PATIENT EDUCATION

About Internal Medicine:
Doctors of internal medicine focus on adult medicine and have had special study and training focusing on the prevention and treatment of adult diseases. At least three of their seven or more years of medical school and postgraduate training are dedicated to learning how to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases that affect adults. Internists are sometimes referred to as the “doctor’s doctor,” because they are often called upon to act as consultants to other physicians to help solve puzzling diagnostic problems.

What’s an “internist”?
Simply put, internists are Doctors of Internal Medicine. Doctors for Adults.® But you may see them referred to by several terms, including “internists,” “general internists” and “doctors of internal medicine.” But don’t mistake them with “interns,” who are doctors in their first year of residency training.

Doctors of Internal Medicine. Doctors for Adults.®
Although internists may act as primary care physicians, they are not “family physicians,” “family practitioners,” or “general practitioners,” whose training is not solely concentrated on adults and may include surgery, obstetrics and pediatrics.

Caring for the whole patient:
Internists are equipped to deal with whatever problem a patient brings — no matter how common or rare, or how simple or complex. They are specially trained to solve puzzling diagnostic problems and can handle severe chronic illnesses and situations where several different illnesses may strike at the same time. They also bring to patients an understanding of wellness (disease prevention and the promotion of health), women’s health, substance abuse, mental health, as well as effective treatment of common problems of the eyes, ears, skin, nervous system and reproductive organs.

Caring for you for life:
In today’s complex medical environment, internists take pride in caring for their patients for life — in the office or clinic, during hospitalization and intensive care, and in nursing homes. When other medical specialists, such as surgeons or obstetricians, are involved, they coordinate their patient’s care and manage difficult medical problems associated with that care.

Immunization
Also called: Vaccination

Shots may hurt a little… but the diseases they can prevent can hurt a lot more! Immunization shots, or vaccinations, are essential. They protect against things like measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). Immunizations are important for adults as well as for children. Here’s why.

Your immune system helps your body fight germs by producing substances to combat them. Once it does, the immune system “remembers” the germ and can fight it again. Vaccines contain germs that have been killed or weakened. When given to a healthy person, the vaccine triggers the immune system to respond and thus build immunity.
Before vaccines, people became immune only by actually getting a disease and surviving it. Immunizations are an easier and less risky way to become immune

U.S. hypertension rates rising: study

(Reuters Health) – A comparison of U.S. hypertension rates over a decade indicates there has been an 18-percent relative increase.

Much of this increase is attributable to an upward trend in hypertension rates among women, report Dr. Jeffrey Cutler and colleagues at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Prevention involves lifelong dietary and lifestyle changes to improve body weight and to eliminate other cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol and smoking, Cutler told Reuters Health.

His group compared hypertension rates reported in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted between 1988 through 1994 and again from 1999 through 2004. The investigators also assessed rates of awareness, treatment, and control, reported by the 16,351 and 14,430 US-living adults who, respectively, participated in the surveys.

The findings show that the overall age-standardized prevalence of hypertension increased from 24.4 percent to 28.9 percent, with the largest increases seen among non-Hispanic-white women, Cutler’s team reports in the medical journal Hypertension.

While reports of high blood pressure significantly increased among non-Hispanic-white women 40 years and older, it did not increase until age 60 years and older among non-Hispanic-white men or non-Hispanic-black men and women.

Among Mexican-American men and women, hypertension prevalence did not significantly increase nor did the rates of awareness, treatment, or control generally seen in other groups, Cutler and colleagues report.

Among men, increased body weight appears to account for most of the increase in hypertension prevalence, however overweight only accounts for part of the increase among women.

Prevalence depends on the rate of new cases and on survival, said Cutler. Gender differences may represent men’s “catch-up” in awareness, treatment, and control; women’s suspected sensitivity “to the blood pressure raising effects of salt;” or may reflect changes in life circumstances, “such as availability of employer-sponsored health insurance,” he surmised.

Taken together, these findings highlight the need for better understanding of impeding factors toward improved control of blood pressure, the researchers conclude.
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