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2 November 2010

Exercise 'can prevent a cold', a study shows

People who exercise regularly are less likely to get a cold, researchers say.

A study of 1,000 people found that staying active nearly halved the odds of catching cold viruses and, failing that, made the infection less severe.

Experts told the British Journal of Sports Medicine that this could be because exercise helps bolster the immune system to fight off bugs.

But you may not have to actually do much exercise - those who merely think they are fit enjoy the same lower risk.

Adults can expect to suffer two to five colds per year. This latest research suggests there are lifestyle choices you can make to improve your odds of either avoiding them, or suffering too badly from them.

For their study, US researchers asked the healthy volunteers to keep a record of any coughs and sniffles they experienced over a three-month period during the autumn and winter.

The volunteers were also asked to say how frequently in any given week they would do exercise lasting at least 20 minutes and intensive enough to break a sweat.

How should value be defined in spine surgery?

In a health care economy with limited resources, providers and consumers of health care services need to be accountable for the end result and the cost of care. The value proposition in health care is an analysis of the benefits of care relative to the direct cost and risk of providing the care. Measurement of benefits and costs is challenging, and a consensus on the measures that encompass the relevant components of the value equation has not been reached. Traditional outcome measures in orthopedics including survival, radiographic outcomes, and disease-specific outcome tools do not adequately reflect the patient’s health care experience, or the impact of an intervention on health-related quality of life. Similarly, measuring cost of care is complex, and may encompass both direct costs of treatment and alternative treatments, and indirect costs including time from work or family role, loss of productivity, and cost of caretakers.

The value equation may vary depending on the perspective of the stakeholder in the health care economy. Hospitals and facilities providing care may measure outcome and costs by factors that affect their short-term, single admission interaction, including length of stay, implant utilization, and complications. Third-party payors may focus on a timeframe that is longer that a single admission, and may include factors in the value equation such as readmission within 90 days, or cost of outpatient care. Hospital- and payor-based quality measures may be misinterpreted as measures of outcome or value. Length of stay, surgical times, compliance with antibiotic or thromboembolic prophylaxis, and perioperative complications are process measures that may be useful to compare hospital and provider performance when appropriately matched and stratified. However, they are not useful in measuring a patient’s health care experience, or the impact of an intervention on long-term health-related quality of life. In fact, a focus on quality and process measures alone may be misleading in the pursuit of value in health care, and may provide incentive for counterproductive care strategies that serve the measurement system rather than the patient.

The health care provider and the patient measure outcome by the impact of an orthopedic intervention on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The timeframe for the patient and provider is a lifetime, rather than a single admission. As Porter and Teisberg wrote in 2006, the right goal for health care delivery is superior patient value, which is measured at the level of specific medical conditions. Measurement of outcomes of care needs to reflect the patient’s long-term health care experience, and the impact of one intervention compared with alternatives on the patients self-assessment of HRQoL.

Study: Growing Rods for Childhood Scoliosis Treatment Likely to Cause Autofusion

While the use of growing rods has produced efficacy in the control of deformity within the growing spine, the surgery also has high rates of unintended autofusion, which can lead to a difficult and moderate correction, according to an article published in Spine.

Researchers conducted a retrospective review of the medical records and radiographs of young patients who received treatment for scoliosis using growing rods. The researchers collected data on complications, pre- and postoperative Cobb angles, total spine length, correction since initiation of treatment, total number of surgeries and the number of patients found to have autofusion at the time of device removal.

The rate of autofusion in the patients treated with growing rods was 89 percent. The average percent of the Cobb angle was 44 percent, and an average of seven osteotomies per patient were required at the time of definitive fusion due to autofusion.

Health In Your Hands – Scoliosis Exercises for Prevention and Correction DVD

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