Nov. 14 - 18

Older ER patients less likely to get pain treated
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/12/us-er-patients-idUSTRE7AB01Z20111112
Reuters (Wire Service)
People over age 75 who visit the emergency department with complaints of pain are about 20 percent less likely to have their pain treated than middle-aged patients, according to a new study. ..."The data from the study don't tell us why this is happening," said lead author Dr. Timothy Platts-Mills, a professor at the University of North Carolina.

Children 9 to 11 should have cholesterol tested, report says
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/children-9-to-11-should-have-cholesterol-tested-report-says/2011/11/11/gIQAA9ZdDN_story.html
The Washington Post
All children should have their cholesterol tested between the ages of 9 and 11, according to guidelines released Friday. ...Nortin M. Hadler, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said he had “grave reservations” about the new recommendation. Elevated cholesterol levels do not necessarily lead to heart disease, he noted.

New Drug Could Raise Good Cholesterol and Lower Bad Cholesterol
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/drug-lower-bad-cholesterol-increase-good-cholesterol/story?id=14949270#.TsJsvVatvWw
"Good Morning America" ABC
..."We've known from epidemiological studies that low HDL levels are associated with an increased likelihood of heart disease and heart attack, and high levels are protective," said Dr. Cam Patterson, chief of the division of cardiology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. Patterson was not involved in the evacetrapib research. 

Finding drug to boost 'good cholesterol' proves elusive
http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/diet-nutrition/story/2011-11-15/Finding-drug-to-boost-good-cholesterol-proves-elusive/51205662/1
USA Today
...An earlier CETP inhibitor, torcetrapib, also looked good on paper — until studies in 2006 showed that it increased the risk of heart problems and death, says Cam Patterson, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He says it's too early to know if these new drugs also will produce dangerous side-effects, such as high blood pressure. And while it's great to raise good cholesterol, he notes that researchers haven't yet proven the most important thing: that the drugs save lives.

In battle of cholesterol drugs, Lipitor as good as Crestor
http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/story/2011-11-15/In-battle-of-cholesterol-drugs-Lipitor-as-good-as-Crestor/51205856/1
USA Today
The battle of the cholesterol drugs has been declared a draw. ...Given that Lipitor, made by Pfizer, will soon be much cheaper than Crestor, the study could swing the massive market for cholesterol-lowering drugs, says Cam Patterson, chief of cardiology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who was not involved in the study.

Scientific Brilliance Doesn't Always Peak Young
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2011/11/07/scientific-brilliance-doesnt-always-peak-young
HealthDay News
...The study observations are sound, but there could be many explanations for the findings, noted one Nobel Laureate, Dr. Oliver Smithies, Weatherspoon Eminent Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Smithies, 86, won the Nobel Prize in 2007 for work he had conducted at age 60, developing methods to alter genes in mice.

Genetic tests can predict who needs higher doses of Plavix
http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/heartdisease/story/2011-11-16/Genetic-tests-can-predict-who-needs-higher-doses-of-Plavix/51226888/1
USA Today
...The study's findings could help patients get the right dose of the most appropriate medication immediately, rather than after trying and failing a series of treatments, says Cam Patterson, chief of cardiology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. "You don't want to wait until after you have an event to say, 'Oh, this patient is Plavix-resistant,' " Patterson says. "That could have a big impact on how we treat patients."

When Your Doctor Is a Rock Star: Oncologists Make Music for Cancer
http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/16/when-your-doctors-really-a-rock-star-oncologists-make-music-for-cancer/
Time
..."Patients feel like we are their band," says John Boggess, an associate professor of gynecological oncology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who contributes vocals, guitar and harmonica. "They feel the same way we do, that no one is talking about their experience, no one is talking about their cancers."

Lipitor vs. Crestor: Cholesterol Drugs on a Par
http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/16/lipitor-vs-crestor-cholesterol-drugs-are-on-a-par/
Time
In a head-to-head test of two popular cholesterol-lowering statin drugs — Lipitor and Crestor — both medications worked equally well. ...The patent on Crestor — which goes for about $5 a pill — won't expire until 2016. "The market for Crestor will go close to zero," Dr. Cam Patterson, chief of cardiology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, predicted in an interview with USA Today.

Older ER Patients Less Likely to Get Pain Meds, Data Shows
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/pain/articles/2011/11/16/older-er-patients-less-likely-to-get-pain-meds-data-shows
HealthDay News
...The reasons why elderly patients are less likely to receive pain medications aren't clear but doctors may be concerned about potential side effects in older patients, suggested lead author Dr. Timothy Platts-Mills, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

CT scans produce widely differing radiation doses
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2011/11/14/iteam-ct-scan-radiation-manitoba.html
CBC Canada
A former Winnipegger who teaches in radiology at the University of North Carolina, Dr. Richard Semelka, said having the newest machines and methods is crucial for patient safety. "I think we're seeing in the Manitoba data that probably some of the higher ranges are from older equipment and older approaches. So you want to be imaged on new equipment with new approaches," Semelka told CBC News.

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