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Tag Archives: healthcare
Posted: June 17, 2016 at 5:03 am
SUPPORT THE PATIENTS RIGHTS COUNCILLatest additions to web site: 6/7/16.. Site Map ..
Death Doctor to Charge $2000 for Suicide Prescription(National Review June 5, 2016)Lonnny Shavelson is or was a part time emergency room physician and photo journalist. Now, hes going to be a death doctor for pay. [H]e once witnessed what can only be described as a murder of a disabled man by a Hemlock Society suicide assister and did nothing about it as he reported beginning at page 92 of his book. More on California.
Scroll down for more of the latest developments and featured articles ..List of states where bills have been proposed this year: 2016 Doctor-Prescribed Suicide Bills Proposed
In addition to bills that had been pending in New Jersey, doctor-prescribed suicide bills were proposed in 2015 in more than twenty states. For a listing of those bills, see 2015 Doctor-Prescribed Bills Proposed. For all doctor-prescribed suicide bills that have been proposed since 1994, see Attempts to Legalize. ..
Scroll down for other Recent Developments, and for Featured Articles. For additional information, see Site Map.
The Latest PRC Update (2016 Volume 30, No. 2,):
Who will speak for you? Imagine you are in an accident tomorrow and so seriously injured that you arent able to communicate about your health care wishes for several weeks. Who would make health care decisions for you during that time? Do you need an advance directive?
To obtain a durable power of attorney for health care for the state in which you are a resident, call the Patients Rights Council (800-958-5678 or 740-282-3810) between 8:30am and 4:30pm (eastern time). .
Recent Major Developments
Brain scans reveal hidden consciousness in patients(AP Central Ohio, The Source May 26, 2016) A standard brain scanning technique is showing promise for helping doctors distinguish between patients in a vegetative state and those with hidden signs of consciousness.The researchers checked the patient status again a year later. They found that 8 of the 11 vegetative patients who had scored above the cutoff, which had been associated with minimal consciousness, had in fact recovered consciousness.
Savinos end-of-life bills: Cruel choices, deadly mischief(Staten Island Advance May 16, 2016) The latest proposed doctor-prescribed suicide legislation is titled the Medical Aid in Dying Act. More on New York and text of proposed bill [Note: As with SB 3685, one of New Yorks previous bills, this latest bill (A10059) would not require that a person be a resident of New York to qualify for doctor-prescribed suicide. Therefore, if passed, New York could easily become a national suicide destination.]
Cancer breakthrough: Duke clinical trial destroys SC womans brain tumor(WNCN television CBS May 16, 2016) The FDA is calling a clinical trial that killed a cancerous brain tumor (Stage 4 Glioblastoma) a medical breakthrough. Stephanie Lipscomb, now a nurse has now been cancer free for 4 years and considers herself cured. Dozens of patients responded positively to the trial and because of the success with Stephanie, the FDA has deemed the trial a medical breakthrough. [Note: This was the same type of cancer that Brittany Maynard had.]
UNICEF Canada lobbies lawmakers to make physician-assisted dying (which includes doctor-prescribed suicide and euthanasia by lethal injection) available to children.In its May 11, 2016 brief, UNICEF states,In our view, this would be consistent with a cautious and balanced child rights-based approach to the question of medically-assisted death, having regard to the lessons learned in the Netherlands and Belgium. It further notes that in 2014, Belgium amended its legislation and became the first country in the world to remove any age restrictions on physician-assisted death. More on Canada
Netherlands sees sharp increase in people choosing euthanasia due to mental health problems'(Telegraph May 11, 2016) The Netherlands has seen a sharp increase in the number of people choosing to end their own lives due to mental health problems such as trauma caused by sexual abuse. Whereas just two people had themselves euthanised in the country in 2010 due to insufferable mental illness, 56 people did so last year, a trend which sparked concern among ethicists. More on Holland Assisted Suicide MDs Would Never be Convicted of Fraud(National Review May 9, 2016) The Justice Department has convicted two doctors for falsely diagnosing patients as terminal to qualify for hospice care.The motive there was clearly money. But this same kind of false terminal diagnosis could also happen with assisted suicide as a matter of ideologyIt already has. More on Terminal Illness
Medical errors may kill 250,000 a year, but problem not being tracked(Modern Healthcare May 4, 2016) A study published in the BMJ found that medical mistakes in the U.S. trailed heart disease and cancer. More on Medical Errors
Chambers promises to keep pushing for aid-in-dying law (Brown County Democrat April 4, 2016) Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha filed a motion Monday to pull his aid-in-dying bill out of a legislative committee where it remains stuck. The motion won only nine of the needed 25 votes to bring the bill to the floor for debate. More on Nebraska
Remove organs from euthanasia patients while theyre still ALIVE’ (Daily Mail March 31, 2016) Those who want to be killed should be sedated in hospital then allowed to die after the removal of their vital organs, according to the proposal published by a British-based medical ethics journal. Using organs for transplant surgery from patients who have been helped to die is allowed in Belgium and Holland.[A]n article in the Journal of Medical Ethics yesterday advocated heart-beating organ donation euthanasia. This would involve an operation in which organs would be taken from still-living patients who have given permission. More on Organ Donation and Organ Transplant
Oregon releases its 2016 death with dignity stats(BioEdge February 20, 2016) Oregon is the model for assisted suicide legislation throughout the United States, so its annual Death with Dignity report for 2015 deserves close scrutiny.For about 80% of the 132 deaths there is no information on how long it took or whether there were difficulties. More on Oregon
Featured Articles Hospital(Townhall April 21, 2016) I get excellent medical care here. But as a consumer reporter, I have to say, the hospitals customer service stinks.Customer service is sclerotic because hospitals are largely socialistic bureaucracies. Instead of answering to consumers, which forces businesses to be nimble, hospitals report to government, lawyers and insurance companies. More on government Health Care Reform
Are You a Hospital Inpatient or Outpatient? If you have Medicare Ask!(Medicare.gov) Did you know that even if you stay in a hospital overnight, you might still be considered an outpatient? Your hospital status affects how much you pay for hospital services and may also affect whether Medicare will cover care you get in a skilled nursing facility following your hospital stay. More on Medicare
Weak Oversight Lets Dangerous Nurses Work in New York(ProPublica April 7, 2016) New York lags behind other states in vetting nurses and moving to discipline those who are incompetent or commit crimes. Often, even those disciplined by other states or New York agencies hold clear licenses. More on New York More on Nurses
e: An idea that loses appeal as it becomes tangible (Star Tribune March 15, 2016) SF 1880 is sponsored by a group of DFL legislators, led by Sen. Chris Eaton of Brooklyn Center, who claims that assisted suicide enjoys overwhelming support from the American public. This is overconfidence. The truth about assisted suicide is that it 1) takes time to understand and that it 2) turns political stereotypes on their head But then something remarkable happened. The people of Massachusetts began to understand the issue. More on Minnesota
Dutch documentary awakens euthanasia debate about wider rules (Dutch News February 29, 2016) A recent Dutch television documentary on euthanasia in which a 68 year-old woman suffering from semantic dementia was given a lethal injection may well herald a turning point in what many consider to be an increasingly broader and unacceptable interpretation of the rules. More on Holland
Where the prescription for autism can be death (Washington Post February 24, 2016) Thus did a man in his 30s whose only diagnosis was autism become one of 110 people to be euthanized for mental disorders in the Netherlands between 2011 and 2014. Thats the rough equivalent of 2,000 people in the United States. More on Holland
Teen Survived Kalamazoo Shooting after Being Pronounced Brain Dead(ABC7 February 23, 2016) The hospital was in the process of preparing her organs for donation when the girl squeezed her mothers hand. More on Organ Donation
Elder Guardianship: A Shameful Racket'(Diane Dimond February 20, 2016) Betty Winstanley is a well-spoken, elegant and wealthy 94-year-old widow. And as she told me from her room at the Masonic Village retirement facility Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, I feel like I am in prison. My life is a living hell. Welcome to Americas twisted world of court-appointed guardians for the elderly.
