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brittany-murphy-deathBrittany Murphy died this morning of cardiac arrest after being rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a hospital spokeswoman has confirmed.

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woman-doctorAlthough there are thousands of diseases that commonly effect many people and their loved ones, there are few chronic diseases that are putting a huge strain on health care systems acroiss the world.

The following seven chronic diseases have been affected more and more people with increasing frequency in developed nations across the world. 

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About six of every 10 people in the United States age 18 and older have at least one chronic medical condition, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research ands Quality.

A chronic condition is one that can be expected to last at least one year and result in limitations or the need for ongoing medical care.

For example, in 2005 about 22 million Americans received medical care for osteoarthritis and related conditions, 49 million for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 17 million for diabetes, 45 million for hypertension, and 19 million for heart disease, according to AHRQ.

When AHRQ analyzed chronic conditions as a whole in 2005, it found that:

  • Nearly 4 in 10 Americans between 18 and 34 years of age had at least one chronic condition, as did 9 of every 10 aged 65 and older.
  • About 77 percent of Americans aged 65 and older had two or more chronic conditions. Only 14 percent of those 18 to 34 had two or more conditions.
  • Nine of every 10 dollars spent for medical care (excluding expenses for dental care and medical equipment and supplies) on adults in the United States was spent to treat persons with chronic conditions.
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Physicians, primary care clinicians and their staff appear to fail to inform some patients, or to fail to document doctor-quietinforming patients, about abnormal results on outpatient medical tests, according to a report in the June 22, 2009 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

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chronic periodontal diseaseSeveral studies have confirmed the link between gum disease and several chronic diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, but a new study also now links gum disease with memory loss as well. Keeping the mouth free of infection now may also mean reducing your risk to dementia and Alzheimer disease.

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Research presented at the American Society of Hyperteair_pollution_man_wearing_gas_masknsion's Twenty Third Annual Scientific Meeting and Exposition (ASH 2008) shows that even a few hours of exposure to particulate matter (PM), which is not ozone but a component of air pollution emitted from power plants, factories and motor vehicles, among other sources, is responsible for rapidly raising blood pressure and can impair blood vessel function in certain situations within 24 hours.

The effect of particulate matter on blood pressure may explain why air pollution can trigger a large host of cardiovascular events including heart attack, heart failure, other forms of heart disease and stroke. It is also important to understand, since particulate matter is the 13th cause of mortality worldwide.

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medsAn online survey of professionals subsribing to the Journal Nature have yielded some very interesting results regarding drug use among professionals.

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woman_stroke_sexMinutes after having sexual intercourse with her boyfriend, a 35-year-old woman suddenly felt her left arm go weak. Her speech became slurred and she lost feeling on the left side of her face. She was having a stroke. Doctors later concluded the stroke probably was due to several related factors, including birth control pills, a venous blood clot, sexual intercourse and a heart defect.

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mother-smoking-childNYU School of Medicine researchers report in a new study that exposures to secondhand tobacco smoke nearly doubles the risk of hearing loss among adolescents.

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Rogue Depression Gene

Depression could be caused by a single rogue gene, according to new researchers from Kings College London and a team from the US

The scientists have discovered flaws in people’s DNA which may make them more likely to get depression.

It is hoped that their findings eventually lead to the development of better depression treatments which is notoriously difficult to manage. These new findings about the causes of depressions  were published  in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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