Healing Power from Positive Energy

Positive energy represents an important, foundational principle for healing from any chronic illness including cancer. Emotions, “energies in motion,” powerfully influence the immune system and other bodily functions. For optimal health, you have to avoid negative energies like fear, anxiety, resentment, anger and guilt that, studies show, weaken your immune system. Negative feelings can slow healing and may feed cancer growth.

If you or a loved one is chronically ill in any form, especially with cancer, you must implement one or more modalities that create positive emotion. “Feeling good” can greatly enhance the healing process.

Energy enhancers: Continue reading

Telemedicine Health Blog Achieves 100,000 Page Views a Month

– May 20, 2011 – (Beverly Hills, CA) – There seems to be no question as to whether the American public has an interest in the emerging world of Telemedicine.  Just visit, E Patient Health Care dot Com.  With over 100,000 page views a month, this Top 20 Blog doles out plenty of information on health issues  Continue reading

The Promise of Telemedicine



The Promise of Telemedicine

By:  Jacques von Speyer – Chairman – CEO, US Tele-Medicine

Technology and communication channels exist today in such capacities that basic medical care may be provided to virtually Eighty Percent of the world population. That is a fact.

Family Medicine and all of its attending disciplines is the foothold of public and societal health.  That too is a fact.

Tele-Family Medicine” is the ultimate promise of Telemedicine worldwide.

The Family Medicine practitioner enjoys the greatest impact on community wellness and effective prevention in all of health care.  These paramount discretions which when employed correctly saves lives, prevents illness, reduces costs and provides a management tool for the prodigious benefits found in continuation of care programs, on a mass basis.

These operational truths remain scalable from a small HMO population to a regional and national effort.

Telemedicine is the single rational modality for providing Mass E-Care to millions of families.  Specifically for the multi-millions living within remote, underserved, urban, and disenfranchised populations.

Most recent Telemedicine endeavors have centered upon condition specific efforts such as Tele-Dermatology, Tele-Wound, Tele-Psychiatry, Tele-Cardiac, etc.  Regrettably, very little effort, other than those of US Tele-Medicine, was invested to encompass basic, primary, and preventative care into new Telemedicine protocols and devices.

Current telehealth efforts mistakenly emulate today’s existing and failing healthcare model by focusing on Specialty Care.  The trend however must promote Mass E-Care and recognizing that holistic/primary Family Medicine is the veritable cornerstone for any nation or society seeking a healthy foundation.

RPM (Remote Patient Monitoring) services using telemetric devices in patient’s homes are now becoming more the accepted and the preferred mode of managing some chronic conditions.  These efforts are reporting excellent results with patient hospital readmission reduced, costly emergency room visits have decreased, and patients enjoy a measurable increase in wellness.

This is only the prologue.  Device manufacturers are better served to consider initiating Family Medicine and preventative protocols into their programming.  Most current RPM systems are robust enough to accommodate such indoctrination.

Of course, simply monitoring without the facility to access and initiate immediate medical intervention, limits the scope and effectiveness of the devices.  US Tele-Medicine does provide 24 hour per day MD oversight at our National Triage Center, assuring our patients of immediate response to their needs.

The goal for US Tele-Medicine, our staff, and Medical Advisory Board is to merge Telemedicine protocols and devices with Family Medicine measures.  New guidelines and strategies for incorporating Mass E-Care into the world of Family Medicine and basic care, which are so fundamental to the current and future general health of any population, are now in development.

Irrespective of politics, health care does need reform and new stratagems specifically when we consider increasing costs and while our birth rates have receded somewhat, we are living longer and incurring greater incidents of chronic diseases.  There is also the daunting reality that soon, we shall be incorporating over Thirty Million new people into our health care rolls.

It is incumbent upon all of us in Health Care to provide a direct and personal channel for access to primary, cohesive, and coordinated medical care.  We need to use monitoring devices and medical technologies linked to broadband, phone, cellular, or satellite systems, and deliver these services directly into the homes of families anywhere and almost everywhere.

US Tele-Medicine remains at the forefront in global health care telehealth advances, with its committed efforts to provide Mass E-Care and Family Medical care, using the latest in telemedicine technologies and applications.  We encourage and call upon medical device manufacturers and medical providers and join us,  by undertaking immediate steps within their areas of influence to shape the tenets of Family Medicine into their future technologies and modalities.  The need is evident.

