Monthly Archives: June 2009

Angiotensin Blockade and Diabetic Nephropathy

Tweet The July 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine has an article on the prevention of diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy that will elicit much attention. It concludes “Early blockade of the renin-angiotensin system in patients with type 1 diabetes did not slow nephropathy progression but slowed the progression of retinopathy.” An accompanying…


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Maria Cebotari Sings…

Tweet Maria Cebotari was born in in Romania in 1910. She studied singing at the Chişinău Conservatory but joined the Moscow Art Theater as an actress in 1929. She didn’t stay in Moscow long. By 1931 she was singing Mimi in Dresden. Her combination of good looks, acting skill, and most importantly a beautiful voice…


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The AARP and Newspeak

Tweet The AARP has hardly been a disinterested commentator on government provided healthcare given their stake in Medicare. Thus its article “8 myths About Health Care Reform” in its July/August 2009 magazine which describes itself as the “World’s Largest Circulation Magazine”. I’ll list the eight “myths” which would have made Orwell beam with pride. You…


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Live Forever or Die in the Attempt

Tweet The world’s oldest man died. Long live the world’s oldest man. Have you noticed that being the world’s oldest man is a death sentence? You’re next to go. There’s no one in front of you. The article which notes this event mentions that Japan (the former world’s oldest man was Japanese) has the longest…


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Recording of the Week – Thalberg/Rossini Variations

Tweet I’ve mentioned Sigismond Thalberg’s fantasies on Italian operas before. They are a poetical take on the great Italian operas of the piano virtuoso’s time. Francesco Nicolosi has been a champion of Thalberg’s music for decades. Recorded in Budapest in March of 1992 Variations on Operas by Rossini contains fantasies on themes from four Rossini…


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Effectiveness and Cost

Tweet There’s a growing sentiment that a solution to out of control medical costs might be to limit reimbursement of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that are deemed to be of little or no effectiveness. I’ve written earlier that this is rationing of medical care in disguise. But let’s look at his issue in a little…


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The Rashomon Approach to Medicare

Tweet The May 28 number of the New England Journal of Medicine published three perspective pieces which show how hard it is to discuss anything to do with federal funding of medical care. The authors, all PhDs, were invited to write these articles presumably because they know a lot about the subject. I’ve already stated…


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Lost in the Original

Tweet The following is the abstract of a paper that appeared in the May 25th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine – Rapidity and Modality of Imaging for Acute Low Back Pain in Elderly Patients. “Rapidity and modality of imaging for LBP [low back pain] is associated with patient and physician characteristics but the…


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Recording of the Week: Joseph Schmidt – Live Recordings

Tweet The album contains previously unreleased live recordings by one of the 20th century’s greatest tenors. Joseph Schmidt’s career was spent almost entirely in front of a microphone. His small stature, 5 feet +/-  an  inch, kept him off the opera stage. He did give recitals. His American debut was on March 7, 1937 at…


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Evidence Based Reimbursement

Tweet It didn’t take long. The day after I wrote that Evidenced Based Medicine would be used to ration medical care the June 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine appeared on my desk. Under the heading of Health Care Reform is “A 300-Year-Old Solution to the Health Care Crisis”. In it Diamond, et…


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