Articles

Female Physicians And The Future Of Healthcare Delivery

There are more women in medicine today than at any point in history. Female physicians make up approximately 33% of the workforce in the United States, compared to 27% in 2008 and just 12% in 1981, according to the Physicians Foundation. This number continues to rise as women enter medical schools in record numbers.

Three things MCOs must consider as the uninsured rate drops

The number of uninsured Americans under age 65 has decreased by more than one-third due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), shows a recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For the report, analysts examined data from the National Health Interview Survey, which was collected through household interviews by the Census Bureau.

Five steps to improve patient medication adherence

Out of $213 billion in avoidable annual healthcare costs, $105 billion is due to medication nonadherence, according to a recent IMS Health Informatics study. In addition to the potential cost savings associated with improved adherence, it could also lead to better health outcomes, such as reduced readmissions and reduced viral loads among patients with infectious diseases like HIV.

Carcinogen-DNA Adducts

Carcinogen-DNA adducts result from the covalent interaction of electrophilic chemical carcinogens with nucleophilic sites on DNA. This unifying concept for initiating carcinogens was proposed by Drs. James and Elizabeth Miller. Genotoxic carcinogens may have intrinsic reactivity with DNA or this reactivity may result from metabolic or photochemical activation of otherwise unreactive compounds. The former category most often results from products of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries or pyrolysis where very reactive chemical may be expected to be formed.

Vital terms in hospital letters are misunderstood by a quarter of GPs

General practitioners are struggling to make sense of new terms used in hospital discharge letters according to new research, potentially putting patients at risk. Photograph: Hero/Corbis

Doctors may be contributing to the illness or even deaths of their patients because they are misinterpreting common abbreviations used in hospital discharge letters, a study has found.

Mismatch Repair: Biochemistry and Genetics

Mispaired bases arise in DNA by a number of mechanisms. One of the most important sources of such mispaired bases is misincorporation errors that are made during DNA replication (Fig. 1). If such errors are not repaired prior to the next round of DNA replication, they will be fixed in the DNA as mutations. These misincorporation errors are normally corrected by a process called DNA mismatch repair (MMR). MMR recognizes the resulting mispaired base in DNA and directs the selective degradation of the newly synthesized DNA strand where the error resides.

Melanoma: Cellular and Molecular Abnormalities

The incidence of melanoma is increasing in a number of countries, including the United States. Although in many cases this increase in incidence is associated with an increase in the diagnosis of early lesions, advanced melanoma still accounts for considerable morbidity and mortality. Like many cancers, a proportion of individuals (5-15%) report a family history of melanoma. It is hoped that the identification and characterization of the genes responsible for melanoma predisposition will lead to a greater understanding of the molecular events associated with sporadic melanoma.

Lung Cancer: Molecular and Cellular Abnormalities

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and will be a persistent health crisis worldwide over the next century due to inadequate methods to restrict teenage smoking, the increased marketing of tobacco overseas, air pollution, and the long latency period of the preneoplastic state. Epidemiologic and genetic evidence has proven that lung cancer arises from the sequential accumulation of specific gene alterations that is accelerated following chronic exposure to tobacco smoke and other environmental carcinogens.

Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Nonrandom aggregations of cancer have been recognized to occur since the middle of the last century. Although almost every type of cancer has been reported to occur in a familial form, evidence of hereditary and familial influences exists in only a few percentages of cases. The actual fraction of human cancers that are causally associated with genetic and familial factors is not known. The Li-Fraumeni syndrome is a rare, yet important, family cancer syndrome.