The Promise of Telemedicine is the facility to provide Mass E-Care and will be fulfilled when a patient in the remote plains of the Dakotas, or on the banks of the Colorado River, can enjoy access to basic and primary medical care at the touch of a button.  Collectively, we can reach this level of service in the very near future, and ensure our population of the medical support required and desired through life.


Hay Fever Symptoms Reduced with Pycnogenol

You might ward off and reduce allergy and hay fever symptoms if you take a pine bark supplement known as Pycnogenol® several weeks before allergy season starts, according to a study published in Phytotherapy Research. Pycnogenol appears to reduce hay fever symptoms such as itchy eyes and nasal congestion.

About 60 million people in the United States experience symptoms of hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Symptoms typically include inflamed nasal passages, sneezing, mucus production, rash, hives, itchy mouth, and itching, burning, watering eyes as well as facial pain and decreased sense of smell and taste.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted by KGK Synergize, Inc., which recruited 60 individuals ages 18 to 65 who had all tested positive for birch pollen allergies. The participants began treatment three to eight weeks before onset of the birch allergy season in Ontario, Canada. Subjects were given instructions to take either one 50-mg Pycnogenol tablet or one placebo tablet twice daily throughout the allergy season (mid April to end of May). They were also allowed to take nonprescription antihistamines as needed, and they had to record use of these medications in treatment journals.

The participants were instructed to rate their nasal and eye symptoms each day using a questionnaire. All hay fever symptoms were rated on a scale ranging from zero (no symptoms) to three (severe symptoms completely prevented normal activities).

Throughout the entire allergy season, participants who took Pycnogenol scored lower on total average nasal and eye symptoms than those in the placebo group. A closer evaluation revealed that taking Pycnogenol was more effective the earlier the patients began taking it before allergy season started. The researchers speculated that for best results, individuals should begin taking Pycnogenol at least five weeks before pollen season starts.

In fact, only 12.5 percent of patients who began taking Pycnogenol seven weeks before the birch season began needed nonprescription antihistamines compared with 50 percent of patients who took placebo. Dr. Malkanthi Evans, scientific director of KGK Synergize Inc., noted that people with hay fever who want alternatives to medications that can cause side effects may find that Pycnogenol is “an effective and completely natural solution, void of any side-effects.”

Pycnogenol is an extract from the bark of the maritime pine tree that grows along the coast of southwest France. It contains a variety of phytochemicals, including procyanidins, bioflavonoids, and organic acids, which have been studied for their beneficial properties. Some studies have shown pycnogenol to be helpful in treating osteoarthritis, hemorrhoids, menopausal symptoms, and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

In an earlier study, researchers at Loma Linda University compared the use of Pycnogenol with placebo in a group of 60 individuals who had mild to moderate asthma. Subjects who took Pycnogenol experience a significant improvement in pulmonary function and asthma symptoms when compared with the placebo group. Pycnogenol users were also able to reduce or stop their use of rescue inhalers more often than those in the placebo group.

Although hay fever symptoms may seem trivial to people who do not suffer with this allergic condition, Dr. Evans notes that “people suffering from hay fever may disagree as they experience a dramatic impairment to their quality of life.” Pycnogenol offers an effective, natural alternative to medications to treat symptoms of hay fever.

Researchers Solicit Cheap eHealth Alternative

Free software is secure, creators say

Researchers at Hamilton’s McMaster University say they have devised an electronic medical records system that can be implemented by physicians across Ontario for two per cent of the money the provincial government has spent on eHealth Ontario.

The web-based program, dubbed OSCAR, organizes medical records and can be set up on any computer system with a browser. It was first created in 2001, and has attracted more users each year.

Around 600 doctors across the country — including 450 family physicians in Ontario — currently use the software.

The software is open-source, which means users are allowed access to its basic code. Users are free to add to or modify the software without fear of legal repercussions, as long they abide by the conditions of the General Public Licence, which stipulates that the program must remain open and sharable.

Because it’s open-source, OSCAR is free. The costs to set it up come in the form of servers, hardware and support staff.

“In Ontario, there are approximately 8,000 family physicians that are not using electronic medical record systems. All these physicians could have OSCAR implemented within the next 24 months, and the cost would be less than $20 million,” Dr. David Price, chair of family medicine at McMaster’s medical school, said in a release.

While the software would be able to cover all the family physicians in Ontario, it is not as comprehensive in scope as eHealth, which is charged with linking all healthcare facilities, including hospitals and clinics, not just family doctors.

$1B spent already

Yet it can still help in digitizing Ontario’s medical records, said Dr. David Chan, who developed the software.

