Open access

NEWS - General Interest

#ACC18 – Cluster-Randomized Trial of Blood-Pressure Reduction in Black Barbershops – New England Journal of Medicine (free for a limited period)

Commentaries: Barbershop-Based Intervention Leads to Blood Pressure Reductions in African-American Men – American College of Cardiology (free) AND Mixing Haircuts and Hypertension Rx a ‘Home Run’ for Blood Pressure Control – TCTMD (free)

“Among black male barbershop patrons with uncontrolled hypertension, health promotion by barbers resulted in larger blood-pressure reduction when coupled with medication management in barbershops by specialty-trained pharmacists”.


Do Antidepressants Work? – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

“The most comprehensive study on them has recently been published, showing mostly modest effects”.

See related meta-analysis and commentaries in our February 23rd issue (see #3)


Like It Or Not, Personal Health Technology Is Getting Smarter – NPR (free)

“Nice article about wearables related issues, such as medicalization of the healthy, privacy loss, low adherence, uncertain reliability of measurements and uncertain health benefits”. (via @RasoiniR see Tweet)


Elder Abuse: Sometimes It’s Self-Inflicted – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

“The house is filthy. The elderly resident is struggling. But who has the right to intervene?” (via @NYTHealth see Tweet)


Effect of a Low-Intensity PSA-Based Screening Intervention on Prostate Cancer Mortality: The CAP Randomized Clinical Trial – JAMA (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Commentary: One-off PSA screening for prostate cancer does not save lives – eCancer News (free)

“Largest ever prostate cancer trial – CAP – published in the JAMA. No effect from low intensity PSA screening on prostate cancer mortality at 10 years”. (via @KariTikkinen see Tweet)


Authors of premier medical textbook didn’t disclose $11 million in industry payments – STAT (free)

“’The most recognized book in all of medicine’ is also rife with hidden financial conflicts. Should Harrison’s authors be disclosing $11 million in payments from drug and device makers?” (via @caseymross see Tweet)


Opinion: Doctors, Revolt! – The New York Times (free)

“Healing is replaced with treating, caring is supplanted by managing, and the art of listening is taken over by technological procedures. Bernard Lown” (via @lucadf see Tweet)


Guidelines for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care – American Academy of Pediatrics

Part I. Practice Preparation, Identification, Assessment, and Initial Management (free)

Part II. Treatment and Ongoing Management (free)

Commentary: Pediatricians Call For Universal Depression Screening For Teens – NPR (free)


Are Hospitals Becoming Obsolete? – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)


Performance-driven culture is ruining scientific research – The Guardian (free)

“I was told impact metrics could make or break careers. Instead, they broke my faith in scientific research”.


100% excise tax on tobacco, energy drinks from June – MuscatDaily (free) (via @DrFrieden see Tweet)

Oman will raise taxes on tobacco, alcohol, soft drinks and energy drinks by 100%.


It’s poverty, not individual choice, that is driving extraordinary obesity level – The Conversation (free)

“Statistics point remorselessly towards obesity being a symptom with an underlying social cause”.


Polygenic Contribution in Individuals With Early-Onset Coronary Artery Disease – Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine (free)

Commentary: Genetic Risk Score May Best FH Variant for Predicting Early-Onset CAD – Medscape (free registration required)

“Another study suggests CAD will soon be predicted not by 1 gene (like FH) but groups of genes that can be combined into risk scores” (via @drjohnm see Tweet)


The CDC Is About to Fall Off a Funding Cliff – The Atlantic (free)

“It’s already planning to pull back on work that protects the world from pandemics”.


