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Latest Posts

Statin Use Is Increasing Dramatically – Are Americans Healthier For It?

Baseball fans have the Baseball Prospectus annual. Political junkies can get their fix from Nate Silver’s 538 blog.

For those of us with geeky interest in health and medicine statistics, graphs, and charts, the Health, United States, 2010 report from the National Center for Health Statistics is that kind of treat. The 41 charts and graphs and 148 trend tables in the 2010 report (it’s dated 2010 but was released earlier this year) could keep me happily occupied for hours.

One graph that really caught my eye shows the percentage of Americans that take a statin. Statins are prescribed mainly to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, but they may have other benefits, too. The statins include atorvastatin (sold as Lipitor), rosuvastatin (sold as Crestor), and simvastatin (sold as Zocor but also available as a generic ).

Here is the graph I am talking about:

Many Americans take statins. No surprise there. But half of men, ages to 65 to 74, and 39% of women, ages 75 and older—that’s pretty stunning. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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