Assisted Suicide Study Questions Its Use for Mentally Ill (New York Times February 10, 2016) [I]n more than half of the approved cases, people declined treatment that could have helped, and many cited loneliness as an important reason for wanting to die. People who got assistance to die often sought help from doctors they had not seen before, and many used what the study called a mobile end-of-life clinic a nurse and a doctor, funded by a local euthanasia advocacy organization. More on Holland
RNs and CNAs Work Fewer Hours in Nursing Facilities that Serve Predominately Ethnic and Racial Minorities(Center for Medicare Advocacy January 27, 2016) A December 2015 Health Affairs study of freestanding Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) found that registered nurses (RNs) were less likely to work at nursing homes with high concentrations of racial and ethnic minorities.Racial and ethnic minority nursing home residents have not been receiving the same quality of skilled care as white patients and the consequences of this disparity have been significant. More on Medicare More on Minorities and the Poor
A bit of irony or tragedy in Canada?(January 2016) Although Canadas new health minister has acknowledged that there is evidence that only 15 percent of Canadians have access to high quality pain control, parliament has been told that special traveling teams should be available to deliver physician-assisted death to the countrys remote regions to guarantee that patients can have their lives ended.
The sole survivor: Fort Lee woman beats the deadliest form of brain cancer(NorthJersey.com December 13, 2015) Nearly a decade after learning she had only three months to live, Sandy Hillburn grabbed a taxi last Sunday to LaGuardia Airport for one of her regular business trips to North Carolina.
The vulnerable will be the victims(USA Today October 20, 2015) California required legislative sleight of hand to pass physician-assisted suicide in a special legislative session that bypassed committee votesOregon reports that pain doesnt even make the top five reasons people seek doctor-assisted suicide. Instead, people are afraid of losing autonomy and dignity. Notably, theyre afraid of becoming a burden on others. In the face of a youth-worshipping country that marginalizes the sick and dying, we should resist making the vulnerable feel like a burden not make it easier for them to kill themselves. Dignity doesnt come from the illusion of power and control, but from mutual dependence and love. More on California
Suicide by any other name(USA Today October 13, 2015) Right to die proponents take advantage of human vulnerability, obfuscate reality of assisted suicideBut verbal cloaking is the stock in trade of the right-to-die forces. The Orwellian-speak they employ to describe their effort is telling. It is death by euphemism. More on Verbal Engineering
Oregon claim of assisted suicide safeguards has critics(CalWatch October 9, 2015) A key argument spurring Gov. Jerry Browns recent decision to sign a bill allowing physician-assisted suicide in California, and the Legislatures desire to enact such a law, was that a similar law had worked well in OregonBut what was rarely acknowledged in the California media is that the Oregon law while wining positive notices from that states media has a solid core of skeptics who complained of skewed or inadequate data backing up assertions that the safeguards work. More on California More on Oregon
Governor should have talked to Holland before signing bill(Press Democrat October 7, 2015) By: Theo Boer, Professor of Health Care Ethics at Kampen University in The Netherlands. In 1994, the Dutch were the first in the world to officially legalize assisted dyingI was convinced that legalizing assisted dying was the wisest and most respectful routeHearing of Browns decision, and without doubt any of his good intentions, my thoughts go back to our own pioneering years. As I said, we have been naive. More on The Netherlands More on California
A Doctor-Assisted Disaster for Medicine(Wall Street Journal August 17, 2015) As a professor of family medicine at Oregons Health & Science University in Portland, as well as a licensed physician for 35 years, I have seen firsthand how the law has changed the relationship between doctors and patients, some of whom now fear that they are being steered toward assisted suicide. More on Oregon
Previously Featured ArticlesAlso see site map to access specific topics which include previously featured articles.
Have you heard about VSED? It stands for voluntarily stopping eating and drinking. VSED is being promoted by assisted-suicide activists who are also working to force health care providers to participate in it. Important Questions & Answers about VSED
From the bookshelfTwenty-four years ago, Ann Humphry, the co-founder of the Hemlock Society (now called Compassion and Choices) committed suicide. Her death made headlines worldwide.
Prior to her death, Ann contacted Rita Marker, a staunch euthanasia opponent. Over time, the two became close friends, and Ann asked Rita to make public secrets about the right-to-die movement secrets that had weighed heavily on Ann.
Two years after Anns tragic death, the book, Deadly Compassion: The Death of Ann Humphry and the Truth About Euthanasia was published. It recounts Anns personal story, the founding of the Hemlock Society, and activities of euthanasia and doctor-prescribed suicide advocates. Thousands of copies of the book were sold in the United States, England, Canada and Australia. (Read excerpts from reviews of the book.)
Now, for the first time, you ca
n read Deadly Compassion in its entirety on line in PDF format.
Go here to read the rest:
Posted: June 10, 2016 at 12:44 pm
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections. Other signs and symptoms include sinus infections, poor growth, fatty stool, clubbing of the fingers and toes, and infertility in males, among others. Different people may have different degrees of symptoms.
CF is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. It is caused by the presence of mutations in both copies of the gene for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. Those with a single working copy are carriers and otherwise mostly normal. CFTR is involved in production of sweat, digestive fluids, and mucus. When CFTR is not functional, secretions which are usually thin instead become thick. The condition is diagnosed by a sweat test and genetic testing. Screening of infants at birth takes place in some areas of the world.
There is no cure for cystic fibrosis. Lung infections are treated with antibiotics which may be given intravenously, inhaled, or by mouth. Sometimes the antibiotic azithromycin is used long term. Inhaled hypertonic saline and salbutamol may also be useful. Lung transplantation may be an option if lung function continues to worsen. Pancreatic enzyme replacement and fat-soluble vitamin supplementation are important, especially in the young. While not well supported by evidence, many people use airway clearance techniques such as chest physiotherapy. The average life expectancy is between 42 and 50 years in the developed world. Lung problems are responsible for death in 80% of people with cystic fibrosis.
