A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Couples swap health habits

(UPI) Straight people … and gays in long-term, intimate cohabitation relationships may pick up unhealthy habits from their partners, U.S. researchers say…
"The finding that one partner is a 'direct bad influence' suggests that individuals converge in health habits across the course of their relationship, because one individual's unhealthy habits directly promotes the others unhealthy habits," [Corinne] Reczek says in a statement.
For example, both partners eat the unhealthy foods that one partner purchases.
Community: The reverse can be true, as well. Mr. Many Years Young has, as long as I’ve known him, had better health habits than I, and many of his habits have rubbed off on me.
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Sex Differences in Mental Illness

(Science Daily) When it comes to mental illness, the sexes are different: Women are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression, while men tend toward substance abuse or antisocial disorders, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association…
[T]he study looked at the prevalence by gender of different types of common mental illnesses. The researchers also found that women with anxiety disorders are more likely to internalize emotions, which typically results in withdrawal, loneliness and depression. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to externalize emotions, which leads to aggressive, impulsive, coercive and noncompliant behavior, according to the study. The researchers demonstrated that it was differences in these liabilities to internalize and to externalize that accounted for gender differences in prevalence rates of many mental disorders.
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Emotionally healthier have more degrees

(UPI) Older U.S. adults with a college education have higher emotional health scores than those the same age who have fewer years of education, a Gallup poll says.
The emotionally well-off are defined as those whose scores on the Gallup-Healthways Emotional Health Index are 90 and above out of a maximum of 100.
The index is based on a comprehensive measure of emotional well being asking Americans whether they felt "a lot of" each of the following emotions the day before the survey -- smiling/laughing, learning/doing something interesting, being treated with respect, enjoyment, happiness, worry, sadness, anger and stress…
The survey results do not indicate whether a given demographic characteristic, such as having a college education, leads to higher emotional well being or whether people with a propensity to be emotionally positive are more likely to pursue more education, Gallup officials say.
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Managers value emotional intelligence over smarts

(UPI) Handling stress on the job and managing relationships is becoming valued by U.S. managers even more than intelligence, researchers say…
"The competitive job market allows employers to look more closely at the intangible qualities that pay dividends down the road -- like skilled communicators and perceptive team players," Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said in a statement.
Emotional strength, however, can be observed in workers who "admit and learn from their mistakes," or "keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues," CareerBuilder said.
Workers with "emotional intelligence" also "listen as much or more than they talk" and handle criticism maturely.
They also show "grace under pressure," CareerBuilder said.
Community: Would that we could find more politicians with these qualities. And I’m not sure how this finding reconciles with the information below. Perhaps the managers answering the CareerBuilder survey say one thing and do another.
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Study: Nice guys make lower salaries

(UPI) Nice guys may or may not finish last, as the saying goes, but they make less money than their less agreeable counterparts, U.S. and Canadian researchers found…
The researchers analyzed data collected during a span of almost 20 years in four different surveys…
Workers who score high on agreeableness -- by describing themselves as agreeable, helpful, friendly, warm, caring, softhearted -- earn significantly less salary than those who tend not to describe themselves in such terms.
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Antipasto Chicken Sandwich
Ideal for a quick weeknight dinner or a picnic lunch, this warm, melty sandwich pairs well with sliced fruit or a bunch of grapes. Purchase roasted chicken breasts to save on preparation time.
Teriyaki Marinated Chicken
Soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, garlic and ginger combine in this teriyaki-inspired marinade for grilled chicken. Try it with pork chops if you prefer. Grill fresh pineapple slices and asparagus alongside for simple side dishes.
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Avocados for Heart Health

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) If you are looking for a tasty food that can help lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and protect against heart disease and stroke, reach for an avocado.
This versatile fruit (botanically, it's actually a large berry), can be used in everything from guacamole to ice cream to soup. It's a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium and folate. While avocados are very low in sodium and cholesterol-free, don't overdo it, as they do contain fat, albeit the heart-healthy, monounsaturated kind.
This time of year the Bacon, Fuerto and Zutano varieties are ready to eat - if you buy one that's hard, you can speed up the ripening process by placing it in a paper bag for a few days.
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3 Sleep Myths You Shouldn't Fall For

(RealAge.com) We might spend one-third of our lives doing it, yet some of us still aren't terribly clear how it works. We're talking about sleeping. Here are three sleep myths you should wake up about:
1. "I can make up for sleep loss on the weekends."… A new study revealed that patients who got only 6 hours or less of sleep during the week, but then crashed for 10 hours or more on both Saturday and Sunday, still showed strong signs of sleep deprivation -- especially men. And they didn't just feel groggy. They showed actual medical markers of lack of sleep -- like bodily inflammation.
2. "I'm probably okay with less sleep, because I don't feel sleepy."… [A] 2003 study of chronically sleep-deprived adults revealed that most short-sleepers had significant cognitive deficits when compared with well-rested peers. But the sleepyheads didn't even realize it. (Related: Remember, eat right to sleep tight.)
3. "The only drawback to a short sleep is I feel tired."… In a recent symposium on new sleep research, doctors found lack of sleep was linked to higher risks of everything from obesity to depression…
You can improve your sleep hygiene (that's a fancy term for sleep know-how) with simple little changes. Learn how to feel, look, and live better by getting your ZZZs.
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From the flight deck: diabetics, watch your insulin

