A big, important step in (public) health (economics)

The NY Times reports that four large health insurers have agreed to release claims data to academics on a regular basis. Claims data will allow us (researchers) to look in much greater detail at what is driving excess costs but much more importantly, to find out how quickly physicians are taking up new (and hopefully better) … Continue reading A big, important step in (public) health (economics)

WHO found to be lacking in credibility, again?

In an article in BMJ, Deborah Cohen and Philip Carter (a journalist) have written down the links between the people giving expert advice to the World Health Organisation about the severity of the H1N1 epidemic and the financial ties they had to the drug company that manufactures the vaccine, tamiflu. Sadly, this sort of biased … Continue reading WHO found to be lacking in credibility, again?

An unavoidable HIV epidemic in the Philippines?

An article highlighted by an editorial in the BMJ shows the increase in HIV in the Phillippines and the reduction in average age at the time of infection. Sex workers, bisexuals, and overseas workers are all at great risk - and so are their sexual partners. Given the nature of the sex trade in the … Continue reading An unavoidable HIV epidemic in the Philippines?

The battle to feed the starving

An interesting letter from Clare Dyer about the patent on a ‘ready-to-use therapeutic food’ (RUTF) similar to peanut butter or nutella. It is an RUTF that has apparently been demonstrated at least once to be very useful. What I liked the best was the admirable response from Nutriset - although it is always easier to … Continue reading The battle to feed the starving

5 out of 200 have a major vascular complication after surgery

Richard Smith at BMJ reports on the progress of a very large clinical trial investigating the effects of surgery. As any good journalist would do, he compares this to another major epidemic - HIV - and shows that more people suffer as a result of surgery than contract HIV in a year. The researchers undertaking … Continue reading 5 out of 200 have a major vascular complication after surgery

Intelligence, education and mortality It wouldn’t surprise many people to be told that poorer people are less healthy than their richer counterparts. It might surprise you to know that basic intelligence at adolescence, before adjusting for later education, produces a strong and significant trend. The higher the IQ, the lower the mortality, as if higher … Continue reading