Underweight people have a 40 percent higher risk of dying post-surgery, according to a study released on Monday. According to the new research, body mass index, or BMI, may be a helpful predictor of which patients are at the greatest risk while recovering from surgery.
The study used data on nearly 190,000 patients who underwent a variety of surgeries at 183 hospitals between 2005 and 2006. Overall, 2,245 or 1.7 percent of people in the study died within 30 days of surgery. Even when researchers adjusted the statistics for type of surgery and other risk factors, those with a low BMI still had a greater risk of dying within the first month of surgery.
Researchers werenâ€™t sure of the reason why people with a lower BMI were at a higher risk post-surgery. One researcher speculated that since the study did not track weight loss before the surgery, people who weighed less may have been sicker to begin with. Either way, the study indicates that doctors should factor in BMI while making surgery decisions.
Do you have a low BMI?
- Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. recalled about 283,000 Toyota vehicles and 137,000 Lexus vehicles to replace the crankshaft pulley on the V6 engine. A problem with the pulley may cause the power steering to become detached.
- The FDA is warning consumers not to eat Bio Gaudiano brand Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds. The product, imported from Italy, has been linked with a botulism outbreak in Europe.
- United Natural Foods is also recalling selected types of FoodMatch, Inc. Divina Stuffed Olives tied to a botulism outbreak.
- Assi Brand oysters are being recalled due to norovirus cases in Washington state. The frozen oyster meat (shucked; not in shell), is packed in 3-lb bags.
- Wolfgang Puck is recalling combination electric griddles/grills imported from China due to a defect in the electrical wiring of the appliances.
- All 2011 Arctic Cat XC 450 ATVs and some 2012 Arctic Cat 450 ATVs are being recalled because the vehicles steering tie-rod can bend, possibly causing the driver to lose control and crash.
- The Joss Cam, a mechanical device placed in the crack of the rock to support a climberâ€™s weight, is being recalled because it may fail unexpectedly after being set.
- Ikea Pax Aurland wardrobe mirror doors are being recalled because they may detach from the wardrobe door, fall, and shatter.
- Kiddieland Toysâ€™ Disney Fairies plastic racing trikes are being recalled because the plastic fairies protrude from the top of the trikeâ€™s handle bar, posing a laceration hazard.
- Battat Inc.â€™s B. Toulouse-LapTrec magnetic sketchboards are being recalled because the magnetic tip of the drawing pen for the sketchboard may detach and pose a choking hazard.
Could paying fees to doctors for each service lead to unnecessary medical care? Thatâ€™s what advocates of â€œbundling,â€ in which providers get a set amount for each episode of care suggest. But a new study published in Health Affairs suggests that bundling may be difficult to implement and maintain.
Researchers, from the Rand Corporation and the Harvard School of Public Health looked at three sites that were trying to implement a bundling methodology developed by the nonprofit Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute. They found that the efforts moved along slowly, with none of the providers receiving a bundled payment in the two to three years of study.
Software errors and issues with the claims departments made it difficult to develop payment rates, while insurersâ€™ processes for processing claims didnâ€™t work well with bundling methods. One of the sites mentioned in the study now has a contract for bundled knee-replacement payments that will take effect in January.
Ever wondered who makes the decisions on which foods are classified as safe to consume? In thousands of cases, private industries may have made the calls on which ingredients are safe without federal scrutiny, a new report finds.
The peer-reviewed report published in the Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety journal relies on research funded by the Pew Health Group, the health and consumer safety branch of the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts. The group is looking to make the food safety process more transparent, and make data on the health impact of certain foods publicly available. In many cases, they say, the FDA has not reviewed this data.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires manufacturers to make sure food ingredients are safe. Companies can classify an ingredient as “generally recognized as safe” for use in a specific product but aren’t required to tell the Food and Drug Administration about what they find.
Do you think food safety needs to be more transparent?
Two lawmakers are asking the Federal Trade Commission to look into allegations that Hulu.com and MSN.com install undeletable â€œsupercookiesâ€ that canâ€™t be deleted. Cookies are put onto usersâ€™ computers to collect data when visit they visit certain websites.
However, these cookies can recreate a userâ€™s profile even after other cookies are deleted, the lawmakers said. “We believe this new business practice raises serious privacy concerns and is unacceptable,” they wrote. “We believe the usage of supercookies takes away consumer control over their own personal information, presents a greater opportunity for misuse of personal information, and provides another way for consumers to be tracked online.”
