The Best of Highlight HEALTH 2010 – The Year in Review

Reading time: 7 – 11 minutes

This holiday season, Highlight HEALTH is celebrating its fourth year promoting advances in biomedical research. As the year draws to a close, we’re taking a look back at the top stories readers were interested in.

We’ve compiled a list of the most-viewed stories for the year, both in terms of the absolute number of page views and average number of page views per day posted. Many of the stories that made the list were obvious contenders; however, a few were surprising. One thing we know is that readers enjoy discovering the science of health.

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Top stories for 2010

We’ve calculated the top stories for 2010 on Highlight HEALTH using two measures, either by the highest absolute number of page views for the year (shown in red) or by the average number of page views per day (shown in white).


Top 10 stories by highest absolute page view for the year

  1. The 2010 NF Conference — Connecting the Public with the Research
    (article #65; 10,525 page views)
    Neurofibromatosis (NF) encompasses a set of genetic disorders that cause tumors to grow on nerves. The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) annual NF Conference is being held from June 5th – June 8th. Although the conference is restricted to researchers, the CTF will update the public about the research presented with a series of blog posts and short videos from the conference floor.
  2. The Association Between Smoking and Back Pain
    (article #34; 6,470 page views)
    A new study published in The American Journal of Medicine highlights another reason not to light up that cigarette — smokers (current and former) are more likely to suffer from low back pain than people who have never smoked.
  3. Cancer Research Blog Carnival #38 – Breast Cancer
    (article #83; 6,053 page views)
    Welcome to the 38th edition of the Cancer Research Blog Carnival, the monthly blog carnival that discusses what’s new in cancer research. In recognition of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this edition’s focus is on breast cancer.
  4. Social Media in Health and Medicine: Medlibs Round 2.7
    (article #75; 5,836 page views)
    Welcome to Medlib’s Round, edition 2.7, the monthly blog carnival highlighting excellent blog posts in the field of medical information. For this edition, we wanted to focus on how social media is being used to promote health information online.
  5. The Link Between Positive Psychology and Cancer Survival
    (article #77; 5,747 page views)
    The seemingly common idea that a positive outlook will help someone in poor health is currently under scientific investigation. A special supplement of the Annals of Behavioural Medicine directly addressed this topic and a recent article in the Lancet explored the relationship between positive psychology and cancer pathology.
  6. Is Junk Food Addictive?
    (article #64; 5,460 page views)
    In a recent paper in Nature Neuroscience, two researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida report that obese rats with extended access to what they deemed “palatable food” — bacon, sausage, cheesecake, pound cake, frosting and chocolate — exhibited compulsive like eating behavior, much like rats with extended access to cocaine or heroin.
  7. Refusing Immunizations Increases Risk of Chickenpox in Children
    (article #11; 5,224 page views)
    According to a new study published in the journalArchives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, children of parents who refuse vaccines are over eight times more likely to get chickenpox compared to fully immunized children [1]. The study, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), it is the first to assess the relationship between parental vaccine refusal and the risk of chickenpox in children.
  8. The National Health Observances Toolkit
    (article #42; 5,103 page views)
    To help promote certain health observances, the National Health Observances Toolkit provides information and ideas to engage the public in health promotion activities.
  9. Scientists Find New Form of Prion Disease that Damages Brain Arteries
    (article #44; 5,046 page views)
    National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists investigating how prion diseases destroy the brain have observed a new form of the disease in mice that does not cause the sponge-like brain deterioration typically seen in prion diseases. Instead, it resembles a form of human Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, that damages brain arteries.
  10. Personalized Medicine Approach Provides More Benefit for Patients with High Cholesterol than Current Guidelines
    (article #36; 4,966 page views)
    A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a simple tailored treatment for high cholesterol provides more benefit per person treated and prevented significantly more coronary artery disease morbidity and death than the currently recommended treat-to-target approaches.

Top 10 stories by average number of page views per day

  1. Avastin, the FDA and Breast Cancer Patient Survival
    (article #106; average: 156 page views/day)
    The issue surrounding the use of Avastin for breast malignancies has nothing to do with rationing healthcare and everything to do with patient survival.
  2. Grand Rounds: the Impact of Healthcare Reform
    (article #102; average: 151 page views/day)
    For this edition of Grand Rounds, we’re focusing on the impact of healthcare reform: what are the changes to healthcare delivery, utilization, quality, costs (either as a provider or a patient) and outcomes.
  3. Happy Holidays (and watch the cookies!)
    (article #109; average:147 page views/day)
    Families everywhere are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and the temptation to eat and drink in excess during the holiday season can be hard to overcome. For example, consider Santa Claus.
  4. Blood Protein Linked to Alzheimers Brain Abnormalities
    (article #108; average: 136 page views/day)
    Researchers report that a protein in the blood may reflect the levels of beta amyloid protein in the brain and eventually lead to a blood test that helps to predict the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  5. The Benefits of Animal Research
    (article #107; average: 122 page views/day)
    Animals are our allies in the war against cancer and other deadly diseases. Animal research is saving and extending both human and animal lives.
  6. Genetic Link to ADHD Identified
    (article #107; average: 122 page views/day)
    A recent study published in The Lancet finds that children with ADHD are more likely to have small segments of their DNA duplicated or missing than other children that don’t have the disorder.
  7. Health in 200 Countries Over 200 Years in 4 Minutes
    (article #101; average: 93 page views/day)
    The story of world health in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers in just four minutes.
  8. Cancer Research Blog Carnival #38 – Breast Cancer
    (article #83; average: 70 page views/day)
    Welcome to the 38th edition of the Cancer Research Blog Carnival, the monthly blog carnival that discusses what’s new in cancer research. In recognition of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this edition’s focus is on breast cancer.
  9. The Flu and Your Health
    (article #105; average: 68 page views/day)
    It’s the gift-giving season. However, there’s one gift this time of year you don’t want to give or get: the flu virus.
  10. Adds Topic on Anxiety Disorders in Older Adults
    (article #103; average: 63 page views/day)
    NIHSeniorHealth, the health and wellness website for older adults from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has added a topic about anxiety disorders.

Thanks for reading and Best of Health in the coming year!

About the Author

Walter Jessen is a senior writer for Highlight HEALTH Media.