CF is most common among people of Northern European ancestry and affects about one out of every 3,000 newborns. About one in 25 people are carriers. It is least common in Africans and Asians. It was first recognized as a specific disease by Dorothy Andersen in 1938, with descriptions that fit the condition occurring at least as far back as 1595. The name cystic fibrosis refers to the characteristic fibrosis and cysts that form within the pancreas.
The main signs and symptoms of cystic fibrosis are salty-tasting skin, poor growth, and poor weight gain despite normal food intake, accumulation of thick, sticky mucus, frequent chest infections, and coughing or shortness of breath. Males can be infertile due to congenital absence of the vas deferens. Symptoms often appear in infancy and childhood, such as bowel obstruction due to meconium ileus in newborn babies. As the children grow, they exercise to release mucus in the alveoli.Ciliated epithelial cells in the person have a mutated protein that leads to abnormally viscous mucus production. The poor growth in children typically presents as an inability to gain weight or height at the same rate as their peers and is occasionally not diagnosed until investigation is initiated for poor growth. The causes of growth failure are multifactorial and include chronic lung infection, poor absorption of nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract, and increased metabolic demand due to chronic illness.
In rare cases, cystic fibrosis can manifest itself as a coagulation disorder. Vitamin K is normally absorbed from breast milk, formula, and later, solid foods. This absorption is impaired in some cystic fibrosis patients. Young children are especially sensitive to vitamin K malabsorptive disorders because only a very small amount of vitamin K crosses the placenta, leaving the child with very low reserves and limited ability to absorb vitamin K from dietary sources after birth. Because factors II, VII, IX, and X (clotting factors) are vitamin Kdependent, low levels of vitamin K can result in coagulation problems. Consequently, when a child presents with unexplained bruising, a coagulation evaluation may be warranted to determine whether there is an underlying disease.
Lung disease results from clogging of the airways due to mucus build-up, decreased mucociliary clearance, and resulting inflammation. Inflammation and infection cause injury and structural changes to the lungs, leading to a variety of symptoms. In the early stages, incessant coughing, copious phlegm production, and decreased ability to exercise are common. Many of these symptoms occur when bacteria that normally inhabit the thick mucus grow out of control and cause pneumonia. In later stages, changes in the architecture of the lung, such as pathology in the major airways (bronchiectasis), further exacerbate difficulties in breathing. Other signs include coughing up blood (hemoptysis), high blood pressure in the lung (pulmonary hypertension), heart failure, difficulties getting enough oxygen to the body (hypoxia), and respiratory failure requiring support with breathing masks, such as bilevel positive airway pressure machines or ventilators.Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are the three most common organisms causing lung infections in CF patients. In addition to typical bacterial infections, people with CF more commonly develop other types of lung disease. Among these is allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, in which the body’s response to the common fungus Aspergillus fumigatus causes worsening of breathing problems. Another is infection with Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), a group of bacteria related to tuberculosis, which can cause a lot of lung damage and does not respond to common antibiotics.
Mucus in the paranasal sinuses is equally thick and may also cause blockage of the sinus passages, leading to infection. This may cause facial pain, fever, nasal drainage, and headaches. Individuals with CF may develop overgrowth of the nasal tissue (nasal polyps) due to inflammation from chronic sinus infections. Recurrent sinonasal polyps can occur in as many as 10% to 25% of CF patients. These polyps can block the nasal passages and increase breathing difficulties.
Cardiorespiratory complications are the most common cause of death (~80%) in patients at most CF centers in the United States.
Prior to prenatal and newborn screening, cystic fibrosis was often diagnosed when a newborn infant failed to pass feces (meconium). Meconium may completely block the intestines and cause serious illness. This condition, called meconium ileus, occurs in 510% of newborns with CF. In addition, protrusion of internal rectal membranes (rectal prolapse) is more common, occurring in as many as 10% of children with CF, and it is caused by increased fecal volume, malnutrition, and increased intraabdominal pressure due to coughing.
The thick mucus seen in the lungs has a counterpart in thickened secretions from the pancreas, an organ responsible for providing digestive juices that help break down food. These secretions block the exocrine movement of the digestive enzymes into the duodenum and result in irreversible damage to the pancreas, often with painful inflammation (pancreatitis). The pancreatic ducts are totally plugged in more advanced cases, usually seen in older children or adolescents. This causes atrophy of the exocrine glands and progressive fibrosis.
The lack of digestive enzymes leads to difficulty absorbing nutrients with their subsequent excretion in the feces, a disorder known as malabsorption. Malabsorption leads to malnutrition and poor growth and development because of calorie loss. Resultant hypoproteinemia may be severe enough to cause generalized edema. Individuals with CF also have difficulties absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
In addition to the pancreas problems, people with cystic fibrosis experience more heartburn, intestinal blockage by intussusception, and constipation. Older individuals with CF may develop distal intestinal obstruction syndrome when thickened feces cause intestinal blockage.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency occurs in the majority (85% to 90%) of patients with CF. It is mainly associated with “severe” CFTR mutations, where both alleles are completely nonfunctional (e.g. F508/F508). It occurs in 10% to 15% of patients with one “severe” and one “mild” CFTR mutation where there still is a little CFTR activity, or where there are two “mild” CFTR mutations. In these milder cases, there is still sufficient pancreatic exocrine function so that enzyme supplementation is not required. There are usually no other GI complications in pancreas-sufficient phenotypes, and in general, such individuals usually have excellent growth and development. Despite this, idiopathic chronic pancreatitis can occur in a subset of pancreas-sufficient individuals with CF, and is associated with recurrent abdominal pain and life-threatening complications.
Thickened secretions also may cause liver problems in patients with CF. Bile secreted by the liver to aid in digestion may block the bile ducts, leading to liver damage. Over time, this can lead to scarring and nodularity (cirrhosis). The liver fails to rid the blood of toxins and does not make important proteins, such as those responsible for blood clotting. Liver disease is the third most common cause of death associated with CF.
The pancreas contains the islets of Langerhans, which are responsible for making insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood glucose. Damage of the pancreas can lead to loss of the islet cells, leading to a type of diabetes that is unique to those with the disease. This cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD) shares characteristics that can be found in type 1 and type 2 diabetics, and is one of the principal nonpulmonary complications of CF.Vitamin D is involved in calcium and phosphate regulation. Poor uptake of vitamin D from the diet because of malabsorption can lead to the bone disease osteoporosis in which weakened bones are more susceptible to fractures. In addition, people with CF often develop clubbing of their fingers and toes due to the effects of chronic illness and low oxygen in their tissues.
Infertility affects both men and women. At least 97% of men with cystic fibrosis are infertile, but not sterile and can have children with assisted reproductive techniques. The main cause of infertility in men with cystic fibrosis is congenital absence of the vas deferens (which normally connects the testes to the ejaculatory ducts of the penis), but potentially also by other mechanisms such as causing no sperm, teratospermia, and few sperm with poor motility. Many men found to have congenital absence of the vas deferens during evaluation for infertility have a mild, previously undiagnosed form of CF. Approximately 20% of women with CF have fertility difficulties due to thickened cervical mucus or malnutrition. In severe cases, malnutrition disrupts ovulation and causes a lack of menstruation.