He said Ontario’s approach to building a health-record system is wrong. The province spent some $1 billion commissioning eHealth Ontario to produce an electronic medical database.

But in a report released Wednesday, Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter said the province had wasted that investment and eHealth had little to show for its work.

We really don’t need to spend that kind of money. I think the government’s paranoia about building … a secure network is hugely expensive,” Chan said Friday.

People often get concerned about the security risks of open-source software, but Chan said it has passed stringent provincial security tests. It is no more vulnerable to hackers than more expensive proprietary software, he said.

Telemedicine Acknowledged by Medicare

American Medical News: Through teleconferencing technology, doctors are able to treat patients who live far away without access to a specialist. “Nationwide, telemedicine increasingly is being used to bridge gaps in access to care in rural and other medically underserved communities that have a hard time recruiting physicians. … The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is making changes to promote telemedicine. In June, the agency proposed new policies that would make it easier for hospital officials to credential physicians who provide telemedicine services at their facilities. And in January 2011, CMS will expand Medicaid coverage for remote services, including disease management training for patients with diabetes or kidney disease” (Krupa, 11/22).

Austin American-Statesman: “Tech executives say Austin is positioned to be a player in health care technology, thanks to its deep pool of business software talent that is comfortable working in a startup environment and has expertise in creating products that save companies money. … So far, a handful of promising venture-backed players have emerged. … All in all, hundreds of computer hardware, software and services companies are competing for a piece of the market, which accelerated in 2009 with the passage of the federal economic stimulus bill, which set aside $19 billion in incentives for health care information technology. By one estimate, the government’s push to spur health care computer spending will help drive global health care IT spending to $106 billion by 2014, up from nearly $89 billion this year (Hawkins, 11/21).

The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger: “Under federal health care reform, doctors must convert to an electronic system capable of chronicling each patient visit, tracking their care and sharing that information with hospitals and other doctors by 2015 — or the federal government will withhold some of the money it reimburses them for treating Medicare and Medicaid patients. … But so far, neither the promise of incentive nor threat of punishment is enticing a large number of New Jersey doctors to make the big switch. Only 20 percent of physicians in New Jersey have incorporated electronic medical records into their daily practice, compared to nearly 30 percent nationally, state Health and Senior Services Commissioner Poonam Alaigh said” (Livio, 11/21).

Are You Allergic to Cheap Jewelry?

All that glitters is not gold – as everyone knows who gets a rash from cheap jewelry – and now German scientists have proven that there is such a thing as being allergic to costume jewelry.

Nobody owns “pure gold” jewelry – unless your name happens to be Tutankhamun. All modern-day “solid gold” jewelry is in fact an alloy of gold mixed with baser metals such as copper and nickel. The “carat” designation indicates the amount of gold. The higher the carat number, the more gold and less base metal there is in the piece of jewelry – and the higher the price.

In the past, it was generally assumed that the negligible amounts of base metals in “solid gold” jewelry could not possibly result in an allergic skin reaction. The new findings show that you can indeed be allergic to cheap jewelry.

For many people, wearing a pair of alloy earrings can produce a painful red swelling and blisters. Coins, belt buckles, and even mobile phones may also cause an unpleasant allergic reaction when they rub against the skin.

The reason is that they all contain nickel, the most common cause of skin contact allergies in the industrialized world. But few people realize that nickel is commonly used to make “gold” jewelry.

The researchers, led by Dr Matthias Goebeler from the University of Giessen in Germany, have shown that nickel binds to a particular immune-system protein normally involved in detecting harmful invaders. In susceptible people, this results in the body recognizing nickel as an infectious agent and triggering inflammation.

As the immune system goes into overdrive, it produces the classic symptoms of burning, itching, redness, swelling and blisters.

The scientists studied the nickel-immune response in genetically engineered mice. Only animals capable of producing the human protein TLR4 (toll-like receptor 4), developed “contact hypersensitivity” (CHS) when exposed to nickel.

Human TLR4 acts like a “switch” that triggers a cascade of biochemical reactions when certain substances bind to it. The molecular signals it gives off result in the increased blood flow, leaky tissue, and influx of immune-system cells that give rise to inflammation.

Although the reaction is due to the body defending itself, it often has undesirable side effects.

The scientists outline their findings in the journal Nature Immunology. Drugs that block specific TLR4 binding sites could provide a way of treating nickel allergy, the researchers suggest.

