Media Coverage

The work done by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty members (and even some students) is regularly highlighted in newspapers, online media outlets and more. Below you’ll find links to articles and videos of Feinberg in the news.

It may not come as a surprise, but a new study suggests that people who reach middle age in good heart health can look forward to a longer, healthier life. “It’s not just about quantity, but also quality of life,” said study leader Norrina Allen, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University, in Chicago.

Young adults with uncomplicated epilepsy who remain seizure-free do as well as siblings without the disorder in education, employment, driving and independent living, a new study says. “Our study provides further evidence that children growing up with uncomplicated epilepsy who stay seizure-free have a favorable prognosis,” said senior author Anne Berg, a research professor at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “However, if they do not achieve five-year seizure remission, young adults with uncomplicated epilepsy are less likely to drive and graduate high school. They also tend to be less productively engaged and not live independently. These results show how critically important it is to control seizures,” she added.

The bottom line health message from the study is this: If you succeed in losing weight, then you should work just as hard to keep it off, says Linda Van Horn, a registered dietitian and professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. Unfortunately, keeping the pounds off can be more difficult as people age, Van Horn says. “The older we get the fewer calories we need,” she says. “If a person who is 60 is eating the same number of calories they ate when they were 20, they will be considerably heavier,” she says, even if there has been no change in physical activity. That’s because metabolism decreases over time, starting in the mid-20s. So, as people age, it’s even more important to keep an eye on the scale and cut back when weight increases, Van Horn says. “It’s a lot easier to gain than it is to lose.”

In the vast majority of cases, urinary tract infections (UTIs) don’t spread to the kidneys, according to Dr. Sarah Flury, a urologist at Northwestern University. There are about 6 million urinary tract infections each year in the United States and about 250,000 kidney infections, Flury added.

Some also question the effectiveness of such testing. Rex Chisholm, vice dean for scientific affairs at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said he’s a believer in pharmacogenomic testing, but it’s important to move carefully when rolling out such testing widely. Northwestern also has been running a study on pharmacogenomic testing. “It’s always a judgment call about how early in a new technology and development … do you actually want to be an adopter,” Chisholm said. “We want to have some additional evidence before we would go full-out and offer it to all our patients.”

“In relationships, where you have to have all your feelings available to be able to navigate intimacy, chronic marijuana use can be a downfall,” said Dr. John E. Franklin, a professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University. Habitual marijuana users, he added, “have kind of a muted response to life’s simple pleasures. The drug becomes the narrow way of getting in touch with their feelings.”

But all of those variables have to line up. “As much as we would like to be able to predict this stuff, the nature of pregnancy is it’s going to be different for everyone,” said Lauren Streicher, clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

We pay for breast reconstruction after mastectomies for breast cancer. So why can’t women at risk of becoming infertile from the chemotherapy that saves their lives rely on insurance companies to help pay for the treatment to save their fertility?

Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals in the U.S. may deliver higher quality care than other medical centers but still get lower marks on patient satisfaction, a new study suggests. “The VA certainly looks good on many of these measures, but they definitely have room for improvement regarding the patient experience,” said senior study author Dr. Karl Bilimoria, director of the Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Patients at VA hospitals were less likely to recommend VA hospitals to friends or family than patients at non-VA hospitals,” Bilimoria said.

Side effects from steroids are also possible but rare, according to Dr. Jeffrey Linder of Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. “They include increased blood pressure, increased blood sugar, fluid retention,” he said. “They could be significant for people at risk for diabetes complications and at risk for cardiovascular disease,” said Linder, chief of the division of general internal medicine and geriatrics. Linder, who wasn’t involved in the research, noted that only about one-third of the steroid takers in the study actually got better within two days. “This is a well-done study and again, it is negative. I don’t think patients go to the doctor expecting to get a treatment that is only going to give them a 1 in 3 chance of complete resolution of their symptoms within two days,” he said.

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