Vital Signs: Refusing Patients Who Won't Vaccinate; a Healthier Candy

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

  • 3 -- The minimum number of servings of fish needed each week to reduce women's risk of developing some types of colon polyps by 33 percent, according to research from the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville. Source: "Eating Fish May Help Ward Off Colon Polyps in Women," HealthDay News.
  • 87 -- The percentage of disabled seniors interviewed by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco, who rated their quality of life as "fair to very good," which was in the middle of a five-point scale ranging from "poor" to "excellent." Source: "Disabled Elderly Say They Want Dignity, Control," HealthDay News.
  • 77 -- The age, in years, of actor Judi Dench, who is currently fighting macular degeneration. In an interview with the Mirror, Dench revealed that her eyesight is so poor she can no longer she faces. Source: "Judi Dench Battles Loss of Eyesight," Newser.
  • 19 -- The number of medical practices in the United States that were warned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week that they may have purchased fake Avastin, an anti-cancer drug without the active ingredient found in the real product. Source: "A.M. Vitals: FDA Warns of Fake Avastin in U.S.," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 94,000,000 -- The amount, in dollars, that Medicare spent in 2010 on artificial feet, even though the agency covered a smaller number of prostheses. The bill is about 60 percent higher than it was in 2005. Source: "A.M. Vitals: FDA Warns of Fake Avastin in U.S.," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 400 -- The number of the most popular lipsticks currently on the market that contain traces of lead according to an analysis conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Source: "Lead Found in 400 Types of Lipstick: Which Has Most?" CBS.
  • 20 -- The number of small daily doses of a bone drug to fight osteoporosis delivered by a tiny, wirelessly programmed microchip that can be implanted in the abdomen. Source: "A.M. Vitals: Experimental Implantable Microchip Delivers Osteoporosis Drug," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 390 -- The length, in minutes, of the new, extended Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which will be rolled out in 2015 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. New sections on biology, sociology, and psychology are being added. Source: "A.M. Vitals: Experimental Implantable Microchip Delivers Osteoporosis Drug," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 25 -- The percentage of pediatricians who have refused to serve patients because they won't give their children vaccines, according to a survey by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Source: "Doctors 'Fire' Patients Who Refuse Vaccines for Their Children: Ethical?" CBS.
  • 22 -- The number of experts who sat on the panel organized by the World Health Organization that decided to extend a moratorium on research using potentially dangerous strains of the bird flu. Source: "WHO on Bird Flu Research: Publish in Full... Someday," the Los Angeles Times.
  • 60 -- The percentage of infected people who are killed by the bird flu in the wild, though it does not pass easily between humans. Source: "WHO on Bird Flu Research: Publish in Full... Someday," the Los Angeles Times.
  • 250 -- The maximum number of calories per portion that will be found in all Mars chocolate products by the end of 2013. Source: "More on Those 250-Calorie Candy Bars," the Washington Post.
  • 510 -- The number of calories in Mars' king-size Snickers bar. Source: "More on Those 250-Calorie Candy Bars," the Washington Post.
  • 6,000 -- The number of calories in the Triple Bypass Burger served at the Heart Attack Grill restaurant. While eating the burger last week, a diner suffered a heart attack at the Las Vegas branch of the franchise. Source: "Heart Attack Grill Heart Attack: What Does Restaurant Owner Have to Say?" CBS.
  • 755,000,000 -- The cost, in dollars, of hospitalizations in 2008 related to underage drinking, according to an analysis by researchers at the Mayo Clinic. That covers 39,619 admissions. Source: "The (Partial) Cost of Underage Drinking," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 61 -- The percentage of underage drinkers who were hospitalized in 2008 that were men. But, while men make up the majority of cases, researchers at the Mayo Clinic said that there is a "cultural shift" going on that has more underage women engaging in binge drinking. Source: "The (Partial) Cost of Underage Drinking," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 220,000,000,000 -- The cost, in dollars, of heavy boozing, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Source: "The (Partial) Cost of Underage Drinking," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 85 -- The approximate number of students at George Washington University that were sickened by norovirus last week, according to the university's health service. Norovirus is a gastrointestinal illness -- similar to a severe stomach flu -- often found on cruise ships. Source: "Norovirus Found on Washington College Campus," CNN.
  • 20,000,000 -- The estimated number of norovirus cases every year. The virus is responsible for more than half of all foodborne illness outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Source: "Norovirus Found on Washington College Campus," CNN.
  • 15 -- The age, in minutes, of Jaya Maharaj when she became the smallest person to ever receive a pacemaker. Diagnosed in the womb with a severe heart problem, Jaya was born more than two months premature and had a heart rate of just 45 beats per minute. Healthy newborn's often have a heart rate between 120 and 150 beats per minute. Source: "15-Minute-Old Premature Newborn Receives Pacemaker," CBS.
  • 2,000,000 -- The number of children who could be saved each year if malnutrition were better addressed, according to a report from Save the Children. Source: "Malnutrition Affects 1 in 4 Children Worldwide, Causes 2 Million Deaths," the Associated Press.
  • 5 -- The number of children around the world who die every minute because of malnutrition, according to a report from Save the Children. Source: "Malnutrition Affects 1 in 4 Children Worldwide, Causes 2 Million Deaths," the Associated Press.
  • 2,700,000,000 -- The amount, in dollars, that cereal giant Kellogg paid to acquire Pringles. Source: "Pringles Bought by Kellogg for $2.7 Billion: Are the Chips Healthy?" CBS.
  • 42 -- The percentage of a Pringles chip that is actually made from potatoes. The rest is a combination of different types of flours and wheat starch. Source: "Pringles Bought by Kellogg for $2.7 Billion: Are the Chips Healthy?" CBS.
  • 150 -- The number of calories found in a 14-chip serving of Pringles Original. Source: "Pringles Bought by Kellogg for $2.7 Billion: Are the Chips Healthy?" CBS.
  • 80 -- The approximate percentage of l-cysteine, an amino acid used to condition dough for increased pliability, derived from animal feathers. You'll find l-cysteine in McDonald's Baked Hot Apple Pie as well as in bakery products from other fast food restaurants. Source: "8 Creepy Mystery Ingredients in Fast Food," Mother Nature Network.
  • 18 -- The number of products available at McDonald's, from McNuggets to Fruit and Walnut Salad, that contain tertiary butylhydroquinon (TBHQ), a preservative derived from petroleum and also found in varnish and resins. Source: "8 Creepy Mystery Ingredients in Fast Food," Mother Nature Network.
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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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