Thursday, October 8, 2015

No head trauma, so what's causing headaches?

Sunday, September 20, 2015, 6:00 AM
A man in his 20s, previously in good health, went to a local emergency room for help after suffering from headaches for several months. He also said he was tired and sometimes had fevers and night sweats. He hadn't suffered head trauma. He had used cocaine in the past, but denied intravenous drug... Read more

FDA warning just the start

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 4:18 PM
Editor's Note: This op-ed previously ran in the Inquirer on December 3, 2014. On Nov. 24, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration attached its highest-level warning to a set of devices known as "power morcellators." This decision was the result of a yearlong battle to protect women at risk of having... Read more

Give patients a voice on billing

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 4:16 PM
Editor's Note: This op-ed previously ran in the Inquirer on May 25, 2014. If a patient develops a life-threatening complication after a procedure or treatment, should the doctor be paid in full? If a patient is not satisfied with her care or finds her life compromised by the outcome of a procedure... Read more

Economics vs. Empathy

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 4:14 PM
Editor's Note: This op-ed previously ran in the Inquirer on March 16, 2014. During my wife's recent elective, minimally invasive hysterectomy at Harvard Medical School's Brigham & Women's Hospital, she was subject to a routine - but avoidable - practice known as morcellation. In this gynecological... Read more

Quick but challenging test shows if patients can think straight

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 11:08 AM
December, November, October, September… Can you rattle off the months of the year in reverse order? Researchers say a failure to do so may be a sign of delirium in hospital patients. This finding comes from a new study whose lead author was Donna M. Fick, a professor of nursing at Pennsylvania... Read more

Could better mental health care save us money?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 11:59 AM
Two British proponents of better mental health care will discuss their 2014 book – Thrive: How Better Mental Health Care Transforms Lives and Saves Money – in Philadelphia on Sept. 30. While initially released in the U.K., it has been re-written for an American audience this year. David... Read more

Size matters: Try these proven tips to cut portions, calories

Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 8:38 AM
It seems so simple: Serve people bigger portions, or use bigger plates, and they’ll consume more. Evidence that size matters – with food and non-alcoholic beverages, anyway – has been accumulating for years. Now the authoritative Cochrane Library has produced what it calls “the... Read more

CDC: Your heart may be aging you

Monday, September 14, 2015, 4:46 PM
Not so fond of birthdays as you get older? Grim news: your heart may have celebrated even more than you. On average, U.S. adults have a “heart age” that is seven years older than their chronological age, as measured by their risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. That is the crux... Read more

Will high drug prices boomerang on pharma?

Monday, September 14, 2015, 3:10 PM
As surely as the seasons change and the tides rise, pharma will continue raising the prices of medications wherever and whenever it can. In one example from last week, the non-profit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) found that the new class of cholesterol medications, the PCSK-9s... Read more

Medical Mystery: Treating infection in patient's breast

Sunday, September 13, 2015, 6:00 AM
Any time a woman finds a lump in her breast, she's afraid it's cancer. But this 65-year-old woman had no family history of breast cancer, her last mammogram had been less than a year ago, and the large painful lump in her left breast had appeared suddenly about two weeks before. Her nipple was also... Read more
About this blog

Check Up is a blog for savvy health consumers, covering the latest developments, discoveries, and debates from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Charlotte Sutton Health and Science Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer, heart health and general science
Justin D'Ancona
Stacey Burling Inquirer Staff Writer, neuroscience and aging
Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer, cancer and women's health
Don Sapatkin Inquirer Staff Writer, public health, infectious diseases and substance abuse
David Becker, M.D. Board certified cardiologist, Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology
Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
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