“Our data implicate site-specific human TLR4 inhibition as a potential strategy for therapeutic intervention in CHS that would not affect vital immune responses,” the scientists wrote.

In Europe alone, an estimated 65 million people are sensitized to nickel and develop contact dermatitis when atoms of the metal touch their skin.

Number of Fat People in U.S. To Grow, Says Report

A new study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warns that citizens of the world’s richest countries are getting fatter and fatter, with the United States leading the charge.

Three out of four Americans will be overweight or obese by 2020, the OECD said in its first-ever obesity forecast, released Thursday. The report said disease rates and health care spending will balloon unless governments, individuals and industry cooperate on a comprehensive strategy to combat the epidemic.

The Paris-based body, which brings together 33 of the world’s leading economies, is better known for forecasting deficit and employment levels — not measuring waistlines. But the economic cost of excess weight is a growing concern for many governments.

Newness Factor Weighs in on Brain

Perry’s Ice Cream changed its wrapping from the standard brick shape to the two-piece “square round” package, was the new look enough for you to make the purchase?

Humans may be wired to seek out new experiences, according to a study published Wednesday in the online edition of the journal Neuron.Or did Kraft’s addition of a flip-top cap to its salad dressings steer you away from your usual brand?

If so, you’re not alone.

Humans may be wired to seek out new experiences, according to a study published Wednesday in the online edition of the journal Neuron.

The allure of novelty may be enough to make us look beyond our old favorites, “even in a situation where we don’t have any good reason to expect something to be better than before,” says Bianca Wittmann, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher at University College London.

In the study, researchers allowed 15 adults to select from a series of four black-and-white pictures. Each image was assigned a probability that selecting it would result in a monetary reward — one British pound. The participants were familiar with some but not all of the images.

People took a gamble when picking the pictures. After seeing the pictures multiple times, though, they could figure out which ones gave them the highest probability of cashing in.

As a twist, researchers periodically swapped pictures out, often replacing them with an unfamiliar image.

“What we found is that people preferentially go for the ones they’ve never seen before,” Wittmann says. Rather than stick with the familiar — a picture for which they’ve already figured out the probability of getting money — they’d rather take their chance on a new picture.

“[This study] helps make sense of the fact that novel situations are not neutral to us. We tend to like them,” says Dr. David Spiegel, professor and associate chair of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Male Menopause: Reality or Myth?

For women of a certain age, menopause is a fact of life. But this middle-age change no longer looks so feminine.

More men are arriving in doctors’ offices complaining of sexual dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, depression and other unpleasant, but potentially vague, symptoms. In some of these men, a blood test reveals low testosterone levels. And there has been a corresponding uptick in testosterone prescriptions, one approach to treating low male hormone levels.

For these patients, doctors like Robert Brannigan in Chicago may give testosterone replacement a trial run to treat symptoms which, he said, can have a profound effect on a patient.

“It helps many, many of these individuals to have overall improved quality of life. It not only affects them, but very often their partners and their intimate relationships,” said Brannigan, an attending physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and an associate professor of urology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Male menopause, as it has been dubbed, is controversial. First there’s the name, which experts dislike because it draws an inaccurate parallel with the female experience. (The accurate term for men is late-onset hygonadism.) What’s more, the disorder itself is not universally accepted, with some saying there is weak evidence for a link between symptoms and decreased hormone levels, and questioning whether benefits outweigh the risk and unknowns of testosterone prescriptions.

“I think the question that arises is how much of this is related to hormones and how much of it is the facts of life that we experience as we age,” said Dr. Thomas Walsh, an assistant professor and director of male reproductive and sexual medicine at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine in Seattle. Walsh, a urologist, prescribes testosterone after what he describes as “heavy informed consent.” [7 Ways the Mind and Body Change With Age]

“There is still a lot of controversy, and I don’t think we have all the answers yet. You have to take the data at hand and apply it to the individual,” he said.

Up to four million men may have low testosterone, with most caused by age-related declines. However, only a minority receive treatment, according to Walsh. That number of men affected is expected to rise.

The female misnomer

‘Male menopause’ may grab attention, but experts dislike the term, because it glosses over the significant differences between the hormonal changes men and women experience as they age.

“Nobody doubts female menopause, and nobody doubts the mechanism by which it happens, that’s not the case for male menopause,” said Dr. Ike Iheanacho, editor of the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, which in June published a review on using testosterone to treat so-called male menopause. “That epithet is unhelpful, because it deters people from doing what we [have] done, which is look at the evidence.”

