All smiles.

April 21, 2015

The Boston Marathon.

 The 119th Boston Marathon took place yesterday, with about 30,000 athletes making the trek from Hopkinton to Boston. Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa took first in the men’s race, completing 26.2 miles in 2 hours and 9 minutes. Note: his average mile pace was just under 5 minutes. Desisa also won in 2013 and gave his medal to the city in memory of the bombing victims. Caroline Rotich of Kenya sprinted to the finish to win the women’s race, smiling all the way.

Risks by region.

The American Cancer Society compiled nationwide survey data on rates of smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet, all factors that increase lifetime risks of developing cancer.

What did they find? They estimate that about 1.6 million people in the U.S. will develop cancer this year. Smoking, obesity and other major cancer risk factors remain common and vary widely across the country.

Lowest rate of smoking. Utah, 10.5%. Lowest rate of obesity. Colorado, 21.3%. Highest rate of vegetable consumption. California, 22.7%.

See your state’s performance.

Obamacare, explained.

Do people like Obamacare? Not exactly. Most polls show that Americans are divided on Obamacare. The most unpopular part of the health care law is the individual mandate, a requirement that nearly all people purchase health insurance. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 70 percent of Americans don’t like the mandate.

Breakfast and a physical.

Rob Marsh is a physician in rural VA who recently expanded his practice, opening an office next to a truck stop to serve some of the nearly 20,000 truckers that pass through Raphine, VA every day. “There are five or six truck stops in the nation that have medical care,” he says in an interview with NPR. “There is a significant percentage of truck drivers — I’ve heard anywhere from 15, 20 percent — that their truck is their home. So they don’t have a home doctor, and we’re becoming that. They know that they come through this truck stop once a week or twice a month or whatever, and that we’ll be here for them.”

Even in Nursing.

A recent study found that even though women outnumber men in the nursing profession by more than 10 to 1, men still earn more. After controlling for age, race, marital status and children in the home, males in nursing outearned females by $7,700 per year in outpatient settings and $3,900 in hospitals. The biggest disparity was for nurse anesthetists, with men earning $17,290 more.

Why? The data don’t suggest why men earn more. “Some have suggested men have better negotiating skills” and are able to start out earning higher salaries.

Um. What? I’m a nurse and a female. This report is disappointing.

Ebola update.

Worldwide. Since the outbreak began more than a year ago, there have been 26,611 cases of Ebola, with 10,611 reported deaths.

West Africa. Three countries in West Africa – Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone – were hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak. Some good news. In Liberia, there have been no new Ebola cases since March 20. If that number remains at zero, the country will be declared Ebola-free in the beginning of May. The number of cases is also decreasing in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Back to school. Children in Sierra Leone returned to school last week after staying home for nine months because of the Ebola outbreak.

DVF-approved hospital gowns.

In an effort to improve patient satisfaction, some hospitals are ditching the often-over-exposing paper towel gown for a more comfortable fit. The Cleveland Clinic sought the help of fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg. They decided on a reversible gown with a front and back V-neck, complete rear coverage, softer fabric, and a new bolder print pattern. I wonder if patients can take those home.

 A new term.

Grandparent deficit.” The unintended consequence of parents waiting until later in life to have children. Grandma’s tired.

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