Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Sunday, December 21, 2014
- 42.5 million of adults in America, 18.19 percent, suffer from a mental health issue.
- 19.7 million, or 8.46 percent, have a substance abuse problem.
- 8.8 million, or 3.77 percent of Americans have reported serious thoughts of suicide.
- The highest rates of emotional, behavioral or developmental issues among young people occur just west of the Appalachian Mountains, where poverty and social inequality are pervasive.
Meanwhile, there is a shortage of mental health care professionals — nationally there is only one provider for every 790 people, according to the report.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Bonnie Kraham: Cost of caregiving for those with Alzheimer's
Sunday, November 30, 2014
The Obama administration’s overcounting of the number of people enrolled in Affordable Care Act health plans reveals how all the glitches in the government’s computer system have yet to be worked out.
Instead of the 7.3 million people that the government reported were enrolled in health insurance plans in September, congressional investigators discovered that the number was 6.97 million. A more recent estimate of 7.1 million should have been 6.7 million, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, acknowledged Thursday.
The story behind the misstatements highlights the significance of continuing problems with invisible parts of the health law’s enrollment system, and the challenges the administration is likely to face in reporting enrollment numbers in the months ahead.
The inaccuracy, first reported Thursday by Bloomberg News, resulted when administration officials included enrollment in stand-alone dental plans in its count of people covered by the law. According to the department, 393,000 people had signed up for both types of plans, and thus were double-counted.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
For now, everything is in a holding pattern. The hospital issued a brief statement on Monday, indicating it was providing “medical care, support and comfort to the family at this time of tremendous grief.”
Dr. Mayer, the critical-care expert, said that typically, in cases of conflict, doctors and ethicists tried to get everyone in a room talking. But he said that approach could be difficult in this case. “When it comes to donating organs, you need consensus,” Dr. Mayer said.
When the family does not reach consensus, he said, the organ donation does not go forward. “It’s not worth the amount of pain and agony and suffering that everyone will go through,” he said.
Read about this in the New Yok Times at http://ntti.ms/11ebPqX in a story wriiten on November 17
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Monday, November 10, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Researchers have figured out what’s behind a vicious cycle: why scratching an itch makes you itch even more.
A new study with mice finds that scratching causes the brain to release serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation. The same is believed to occur in people.
Scientists have known for decades that scratching creates a mild amount of pain in the skin, says senior investigator Zhou-Feng Chen, professor of anesthesiology, of psychiatry, and of developmental biology and director of the Center for the Study of Itch at Washington University in St. Louis.
“We always have wondered why this vicious itch-pain cycle occurs,” Chen says. “Our findings suggest that the events happen in this order. First, you scratch, and that causes a sensation of pain. Then you make more serotonin to control the pain. But serotonin does more than only inhibit pain. Our new finding shows that it also makes itch worse by activating GRPR neurons through 5HT1A receptors.”
Read more about this research in Washington University in St. Loius written by Jim Dryden.
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The administration will rule that plans without “substantial coverage for in-patient hospitalization services” do not meet the law’s “minimum value” threshold, the Treasury Department said in a notice Tuesday morning. It will issue final regulations saying so next year, it said.
“It’s good news for employees,” said Sabrina Corlette, project director at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. “They shouldn’t be stuck with subpar coverage.”
Read about this at http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/ in an article written by Jay Hancock at Kaiser Health News
Monday, June 2, 2014
“It may be that women have to gain much more weight than men before they become diabetic,” she said. “So they may already be at higher risk for coronary heart disease at diagnosis, although there is no proof that this is true.
“Screening for diabetes should be different in women than in men,” Dr. Peters continued. “Coronary heart disease is sometimes considered a man’s disease, but women are at risk as well.”
Read about this in the May 22, 2014 New York Times article found at www. nyti.ms/1bjGXZ
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Drinking more coffee may decrease your risk of Type 2 diabetes, while cutting down may increase your risk, a new study has found.
Over a 20-year period, researchers periodically collected detailed information on diet, lifestyle and medical conditions in more than 120,000 participants. They found 7,269 cases of Type 2 diabetes.
After controlling for smoking, age, weight, physical activity, alcohol consumption and a family history of diabetes, they found that people who increased their coffee intake by more than an eight-ounce cup a day in a four-year period had an 11 percent lower risk of diabetes than those whose consumption remained steady. People who decreased their consumption by the same amount had a 17 percent higher risk. The report appears online in Diabetologia.
“It’s not the caffeine,” said the lead author, Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, a research fellow at Harvard. “We know that. But coffee has a lot of antioxidants and other bioactive compounds” important in glucose metabolism. The effect has been found in previous studies with decaffeinated coffee, she said.
