This month’s cover story features the controversial topic of testosterone therapy and how it has been perceived by some — both inside and outside the medical community — as a new path to the legendary “fountain of youth.” In “Testosterone Replacement Therapy… Is It the New Fountain of Youth?” (page 14), Glenda Fauntleroy uncovers some surprising statistics regarding this treatment, which has seen its numbers triple in the last decade or so. According to the story, at least one in four men prescribed this therapy never even had their testosterone levels tested. Further controversy surrounds the risks versus the benefits, especially in older men.
Regular Endocrine News contributor Terri D’Arrigo looks at another hot button issue in both the medical and lay media — the debate over the sweetener that’s seemingly everywhere: fructose. “The Frenzy Over Fructose” (page 34) delves into the cupboard and reveals how studies have shown that when the liver is overloaded with highly processed fructose, the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease is increased. As the prevalence of diabetes continues its climb, this is an issue that will not be resolved any time soon.
For many practicing physicians, the room full of filing cabinets stuff ed to overflowing with patient records is — or soon will be — a thing of the past, as electronic health records are becoming the norm. Rather than keep these records on an on-site hard drive, many are opting to send this data to “the cloud,” a remote information bank. While this makes storage and transmission of data easier than ever imagined, as Melissa Mapes writes in “Partly Cloudy” (page 30), some users are wary of this new system, despite assurances from experts on its reliability.
Speaking of data entry, those physicians participating in the Physician Quality Reporting System — mandated as part of the 2006 Tax Relief and Healthcare Act — have until the end of the year to be registered or face penalties when it comes to getting Medicare payments. Kurt Ullman shows us the ins and outs of this new round of paperwork in “PQRS Moves From Carrot to Stick” on page 32.
If you have any story ideas or topics you’d like to see featured in Endocrine News, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark A. Newman
Managing Editor, Endocrine News