Tag Archives: health

Physical activity: a healthy habit (among five)

11 Mar

Aerobic exercise reduces low back pain perception.


Exercising (Photo credit: NOAA's National Ocean Service)

English: Whether you are at the beach, in a pa...

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English: Exercise work zones (Fox and Haskell ...

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From a medical point of view there are only four healthy habits: first eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables daily, second exercising regularly, third consuming alcohol in moderation, and fourth not smoking. From my point of view we could eventually add: fifth capacity for happiness and sixth meditation but both of them have not been yet scientifically evaluated as far as I know.

Exercising physically once a day takes daily a part from your precious time but could appear to be a profitable asset.

Not only for hearth’s but also for articulation’s, including the spine, health.

Provided that the exercise do not provoke any pain it brings oxygen to your muscles, articulations and their ligaments and hamstrings and thus alleviates or at least reduces chronic pain stemming from articulation disease. More than that, aerobic exercise could even reduce the perception of pain in low back pain suffering patients.

With regard to the heart which is also a muscle the AHA advises to exercise 150 minutes a week with a moderate activity like brisk walking.

But the main barrier to healthy habit implementation seems to be the lack of time according to a study here below cited. If you say often to yourself I have not enough time to do all that stuff that eventually could make me healthier, you ought to know that approximately 80 percent of people is confronted with the same issue of lack of time.

And as stated in the first study referenced below, the more the individuals are obese, the more they would benefit from acquiring healthy habits.

Works consulted:

1) Healthy Lifestyle Habits and Mortality in Overweight and Obese Individuals


Matheson EM, KingDE, Everett CJ. Healthy Lifestyle Habits and Mortality in Overweight and Obese Individuals. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2012 Jan;25(1):9-15. Available from:http://dx.doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2012.01.110164.

2) Pain Relief and Aerobic Benefits of an Exercise Bike

By: J. Talbot Sellers, DO


3) Experimentally induced pain perception is acutely reduced by aerobic exercise in people with chronic low back pain.

Martin D. Hoffman, MD; Melissa A. Shepanski, MS; Sean P. MacKenzie, MD; Philip S. Clifford, PhD

J o u r n a l   o f   R e  h a b i l i t a t i o  n   R e s e a r c h   &   D  e v e l o p m e n t

Volume 42, Number 2, Pages 183–190 March/April 2005


4) Survey shows people have little time for healthy habits

March 9,2012 inHealth

Heart association finds Americans struggle to eat right, exercise and brush their teeth regularly.


Is the orange juice good for health?

9 Mar

Oranges are women’s best friends says an enthusiastic medical journalist in a mainstream media!


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Orange Juice in the Afternoon
In one hand orange juices would be presumably worsening the diabetes mellitus spreading as Karen Grepin says in her Blog, after a trip in Morroco and a halt in a Rabat’s café where a glass of orange juice and a glass of Moroccan tea provoked a jump in her blood glucose rate.
In an other hand a recent study showed that orange’s flavonoids could possibly lower the risk of vascular stroke in women thus unleashing the medical journalists who dared to announce with a disproportionate emphasis: “Oranges Are Women’s Best Friend for Stroke Prevention”. So, listening to these press releases, for a woman the choice is either to enhance her own diabetes risk or not to lower her own vascular stroke risk. Life is a succession of choices!

But fortunately it appears that the lowering of stroke effect of orange juice is not so a hard result as it seems. The study linking orange juice consumption and lowering of vascular stroke is only an observational one (i.e. it demonstrates association but not causation).

My conclusion will be: drink orange juice if it makes you happy, provided it is in a reasonable quantity.

Consulted works :

1) Citrus fruit consumption may be associated with a reduction in stroke risk, and experimental data support these epidemiological associations that the flavanone content of citrus fruits may potentially be cardioprotective. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm these associations.

Cassidy A, Rimm EB, O’Reilly ÃJ, Logroscino G, Kay C, Chiuve SE, et al. Dietary Flavonoids and Risk of Stroke in Women. Stroke. 2012 Feb;Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.637835.


2) Observational study miscommunication of the week: citrus & stroke.

A spin around the Web today will give you many stories about citrus fruits and women’s stroke risk.



3) The coming tide.

Nearly 10% of the world’s adult population is now estimated to have diabetes.



Related articles

A prayer said by an overweight person

22 Feb

The pitfall of warning against obesity is to stigmatize the overweight individuals.

It made me laugh a lot. Transmitted by my cousin who held it from a Facebook friend so I didn’t resist to share.

