American Medical News drew my attention to a recent study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. Among the surprising findings, 62% of women surveyed (all over the age of 50) said that their weight or shape negatively impacted their life, and 13.3% had eating disorders. About 7.5% of respondents admitted to trying diet pills to lose weight, while 2.2% used laxatives, and 1.2% vomited to reduce their weight (aka bulimia).
Eating disorder treatment facilities have noticed a surge in older patients, including one center that experienced a 42% increase in the number of women older than 35 seeking treatment at its clinics nationwide over the past decade.
Healthcare providers should be aware that eating disorders are not just a problem for young women. Women of all ages are now struggling with a rail-thin beauty ideal in a country of rising obesity rates, sedentary lifestyles, and ubiquitous junk food. And for older women with eating disorders, the health risks of osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, and cardiovascular abnormalities are much higher.
Perhaps primary care physicians should include an eating disorder questionnaire in their regular visits with boomers? We may be surprised by the prevalence of this issue, and I bet that many of our patients will be glad we asked.
I live on the West Coast, where it is rare to see a smoker. Because it is not socially accepted, smokers are not out in the open. They lurk behind buildings to take a smoke break at work and I don’t even own an ashtray for friends because none of my friends smoke. But San Francisco isn’t the rest of America. In 2010 there were 45.5 million Americans who smoke, with men smoking more than women. Tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Each year approximately 433,000 people die of smoking-related illness.
Here are some more stats on American adult smokers. The highest prevalence is American Indians/Alaska Natives (31.4%) followed by whites (21%). Smoking incidence decreases with increasing education and improved economics. By region, the Midwest has the most smokers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia (22-27%). That is huge.
California and Utah have the lowest percentage of adult smokers at Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery publishes statistics every year indicating which cosmetic operations are on the rise. A journalist at the OC Register asked a group of plastic surgeons why this might be. Being that I am opinionated (why do you think I blog here,) I figured I’d take a shot at some of these:
I. Statistic: TEENS – Nosejobs and Otoplasty (commonly referred to as “ear pinning”) on the rise
Dr D: Part of the development of the teen psyche involves becoming aware of social norms. As they do this, they also become aware of differences and develop standards of beauty. Many of these teen nose jobs are justified as medically-needed, but appearance usually factors in. Otoplasty is a similarly social operation.
II. Statistic: YOUNG ADULTS – Breast implants. Ages 19-34. 166,000 a year. (ASAPS)
Dr D: “Beauty standards” are important motivators here as well. Young adults in the workplace (and social groups) see those around them doing these things and often being complimented. Some of these patients may also be seeking after childbirth “body repair.”
III. Statistic: EARLY MIDDLE AGE – Liposuction. Ages 35-50. 143,000 a year. (ASAPS)
Dr D: A slowing metabolism in this age group combined with more involved work schedules (with increased sedentary time) equals increased trouble “holding back the fat.” Liposuction is easy and can help with that. Add some post-pregnancy issues here as well.
IV. Statistic: YOUNG ADULTS – Botox. Ages 19-34. 371,000 a year. (ASAPS)
Dr D: The fad of Botox use in the really young is an advertising phenomenon as there is no good reason for young people to do this other than to “feel” hip.
My opinions of course.
*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*
Two recent studies concerning the prevalence of autism in the US have been getting a lot of attention, because they indicate that autism prevalence may be higher than previously estimated. This, of course, fuels the debate over whether or not there are environmental triggers of autism.
One study was conducted by the CDC but has yet to be published. The results were announced ahead of publication by the US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to the autism community. She reports that the new prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is now estimated at 1% or 100 in 10,000 children. This is an increase over the last few years. In 2002 the prevalence was estimated to be 66 per 10,000.
The second study was published in the journal Pediatrics and is a phone survey of 78,037 parents. They asked if they had any children who had ever been diagnosed with an ASD. Here are the results: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*