Tag Archives: Northwestern Medicine

Hot Cocoa Aids Walking in Peripheral Artery Disease – Study

First of all, what is peripheral artery disease (PAD). I have heard about it, but don’t have any first hand knowledge of it.

PAD affects about 8.5 million people in the U.S.; people with PAD have blockages in their arteries that slow or stop the blood flood flow to their legs. As a result, they have pain and difficulty walking even short distances.

close up photography of cocoa powder

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Drinking flavanol-rich cocoa three times a day improved walking distance in individuals with peripheral artery disease (PAD), reports a new Northwestern Medicine pilot study.

“The degree of improvement from chocolate was significant and meaningful,” said lead author Mary McDermott, MD, the Jeremiah Stamler Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and a Northwestern Medicine physician. “Exercise currently is the most effective medical therapy for PAD.  In this study, the benefits from chocolate were comparable to the benefits of exercise.”

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, Northwestern Medicine, PAD, peripheral artery disease

Too many antibiotic prescriptions – Study

A new Northwestern Medicine study has found alarmingly high rates of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for patients on Medicaid, the public health insurance program for those with lower incomes.

white plastic syringe

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  • 28% of antibiotics prescribed without evidence of a doctor office visit
  • Unnecessary antibiotic use increases antibiotic-resistant bacteria, renders drugs ineffective
  • Study raises questions about effectiveness of efforts to curb inappropriate antibiotic prescribing

Using Medicaid insurance claims between 2004 and 2013, the study evaluated 298 million antibiotic prescriptions filled by 53 million patients on Medicaid, the largest source of health care coverage in the U.S. It found 45% of Medicaid antibiotics were prescribed without any clear rationale: 17% of antibiotics were prescribed at an office visit during which no infection-related diagnosis was made, and 28% of antibiotic prescriptions were not associated with an office visit at all. Continue reading

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Filed under antibiotics, Medicaid, Northwestern Medicine