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Erie Family Health Center


Health Beats: March 23, 2011

March 22, 2011 | Ginny

Beats this week:

1) A new early-warning diabetes test has shown promise in predicting Type 2 diabetes up to ten years before the first symptoms of the disease appear. Besides developing an effective screening tool for individuals at risk for Type 2 diabetes, this research may also provide insights into why Type 2 diabetes occurs as well.

2) Although medical students around the country do not official get the title of “M.D.” until graduation, ‘Match Day’ – the day where senior medical students find out where they will train as residents – is almost as important. The National Resident Matching Program, the non-profit organization that coordinates the matches, reported an increase in the number of family medicine positions – an exciting statistic, considering that the U.S. is expected to experience a drastic shortage of primary care physicians in the coming years.

3) Organic foods are a hot topic these days – and yes, there are definite benefits to buying and eating organically. If you want to relieve some of the strain on wallet, though, there are foods where you can forego the organic brand. Click here to see the list of food items that you don’t have to stress over looking for the organically certified label.

4) Tuberculosis, a bacterial disease of the lungs, is thought to be a disease of the past. Unfortunately, this dangerous and contagious disease takes the lives of approximately two million people a year, mostly in developing countries. Scientists at the Imperial College London however have discovered a protein that could be targeted for a tuberculosis vaccine – one that is much more effective than the vaccine that exists today.

5) A recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated more unfortunate repercussions of nursing shortages in hospitals. The study reports that a patient’s risk of death increases two percent per hospital shift when units are understaffed with registered nurses. This result adds fuel to the debate concerning nursing staffing levels in U.S. hospitals.