- Healthy Recipe Winners Honored (ABC News)
Provides video of "State Dinner" for kids who won in a national contest for healthy recipes. 07-13
- -01 11-18-13 Major Shift in Guidelines for Chloresterol (New York Times)
"Last week, the nation’s leading heart organizations released a sweeping new set of guidelines for lowering cholesterol, along with an online calculator meant to help doctors assess risks and treatment options. But, in a major embarrassment to the health groups, the calculator appears to greatly overestimate risk, so much so that it could mistakenly suggest that millions more people are candidates for statin drugs."
- -01 Obamacare Open Enrollment Starts (CBS News)
"If you have insurance already, CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger pointed out, the open enrollment will not affect you -- so you can do nothing."
"However, those that will be affected are uninsured legal U.S. citizens. They can begin shopping for health care coverage for coverage on Tuesday at HealthCare.gov."
- -01-13-13 Flu Vaccine 62% Effective (Time.com)
"Based on early data from flu sufferers, health officials say the current influenza vaccine is 62% effective in reducing symptoms of the disease."
"That means that those who are vaccinated are 62% less likely to need to see a doctor for their illness compared to those who are not vaccinated." 01-13
- -01-25-13 CDC: A New Virus Attacks the U.S. (Time.com)
"Piggybacking off this year’s influenza epidemic, a new strain of the highly contagious norovirus has reached the U.S. from Australia."
"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that the new norovirus strain, called GII.4 Sydney, is currently the leading cause of norovirus outbreaks in the U.S. and accounted for 58% of cases of the infection in December."
"Often confused with the stomach flu because of its contemporaneous circulation with influenza during winter months, norovirus causes 21 million cases of illness, often involving severe vomiting and diarrhea, 70,000 hospitalizations each year in the U.S., and 800 deaths. Where influenza is a respiratory illness, norovirus, which comes in five forms, favors the stomach and intestinal tract, causing inflammation of tissues that leads to pain, nausea, and the diarrhea and vomiting. According to the CDC, about 51% of the cases in the U.S. were caused by person-to-person transmission, and 20% resulted from contaminated food. Most infections occur in places where large numbers of people are gathered, such as schools, nursing homes and cruise ships, where the virus can pass easily from host to host." 01-13
- -02-02-13 The Administration Changes Its Rules on Funding for Contraception (New York Times)
"The Obama administration on Friday proposed yet another compromise to address strenuous objections from religious organizations about a policy requiring health insurance plans to provide free contraceptives, but the change did not end the political furor or legal fight over the issue." 02-13
- -02-18-13 No Level l Trauma Centers for Chicago's South Side (CNN News)
"One bullet hit Foster in her back."
"There was a hospital only a few blocks away, but emergency services followed protocol. They took Foster instead to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, nearly 5 miles away. Advocate Christ is legally certified and better equipped to deal with trauma cases."
"Although the experts say such Level I trauma centers, as they are officially known, give gunshot victims better odds, there are no such centers on Chicago's violence-plagued South Side -- a part of the city where some say they are sorely needed."
"Foster didn't make it."
" 'It's more than sad; it's really crushing,' said her cousin, Camiella Williams. At 25, Williams says, she's lost 20 people she's known to gun violence." 02-13
- -03-05-13 Recon 2: A Next Step in Curing Disease (Healthland.Time.com)
"Recon 2 resembles a 'Google map' since it consolidates all the details of human metabolism functions into one interactive tool and allows users to zoom in to view as much detail, at a cellular level, as they want, or to zoom out to get a broader perspective of all the different metabolic reactions that might be involved in a particular function. Such analyses can reveal patterns in function that might not otherwise be obvious to scientists working on more limited projects."
" 'Ultimately, I envision it being used to personalize diagnosis and treatment to meet the needs of individual patients. In the future, this capability could enable doctors to develop virtual models of their patients’ individual metabolic networks and identify the most efficacious treatment for various diseases including diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases,' said Ines Thiele, a professor at the University of Iceland in a statement describing the work." 03-13
- -03-22-13 Lab-Built Body Parts (Wall Street Journal)
"The development of lab-built body parts is being spurred by a shortage of organ donors amid rising demand for transplants. Also, unlike patients getting transplants, recipients of lab-built organs won't have to take powerful anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. That's because the bioengineered organs are built with the patients' own cells." 03-13
- -03-23-13 Where Are We 10 Years After SARS? (Healthland.Time.com)
"We face what I describe as a perfect storm of vulnerability. We have emerging infections, drug-resistant microbes, globalization of travel, and increasing ease of creating threats in the lab. We got lucky that that none of the cases in the U.S. came from a super-spreader, that it was controllable in the early stages, and that we acted aggressively to isolate the suspected cases."
