Our new Web site and blog offer more news, more often

A digest of this month's issue, including the launching of our new Web site, women and heart disease, and how the “nice” people in North Dakota achieved better health care through cooperation.

If you haven't visited our Web site lately, you will notice many new features and services. Our redesigned site offers frequent news updates, more articles and resources, and many opportunities for discussion and comment.

Look for the latest from “ACP InternistWeekly,” read features from the print edition, or enter the latest cartoon caption contest. We also encourage readers to comment directly on case studies by our expert columnists, write to our staff about recent topics we've covered, and offer suggestions for future stories. Many readers have already discovered ACP Internist's blog, which is updated daily with the latest studies from scientific journals, highlights of medical conferences and other news of note. On the lighter side, tune into our popular Monday feature, “Medical News of the Obvious, “ a compilation of recent studies that don't always pass the “So what?” test.

Our front page story this month may inspire you to go to our Web site and comment on your experiences evaluating women for heart disease. As Jessica Berthold writes, physicians often do not recognize the symptoms of heart disease in women until it's too late and, despite statistics to the contrary, many doctors are still making tacit assumptions that heart disease predominantly affects older men. But in recent years the percentage of women who experience sudden cardiac arrest has grown to equal that of men, and all-cause mortality from heart disease has been climbing since 2000, especially among women age 35-44. Identifying women at risk often requires digging deeper into a patient's history and recognizing red flags. Ms. Berthold talks to experts about the limitations of the Framingham Risk Score, for example, and finds tips on identifying risks early enough to slow progression of the disease.

Also in this issue, find out how North Dakota came out above average on access, quality, utilization, equity and health outcomes in recent national rankings, despite its rural setting and sparse population. As Stacey Butterfield reports, it's difficult to put a price on “neighborliness” but a sense of friendly, shared responsibility for the community's health is at the heart of the state's success. Also, find the latest installment of Mindful Medicine, where Jerome Groopman, FACP, and Pamela Hartzband, FACP, consider a case that illustrates how mistakes in translating a patient's words into clinical terms can trigger errors that lead to misdiagnoses.

I hope you enjoy the issue and that you will go online to check out our new Web site and blog. Your comments and feedback are welcome. E-mail us.


Janet Colwell