CF is caused by a mutation in the gene cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). The most common mutation, F508, is a deletion ( signifying deletion) of three nucleotides that results in a loss of the amino acid phenylalanine (F) at the 508th position on the protein. This mutation accounts for two-thirds (6670%) of CF cases worldwide and 90% of cases in the United States; however, there are over 1500 other mutations that can produce CF. Although most people have two working copies (alleles) of the CFTR gene, only one is needed to prevent cystic fibrosis. CF develops when neither allele can produce a functional CFTR protein. Thus, CF is considered an autosomal recessive disease.
The CFTR gene, found at the q31.2 locus of chromosome 7, is 230,000 base pairs long, and creates a protein that is 1,480 amino acids long. More specifically the location is between base pair 117,120,016 to 117,308,718 on the long arm of chromosome 7, region 3, band 1, sub-band 2, represented as 7q31.2. Structurally, CFTR is a type of gene known as an ABC gene. The product of this gene (the CFTR) is a chloride ion channel important in creating sweat, digestive juices and mucus. This protein possesses two ATP-hydrolyzing domains, which allows the protein to use energy in the form of ATP. It also contains two domains comprising 6 alpha helices apiece, which allow the protein to cross the cell membrane. A regulatory binding site on the protein allows activation by phosphorylation, mainly by cAMP-dependent protein kinase. The carboxyl terminal of the protein is anchored to the cytoskeleton by a PDZ domain interaction.
In addition, there is increasing evidence that genetic modifiers besides CFTR modulate the frequency and severity of the disease. One example is mannan-binding lectin, which is involved in innate immunity by facilitating phagocytosis of microorganisms. Polymorphisms in one or both mannan-binding lectin alleles that result in lower circulating levels of the protein are associated with a threefold higher risk of end-stage lung disease, as well as an increased burden of chronic bacterial infections.
There are several mutations in the CFTR gene, and different mutations cause different defects in the CFTR protein, sometimes causing a milder or more severe disease. These protein defects are also targets for drugs which can sometimes restore their function. F508-CFTR, which occurs in >90% of patients in the U.S., creates a protein that does not fold normally and is not appropriately transported to the cell membrane, resulting in its degradation. Other mutations result in proteins that are too short (truncated) because production is ended prematurely. Other mutations produce proteins that: do not use energy normally, do not allow chloride, iodide, and thiocyanate to cross the membrane appropriately, degrade at a faster rate than normal. Mutations may also lead to fewer copies of the CFTR protein being produced.
The protein created by this gene is anchored to the outer membrane of cells in the sweat glands, lungs, pancreas, and all other remaining exocrine glands in the body. The protein spans this membrane and acts as a channel connecting the inner part of the cell (cytoplasm) to the surrounding fluid. This channel is primarily responsible for controlling the movement of halogens from inside to outside of the cell; however, in the sweat ducts it facilitates the movement of chloride from the sweat duct into the cytoplasm. When the CFTR protein does not resorb ions in sweat ducts, chloride and thiocyanate released from sweat glands are trapped inside the ducts and pumped to the skin. Additionally hypothiocyanite, OSCN, cannot be produced by the immune defense system. Because chloride is negatively charged, this modifies the electrical potential inside and outside the cell that normally causes cations to cross into the cell. Sodium is the most common cation in the extracellular space. The excess chloride within sweat ducts prevents sodium resorption by epithelial sodium channels and the combination of sodium and chloride creates the salt, which is lost in high amounts in the sweat of individuals with CF. This lost salt forms the basis for the sweat test.
Most of the damage in CF is due to blockage of the narrow passages of affected organs with thickened secretions. These blockages lead to remodeling and infection in the lung, damage by accumulated digestive enzymes in the pancreas, blockage of the intestines by thick faeces, etc. There are several theories on how the defects in the protein and cellular function cause the clinical effects. The most current theory suggests that defective ion transport leads to dehydration in the airway epithelia, thickening mucus. In airway epithelial cells, the cilia exist in between the cell’s apical surface and mucus in a layer known as Airway Surface Liquid (ASL). The flow of ions from the cell and into this layer is determined by ion channels like CFTR. CFTR not only allows Chloride ions to be drawn from the cell and into the ASL, but it also regulates another channel called ENac. ENac allows sodium ions to leave the ASL and enter the respiratory epithelium. CFTR normally inhibits this channel, but if the CFTR is defective, then sodium will flow freely from the ASL and into the cell. As water follows sodium, the depth of ASL will be depleted and the cilia will be left in the mucous layer. As cilia cannot effectively move in a thick viscous environment, there is deficient mucociliary clearance and a buildup of mucous, clogging small airways. The accumulation of more viscous, nutrient-rich mucus in the lungs allows bacteria to hide from the body’s immune system, causing repeated respiratory infections. The presence of the same CFTR proteins in pancreatic duct and skin cells are what cause symptoms in these systems.
The lungs of individuals with cystic fibrosis are colonized and infected by bacteria from an early age. These bacteria, which often spread among individuals with CF, thrive in the altered mucus, which collects in the small airways of the lungs. This mucus leads to the formation of bacterial microenvironments known as biofilms that are difficult for immune cells and antibiotics to penetrate. Viscous secretions and persistent respiratory infections repeatedly damage the lung by gradually remodeling the airways, which makes infection even more difficult to eradicate.
Over time, both the types of bacteria and their individual characteristics change in individuals with CF. In the initial stage, common bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Haemophilus influenzae colonize and infect the lungs. Eventually, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (and sometimes Burkholderia cepacia) dominates. By 18 years of age, 80% of patients with classic CF harbor P. aeruginosa, and 3.5% harbor B. cepacia. Once within the lungs, these bacteria adapt to the environment and develop resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Pseudomonas can develop special characteristics that allow the formation of large colonies, known as “mucoid” Pseudomonas, which are rarely seen in people that do not have CF.
One way infection spreads is by passing between different individuals with CF. In the past, people with CF often participated in summer “CF Camps” and other recreational gatherings. Hospitals grouped patients with CF into common areas and routine equipment (such as nebulizers) was not sterilized between individual patients. This led to transmission of more dangerous strains of bacteria among groups of patients. As a result, individuals with CF are now routinely isolated from one another in the healthcare setting, and healthcare providers are encouraged to wear gowns and gloves when examining patients with CF to limit the spread of virulent bacterial strains.
