9, Matt Richtel

Massachusetts Oxycontin and Heroin Commission

Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 151: Issue 3, 2009, D. Chandra, et al.


%d bloggers like this: