TIMECan public health messages be entertaining? ZDoggMD thinks so
In the world of digital doctors, medical advice is a dime a dozen. No shortage of Twitter docs exhort followers to dutifully apply sunscreen, schedule their colonoscopies, exercise more and eat less. Then there’s ZDoggMD,  aka Dr. Zubin Damania, a Stanford-trained internist. He’s the irreverent yin to the coterie of earnest physicians’ yang, with a bevy of saucy YouTube rap videos including one championing safe sex that’s titled “Pull and Pray” and another about the importance of getting the flu vaccine that’s packed with R-rated double entendres.

Washington PostThe charts that should dominate the health-care discussion
“This is the chart that I think ought to dominate the conversation about public-sector health-care spending in the United States,” writes Matt Yglesias, “and yet it is curiously ignored. The data show government health-care spending per capita in the United States and Canada. The United States spends more. And that’s not more per person who gets government health insurance, it’s more per resident. And yet Canada covers all its citizens, and we don’t. That should be considered shocking stuff, and yet I rarely hear it mentioned.” It should be considered shocking stuff. But I actually don’t think that’s the chart that should dominate the discussion over government health-care spending.

WebMDNew strain of norovirus spreading quickly in U.S.
The flu is not the only highly contagious disease raging this winter. A new strain of norovirus is causing intestinal illness outbreaks across the country, the CDC confirmed today. Norovirus is often to blame when large numbers of people get sick on cruise ships or in schools, nursing homes, and other places where people live, work, or play in close quarters. CDC officials also reported a rise in outbreaks of sickness caused by drinking raw milk. The findings appear in the Jan. 25 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

TelegraphSmokers who quit before 40 live just as long
Smoking cuts at least 10 years off a person’s life, but a new study found that people who quit smoking before they turn 40 regain almost all of those potentially lost years. Study leader Professor Prabhat Jha, of the University of Toronto, said: “Quitting smoking before age 40, and preferably well before 40, gives back almost all of the decade of lost life from continued smoking. “That’s not to say that it is safe to smoke until you are 40 and then stop. Former smokers still have a greater risk of dying sooner than people who never smoked. But the risk is small compared to the huge risk for those who continue to smoke.” The researchers found that people who quit smoking between ages 35 and 44 gained about nine years and those who quit between ages 45-54 and 55-64 gained six and four years of life, respectively.

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