Medical Notes this week…


A federal task force says far more smokers and former smokers should be eligible for free CT scans to screen for lung cancer. The recommendation from the US Preventive Services Task Force would allow people over age 50 who have smoked a pack a day for 20 years to receive the screening. Previous policy had called for screening those 55-and up who had smoked for 30 years. The changes nearly double the number of people who could be eligible. 

A single head injury could result in dementia decades later. A study in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association also finds that the more head injuries a person sustains… The more the risk of dementia later. Scientists say one head injury increases dementia risk by 1.25 times… and a second injury more than doubles it. More than 23 million people over age 40 have a history of at least one head injury that resulted in unconsciousness.

Women with heart disease do a lot better when they’re treated by women doctors. A study in the American Journal of Cardiology finds that women really do understand other women better… and routinely spend more time with patients. However, women are underrepresented among cardiologists. While half of medical school students are women today… few intend to go into cardiology.

And finally… if you want to cut your risk of diabetes, eat breakfast early. A study presented to the Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society finds that having breakfast before 8:30 am lowers insulin resistance, cutting the risk of diabetes. Researchers intended to look at the effects of intermittent fasting… and found instead that an early breakfast is helpful whether or not you’re fasting later in the day.

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