The review, which reflected the journal’s opinion, found weak causal evidence that age-related hormone declines cause symptoms in men, a lack of long-term data, and at best, mixed results for short-term treatment.

For a woman, menopause marks the end of fertility and occurs when progesterone and estrogen, produced by the ovaries, drop off. Symptoms can last several years, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Hormonal changes in men are quite different. Testosterone levels can decrease by about 1 percent to 2 percent each year after about the age of 40. While menopause is a universal experience for women, testosterone does not decline in all men. Other factors besides aging, like obesity or injury, are associated with low testosterone.

For many years, long-term hormone replacement for women was considered protective for all kinds of ailments, until study results in 2002 revealed it increased risks of heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer, according to the NIH.

This history has implications for men with low hormones and symptoms, Walsh said. “You are seeing today far more caution on the part of clinicians and investigators.”


Two papers published in the July issue of the New England Journal of Medicine addressed the diagnosis of hypogonadism and its treatment.

In one study, researchers led by Frederick Wu of the University of Manchester used data from 3,369 European men to find correlations between testosterone levels and a battery of potential symptoms. As a result, they suggested that the presence of at least three measures of sexual dysfunction, including frequency of thoughts about sex and erectile function, in a man with a testosterone level below 11 nanomoles per liter could be used to define late-onset hypogonadism. (The study defined a decreased level as between 13 and 8 nanomoles per liter for total testosterone.) However, these symptoms were also widely reported by men who did not suffer from depressed hormone levels.

This causal relationship between hormone levels and symptoms is always a question, according to Dr. William Bremner, chairman of the department of medicine at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, who wrote about that research in an editorial in the journal.

“In truth you don’t know that those are due to the testosterone until you give men testosterone and see whether those symptoms are improved,” he said.

Testosterone has been shown to increase muscle mass and strength, so a second study in the same journal issue set out to test how much testosterone supplementation was needed to increase mobility among men ages 65 or older with difficulty walking or climbing stairs. The authors, led by Shehzad Basaria of Boston University’s School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, found evidence that testosterone did improve the men’s strength. However, the men taking testosterone also experienced an unusually high rate of cardiovascular problems.

The latter result is surprising, and may be due to chance, since previous studies have not shown a connection between testosterone and cardiovascular risk, Bremner said.

The Women’s Health Initiative Study, which revealed risks of hormone replacement therapy, followed a total of 161,808 women over 15 years. No long-term research like this has been conducted in men, but it is needed, Bremner said.

“There really are a large number of older men receiving testosterone and the numbers seem to be increasing and it’s not something that is going away,” he added.

On the rise

In roughly the past four years, Brannigan’s urology practice has seen an increase in patients he said are suffering from late-onset hypogonadism.

“Certainly, there is no question we are seeing more patients, and the question is, and I don’t think we know, is it due to increased public awareness or is it due to increased prevalence,” Brannigan said. Still, he estimates that 95 percent of cases are undiagnosed.

His office is not unique. With an aging, more at-risk population living in a post-Viagra era, when taboos on men’s sexual health issues like erectile dysfunction are lifting, the increase is expected to continue. Prescriptions appear headed up as well.

Between 2005 and 2009, testosterone prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies rose 65 percent in the United States, according to a LiveScience analysis of data from IMS Health, a heath-care information and consulting company.

There is also a lifestyle connection. Low testosterone is associated with obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome – a combination of disorders linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. All three are on the rise within the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.

Non-stick Cookware May Boost Cholesterol

Exposure to chemicals used to make non-stick cookware and which are found in microwave popcorn may raise blood cholesterol levels in children, a study says.

Researchers led by Stephanie Frisbee of West Virginia University School of Medicine assessed blood lipid levels in 12,476 children and teens aged one to 18 years for the study published in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association.

The children who took part in the study were part of a health project that began after a lawsuit was settled in 2002 after perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was found in the water supply in the mid-Ohio River Valley.

To be part of the project, children had to have been exposed for at least a year to the contaminated drinking water.

For the study, believed to be the first to look at the link between perfluoroalkyl acids and serum lipids in youngsters, blood samples were taken from the children and teens in 2005 and 2006.

The average PFOA concentration in their blood was found to be 69.2 ng/mL and the average perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) concentration was 22.7 ng/mL — both much higher than the national median.

PFOA and PFOS are part of the family of manmade compounds called perfluoroalkyl acids, which humans are exposed to through everything from dust to food packaging to microwave popcorn and non-stick pots and pans.

