The evidence on climate change

photo-consensus-senseThe theory that the earth’s climate is warming has been a highly debated topic in the media for more than a decade. Proponents of the theory point to evidence about melting polar ice caps and increased storm activity, while critics say there’s not enough data to know what’s happening over the long-term.  But what does the evidence really say?

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What we know about indoor tanning and youth

indoor tanningFor nearly 100 years, Americans have valued tanned skin as a symbol of health and vitality. (Before 1920, Americans and Europeans considered pale skin and indicator of health and success.) The trend began when doctors began to prescribe sunbathing for ailments, including tuberculosis. Soon Hollywood stars and fashion icons started to boast of tanned skin, and the rest of America followed suit. [Read more...]

Evidence-based health care: doctors and blood pressure

blood-pressure-doctor-patientDo doctor appointments make you feel nervous?  I have a family member who gets anxious at health care visits. Her blood pressure is always significantly higher at the start of an appointment compared with at home, or even at the end of the appointment. [Read more...]

New evidence on toothpaste for kids

toothpasteIn the U.S. dental care has long been a priority for young children. Decades ago, I can clearly remember our church giving out toothbrushes and toothpaste every Halloween before it was time to trick-or-treat. But for many reasons, tooth decay is a growing problem among preschool children. [Read more...]

Smoking bans are good for kids

smokingIt’s a well-established fact that smoking is bad for your health.  Thousands of studies and hundreds of systematic reviews have documented health problems related to individuals smoking. But this week, researchers published the first-ever review that found smoking in public places has broader negative consequences for child health.
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Should we screen everyone for dementia?

medical decisionMore than 5 million adults in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and even more suffer from other dementias that result in memory loss and speech difficulties, and interfere with thinking and plans skills.

Most of the time, dementia is diagnosed when a caregiver such as a doctor notices symptoms in a patient, or when a caregiver suspects something is wrong. Experts believe that leaves a vast majority of dementia cases in the primary setting undiagnosed. [Read more...]

Evidence-based basketball, redux

ncca basketballThe Cornell men’s basketball team didn’t qualify for the NCAA basketball tournament this year. And our next nearest team, Syracuse University, was knocked out last weekend. Even still, much of the county will spend the next several weeks watching to see which college basketball team comes out on top this year.  [Read more...]

Mentoring works for troubled, but how?

Father_of_the_Teen__Growing_Up_With_Your_Kids_photoWhen young people are struggling – with school, addiction, criminal behavior or a number of other problems – help often comes through a mentor. Thousands of organizations across the country pair at-risk young people with a role model to help them get back on track. But does mentoring work?

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The evidence on social pressure and food choice

fruits-veggiesAs we’re nearly a quarter of the way through 2014, are you still focused on the New Year’s resolution you made? If you vowed to lose weight, a new meta-analysis may help your cause. [Read more...]

A new strategy for systematic reviews

typingIf you’re a regular reader here at Evidenced-based Living, you know of our love for the systematic review.  The concept of analyzing all of the evidence on a given topic before drawing a conclusion ensures you’re making the best decision possible. But systematic reviews do have one problem: they can quickly become out-dated.

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