Read about this in in tha New York Times article dated May 1,2014 by Nicholas Bakalar at http://nyti.ms/1hh85Xg
Friday, April 18, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Dr. Finn said, however, that a statistically significant survival benefit should not have been expected at this point because only 61 of the 165 patients in the trial had died. Also, patients can use other drugs after leaving the trial, which can dilute any effect of palbociclib.
Palbociclib slows the runaway proliferation of cancer cells by inhibiting the activity of two related enzymes involved in cell division — cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6.
Read about this in the New York Times on April 6, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Alzheimer’s disease likely plays a much larger role in the deaths of older Americans than is reported, according to a new study that says the disease may be the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Alzheimer’s as the sixth-leading cause of death, far below heart disease and cancer. But the new report, published Wednesday in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that the current system of relying on death certificates for causes misses the complexity of dying for many older people and underestimates the impact of Alzheimer’s.
More than 5 million people in the United States are estimated to have Alzheimer’s. With the aging of the baby-boom generation, this number is expected to nearly triple by 2050 if there are no significant medical breakthroughs, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.The disease cost the nation $210 billion last year; that rate is expected to rise to $1.2 trillion by 2050.
Read about this in the Washington Post found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/tara-bahrampour/2011/03/09/ABBj1nP_page.html
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Grass and ragweed sensitivities were higher in the West, mold allergy more common in the East. Positive tests for indoor allergens were higher in the East than the West, but there were almost no regional differences for peanut, shrimp, egg, dog, cat, rat and mouse sensitivities.
The most common positive tests among the adult group were for dust mites, grass and ragweed, with almost 20 percent of the population showing sensitivity to each. About 12 percent of people over 6 were sensitive to dogs or cats, and among the youngest children, milk and eggs were the most common positive tests. Inhalant allergies like ragweed and grass peaked in the teens and 20s, then decreased later in life.
Race and socioeconomic status also made a difference. Non-Hispanic blacks had the highest sensitivity to all tested allergens except Russian thistle and egg. Sensitivity to cockroaches and shrimp were associated with lower economic status, and dog and cat allergies were more common in higher income groups.
Read more about this at the New York Times on March 6, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Most workers are eligible to contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA in 2013 and get a tax deduction on the amount they save. A worker in the 25 percent tax bracket who contributes $5,500 to a traditional IRA this year would pay $1,375 less on his 2013 tax bill. But few people save enough to maximize this tax break.
An Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis of just over 1.6 million IRA accounts found that the average amount contributed in 2011 was $3,723. An IRA contribution of $3,723 will save you $930.75 if you are in the 25 percent tax bracket or $558.45 if you pay a 15 percent income tax rate. Taxes won’t be due on these traditional IRA contributions until you withdraw the money from the account.
People age 50 and older are eligible to contribute $1,000 more to IRAs than younger people, up to $6,500 in 2013. And the average IRA contribution does jump from $4,090 for 40-somethings to $4,780 among people in their 50s, Fidelity found. Once you turn age 70 1/2 you can no longer make traditional IRA contributions, but you can still save in a Roth IRA.
The ability to claim a tax deduction for your traditional IRA contributions is limited if you are also eligible for a 401(k) or similar type of retirement account at work. The IRA tax deduction is phased out for couples with a modified adjusted gross income over $95,000 ($59,000 for singles) in 2013. And couples who earn $115,000 or more ($69,000 for singles) are not eligible for this tax deduction if they also have a retirement account at work. If you are not covered by a retirement plan but your spouse is, the deduction begins to be phased out once your joint modified AGI exceeds $178,000 and is eliminated when your AGI hits $188,000.
IRA contributions for 2013 must be made by April 15, 2014.
Read about this at US News website under retirement.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
If you want fresh evidence of the caregiving crisis that lies in the not-too-distant future, look no further thanthe employment projections released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics late last year.
Topping the list of occupations expected to grow between 2012 and 2022 are personal care aides, in the No. 1 slot (580,800 new positions); home health aides, No. 4 (424,200 jobs); and nursing assistants, No. 6 (312,200 jobs).
All these workers provide similar services, helping clients — mostly seniors — bathe, dress, get up in the morning and perform other activities at home or in group homes, assisted living centers, rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes.
Researchers at Stanford University looked at more than 4,500 trauma cases at 636 hospitals around the country to see what happened to critically injured patients brought to emergency rooms that aren’t designated trauma centers. They found that non-trauma centers were much more likely to admit patients who had insurance, whether it was private insurance or Medicaid coverage, than to transfer them to more skilled facilities.