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My State Fair art tour — a walk on the wild, seedy side

This year, I arrived at the Minnesota Great Get-Together armed with details because Janet, Carol and Mark had already spent at least one 12-hour day scoping out every piece of seed art and every scarecrow in the Agriculture Building, every quilt and

Study tries to resuscitate hormone therapy for menopause

Ever since the stunning 2002 findings from the massive, randomized, double-blinded Women’s Health Initiative study, hormone therapy as a “treatment” for menopause has been on life support.

Our cells would be lost without telomeres

The State Fair is coming up, which makes me think of one of those Midway-style booths where, for a buck or two, a carnie with a startling degree of gum recession will guess your age or weight. If he’s right, he keeps all the money.

How eating fish protects the aging brain

Eating broiled or baked fish high in omega-3 fatty acids at least once a week is linked to a lower risk of memory loss and stroke in older adults. That bit of health news you may know. What you may not know is why.

Midriff to midriff: Is the low-fat diet going belly up?

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reminds me of the old joke, “Want to lose 10 pounds of ugly fat? Chop off your head.” What to make of the various diets that have left us fatter than ever.

Plight of the Uninsured: What would it take to solve it?

First in a series Another death of another uninsured Minnesotan leads to provocative questions about why more than 7 percent of us lack insurance — questions Casey Selix will explore in an occasional series on health care, beginning

CDC gives state a ‘C’ for breastfeeding support

In a first-of-its-kind national report on breastfeeding practices, Minnesota’s hospitals scored an unimpressive 65 out of 100. That means we’re only average, compared to other states, in encouraging new moms to breastfeed.

Take the tick quiz

The cold and flu season is behind us. The tick and mosquito season has arrived. Prepare thyself. Take my quiz. 

Room for improvement: Minnesota’s DWI rankings

As a physician I believe that the acute effects of alcohol on the human brain are really a continuum of impairment, and that Minnesota’s current blood-alcohol-level (BAL) of 0.08 is a silly contrivance: as if a driver is drunk at 0.08 and entirely s

Ghostwriting in medicine: Would the real author please step forward?

There’s an expectation that doctors be of high moral character. An article in the April 16 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) calls that into question. The white coat may have turned a shade of gray. Read more…

These are a few of my favorite booths at ACC show

My addiction to the annual American Craft Council show in St. Paul is evident in the number of postcards I receive each year offering me a discount. Some years, I’ve received a half-dozen or so depending on my purchases the previous year.

Chest compressions anyone? CPR for bystanders

CPR just got easier. Anyone can do something. All you need is a cell phone, two free hands and the beat of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.” Because when it comes to sudden cardiac arrest, chest compressions alone are better than nothing.

More head-scratching with latest Zetia study

You can’t feel hypertension or atherosclerosis, but a blood pressure cuff around the arm will give you a fairly accurate measure of the pressure your blood vessels are under.