February 26, 2001 |
The good life is what brought David Clark to the Beverly Hills office of radiologist Stephen Koch. Good food and drink, tobacco and any other pleasant poison the 42-year-old ran through his system before thinking much about health. "Hey, I smoked a pack a day for six years, back when I was in my teens, and I still like to go out; I like my martinis," says Clark, a business consultant living in Santa Monica. "And I'm thinking, 'Have I screwed myself up?
March 11, 2013 |
People tend to think of heart disease as a scourge of modern life, brought on by vices such as greasy fast food, smoking and the tendency to be a couch potato. But 21st century CT scans of 137 antique mummies gathered from three continents show that hardened arteries have probably plagued mankind for thousands of years - even in places like the Aleutian Islands, where hunter-gatherers subsisted on a heart-healthy marine diet and occasional snacks of berries. Fully a third of the mummies examined - who lived in the American Southwest and Alaska as well as Egypt and Peru as much as 5,000 years ago - appeared to have the same vascular blockages that cause heart attacks and strokes in Americans today.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2009 |
More than 200 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center were inappropriately exposed to high doses of radiation from CT brain scans used to diagnose strokes, hospital officials told The Times on Friday. About 40% of the patients lost patches of hair as a result of the overdoses, a hospital spokesman said. Even so, the overdoses went undetected for 18 months as patients received eight times the dose normally delivered in the procedure, raising questions about why it took Cedars-Sinai so long to notice that something was wrong.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2009 |
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center did not tell all 206 patients who received radiation overdoses during CT scans of the hospital's error, according to the accounts of four people who said they only came to understand what happened to them through news reports. In a statement last week, hospital officials said all the patients had been contacted "in the interest of keeping them informed." But in interviews with The Times, four people said that although they were called and questioned by Cedars-Sinai radiologists last month, the doctors neither acknowledged any error nor explained that the patients had been exposed to eight times more radiation than necessary.
June 7, 2010 |
I have had bad headaches for years and have tried just about everything from acetaminophen and ibuprofen to prescription pain relievers. They help a little, but the headaches always return with a vengeance. I was told to stay away from perfume and scented products, and that helps a little. Do you have any other natural approaches to recommend? Identifying headache triggers like perfume, aspartame, MSG or secondhand smoke can sometimes help. Frequent use of pain relievers may cause rebound headaches, and quitting can be challenging.
May 2, 2012 |
In case you missed it, a recommendation came out last month that physicians cut back on using 45 common tests and treatments. In addition, patients were advised to question doctors who recommend such things as antibiotics for mild sinusitis, CT scans for an uncomplicated headache or a repeat colonoscopy within 10 years of a normal exam. The general idea wasn't all that new - my colleagues and I have been questioning many of the same tests and treatments for years. What was different this time was the source of the recommendations.
September 1, 2003 |
Although no major medical association recommends elective CT scans and research increasingly points to its risks, the reality is that many people still see them as a way to make sure their health is fine. Here's a list of things to consider before having a test done: Assess your risk. Most proponents of self-referred CT screens recommend that only high-risk patients, such as former or current smokers or those with a family history of heart diseases, get the scan.
June 30, 2011
Screening heavy smokers for lung cancer does reduce deaths, without leading to too many dangerous follow-up tests, and researchers now have the numbers to prove it. That question would appear to be settled. But the cash to implement such a program … now that’s another issue entirely. The analysis validating lung-cancer screening via spiral CT scans comes from a trial of more than 53,000 patients. Researchers found that giving smokers and ex-smokers chest CT scans could reduce lung cancer deaths by 20%. In another way of interpreting the data, 320 smokers and ex-smokers needed to be screened to prevent one death. The full story is in this Los Angeles Times article . For many diseases, screening is often deemed “not worth it” in part because of the harm done to people who test positive but don’t have the disease (false positives)
August 18, 2010 |
From the size and shape of the beak, researchers have always known that the massive South American "terror bird" was a predator. Now they know precisely how the bird killed — wielding its huge skull and hooked beak like an pickax and repeatedly chopping at prey until it succumbed. The 5-foot-tall, 90-pound Andalgalornis steulleti , whose skull was nearly twice the size of a human's, went extinct millions of years ago, but Argentine and U.S. researchers have been using CT scans and biomechanical reconstructions to deduce how the flightless predators killed.