AIRhead Medical Review

AIRhead Medical Review

Improbable diagnoses, techniques and research

by Bertha Vanatian, MD

Here is a collection of useful medical research concerning drinking, shaking, and dust.

Miraculous of Necessity

"Amebiasis from the ‘Miraculous water of Tlacote,’" Sharon L. Reed, Charles E. Davis, and Horacio Jinich, The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 332, no. 10, March 1995, pp. 687-88. (Thanks to Doris Tuke for bringing this to our attention.) The author warns pilgrims not to drink holy water at the religious shrine in Tlacote, Mexico, lest they suffer a disease-causing amoebal infection.

Shapely Heavy Drinkers

"Association of the Waist-to-Hip Ratio Is Different with Wine than with Beer or Hard Liquor Consumption," Bruce B. Duncan, L.E. Chambless, et. al., American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 142, no. 10, Nov. 15, 1995, pp. 1034-8. (Thanks to Karyn George for bringing this to our attention.)

Vibrating Pregnant Women

"Vibration Effects of Setting Pregnant Women—Subjects of Different Masses," W. Quassem and M.O. Othman, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 29, 1996, pp. 493-501. (Thanks to Mark Latash for bringing this to our attention.) The abstract contains the following statement, which may be pertinent to the old joke about how many whatevers it takes to screw in a lightbulb:
An electrical simulation of a mechanical model of a 60kg pregnant woman subjected to horizontal and vertical vibrations has been investigated....

Shaking Teenagers

"Moment of inertia of whole body using an oscillating table in adolescent boys," A. Matsuo, H. Ozawa, K. Goda, and T. Fukunaga, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 28, no. 2, Feb. 1995, pp. 219-23. (Thanks to Rebecca German for bringing this to our attention.) The authors find that in Japanese boys as a group, there is a relationship between the boys’ size (that is, their height or weight) and their posture (that is, whether they slump or slouch). The scope of the study is described in the abstract:
One hundred and seventeen subjects of junior and senior high school boys of ages 13-18 participated in this study. Moment of inertia was measured in two postures of supine (Imx) and recumbent (Imy) positions....

Podiatrist’s Quiet Nemesis

"Inhalation of nail dust: A podiatric hazard," C. Abramson, in Infectious Diseases of the Lower Extremities, D.J. McCarthy, C. Abramson, and M.J. Rupp, eds., Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins, 1990, pp. 293-8. (Thanks to Eugene Weinberg for bringing this to our attention.)


We welcome your suggestions for this column. Please enclose the full citation (no abbreviations!) and a photocopy of the paper.

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