Richard Smith: Doctors and patients heading in opposite directions – The BMJ Opinion (free)

“Patients increasingly have multiple conditions, while doctors continue remorseless specialisation and subspecialisation. What are the consequences of this divergence?” (via @bmj_latest see Tweet)


A revolution in health care is coming – The Economist (a few articles per month are free) (via @equitylist)

“Welcome to Doctor You”


One Day Your Mind May Fade. At Least You’ll Have a Plan – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

Free download: Health Directive for Dementia (free PDF) from Advanced Directive for Dementia

Source: New document allows advance planning for dementia – Univadis (free registration required)

“A Simple Way to Document the Medical Care You Would Want If You Had Dementia”


Associations of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplement Use With Cardiovascular Disease Risks: Meta-analysis of 10 Trials Involving 77 917 Individuals – JAMA Cardiology (free)

Commentary: Omega-3 Supplements Don’t Protect Against Heart Disease – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

Omega-3 fatty acids did not prevent fatal or nonfatal coronary heart disease or any major vascular events.


Traumatic brain injury and the risk of dementia diagnosis: A nationwide cohort study – PLOS One (free)

Commentaries: TBI is associated with increased dementia risk for decades after injury – PLOS, via ScienceDaily (free) AND More evidence traumatic brain injuries raise later dementia risk – Reuters (free)

“Using longitudinal, case-control, and sibling-matched analyses of nationwide data from Sweden, Peter Nordström & Anna Nordström describe the association between TBI and dementia, its time course, and the influence of familial factors”. (via @PLOSMedicine see Tweet)


Big Data Comes to Dieting – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)


Richard Smith: The corruption of medical language – The BMJ Opinion (free)

Related: It’s not just you: science papers are getting harder to read – Nature (free) ‘It’s time to make sure research is understandable to all’ – The Telegraph (free) AND Scientific language is becoming more informal – Nature (free)

“Too often, academic journals are filled with complex language and turgid prose, which is intended not to inform the reader but to ennoble the writer”. (via @bmj_latest see Tweet)


Can Your Hip Replacement Kill You? – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

“Lawsuits are pulling back the curtain on what some doctors call the Wild West of medicine: the untested and largely unregulated medical device industry” (via @NYTHealth see Tweet)


Editorial: Children and social media – The Lancet (free)

Original report: Life in ‘likes’ – Children’s Commissioner (free)

See also a recent Pediatrics supplement: Children, Adolescents and Screens: What We Know and What We Need To Learn (series of free articles) and related articles on Social Media and Mental Health


Why American doctors keep doing expensive procedures that don’t work – VOX (free)

“The proportion of medical procedures unsupported by evidence may be nearly half”.


Treating Anxiety in Children – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)


The BMJ Christmas Issue – “The soul of the Christmas issue is originality. We don’t want to publish anything that resembles anything we’ve published before” (see details).


Original Article 1: Does Peppa Pig encourage inappropriate use of primary care resources? (free) AND Commentary: Peppa Pig might inspire unrealistic expectations of GPs – OnMedica (free)

Original Article 2 The science behind “man flu” (free) AND Commentary: Of mice and “man flu” – HealthNewsReview (free)

See also: The top six BMJ Christmas papers – Medical News Today (free) AND The BMJ Holiday Issue: Rain Doesn’t Mean More Joint Pain; Wine Glasses Getting Bigger – Physician’s First Watch (free)


Noninvasive Cardiac Radiation for Ablation of Ventricular Tachycardia – New England Journal of Medicine (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Commentary: A ‘Game Changer’ for Patients With Irregular Heart Rhythm – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

“The use of stereotactic radiotherapy in five patients with refractory ventricular tachycardia (VT) showed a 99.9% reduction in VT burden”. (via @NEJM see Tweet with infographic)


People Don’t Take Their Pills. Only One Thing Seems to Help. – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

“High-tech approaches and “reminder” packaging don’t work well. Reducing prices does”.


Does Cancer Screening Save More Lives Overall? Not Necessarily – WBUR (free) (via @HealthNewsRevu see Tweet)

Related systematic review: Does screening for disease save lives in asymptomatic adults? Systematic review of meta-analyses and randomized trials – International Journal of Epidemiology (free)

“We are not suggesting that cancer screening is useless. Our critique aims to show that screening tests are like any other medical intervention: there are benefits and harms.  And it’s why we support informed decision-making”.


First Dementia Global Monitoring System Launched: Global Dementia Observatory (free resources)

News release: Dementia: number of people affected to triple in next 30 years – World Health Organization (free)


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