Representatives Joe Barton and Ed Markey, co-chairmen of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, urged the FTC to look into whether privacy is violated by the presence of supercookies. The FTC has supported a â€œdo not trackâ€ option for the Internet that would limit the ability of the advertiser to collect consumersâ€™ data.
The FTC has also backed proposals that company privacy policies be clearer and simpler in an effort to help consumers manage what advertisers know about them.
Do you visit Hulu.com or MSN.com?
Apple Inc.â€™s newest iPhone 4S has been met with harsh criticism from investors and fans after leaving Wall Street, sending shares plummeting down to 5 percent before recovering to close down 0.6 percent.
Enthusiasts of the former iteration of the iPhone expected to be blown away with new features for the gadget. While the device comes with voice recognition and a better camera, it looks identical to the last version. Analysts say that in future months, it will be even more important to keep up the popularity of the older iPhone 4.
The iPhone has been a hot commodity since it first emerged in 2007, making Apple one of the leading consumer electronics companies. The iPhone accounts for more than 40% of Appleâ€™s sales.
Android phones by Samsung Electronics and other rivals are starting to approach Appleâ€™s sizable lead, making it even more important for Apple to create a buzz with the new product.
Will you buy the new iPhone?
Recent changes on Facebook have users of the social networking site scrambling to check their privacy settings. Among the more prominent changes is a rolling â€œtickerâ€ displaying a real time list of your friendsâ€™ activity in a collapsible chat bar. The ticker also allows you to eavesdrop on conversations of virtual friends and strangers.
If youâ€™re leery about information sharing, it may be time to recheck your privacy settings. The â€œfriends of friendsâ€ and â€œpublicâ€ settings allow your comments, â€œlikes,â€ and other activity to be broadcast widely. When one of your friends comments on a thread, Facebook displays your original post for their friends to see.
The privacy controls in the top right can help you form lists of who you want to see information. More importantly, encourage your friends to restrict their setting to â€œfriendsâ€ or use custom lists. Current advice being circulated on Facebook statuses suggests that users should unsubscribe from updates in order to fix the security issue. This option only stops you from seeing when other people have broadcast their activity. It does not stop your activity from being displayed to the public.
What do you think of the new Facebook?
An 80-year-old woman has died after toxic fumes were detected at a McDonaldâ€™s in eastern Georgia. Nine other people, including three firefighters, were hospitalized in the incident, which took place around 11:50 a.m. on Wednesday.
Police and fire personnel found two people unconscious in the womenâ€™s restroom and immediately were â€œstricken (by) an odor,â€ according to Revenew.
The crews immediately put on their breathing apparatus and reentered the restroom to bring the women outside and begin providing medical attention. The restaurant reopened Wednesday afternoon after authorities found the location to be safe. An investigation into the causes of the toxic fumes is underway, although authorities do not anticipate filing charges.
“We continue to work with the local authorities to collect more information about what may have happened,” John and Monique Palamccio, the McDonald’s franchisees who own the restaurant, said in a statement.
“The safety of our customers and employees has and will continue to be our number one concern. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families who have been impacted,” they said.
Could Facebook be gearing up to compete against Appleâ€™s iTunes? The social networking giant plans to allow its 750 million users to listen to music and share songs through the site.
News of the new feature is expected to be unveiled at this monthâ€™s â€œf8â€ conference on September 22 in San Francisco. The conference is an annual event held by Facebook to show off its latest technology.
Music services are expected to allow Facebook users to listen to libraries of millions of songs directly via the site, without having to install additional software. Users will probably be able to purchase music directly via the site.
Rumors are swirling that music streaming sites such as Spotify, Rdio and MOG are being considered as initial partners for the venture. Technology blog Mashable suggested that Facebook may eventually go beyond music, possibly streaming movies by Netflix on the popular social networking site.
A clean-air initiative that would limit smog pollution was unexpectedly halted on Friday by White House administration, causing concern among doctors and health experts who say the current ozone levels are harmful. Under the proposed rule, factories and oil, natural gas and power generators would have been forced to cut emissions of ozone, nitrogen oxides and other chemicals, which form smog when they react with sunlight.
Ozone directly impacts lung tissue and may cause coughing and wheezing even in healthy people. Patients with chronic asthma or bronchitis may experience flare-ups after ozone exposure. Ozone may also inhibit the release of oxygen in the blood stream, increasing the chances of heart attack and stroke among people with heart problems.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said the ozone rules would save as much as $100 billion in health costs, and help prevent as many as 12,000 premature deaths from heart and lung complications. Jackson said that the EPA would revisit the ozone standard in compliance with the Clean Air Act.
Do you know someone impacted by ozone pollution?