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Tuesday, November 08, 2005 

Grand Rounds 2.07 debuts

This week's Grand Rounds, a collection of medical-themed blogging, is up over at MSSP Nexus blog. Highlights: Information is free proposes a study examining marital separation and migraines; the Genetics and Public Health blog reports on a survey on public support for genetics; an interesting discussion of correlation vs. causation on Catallarchy; and Dr. Helen shares her personal story as a woman with a heart condition, and the difficulty of having it diagnosed in the first place. An excellent reminder at the end:

Women have been led to believe that breast cancer is the number one killer of women. This could not be further from the truth. Almost one half million women die each year from heart disease. Breast cancer kills only 40,000. The sad part is that half of all the women who have a heart attack each year die before they reach the hospital. I believe this is partly because women do not take symptoms of heart attacks seriously--they wait too long before going to the hospital and do not address heart issues with their doctors. Doctors are to blame at times; they buy into the myth that women are more likely to get breast cancer and that heart disease is for men. In order to change this, women must start asking their doctor to discuss heart disease prevention with them from an early age and to demand testing if they have symptoms. Hopefully, awareness of heart disease will infiltrate the public in much the same way breast cancer awareness did--but it will not begin until women decide that red dresses for heart disease are just as important or maybe more so (given the large number of women dying) than pink ribbons are for breast cancer.

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About me

  • I'm Tara C. Smith
  • From Iowa, United States
  • I'm a mom and a scientist, your basic stressed-out, wanna-have-it-all-and-do-it-all Gen Xer. Recently transplanted from Ohio to Iowa, I've spent most of my life in the midwest (with 4 years of college spent out east in "soda" territory). My main interest, and the subject of my research, is infectious disease: how does the microbe cause illness? What makes one strain nasty, and another "avirulent?" Are the latter really not causing any disease, or could some of those be possible for the development of chronic disease years down the road? Additionally, I've spent a lot of time discussing the value of teaching evolution, and educating others about "intelligent design" and other forms of creationism. My interest in history of science and medicine is also useful as a way to tie all of the above interests together. [Disclaimer: the views here are solely my own, and do not represent my employer, my spouse, that guy who's always sitting by the fountain when I come into work, or anyone else with whom I may be remotely affiliated.]
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