HealthWise at 5 From 8.16 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/16/02

HealthWise at 5 From 8.16

  • Female Doctors Really Feel Your Pain

New research finds female doctors are more emotionally in tune with their patients. This comes from a review of several previous studies on doctor-patient communication. Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health say female primary care physicians in general spend more time talking to their patients and have more positive, social and emotionally focused conversations with patients than male doctors. Researchers add the findings are likely no surprise to doctors because women, in general, are more communicative than men. You'll find that report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

  • Bacteria May Cause COPD

Clever bacteria may be the deadly culprit in millions of patients who suffer from serious lung disorders. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, COPD, means the airways are blocked by illnesses like Emphysema or Chronic Bronchitis. It's the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. Now, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals certain bacteria in COPD patients is repeatedly changing itself over time. Keeping one step ahead of their immune system.

Researchers say this may help explain why patients with normal immune systems get recurrent infections that worsen their symptoms. Investigators are hoping their findings will lead to new ways to keep up with the sneaky bacteria and better protect patients with COPD. It's estimated that tens of millions people in the U.S. suffer with COPD, many go undiagnosed. The study was conducted by researchers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo, New York and is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

  • A Banana a Day Helps Keep Stroke at Bay

You've heard that a baby aspirin a day can help prevent heart attacks. If a banana a day sounds a little more tasty a new theory suggests we do that too. You know bananas are rich in potassium, and researchers in the Journal of the American Heart Association have linked potassium levels with your risk of stroke. The study followed 5,600 people over the age of 65 for four to eight years. They found those with the lowest potassium levels were the most likely to suffer a stroke. Likewise, patients with the highest potassium levels were the least likely to develop a stroke. But experts stress more research is needed before we all go banana crazy.

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