Vital Signs: The Man With 2 Hearts; Painkiller Addictions; Eating Bacon

The latest facts and figures from the all of the most influential medical journals; newspapers; and health, fitness, and wellness websites.

  • 2 -- The number of strips of bacon a person has to eat every day to see a 19 percent rise in the risk for pancreatic cancer. That's about 50 grams of processed meat. Source: "Pancreatic Cancer Risk Increases With Every 2 Strips of Bacon You Eat: Study," CBS.
  • 6 -- The number of strips of bacon a person has to eat every day to see a 57  percent rise in the risk for pancreatic cancer. That's about 150 grams of processed meat. Source: "Pancreatic Cancer Risk Increases With Every 2 Strips of Bacon You Eat: Study," CBS.
  • 70,000 -- The approximate number of Americans -- out of a population of some 311,000,000 -- who are currently past the age of 100. Source: "How Long Do You Expect to Live?" KevinMD.com.
  • 6 -- The minimum percent of children in the United States under the age of 5 suspected to have food allergies. Source: "Girl, 7, Ate Peanut Before Dying of Allergic Reaction at School," CBS.
  • 3 -- The minimum percent of adults in the United States suspected to have food allergies. Source: "Girl, 7, Ate Peanut Before Dying of Allergic Reaction at School," CBS.
  • 5,000,000 -- The number of dollars the CVS Caremark will pay to settle FTC charges that the company posted prices for certain Medicare prescription drugs that were much lower than the actual prices. Source: "A.M. Vitals: CVS to Pay $5 Million to Settle FTC Charges," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 1 -- The percent of non-institutionalized Americans who accounted for approximately 22 percent of all health care spending in 2009. Source: "A.M. Vitals: CVS to Pay $5 Million to Settle FTC Charges," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 5,000,000 -- The approximate number of Americans who use painkillers known as opioid analgesics for "non-medical" purposes, meaning without medical need or a prescription, according to a report from the CDC. Source: "CDC: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses Constitute 'U.S. Epidemic'," the Washington Post.
  • 9,000,000 -- The approximate number of Americans who use painkillers known as opioid analgesics for medical purposes, according to a report from the CDC. Source: "CDC: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses Constitute 'U.S. Epidemic'," the Washington Post.
  • 37 -- The age of a British woman who coughed up an odd-looking chunk of tissue that she said looked "like a strip of liver." When her doctor performed a biopsy on the mass, he discovered that the woman has cancer in the back of her throat. Source: "Woman Reportedly Coughs Up Cancerous Tumor," CBS.
  • 52,000 -- The approximate number of men and women in the United States who will be diagnosed with head and neck cancers this year. Source: "Woman Reportedly Coughs Up Cancerous Tumor," CBS.
  • 0 -- The number of cases of polio reported in India over the past year. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the crippling disease is almost eradicated in the country, which had 741 cases in 2009 and just 42 in 2010. Source: "Polio Almost Eradicated in India, Says World Health Organization," CBS.
  • 2,400,000,000 -- The number of dollars spent by India's government to fight polio in the country. Source: "Polio Almost Eradicated in India, Says World Health Organization," CBS.
  • 2 -- The number of hearts -- one his own and one a donor's -- inside a 71-year-old man who was resuscitated when both organs developed an irregular beat, according to a case study published in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine. Source: "Man With Two Hearts Saved by Defibrillator in the Emergency Room," the Los Angeles Times.
  • 184,000 -- The number of people who participated in a marathon or half-marathon between 2000 and 2010 for every one who suffered from cardiac arrest, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Source: "Marathon Runners Don't Face Major Heart Risks, Study Shows," CBS.
  • 259,000 -- The number of people who participated in a marathon of half-marathon between 2000 and 2010 for every one who died because of the race, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Source: "Marathon Runners Don't Face Major Heart Risks, Study Shows," CBS.
  • 1 -- The number of fried foods that the average American consumes every day, according to television personality and fitness expert Jillian Michaels. Source: "Jillian Michaels' Top Tips for Healthy Eating in 2012," the Huffington Post.
  • 1 -- The number of arms lost by a woman who arrived at a New Orleans hospital with a swollen appendage after injecting bath salts as a means of getting high. Source: "Injecting Bath Salts Causes Woman to Lose Arm to Flesh Eating Bacteria," Jezebel.
  • 25 -- The percentage -- 62 of 252 -- of Academy Award-winning films that are focused on psychological themes, according to an informal count conducted by one Psychology Today blogger. Source: "Psychology Goes to the Academy Awards," Psychology Today.
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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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