CF patients may also have their airways chronically colonized by filamentous fungi (such as Aspergillus fumigatus, Scedosporium apiospermum, Aspergillus terreus) and/or yeasts (such as Candida albicans); other filamentous fungi less commonly isolated include Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus nidulans (occur transiently in CF respiratory secretions) and Exophiala dermatitidis and Scedosporium prolificans (chronic airway-colonizers); some filamentous fungi like Penicillium emersonii and Acrophialophora fusispora are encountered in patients almost exclusively in the context of CF. Defective mucociliary clearance characterizing CF is associated with local immunological disorders. In addition, the prolonged therapy with antibiotics and the use of corticosteroid treatments may also facilitate fungal growth. Although the clinical relevance of the fungal airway colonization is still a matter of debate, filamentous fungi may contribute to the local inflammatory response and therefore to the progressive deterioration of the lung function, as often happens with allergic broncho-pulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) the most common fungal disease in the context of CF, involving a Th2-driven immune response to Aspergillus.
Cystic fibrosis may be diagnosed by many different methods including newborn screening, sweat testing, and genetic testing. As of 2006 in the United States, 10 percent of cases are diagnosed shortly after birth as part of newborn screening programs. The newborn screen initially measures for raised blood concentration of immunoreactive trypsinogen. Infants with an abnormal newborn screen need a sweat test to confirm the CF diagnosis. In many cases, a parent makes the diagnosis because the infant tastes salty.Trypsinogen levels can be increased in individuals who have a single mutated copy of the CFTR gene (carriers) or, in rare instances, in individuals with two normal copies of the CFTR gene. Due to these false positives, CF screening in newborns can be controversial. Most states and countries do not screen for CF routinely at birth. Therefore, most individuals are diagnosed after symptoms (e.g. sinopulmonary disease and GI manifestations) prompt an evaluation for cystic fibrosis. The most commonly used form of testing is the sweat test. Sweat-testing involves application of a medication that stimulates sweating (pilocarpine). To deliver the medication through the skin, iontophoresis is used to, whereby one electrode is placed onto the applied medication and an electric current is passed to a separate electrode on the skin. The resultant sweat is then collected on filter paper or in a capillary tube and analyzed for abnormal amounts of sodium and chloride. People with CF have increased amounts of sodium and chloride in their sweat. In contrast, people with CF have less thiocyanate and hypothiocyanite in their saliva and mucus (Banfi et al.). CF can also be diagnosed by identification of mutations in the CFTR gene.
People with CF may be listed in a disease registry that allows researchers and doctors to track health results and identify candidates for clinical trials.
Couples who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy can have themselves tested for the CFTR gene mutations to determine the risk that their child will be born with cystic fibrosis. Testing is typically performed first on one or both parents and, if the risk of CF is high, testing on the fetus is performed. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends testing for couples who have a personal or close family history of CF, and they recommend that carrier testing be offered to all Caucasian couples and be made available to couples of other ethnic backgrounds.
Because development of CF in the fetus requires each parent to pass on a mutated copy of the CFTR gene and because CF testing is expensive, testing is often performed initially on one parent. If testing shows that parent is a CFTR gene mutation carrier, the other parent is tested to calculate the risk that their children will have CF. CF can result from more than a thousand different mutations, and as of 2006 it is not possible to test for each one. Testing analyzes the blood for the most common mutations such as F508most commercially available tests look for 32 or fewer different mutations. If a family has a known uncommon mutation, specific screening for that mutation can be performed. Because not all known mutations are found on current tests, a negative screen does not guarantee that a child will not have CF.
During pregnancy, testing can be performed on the placenta (chorionic villus sampling) or the fluid around the fetus (amniocentesis). However, chorionic villus sampling has a risk of fetal death of 1 in 100 and amniocentesis of 1 in 200; a recent study has indicated this may be much lower, approximately 1 in 1,600.
Economically, for carrier couples of cystic fibrosis, when comparing preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) with natural conception (NC) followed by prenatal testing and abortion of affected pregnancies, PGD provides net economic benefits up to a maternal age of approximately 40 years, after which NC, prenatal testing and abortion has higher economic benefit.
While there are no cures for cystic fibrosis, there are several treatment methods. The management of cystic fibrosis has improved significantly over the past 70 years. While infants born with cystic fibrosis 70 years ago would have been unlikely to live beyond their first year, infants today are likely to live well into adulthood. Recent advances in the treatment of cystic fibrosis have meant that an individual with cystic fibrosis can live a fuller life less encumbered by their condition. The cornerstones of management are proactive treatment of airway infection, and encouragement of good nutrition and an active lifestyle. Pulmonary rehabilitation as a management of cystic fibrosis continues throughout a person’s life, and is aimed at maximizing organ function, and therefore quality of life. At best, current treatments delay the decline in organ function. Because of the wide variation in disease symptoms, treatment typically occurs at specialist multidisciplinary centers, and is tailored to the individual. Targets for therapy are the lungs, gastrointestinal tract (including pancreatic enzyme supplements), the reproductive organs (including assisted reproductive technology (ART)) and psychological support.
The most consistent aspect of therapy in cystic fibrosis is limiting and treating the lung damage caused by thick mucus and infection, with the goal of maintaining quality of life. Intravenous, inhaled, and oral antibiotics are used to treat chronic and acute infections. Mechanical devices and inhalation medications are used to alter and clear the thickened mucus. These therapies, while effective, can be extremely time-consuming.
Many people with CF are on one or more antibiotics at all times, even when healthy, to prophylactically suppress infection. Antibiotics are absolutely necessary whenever pneumonia is suspected or there has been a noticeable decline in lung function, and are usually chosen based on the results of a sputum analysis and the person’s past response. This prolonged therapy often necessitates hospitalization and insertion of a more permanent IV such as a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line) or Port-a-Cath. Inhaled therapy with antibiotics such as tobramycin, colistin, and aztreonam is often given for months at a time to improve lung function by impeding the growth of colonized bacteria. Inhaled antibiotic therapy helps lung function by fighting infection, but also has significant drawbacks like development of antibiotic resistance, tinnitus and changes in the voice. Oral antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin or azithromycin are given to help prevent infection or to control ongoing infection. The aminoglycoside antibiotics (e.g. tobramycin) used can cause hearing loss, damage to the balance system in the inner ear or kidney problems with long-term use. To prevent these side-effects, the amount of antibiotics in the blood is routinely measured and adjusted accordingly.
Several mechanical techniques are used to dislodge sputum and encourage its expectoration. In the hospital setting, chest physiotherapy (CPT) is utilized; a respiratory therapist percusses an individual’s chest with his or her hands several times a day, to loosen up secretions. Devices that recreate this percussive therapy include the ThAIRapy Vest and the intrapulmonary percussive ventilator (IPV). Newer methods such as Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation, and associated clearance mode available in such devices, integrate a cough assistance phase, as well as a vibration phase for dislodging secretions. These are portable and adapted for home use.
Ivacaftor is an oral medication for the treatment of cystic fibrosis due to a number of specific mutations. It improves lung function by about 10%; however, as of 2014 is expensive.
Aerosolized medications that help loosen secretions include dornase alfa and hypertonic saline. Dornase is a recombinant human deoxyribonuclease, which breaks down DNA in the sputum, thus decreasing its viscosity.Denufosol is an investigational drug that opens an alternative chloride channel, helping to liquefy mucus. It is unclear if inhaled corticosteroids are useful.
