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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.

Large bellies linked to dementia

Get out the tape measure.According to a new study in today’s online issue of Neurology, your waist circumference at midlife may be a good indicator of your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in your 70s or beyond. Read more…

Even good hospitals make mystifying mistakes

By Dr. Craig BowronFriday, March 21, 2008 Monday’s announcement by Methodist Hospital that a surgeon on staff mistakenly removed a patient’s healthy kidney proves once again that a hospital, even a really good hospital, can be a dangerous place.

Happy Pi Day!

It’s Pi Day — time to celebrate both the irrational and transcendental nature of the number. Pies, naturally, are the favored treats for mathematicians’ celebrations.

Transported by Mozart, under the Masonic eye

I almost spent Tuesday night channel-surfing between political pundits and a rerun of “NCIS.” But thanks to my friend John Dingley, I found myself seated in the Triune Masonic Temple in St.

Diet Coke and heart disease: The whole truth?

This year, Diet Coke is sponsoring The Heart Truth, a 10-city nationwide road show created in 2002 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to promote heart disease awareness among women.The show is making its first stop this weekend

Study causing some chest pains over cholesterol drug

The real purpose of cholesterol-lowering medications like Lipitor is to reduce atherosclerosis, the buildup of cholesterol within the lining of blood vessels.
Since it’s impractical to peek inside blood vessels to see how our treatment is going, we