You can find a lot more of such humorous or inspirational sentences on the face book page of Fatima Parker who is an Author, a regular guest speaker on self-esteem, healthy living and size acceptance, on Radio,Television & print Media, in the Middle East, Africa,the UK, the USA & on-line Media. She has dedicated her life to helping women and children with issues of self-confidence and self-esteem that are fundamental to friendships, work, love relationships, ambitions, goals, and good health. She struggle against the discrimination undergone by the persons who are stricken by obesity or are suffering from a problem of size. She is the president of the International size acceptance association in the UK.

Here is the link to the association’s website:



Animated map of obesity incidence by state (19...

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Mickael Jackson, Whitney Houston : are Hollywood doctors to blame?

16 Feb

Should rogue docs in Hollywood be accountable for the death of the two pop superstar singers from prescribed benzodiazepine mixed to alcohol for the latter or anaesthetic medicine like propofol for the former?

English: American singer Whitney Houston perfo...

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Whitney Houston -  Concert in Central Park   /...

Whitney Houston - Concert in Central Park / Good Morning America 2009 - Manhattan NYC (Photo credit: asterix611)

That the question each and every medical doctors in the world should ask themselves.

The least that it can be said is that the two artists were not helped by their medical entourage nor friendship circle.

Certainly they were deeply unhappy and isolated in the middle of celebrity and superficial relationship or greedy managers.

It remembers me a maxim my cousin shared few days ago on Facebook: “there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way”. And definitely the worst way to happiness is to take medicine mixed with alcohol, even worst anaesthetic drug, all the more when they are prescribed or administered by a Hollywood rogue Doc.

Doctor Alon Steinberg, a cardiology expert, gives us his opinion on the CNN channel.
But I understand that it would be very difficult, in private practice in Hollywood to say “no” at an international pop or movie super star! And in another hand superstars know to use their fame to get their pills!
Pharmacies and prescription records are investigated “Doctor shopping” being suspected in the Whitney Houston case.

Videos consulted on CNN:




30 Jan

Too much sitting may be bad for your health.

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Those who sit more often are found to have a greater risk of premature death, particularly from heart disease.
Said otherwise, prolonged sitting is a health-destroyer.
They are numerous sorts of risk/preventive factors of chronic disease or premature death: dietary, calorie’s intake, physical activity, cardiovascular fitness, sedentary behaviour. For the latter, prevention searchers have defined a surrogate or a proxy or a correlate which is the prolonged sitting time whose they are trying to asses the consequence on health. Determinants of behaviours such as healthy eating, moving, being sedentary represent a huge field of research aiming to invent the prevention slogans for the future.
More and more studies tend to prove that prolonged sitting is a heartbreaker
Now it’s time, already, to ask your boss to buy height-adjustable desks for his staff or to introduce nonseated working options in the offices.

Read more:

Neville Owen, Takemi Sugiyama, Elizabeth E. Eakin, Paul A. Gardiner, Mark S. Tremblay, James F. Sallis, Adults' Sedentary Behavior: Determinants and Interventions, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 41, Issue 2, August 2011, Pages 189-196, ISSN 0749-3797, 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.05.013.


Too Much Sitting May Be Bad for Your Health, 11 July 2011 Elsevier

The psychiatrist, venlafaxine and the Wyeth rep

20 Jan

Dr Carlat is a psychiatrist who was searching for redemption. What was his sin?


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Venlafaxine Extended Release (XR) pill—Effexor...

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The chemical structure of venlafaxine (Effexor...

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He compromised himself with sales reps in exchange of money by participating in a so-called continuous medical education targeted on antidepressants. Venlafaxine {effexor®) is a powerful short half-life antidepressant whose sides effects and adverse events are withdrawal syndrome, libido lowering and suicide risk if not carefully prescribed. In the New York Time’s paper, Dr Carlat simply describes how step by step he became aware of loosing his free will and his objective professional medical assessment. In as sort of punishment as well as rehabilitation he decided to create a blog and an organisation of drug industry free continuous medical education.
You are forgiven Dr Carlat!

read more here:






Medicine is a religion

8 Jan

And here are its tables of law

Ten Commandments

Thou Shalt Not (musical)

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  • Thou shalt treat according to level of risk rather than level of risk factor.
  • Thou shalt exercise caution when adding drugs to existing polypharmacy.
  • Thou shalt consider benefits of drugs as proven only by hard endpoint studies.
  • Thou shalt not bow down to surrogate endpoints, for these are but graven images.
  • Thou shalt not worship Treatment Targets, for these are but the creations of Committees.
  • Thou shalt apply a pinch of salt to Relative Risk Reductions, regardless of P values, for the population of their provenance may bear little relationship to thy daily clientele.
  • Thou shalt honour the Numbers Needed to Treat, for therein rest the clues to patient-relevant information and to treatment costs.
  • Thou shalt not see detailmen, nor covet an Educational Symposium in a luxury setting.
  • Thou shalt share decisions on treatment options with the patient in the light of estimates of the individual’s likely risks and benefits.
  • Honour the elderly patient, for although this is where the greatest levels of risk reside, so do the greatest hazards of many treatments.


