Daily Rounds: Prostate Risks; Toxins In Baby Products; Closing ERs; Local Docs Vs. McDonald's

Single PSA Before Age 50 Stratifies Men at Risk
The long-term risk for prostate cancer can be predicted from a 1-time prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test before 50 years of age, according to a study presented at the American Urological Association. The study, which comes from a population of more than 20,000 Swedish men, indicates that men with a PSA value above 1.5  between the ages of 45 and 49 years account for nearly half of the prostate cancer deaths over the next 30 years or so. Only 10% of the men in the study had such high PSA values at this relatively young age. (Medscape) Also:
Surgery No Better Than Waiting For Most Men With Prostate Cancer : Shots - Health Blog : NPR (
Coffee Lowers Risk Of Deadliest Prostate Cancer : Shots - Health Blog : NPR (

Toxic flame retardants found in 80% of baby products -
Eighty percent of baby products contain toxic or untested chemical flame retardants, according to a new study of products such as car seats, changing pads and portable cribs. One-third of products, which also included nursing pillows, contained a chemical called chlorinated tris, which was removed from children's pajamas in the 1970s because of cancer concerns, though the chemical was never banned, says a study released Wednesday in Environmental Science & Technology. (

Fewer Emergency Rooms Available as Need Rises -
Hospital emergency rooms, particularly those serving the urban poor, are closing at an alarming rate even as emergency visits are rising, according to a report published on Tuesday. Urban and suburban areas have lost a quarter of their hospital emergency departments over the last 20 years, according to the study, in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Emergency departments were most likely to have closed if they served large numbers of the poor, were at commercially operated hospitals, were in hospitals with skimpy profit margins or operated in highly competitive markets, the researchers found. (

Doctors cook up way to give McDonald’s Ronald the boot -
Local doctors are ratcheting up the campaign against McDonald’s, demanding its clown mascot — Ronald McDonald — retire and that the fast food giant stop marketing to kids. Dr. Wayne Altman will join other physicians today at the Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester to unveil a national initiative challenging McDonald’s and its competitors to stop marketing junk food to kids. More than 200 Boston area physicians have signed a letter to McDonald’s CEO James Skinner asking him to halt its marketing to kids. (Boston Herald)

Children's Boston gets top rankings by US News - White Coat Notes -
Each year, the premier children's hospitals in Boston and Philadelphia duke it out for top rankings in the US News lineup. This year's list, released this morning, puts Children's Hospital Boston in first place in six of 10 categories, including cancer and cardiac care.  (


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