"One of the most important things we can do is to train epidemiologists in other countries on how to find and stop outbreaks before they spread." 03-13
- -04-05-13 Judge Overturns Age Limit for Plan B Pregnancy Prevention Pill (Time.com)
"In the latest volley over the contraceptive Plan B, a federal judge reversed the Department of Health and Human Services decision to restrict over-the-counter availability of the morning after pill to those 17 years or older." 04-13
- -04-25-13 New Hormone Treatment Discovered for Diabetes (CBS News)
"A new diabetes discovery may one day help people with the disease avoid frequent insulin shots." 04-13
- -05-24-13 Growth of the Elderly Population in the U.S. (PBS News)
"By 2050, more than 32 million Americans will be over the age of 80, and the share of the 80-plus generation will have doubled to 7.4 percent. Across the 34 OECD countries, the share of people over the age of 80 is projected to grow even faster, from 4 percent today to almost 10 percent in the same time period."
"While more and more elderly people will still enjoy active, healthy lives and contribute to society, many are likely to have at least one chronic condition. Today, three out of four Americans aged 65 years and older have to cope with health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer or chronic respiratory diseases."
"The biggest impact will be on their families. Across OECD countries, more than one in 10 adults over the age of 50 takes care of aging family members. Almost two-thirds are women, and their work is usually not paid." 05-13
- -05-25-13 Millions Protest Monsanto's Genetic Engineering of Food (ABC News)
"Two million people marched in protest against seed giant Monsanto in hundreds of rallies across the U.S. and in over 50 other countries on Saturday."
" 'March Against Monsanto' protesters say they wanted to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the food giants that produce it. Founder and organizer Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities in 52 countries."
"Together with Seattle blogger and activist Emilie Rensink and Nick Bernabe of Anti-Media.org, Canal worked with A Revolt.org digital anarchy to promote international awareness of the event. She called the turnout 'incredible,' and credited social media for being a vehicle for furthering opportunities for activism. Despite the size of the gatherings, Canal said she was grateful that the marches were uniformly peaceful and no arrests have been reported." 05-13
- -07-03-13 "Normal" Barbie Uses Real Women's Measurements (Today.com)
"Meet “normal” Barbie: She’s not impossibly tall and skinny, but instead created in the proportions of the average 19-year-old American woman." 07-13
- -07-11-13 U.S. House Rejects Food Stamps (NBC News)
"After an embarrassing failure to pass a farm bill last month, House Republicans on Thursday narrowly passed a modified version of the bill that stripped-out funding authorization for food stamps and nutrition programs." 07-13
- -07-12-13 Texas Passes Strict Abortion Restrictions (New York Times)
"The Texas Senate gave final passage on Friday to one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country, legislation championed by Gov. Rick Perry, who rallied the Republican-controlled Legislature late last month after a Democratic filibuster blocked the bill and intensified already passionate resistance by abortion-rights supporters." 07-13
- -10-26-13 More Fixes for Health Care Care Act Website (Time.com)
"Summarizing a week’s worth of intensive diagnostics, the administration acknowledged Friday the site has dozens of complex problems and tapped a private company to oversee fixes." 10-13
- -12-01-13 President Obama Claims that the Obamacare Website Is Fixed (Time.com)
"The administration’s push comes as its “end of November” deadline for fixing the troubled website expired, and the results are mixed. According to CMS, which runs the website, error rates and response times have been significantly reduced, while capacity has been increased to handle 50,000 concurrent visitors and 800,000 visitors per day. More than 400 software fixes have been made as “private sector velocity” in the parlance of the administration. But it is still a work in progress, even as the administration claims they’ve met their goal of having the site work for 80% of users. Core functionality of the site still needs to be built in the coming months, and it is far from a completely stable platform. The site still suffers from long periods of planned downtime as engineers install and test software patches, and hundreds of fixes still need to be made."
"On Friday, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) President and CEO Karen Ignagni released a statement saying that while the website is getting better, insurers still have concerns." 11-13
- Obama Care's Other Surprise (New York Times)
"The combination of Obamacare regulations, incentives in the recovery act for doctors and hospitals to shift to electronic records and the releasing of mountains of data held by the Department of Health and Human Services is creating a new marketplace and platform for innovation — a health care Silicon Valley — that has the potential to create better outcomes at lower costs by changing how health data are stored, shared and mined. It’s a new industry."
"Obamacare is based on the notion that a main reason we pay so much more than any other industrial nation for health care, without better results, is because the incentive structure in our system is wrong. Doctors and hospitals are paid primarily for procedures and tests, not health outcomes. The goal of the health care law is to flip this fee-for-services system (which some insurance companies are emulating) to one where the government pays doctors and hospitals to keep Medicare patients healthy and the services they do render are reimbursed more for their value than volume."
"To do this, though, doctors and hospitals need instant access to data about patients — diagnoses, medications, test results, procedures and potential gaps in care that need to be addressed. As long as this information was stuffed into manila folders in doctors’ offices and hospitals, and not turned into electronic records, it was difficult to execute these kinds of analyses. That is changing. According to the Obama administration, thanks to incentives in the recovery act there has been nearly a tripling since 2008 of electronic records installed by office-based physicians, and a quadrupling by hospitals." 05-13
- -Major Shift in Guidelines for Chloresterol (CNN News)
"In what's being called a tectonic shift in the way doctors will treat high cholesterol, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology on Tuesday released new treatment guidelines calling for a focus on risk factors rather than just cholesterol levels."
"The new guidelines could double the amount of people on medication to lower their cholesterol, experts say." 11-13