Time for a little of that religion.

The list was published on Richard Lehman’s blog but it was written by John Yudkin.

We fully acknowledge and thank Gary Schwitzer’s health news watch dog , the Carlat Psychiatry Blog and the BMJ blogger Richard Lehman who led us to these sound and wise tables of law full of awareness.
These ten commandments stem from the wisdom of practitioners all along the years. My preferred one is the tenth: “Honour the elderly patient, for although this is where the greatest levels of risk reside, so do the greatest hazards of many treatments.”
Because of my Confucians way of thinking?
And you, which is your preferred one?

If you want to read more:





28 Dec

A Christmas Sciatica

Tarlov's cyst, MRI

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During the night of December 24th I incurred a terrific backache which made me to experience the efficacy of the emergencies services in Marseilles. The pain was so intense that I asked my wife to dial the 15 (emergency phone number across all the France’s territory). They sent me (at five o clock in the morning of December 25th, Christmas day) a Doctor who injected me Bi-prophenid and Myolastan). After his departure, the pain increasing higher and higher and my left leg becoming insensitive I took myself the phone, dialled the 15 and asked to the physician regulator to send me an ambulance to transport me to the emergency room on the basis of neurological symptoms.  A crew of firemen of Marseilles arrived in about 10 minutes of time and transported me in a chair down my apartment (I was totally unable to walk) in to their fire department vehicle and to the neuro surgical emergency of the Timone university hospital.  I had in emergency an MRI (very sophisticated magnetic imagery, better than scanner). I was examined by an intern in neurosurgery. Pain was released by perfusion of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs (thanks to Big Pharma) during the day and the following night and no longer than the next day I was examined in my public hospital bed by the Professor Fuentes a Key Opinion Leader in Neuro surgery who diagnosed a 3/6 paresis of my left foot but no need of surgical intervention if no aggravation occurs in the following 24 hours.  I discharged from the hospital December 27th and was bring back home by a light sanitary vehicle. My sentiment after this event is: yes we have the best health care system in the world, but also the best health insurance system in the world (I had absolutely nor bill neither fee to pay). And I’m proud of it. Perhaps France is indebted but if it is for such results in term of care (same thing in term of child’s education or public transports), the money we have borrowed was not spend in vain. For now on I am on work loss with income compensation benefits.  I still have difficulties to stand up or to sit down for long periods or to walk for a distance. If my employer read this post I want him to know that I wrote it lying in my sofa with my laptop computer;-)

Combined Hormonal Contraceptives

29 Nov
Kaiser Permanente

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Birth control pill
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Does new generation of contraceptive pills present a risk of Cardiovascular disease ?

Aiming to assess the security of third generation contraceptive pills, two major health care insurers in the US (Kaiser Permanente and Medicaid) have putted in common their huge reimbursement data base. Using only computerized extractions, they designed a study involving thousands of women aged from 14 to 55 years. They used the method named retrospective cohort. They constructed an a posteriori numeric cohort of female enrollees and followed it backward for arterial thrombosis, acute myocardial infarction, stroke and deep venous thrombosis endpoints. Comparators were the first generation contraceptive pills. Data came from the ICD9 coded diagnoses attached to hospital bills and pharmaceutical reimbursements. Quality of the results depends heavily on the liability of the way the data base is implemented routinely. The method leads to samples whose sizes are very high. Big is beautiful because differences are always statistically significant. But does it mean that such differences are clinically significant? Furthermore, the authors didn’t evoke the better clinical tolerance of third generation contraceptive pills. The big size of samples obtained with large data base extractions always leads to findings of significant differences. Balanced medical decision must take into account clinical aspects and not only statistical significance.

The full text of the study is accessible here.

The study is authored by the FDA office of surveillance and epidemiology, the Kaiser Permanente division of research (northern and southern California), the Vanderbilt University division of general paediatrics in Nashville and  the University of Washington School of public health.

Bad science

26 Nov
Physician treating a patient. Red-figure Attic...

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Square root of x formula. Symbol of mathematics.
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A greek is struggling against bad science in medical field.

This bio statistician, named Georgia Salanti, has undertaken a mathematical critical appraisal of medical studies published in scholarly journals.

An other scientist named Ioannidis  selected 45 high impact articles which have demonstrated a significant effect of the intervention or the care they had  studied.

He found that 41 percent of these articles he analysed where mathematically wrong in their statements of a significant effect. The full text of the study is readable here.

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