As lung disease worsens, mechanical breathing support may become necessary. Individuals with CF may need to wear special masks at night that help push air into their lungs. These machines, known as bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) ventilators, help prevent low blood oxygen levels during sleep. BiPAP may also be used during physical therapy to improve sputum clearance. During severe illness, a tube may be placed in the throat (a procedure known as a tracheostomy) to enable breathing supported by a ventilator.
For children, preliminary studies show massage therapy may help people and their families quality of life. It is unclear what effect pneumococcal vaccination has as it has not been studied as of 2014.
Lung transplantation often becomes necessary for individuals with cystic fibrosis as lung function and exercise tolerance decline. Although single lung transplantation is possible in other diseases, individuals with CF must have both lungs replaced because the remaining lung might contain bacteria that could infect the transplanted lung. A pancreatic or liver transplant may be performed at the same time in order to alleviate liver disease and/or diabetes. Lung transplantation is considered when lung function declines to the point where assistance from mechanical devices is required or someone’s survival is threatened.
Newborns with intestinal obstruction typically require surgery, whereas adults with distal intestinal obstruction syndrome typically do not. Treatment of pancreatic insufficiency by replacement of missing digestive enzymes allows the duodenum to properly absorb nutrients and vitamins that would otherwise be lost in the feces. However, the best dosage and form of pancreatic enzyme replacement is unclear, as are the risks and long-term effectiveness of this treatment.
So far, no large-scale research involving the incidence of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease in adults with cystic fibrosis has been conducted. This is likely due to the fact that the vast majority of people with cystic fibrosis do not live long enough to develop clinically significant atherosclerosis or coronary heart disease.
Diabetes is the most common non-pulmonary complication of CF. It mixes features of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and is recognized as a distinct entity, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD). While oral anti-diabetic drugs are sometimes used, the only recommended treatment is the use of insulin injections or an insulin pump, and, unlike in type 1 and 2 diabetes, dietary restrictions are not recommended.
Development of osteoporosis can be prevented by increased intake of vitamin D and calcium, and can be treated by bisphosphonates, although adverse effects can be an issue. Poor growth may be avoided by insertion of a feeding tube for increasing calories through supplemental feeds or by administration of injected growth hormone.
Sinus infections are treated by prolonged courses of antibiotics. The development of nasal polyps or other chronic changes within the nasal passages may severely limit airflow through the nose, and over time reduce the person’s sense of smell. Sinus surgery is often used to alleviate nasal obstruction and to limit further infections. Nasal steroids such as fluticasone are used to decrease nasal inflammation.
Female infertility may be overcome by assisted reproduction technology, particularly embryo transfer techniques. Male infertility caused by absence of the vas deferens may be overcome with testicular sperm extraction (TESE), collecting sperm cells directly from the testicles. If the collected sample contains too few sperm cells to likely have a spontaneous fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection can be performed.Third party reproduction is also a possibility for women with CF. It is unclear if taking antioxidants affects outcomes.
The prognosis for cystic fibrosis has improved due to earlier diagnosis through screening, better treatment and access to health care. In 1959, the median age of survival of children with cystic fibrosis in the United States was six months. In 2010, survival is estimated to be 37 years for women and 40 for men. In Canada, median survival increased from 24 years in 1982 to 47.7 in 2007.
Of those with cystic fibrosis who are more than 18 years old as of 2009, 92% had graduated from high school, 67% had at least some college education, 15% were disabled and 9% were unemployed, 56% were single and 39% were married or living with a partner.
Chronic illnesses can be very difficult to manage. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic illness that affects the “digestive and respiratory tracts resulting in generalized malnutrition and chronic respiratory infections”. The thick secretions clog the airways in the lungs, which often cause inflammation and severe lung infections. If it is compromised, it affects the quality of life of someone with CF and their ability to complete such tasks as everyday chores. It is important for CF patients to understand the detrimental relationship that chronic illnesses place on the quality of life. According to Schmitz and Goldbeck (2006), the fact that cystic fibrosis significantly increases emotional stress on both the individual and the family, “and the necessary time-consuming daily treatment routine may have further negative effects on quality of life (QOL)”. However, Havermans and colleagues (2006) have shown that young outpatients with CF who have participated in the CFQ-R (Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised) “rated some QOL domains higher than did their parents”. Consequently, outpatients with CF have a more positive outlook for themselves. Furthermore, there are many ways to improve the QOL in CF patients. Exercise is promoted to increase lung function. Integrating an exercise regimen into the CF patients daily routine can significantly improve the quality of life. There is no definitive cure for cystic fibrosis. However, there are diverse medications used, such as mucolytics, bronchodilators, steroids, and antibiotics, that have the purpose of loosening mucus, expanding airways, decreasing inflammation, and fighting lung infections.
Cystic fibrosis is the most common life-limiting autosomal recessive disease among people of European heritage. In the United States, approximately 30,000 individuals have CF; most are diagnosed by six months of age. In Canada, there are approximately 4,000 people with CF. Approximately 1 in 25 people of European descent, and one in 30 of Caucasian Americans, is a carrier of a cystic fibrosis mutation. Although CF is less common in these groups, approximately 1 in 46 Hispanics, 1 in 65 Africans and 1 in 90 Asians carry at least one abnormal CFTR gene. Ireland has the world’s highest prevalence of cystic fibrosis, at 1:1353.
Although technically a rare disease, cystic fibrosis is ranked as one of the most widespread life-shortening genetic diseases. It is most common among nations in the Western world. An exception is Finland, where only one in 80 people carry a CF mutation. The World Health Organization states that “In the European Union, 1 in 20003000 newborns is found to be affected by CF”. In the United States, 1 in 3,500 children are born with CF. In 1997, about 1 in 3,300 caucasian children in the United States was born with cystic fibrosis. In contrast, only 1 in 15,000 African American children suffered from cystic fibrosis, and in Asian Americans the rate was even lower at 1 in 32,000.
Cystic fibrosis is diagnosed in males and females equally. For reasons that remain unclear, data has shown that males tend to have a longer life expectancy than females, however recent studies suggest this gender gap may no longer exist perhaps due to improvements in health care facilities, while a recent study from Ireland identified a link between the female hormone estrogen and worse outcomes in CF.
The distribution of CF alleles varies among populations. The frequency of F508 carriers has been estimated at 1:200 in northern Sweden, 1:143 in Lithuanians, and 1:38 in Denmark. No F508 carriers were found among 171 Finns and 151 Saami people. F508 does occur in Finland, but it is a minority allele there. Cystic fibrosis is known to occur in only 20 families (pedigrees) in Finland.
