May 26, 2005

Health & Medicine

The developing world is experiencing a serious medical brain drain, as developed countries lure their doctors and nurses away. This passage describes the effects on a maternity ward in Ghana:

... At the weekly meeting of the hospital's directors, Professor Frimpong-Boateng spelt out the impact of the lack of staff.

"We have a handful of midwives in the country and they are not able to monitor women in labour. At least 60 per cent of the babies in the neonatal intensive care unit were born at full term but were deprived of oxygen at birth because of the lack of staff - something that would be rare in the UK."

In this poverty-stricken country, where many families survive on 30 a month, the high medical bills that follow a spell in intensive care have a shocking consequence for the mothers who have spent agonising weeks worrying whether their children would live or die. Babies discharged from the intensive care unit - a beacon of excellence amid the dilapidated buildings - are transferred to a side room to await payment of the bill. ...

Steve Levitt elaborates on the connection between abortion and the crime rate.

In a news item that sounds as though the fabric of reality itself was mocking James Dobson and Jerry Falwell, it turns out that birth control pills reduce libido.

HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death in all but one of South Africa's provinces.

Witnessing or being the victim of a violent act increases the likelihood of a teen committing a violent crime for up to 2 years after the incident.

Pesticide use has been linked to a moderately increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative condition that degrades motor control and can cause spasms and tremors.

Iraq war veterans suffering from an epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Strokes are more deadly for African Americans.

Anti-social and psychopathic behavior may have an inherited component, though environmental factors such as treatment by caregivers and malnutrition also play a part. Head over to Orcinus for Dave Neiwert's take on how stopping bullying early on can also decrease the likelihood that people will go on to commit hate crimes.

Secondhand smoke decreases fertility in those undergoing IVF procedures as much as if the patient herself were actively smoking.

The much-maligned Kudzu vine may hold an antidote to binge drinking. An extract appears to make the subject feel drunk faster, decreasing the desire to drink more alcohol.

Posted by natasha at May 26, 2005 08:19 PM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |