Health Beat: 11.30.12
Transforming Health | 11.30.12
Health Beat: A health news roundup from around the web for the week of 11.30.12:
Hope amid frustration as World AIDS Day approaches (LA Times):
Studies now show that identifying -- and effectively treating -- people who are HIV-positive early in the course of their infections will not only reduce sickness and deaths for those patients but will also reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others. The antiretroviral medications keep the levels of virus low in a patient’s body. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is proposing that HIV screens should be routine for most people -- not just those whose behavior puts them at high risk.
10 ways falling off the fiscal cliff could hurt your health (CNN):
Economic experts agree that it would be devastating if President Barack Obama and Congress cannot reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff, as it would likely send the country back into recession. But, it could also hurt your physical and emotional health.
If not amended in time, $1.2 would be automatically cut starting January 2 from the federal budget. Government-run programs like Medicare, veterans' medical benefits, food safety inspectors -- all would be cut if there is no agreement on the Budget Control Act.
It is important for men to be aware that excess belly fat is not only a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes, it is also a risk factor for bone loss.
Belly Fat Raises Men's Risk Of Osteoporosis: Study (Huffington Post):
Belly fat has been linked with Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and even early death. And now, Harvard researchers have found that it could also be a risk factor for osteoporosis, at least for men.
"It is important for men to be aware that excess belly fat is not only a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes, it is also a risk factor for bone loss," study researcher Dr. Miriam Bredella, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a statement
The Hidden Costs Of Raising The Medicare Age (NPR):
The idea of raising the eligibility age often comes up when discussing saving money in Medicare,.
"I don't think you can look at entitlement reform without adjusting the age for retirement," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on ABC's This Week last Sunday. "Let it float up another year or so over the next 30 years, adjust Medicare.
"It's clear that it would reduce federal spending and it can do so in a very immediate sense, depending on how it's phased in," says Tricia Neuman, senior vice president of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation and director of its Medicare Policy Project. "However, while federal spending will go down, costs to others will go up. In fact, total spending will rise."
WHAM! Doctor Tries Comic Book To Boost Trauma Drug (NPR)
Dr. Ian Roberts, a British epidemiologist, believes that a cheap, readily available drug called tranexamic acid, or TXA, could prevent tens of thousands of trauma patients from bleeding to death each year, and has turned to an unconventional medium to communicate his message: A comic book. "Science is very good at finding the answer to whether a treatment works," Roberts says. "But it's very bad at helping you to remember that that treatment is effective. What people remember are stories — emotional stories."
US birth rate hits new low (Fox News):
A new study shows that the rate of babies born in the United States hit a record low in 2011 and that the drastic drop in the birth rate among immigrants has contributed to the overall decrease. It shows that the annual number of births per 1,000 women between 15 to 44 — was 63.2 last year, the lowest since record collection began in 1920 and close to half the birth rate in 1957, amid the Baby Boom years.
Weight Loss Surgery May Not Combat Diabetes Long-Term (NY Times):
In recent years, weight loss surgery has been seen as an increasingly attractive option for treating Type 2 diabetes. But, it may not be as effective against the disease as it was initially thought to be, according to a new report. The study shows that many obese Type 2 diabetics who undergo gastric bypass surgery do not experience a remission of their disease. About a third redevelop diabetes within five years of their operation. The findings challenge the growing perception that surgery is essentially a cure for Type II diabetes.
Hillary Clinton unveils 'blueprint' to combat AIDS (CNN):
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled a "blueprint" to guide global efforts in wiping out the AIDS virus, focusing on improving treatment and prevention practices to "usher in an AIDS-free generation."
Formula predicts which babies will be obese kids (Washington Post):
Research conducted at Imperial College London suggests that a handful of already recognized risk factors for childhood obesity can be used to calculate a specific child’s risk. The simple formula could help doctors determine which babies and their families might benefit most from interventions aimed at preventing future overweight.
Studies show that a third of all tumors discovered in routine mammography screenings are unlikely to result in illness.
Study questions value of mammography screening (LA Times):
A new report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that about a third of all tumors discovered in routine mammography screenings are unlikely to result in illness. It argues that the increase in breast cancer survival rates over the last few decades is due mostly to improved therapies and not screenings, which flag tumors when they are small and most susceptible to treatment.
According to the study, 30 years of breast cancer exams have resulted in the overdiagnosis of 1.3 million American women, needlessly exposing those women to the cost and trauma of treatment, the authors wrote.
Boys born with undescended testicle at higher cancer risk (NBC):
Boys who are born with an undescended testicle, a condition known as cryptorchidism, are at increased risk of developing testicular cancer later in life, a new report suggests.
Published in Innovations and Advances
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