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Weekly Health Digest: Coffee And Cancer, Infant Death Mutation, And Online Medical Portals

Coffee requires cancer warning, California judge rules

Associated Press

While science is still trying to answer the question of whether or not coffee is bad for your health, one judge has already come to a verdict. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle ruled that coffee sellers in the state of California should have to post cancer warnings on coffee labels because there is a chemical produced in the bean roasting process that is a known carcinogen.

Genetic mutation linked to sudden infant death, study finds

Shamard Charles

A new study, published in The Lancet on Wednesday, states that a rare genetic mutation could be linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The SCN4A gene is key for normal, infant lung development. Mutations in this gene are connected to multiple genetic neuromuscular disorders, which can lead to spasms of vocal cords and long pauses in breathing. This is the first study to link poor breathing, due to the mutation in the gene, causing weaker breathing muscles, with sudden infant death syndrome.

Without Context Or Cushion, Do Online Medical Results Make Sense?

Sandra G. Boodman

Patients are increasingly using, and being encouraged to use, online portals to get information about their medical visits, including lab and imaging results and, occasionally, doctor’s notes. However, these are often provided without any explanation or context. This means many patients may see test results and not be able to properly interpret them. There are efforts being made to improve the systems, including ensuring physicians see the results before the patient.