Category: Medical Research - Part 2

Womb may hold secrets to curbing obesity, diabetes

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Wellness and weight loss programs that target adults may come decades too late. Secrets to curbing the obesity epidemic and reversing skyrocketing diabetes rates may be hidden in the womb. Ironically, babies starved of nutrients for a variety of reasons in utero may grow up to have defective metabolic and organ systems that crave calories and can cause obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Researchers have found that a striking 25 to 63 percent of adult diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease (cases) can be attributed to the effects of low birth weight. (Click here to read…

Opinion: Regulating pot: Time to put public health and safety first

By Dr. Christian Thurstone Because Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed me to serve on a task force charged with recommending to the state legislature how to implement a constitutional amendment making recreational marijuana use legal in this state, I have become more aware of potential harms to public health and safety that Coloradans should know about. In the interest of full disclosure, I have not hidden my thoughts about marijuana legalization. It is wrong not only for the health and well-being of Colorado, but for our nation and I have every reason to believe many people will learn this the very hard way. I am working to help…

Less money for health, more for preschool

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Spend less on health care and much more on preschool. Thats the prescription that an international expert on health disparities gave Thursday in Denver to help reverse inequities that leave low-income racial and ethnic minorities much sicker and facing shorter life expectancies than wealthier whites. Health care should get less (funding) and education should get more, said Dr. Paula Braveman. Early childhood development should get the lions share. Having a strong social safety net would make health indicators look a lot better. Braveman is director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University…

Red meat linked to cancer, heart disease, shortened lifespans

By Mary Winter Few foods say good times like a sizzling 16-ounce rib eye. For generations, Americans have celebrated milestones, successes and summer get-togethers with a juicy slab of fat-marbled beef, and for most of us, a trip to a pricey steak house is still an occasion. If that occasional steak were the only red meat we ate, many health experts would be thrilled. But today, Americans consume an average of 74 pounds of red meat (beef, veal, pork and lamb) per person each year much of it in the form of fast-food burgers and processed meats such as bacon,…

‘Genius’ honored for preventing repeat hospitalizations

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon The MacArthur Foundation has honored a Colorado doctor with a $500,000 genius grant for his work to help chronically ill older adults stay well. University of Colorado School of Medicine geriatrician, Dr. Eric Coleman, has won the prestigious MacArthur fellowship for creating the concept of low cost transition coaches. The coaches provide relatively simple support to chronically ill older adults and their caregivers for a month after hospitals release the patient. His program is called Care Transitions Intervention. The issue is critically important because hospital readmissions are costing taxpayers an estimated $17.5 billion dollars a year. Studies have found that nearly one in five Medicare patients returns to the hospital within a month…

Opinion: Active lifestyle key to good health, weight control

By James O. Hill Every day we get inundated with information about what to eat, but unfortunately, that information is often confusing and conflicting. Eat a diet high in carbohydrate and low in fat. No wait. Eat a diet low in carbohydrate and high in fat. I dont blame the public for being confused. What is the best diet? You may be surprised to know that the best diet for you depends on whether you are an athlete or a couch potato. Being physically active keeps your metabolism working optimally and affects the way your body uses food for fuel….

Venture philanthropy new cure for deadly diseases

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Once certain that he would die young, the man born with the deadly disease now dreams of growing old. Im going to be a grandfather someday. Im going to have a really long life, says Bill Elder, a 25-year-old Stanford graduate who is now applying for medical school. Thats because of a blue pill and a new trend in drug development called venture philanthropy. Elder has cystic fibrosis (CF). Its known as an orphan disease because so few people have it only about 30,000 in the U.S. and about 70,000 worldwide so there is little incentive…

Opinion: Any alcohol during pregnancy is a risk

By Chris Lindley Most pregnant women across the United States listen to and rely on sound medical advice from their doctors and other health experts when determining how to protect the health of their unborn babies. Dont drink during pregnancy is a message based on evidence that resonates with most expectant mothers and contributes to the health of future generations. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment would like to reinforce that message with a critique of a recent study that suggests moderate drinking during pregnancy is not harmful to young children. On June 20, a Danish research article titled, The Effects…

Opinion: Stigma a barrier to HIV treatment despite medical advances

By Ben Young and David Cohn The first seven cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) diagnosed in Colorado were discovered in 1982. By the end of 2011, almost 17,000 people in Colorado had been diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, and more than 5,000 had died from complications of the disease. These are not just numbers. They represent people our children, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, partners, friends, neighbors and colleagues. Today, we know more about HIV. Many of these advances over the past 30 years can be linked to Colorados role in…

Prostate test cost-benefit clash gets to heart of health care debate

By Diane Carman Peering into the controversy over routine use of the blood test to screen for the prostate-specific antigen is like falling down, down, down into the dark and bewildering rabbit hole that is the health care system in the United States. In many ways the debate over the PSA test illustrates why the system is so confounding, expensive, unmanageable and resistant to change. As men, their providers and policy experts wrestle with the PSA conundrum, recent battles over mammography and hormone replacement therapy illustrate key lessons. When women learned that there was potential harm from annual breast screening…