Vital Statistics

Doctors intimidated by internet-informed patients?

A new study published in the British Journal of General Practice examines doctors’ responses when patients come to appointments armed with extensive internet research. While there were physicians that embraced internet research; some felt anxiety that a patient might be more knowledgeable about a condition than they were. The participating doctors also reported feeling anxiety over potentially losing control of the appointment. This BBC article by Dr. Anthea Martin provides more details on the study and warns doctors not to dismiss the concerns of these patients she dubs “cyberchondriacs”.

What are the most popular foods in America?

The Agriculture Department, which has been examining food trends in America since 1909, finds in the last thirty years, the consumption of cheese has increased significantly to 31.4 pounds per person. The Agriculture Department says this is increasingly due to the attempts to add flavor to quick-serve meals and the result of frequently eating out or ordering in. Chicken is also experiencing a gain in popularity, giving beef a run for its money as America’s most popular meat. The site says this is a result of recent consumer health concerns and chicken products now being marketed for convenience.

Happiness can improve heart health

A new study finds that happiness is associated with lower risk of heart disease. Over 1,700 people in Canada and Nova Scotia participated in an initial assessment that rated their happiness level and was used to predict their chances of having a heart attack in the next ten years.

When revisiting the participants ten years later, it was discovered that 145 had suffered at least one heart attack. The researchers found that the happier the participants were at the start of the study, the less likely they were to have suffered from a heart attack.

Online news gaining popularity

According to a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the web is now the third most popular resource for daily news, passing both newspaper and radio, but still behind local and national television news. The report says the public’s relationship with the news has become “portable, personalized and participatory”.

92 percent of Americans claim they use multiple resources for news on a typical day, including websites, blogs, social networks and television. The report cites two main reasons for the transformation of the way people receive news – the rise of social media and the increasing popularity of smart phones which allow news to be accessed anytime and anywhere.

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