The news is almost always bad, the war in Iraq goes on and the stock market has crashed in the past couple of weeks. I try to avoid listening to the TV news as much as possible, but I can’t resist because there is so much to poke fun about. Most of my stuff, I get off the internet.
I get an internet bulletin, from the AMA every weekday, with news items of interest pertaining to medicine. As an example of how absurd things are, here are a few examples from the past couple of weeks. Believe it or not, these are all true and appeared in the newsletter.
1. Obesity may be contagious. A husband may catch it from his wife or siblings.
2. Drinking 52 gallons a year or 20 ounces per day of soda, diet or regular, increases the chance of developing cancer, heart disease and stroke.
3. Women with breast implants are 3 times more likely to commit suicide. Could it be they had psychiatric problems to begin with?
4. Antioxidants do not protect women against heart disease. These include vitamin C & E and beta carotene.
5. Prilosec and Nexium, common drugs for heartburn and reflux, may cause heart disease.
6. Removal of the tonsils may cure AD/HP. Several years ago it was a fad for doctors to remove tonsils, then it became a no-no and the pendulum has now swung back to a yes-yes because most children have AD/HD. Half the kids in school are on Ritalin.
7. Raw oysters are on the lethal food list, with warnings all over the medical literature.
8. Children will eat almost anything if it’s wrapped in a McDonald’s wrapper. Advertising works.
Other interesting news in medicine this week was that WalMart, Target, Walgreens and CVP Pharmacies are going to open walk in clinics in their stores. There will be menu boards for you to select what you want. Just like standing in line at a fast food place and selecting a cheeseburger. You may now select treatment for a URI or urinary infection. Soon a coronary bypass vs. stint may be on the list.
The bad news item is that currently 1 in 10 people over 65 have Alzheimers and half over 85 are affected.
I’m now thinking about stopping my AMA newsletter. The other printed items I have stacked up on my porch are much more fun reading. Even Harry Potter and some of the fantasy stories I love are much more believable than the AMA news and sure make you feel a lot better than the stuff on TV.