The F508 mutation is estimated to be up to 52,000 years old. Numerous hypotheses have been advanced as to why such a lethal mutation has persisted and spread in the human population. Other common autosomal recessive diseases such as sickle-cell anemia have been found to protect carriers from other diseases, a concept known as heterozygote advantage. Resistance to the following have all been proposed as possible sources of heterozygote advantage:
It is supposed that CF appeared about 3,000 BC because of migration of peoples, gene mutations, and new conditions in nourishment. Although the entire clinical spectrum of CF was not recognized until the 1930s, certain aspects of CF were identified much earlier. Indeed, literature from Germany and Switzerland in the 18th century warned “Wehe dem Kind, das beim Ku auf die Stirn salzig schmekt, er ist verhext und muss bald sterbe” or “Woe to the child who tastes salty from a kiss on the brow, for he is cursed and soon must die,” recognizing the association between the salt loss in CF and illness.
In the 19th century, Carl von Rokitansky described a case of fetal death with meconium peritonitis, a complication of meconium ileus associated with cystic fibrosis. Meconium ileus was first described in 1905 by Karl Landsteiner. In 1936, Guido Fanconi published a paper describing a connection between celiac disease, cystic fibrosis of the pancreas, and bronchiectasis.
In 1938 Dorothy Hansine Andersen published an article, “Cystic Fibrosis of the Pancreas and Its Relation to Celiac Disease: a Clinical and Pathological Study,” in the American Journal of Diseases of Children. She was the first to describe the characteristic cystic fibrosis of the pancreas and to correlate it with the lung and intestinal disease prominent in CF. She also first hypothesized that CF was a recessive disease and first used pancreatic enzyme replacement to treat affected children. In 1952 Paul di SantAgnese discovered abnormalities in sweat electrolytes; a sweat test was developed and improved over the next decade.
The first linkage between CF and another marker (Paroxonase) was found in 1985 by Hans Eiberg, indicating that only one locus exists for CF. In 1988 the first mutation for CF, F508 was discovered by Francis Collins, Lap-Chee Tsui and John R. Riordan on the seventh chromosome. Subsequent research has found over 1,000 different mutations that cause CF.
Because mutations in the CFTR gene are typically small, classical genetics techniques had been unable to accurately pinpoint the mutated gene. Using protein markers, gene-linkage studies were able to map the mutation to chromosome 7. Chromosome-walking and -jumping techniques were then used to identify and sequence the gene. In 1989 Lap-Chee Tsui led a team of researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto that discovered the gene responsible for CF. Cystic fibrosis represents a classic example of how a human genetic disorder was elucidated strictly by the process of forward genetics.
Gene therapy has been explored as a potential cure for cystic fibrosis. Results from trials have shown limited success as of 2013. A small study published in 2015 found a small benefit.
The focus of much cystic fibrosis gene therapy research is aimed at trying to place a normal copy of the CFTR gene into affected cells. Transferring the normal CFTR gene into the affected epithelium cells would result in the production of functional CFTR in all target cells, without adverse reactions or an inflammation response. Studies have shown that to prevent the lung manifestations of cystic fibrosis, only 510% the normal amount of CFTR gene expression is needed. Multiple approaches have been tested for gene transfer, such as liposomes and viral vectors in animal models and clinical trials. However, both methods were found to be relatively inefficient treatment options. The main reason is that very few cells take up the vector and express the gene, so the treatment has little effect. Additionally, problems have been noted in cDNA recombination, such that the gene introduced by the treatment is rendered unusable. There has been a functional repair in culture of CFTR by CRISPR/Cas9 in intestinal stem cell organoids of cystic fibrosis patients.
A number of small molecules that aim at compensating various mutations of the CFTR gene are under development. One approach is to develop drugs that get the ribosome to overcome the stop codon and synthesize a full-length CFTR protein. About 10% of CF result from a premature stop codon in the DNA, leading to early termination of protein synthesis and truncated proteins. These drugs target nonsense mutations such as G542X, which consists of the amino acid glycine in position 542 being replaced by a stop codon. Aminoglycoside antibiotics interfere with protein synthesis and error-correction. In some cases, they can cause the cell to overcome a premature stop codon by inserting a random amino acid, thereby allowing expression of a full-length protein. The aminoglycoside gentamicin has been used to treat lung cells from CF patients in the laboratory to induce the cells to grow full-length proteins. Another drug targeting nonsense mutations is ataluren, which is undergoing Phase III clinical trials as of October 2011[update].
It is unclear as of 2014 if ursodeoxycholic acid is useful for those with cystic fibrosis-related liver disease.
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Posted: March 26, 2016 at 3:45 am
March 8, 2016
(Fortune) As the Baby Boomer generation heads toward retirement, the number of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to hit 69 million people by 2030. That represents 20% of the U.S. population, up from todays share of Read More
March 2, 2016
PLOS Medicine(vol.13, no. 2,2016) is available online by subscription only. Articles include: Transforming Living Kidney Donation with a Comprehensive Strategy by Matthew B. Allen and Peter P. Reese The Rise of Consumer Health Wearables: Promises and Barriers by Lukasz Piwek, Read More
March 1, 2016
Bioethics(vol. 30, no. 3,2016) is available online by subscription only. Articles include: The Ashley Treatment: Improving Quality of Life or Infringing Dignity and Rights? by Caroline Harnacke The Ethics of Continued Life-Sustaining Treatment for Those Diagnosed as Brain-Dead by Jessica Read More
February 16, 2016
The Journal of the American Medical Association(vol. 315, no. 6, 2016) is available online by subscription only. Articles include: Machine Learning and the Profession of Medicine by Alison M. Darcy, Alan K. Louie, and Laura Weiss Roberts Policy Solutions for Read More
February 4, 2016
Science and Engineering Ethics(vol. 22, no. 1, 2016) is available online by subscription only. Articles include: The Convergence of Virtual Reality and Social Networks: Threats to Privacy and Autonomy by Fiachra OBrolchain, et al. Robotic Nudges: The Ethics of Engineering Read More
January 28, 2016
(CBS News) Its a pursuit that seems more like the plot of a science fiction movie than an actual goal of serious researchers around the world. But a number of scientists are fiercely working toward what was once only Read More
January 27, 2016
Scientific American(vol. 314, no. 2, 2016) is available online by subscription only. Articles include: Beware Prenatal Gene Screens Even Genius Needs a Benefactor by Nathan Myhrvold Talk Therapy by Anne Pycha For Sale: Your Medical Records by Adam Tanner Bitter Read More
January 15, 2016
Nursing Philosophy(vol. 17, no. 1, 2016) is available online by subscription only. Articles include: Radical Nursing and the Emergence of Technique as Healthcare Technology by Alan Barnard Cyborgs, Biotechnologies, and Informatics in Health CareNew Paradigms in Nursing Sciences by Ana Read More
January 14, 2016
Journal of Bioethical Inquiry(vol. 12, no. 4, 2015) is available online by subscription only. Articles include: Vaccine Refusal and Trust: The Trouble with Coercion and Education and Suggestions for a Cure by Johan Christiaan Bester Intellectual Property in Genetic Material Read More
December 29, 2015
(The Washington Post) But the discussion reflects a broader truth: We live in an age in which machine intelligence has become a part of daily life. Computers fly planes and soon will drive cars. Computer algorithms anticipate our needs Read More
Posted: March 16, 2015 at 4:41 pm
Politics By Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, Mon, March 16, 2015
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, more than 16 million Americans now have health insurance.