Among 12- to 19-year-old study participants who had drunk water from the contaminated supply for at least a year, PFOA concentrations were found to be substantially higher than those found nationally in kids — 29.3 ng/mL for the study group and 3.9 ng/mL for the others.

Kids with higher PFOA levels had higher total cholesterol — the most common measurement of blood cholesterol — as well as increased levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

Higher levels of PFOS, meanwhile, were associated with increased total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and HDL, or “good,” cholesterol.

“PFOA and PFOS specifically, and possibly perfluoroalkyl acids as a general class, appear to be associated with serum lipids, and the association seems to exist at levels of PFOA and PFOS exposure that are in the range characterized by nationally representative studies,” the authors of the study said.

High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 600,000 lives a year, and stroke is the third-biggest, killing 136,000 people a year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Total cholesterol levels should be less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), according to the American Heart Association.

The study found an average difference of 8.5 mg/dL in total cholesterol levels between the one-fifth of participants with the highest and the fifth with the lowest PFOS levels.

Up to now, few studies have been conducted into the effects of long-term exposure to perfluoroalkyl acids and how they might affect health and development in humans, and the authors of the study called for more research into exposure to the family of chemicals.

Medical Programs Missing Millions of Kids

An estimated five million uninsured children in the United States were eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) but were not enrolled in either plan, according to a new report.

The study published on Friday in the journal “Health Affairs” recommended policy reforms and broader efforts to get uninsured children into government medical programs, including the use of income tax data for automatic enrollment.

An estimated 7.3 million children were uninsured on an average day in 2008 and 65 percent of them were eligible for Medicaid of CHIP coverage, the report said.

President Barack Obama, who signed landmark healthcare reforms into law in March, has made providing health care to all Americans a top priority of his administration.

Thirty-nine percent (1.8) million of eligible uninsured children live in just three states — California, Texas and Florida, the report by the Washington-based Urban Institute Health Policy Center said. Sixty-one percent (2.9 million) of uninsured children live in 10 states, the report said.

“This new data will help us to focus our efforts and our grant funding where they are most needed,” U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “We now have a much better sense of where most uninsured children live, and which communities may need more help.”

Medicaid is the joint state-federal health plan for the poor, disabled and elderly. CHIP provides low-cost coverage for children in families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance coverage.

“No child should have to skip a doctor’s appointment or go without the medicine they need because their family can’t pay,” Sebelius said, challenging state and local officials to “find and enroll those five million kids.”

Drying Hands Best Using Towels, Not Dryer

The best way to dry hands after washing is using paper towels or using a dryer that doesn’t require rubbing hands together, researchers in Britain say.

Dr. Anna Snelling of the University of Bradford says not drying hands thoroughly after washing can increase the spread of bacteria. Using a conventional electric hand dryer — and rubbing one’s hands together — may contribute to the spread of bacteria.

Snelling and colleagues examined different ways of hand drying — paper towels, traditional hand dryers, which rely on evaporation, and a new model of hand dryer that rapidly strips water off the hands using high velocity air jets — and their effect on bacteria transfer from hands to other surfaces.

The study, published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, finds the most effective way of keeping bacterial counts low, when drying hands, was using paper towels. But if using an electric dryer — the model that rapidly stripped the moisture off the hands was best for reducing transfer of bacteria to other surfaces.

“Good hand hygiene should include drying hands thoroughly and not just washing,” Snelling says in a statement.

Multivitamin Doesn’t Affect Colon Cancer

Taking multivitamins does not appear to be beneficial to patients during and after post-surgical chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer, U.S. researchers find.

The study, published online ahead of print issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, finds multivitamin use did not appear to have any beneficial effect on patients’ outcomes but did not have a detrimental effect.

First author Dr. Kimmie Ng, a gastrointestinal oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, says despite conflicting evidence on the efficacy of multivitamins to reduce cancer risk and death, studies suggest approximately 30 percent of Americans take multivitamins — but among cancer survivors, between 26 percent and 77 percent report using multivitamins.

“With such a high proportion of cancer patients utilizing multivitamin supplements in the belief that it will help them fight their cancer, we felt it was important to really examine the data to see what impact multivitamins had on cancer recurrence and survival,” Ng says in a statement.

The researchers asked 1,038 patients to complete a survey. Nearly half responded they used multivitamins during chemotherapy. Of the 810 cancer-free patients who completed the survey six months after chemotherapy, more than half reported multivitamin use.