According to The Huffington Post, Health and Human Services issued a report that found the uninsured rate has fallen from 20.3 percent in October 2013, when enrollment in Obamacare was opened, to 12.3 percent this year. Health and Human Services partnered with the polling company Gallup to determine the number of people who now have health insurance.
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act almost five years ago, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health coverage — the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews wrote in a statement.
In addition to enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, another 14.1 million people acquired health insurance by joining a private plan or Medicaid.
The government plans to push for more sign-ups and will spend $1.2 trillion over the next decade expanding health coverage. That estimate is lower than what the Congressional Budget Office projected in January.
The fate of Obamacare still hangs in the balance. The Supreme Court is considering the case of King v. Burwell, which could result in 9.6 million people becoming uninsured if the court rules in favor of David King, jacking up the price of healthcare.
Source: The Huffington Post Image via Healthcare Costs/Flickr
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16.4 Million People Now Have Health Insurance Due To Obamacare
Posted: March 10, 2015 at 3:44 am
2015 1st Annual UCLA HBA Healthcare Conference: Lunch Keynote – Peter Diamandis
Peter H. Diamandis, M.D. X PRIZE Foundation, Chairman CEO Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), Co-Founder Vice-Chairman.
By: UCLA Anderson HBA
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2015 1st Annual UCLA HBA Healthcare Conference: Lunch Keynote – Peter Diamandis – Video
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Adults with the common chronic skin condition eczema had higher out-of-pocket health care costs, more lost workdays, poorer overall health, more health care utilization and impaired access to care compared to adults without eczema, according to an article published online by JAMA Dermatology.
The prevalence of adult eczema (or atopic dermatitis, AD) is estimated to be about 10.2 percent in U.S. adults and similarly about 10.7 percent in U.S. children. However, little is known about the direct and indirect costs of adult eczema and recent cost estimates for the disease are lacking, according to the study background.
Jonathan I. Silverberg, M.D., Ph.D, M.P.H., of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, examined those costs by analyzing data from two population-based studies between 2010 and 2012 that surveyed 27,157 and 34,613 adults, respectively.
The study results show that adults with eczema paid more than $37.7 billion and $29.3 billion in out-of-pocket health care costs in 2010 and 2012, respectively (an average of $371 and $489 per person-year). Adults with eczema also were more likely to have six or more lost workdays due to any cause than those adults without eczema, and having eczema was associated with increased odds of physician visits, urgent care or emergency department visits, and hospitalizations. There also were differences in access to care, including adults with eczema being unable to afford prescription medications and having higher odds of delayed care because they cannot get a medical appointment soon enough, reach a physician’s office or having to wait too long to see a physician. Adults with eczema also were more likely to have delayed care or no care because of worry about the related costs, according to the results.
“This study demonstrates that adults with eczema have a major health burden with significantly increased health care utilization and costs. Future studies are needed to identify the determinants of health care utilization and access in adults with eczema,” the study concludes.
(JAMA Dermatology. Published online march 4, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.5432. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://media.jamanetwork.com.)
Editor’s Note: This study was made possible with support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Media Advisory: To contact author Jonathan I. Silverberg, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., call Marla Paul at 312-503-8928 or email email@example.com.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
Posted: January 19, 2015 at 2:43 am
Nick Webb | Healthcare Futurist
http://www.crownspeakers.com/nick-webb/ For more information on Nicholas J. Webb please contact Crown Speakers Bureau at 1.877.8-TALENT (1.877.882.5368) or v…
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Nick Webb | Healthcare Futurist – Video
Posted: November 25, 2014 at 3:48 pm
With an MBA from the University of Chicago (2006) and an MSc from the Compigne University of Technology (1997), David Del Bourgo has combined education in management and biomedical engineering. He has acquired 17 years of experience in marketing and sales development within the healthcare industry.
Before joining Genomic Vision, David Del Bourgo was VP Sales and Marketing at Theraclion, which specializes in therapeutic ultrasound equipment. After joining the company in 2009, he instigated Theraclions marketing strategy, developed the network of key opinion leaders and deployed the direct and indirect sales of an innovative echotherapy solution, which established the company as a major player in the treatment of tumors by ultrasound.
From 2006 to 2009, David was Director of Corporate Development and Marketing at Orbotech, a NASDAQ-listed Israeli electronics company, where he notably contributed to the growth of their medical division and led the acquisition of a Danish company specializing in nuclear cardiology (turnover of $30 million). His other positions have included Manager in Strategic Consulting at Advention Business Partners (2005-2006) and various positions at General Electric Healthcare, where he was initially a researcher (1997) before being appointed International Product Marketing Manager (2001-2003).
At Genomic Vision, Davids mission has begun with the setting up of a Sales and Marketing team, which is already operational, consisting of product specialists and a field team whose aim will be to promote the Companys innovative genetic tests among the main European diagnostic centers.
Aaron Bensimon, Genomic Visions co-founder and Chairman, says: We are very pleased to be able to count on a manager with such experience at Genomic Vision. David and his team are highly driven by their objective of deploying our international marketing strategy. His expertise and knowledge of the sector represent real assets in identifying sales opportunities for the genetic tests we are developing, and notably those targeting breast and colon cancer, which are scheduled to be launched in 2015.
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ABOUT GENOMIC VISION A spinoffof the Institut Pasteur, Genomic Vision is a molecular diagnostics company specialized in developing diagnostic tests for genetic diseases and cancers. Using molecular combing, an innovative technology that allows the direct visualization of individual DNA molecules, Genomic Vision detects quantitative and qualitative variations in the genome that are at the origin of numerous serious pathologies. Having benefited from the financial support of the Institut Pasteur, SGAM AI, Vesalius Biocapital and Quest Diagnostics, the Company is developing a solid portfolio of tests that notably target breast cancer and cancer of the colon. Since 2013, the Company has marketed the CombHeliX FSHD test for identifying a myopathy that is difficult to detect, Facio-scapulo-humeral dystrophy (FSHD), in the United States thanks to a strategic alliance with Quest Diagnostics, the American leader in diagnostic laboratory tests, and in France.
ABOUT MOLECULAR COMBING DNA molecular combing technology considerably improves the structural and functional analysis of DNA molecules. DNA fibers are stretched out on glass slides, as if combed, and uniformly aligned over the whole surface. It is then possible to identify genetic anomalies by locating genes or specific sequences in a patients genome using genetic markers, an approach developed by Genomic Vision and patented under the name Genomic Morse Code. This exploration of the entire genome at high resolution via a simple analysis enables the direct visualization of genetic anomalies that are undetectable by other technologies.
For further information, please go to http://www.genomicvision.com
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Genomic Vision Appoints David Del Bourgo as Head of Sales and Marketing
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Are you prepared for the future of medicine? – The Medical Futurist
The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Technology and the Human Touch is an examination of the trends that are fast approaching on the healthcare horizon, and …
By: The Medical Futurist