(Reuters Health) Changes in cabin pressure during flights may cause insulin pumps to deliver too much or too little of the medication -- possibly putting sensitive diabetics at risk, researchers report.
They recommend disconnecting the pump before take-off and after landing and making sure there are no air bubbles in the insulin before reconnecting it. But an outside researcher said the concern might only apply to some diabetic patients.
People who are worried should talk with their doctors about the safest way to fly before trying to fiddle with the pumps themselves, he cautioned.
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Metabolic Syndrome Linked to Kidney Disease

(HealthDay News) People with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk for kidney disease, a new study suggests.
Metabolic syndrome refers to the presence of three or more of the following health threats: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low good cholesterol, excess fat in the waist/abdomen, and elevated levels of fatty acids.
It was known that people with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and premature death. This study adds kidney disease to that list.
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Study: Cholesterol drugs needlessly used

(UPI) Tens of thousands of patients at low risk of heart attacks or strokes could be taking statin heart drugs needlessly, a study published in Britain says…
Researchers said the findings have important public health implications and significant cost savings could be realized if cholesterol-lowering drugs were prescribed only for those who would genuinely benefit.
"The greatest challenge for preventive medicine is identifying people who are at highest risk of heart disease and who should be given drugs, particularly statins, to reduce that risk," said Peter Weissberg, medical director for the British Heart Foundation.
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New Treatment Approach for Alzheimer's Disease Using the Immune System

(Science Daily) A research team … has documented how the immune system can counteract the advancement of Alzheimer's disease. In a newly published paper, they showed that certain scavenger cells in the immune system, called macrophages, play a key role in this context…
"Macrophages can reduce harmful deposits in the brain that are the cause of Alzheimer's disease," Prof. [Josef] Priller explains…
[T]his defense reaction cannot be handled by the immune cells of the brain, the microglia, because they themselves are damaged by the pathological process. Instead, specialized bone marrow-derived macrophages are activated and directed into the brain to remove the toxic deposits. The carrier cells receive the command to specialize and infiltrate the brain in the form of certain cell-signaling proteins. The researchers managed to identify a specific chemokine for the first time.
This results in a completely new treatment approach for Alzheimer's disease.
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Experts redesign common microbe to fight drug-resistant bacteria

(Reuters) Researchers in Singapore have re-engineered a harmless strain of bacteria to fight another common, drug-resistant microbe that spreads in hospitals and is deadly to patients with weak immune systems.
To fight the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium, the scientists used a strain of the E.coli bacteria that is normally present in the human gut.
They inserted into E.coli foreign DNA fragments that empowered it to sense the offending pathogen and quickly produce and release a deadly toxin.
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Gout drug may help some with few treatment options

(Reuters Health) A new injectable drug may help some very sick gout patients who don't get better with usual treatment, according to a new study.
The research was designed and funded by the pharmaceutical company Savient, which markets the drug, called Krystexxa, or pegloticase.
Patients taking the drug had fewer gout symptoms a few months after starting treatment than those who got a sham treatment -- but they were also more likely to have a serious reaction to the injections.
The researchers say most gout patients don't have very severe disease and should not be using the drug.
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Powerful X-Rays Enable Development of Successful Treatment for Life-Threatening Diseases

(Science Daily) Powerful X-ray technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) national laboratories is revealing new insights into diseases ranging from Alzheimer's to the swine flu, and, most recently, enabled the discovery of a groundbreaking new drug treatment for malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The drug, Zelboraf (vemurafenib), has just received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. In showing the structures of diseased and disease-causing molecules at their basic level, these extremely bright light sources enable scientists to suggest potential new treatments.
"This technology is a wonderful example of how innovations at our national laboratories lead to discoveries in a wide variety of fields," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "In this case, we are pleased to have been involved in research that has shown great promise in the battle against life-threatening melanoma."
An increasing number of drug discovery companies and medical researchers are turning to the powerful X-ray facilities at the DOE national laboratories to probe the causes of disease and develop new treatments.
Community: What? “Gummint” isn’t all bad?
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Worried About Lyme Disease?

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) If you enjoy hiking, camping or simply spending time outdoors in wooded areas, you should be aware of Lyme disease, an infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacterium that is often found in deer ticks.
Since deer ticks tend to be prevalent in woodlands, you should wear protective clothing such as light-colored, long-sleeved shirts, and tuck your pants into your socks when hiking in these areas. Always perform a "tick check" and immediately wash your body after spending time in the woods or tall grass. In addition, keep an eye out for anything unusual on your skin, especially a rash made up of concentric rings.
If you have any symptoms such as rashes, fever or joint pain, consult a doctor who is knowledgeable about diagnosing and treating Lyme disease. The typical treatment is with antibiotics. Left untreated, about two thirds of people with Lyme disease develop recurring bouts of arthritis, sometimes years after the infection.
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Don't Skip This Year's Flu Shot: CDC

(HealthDay News) The 2011-12 flu vaccine protects against seasonal flu and H1N1, just like last year's, but that doesn't mean it's OK to skip your yearly flu shot, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn.
"All people aged 6 months and older should be vaccinated," said Dr. Carolyn Bridges…
Protection wanes over the course of a year, so "even people who got a flu vaccine last year should get one again to make sure they are optimally protected," she said.
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Healthy Behaviors Will Help You Live Longer: CDC

(HealthDay News) A healthy lifestyle helps you live longer, a new U.S. study confirms.
Researchers looked at long-term data from Americans aged 17 and older and found that those who embraced four healthy behaviors -- not smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity and avoiding excessive alcohol use -- were 63 percent less likely to die early from any cause than those with none of those healthy habits.
Not smoking offered the most protection from dying young.
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Treatment With Vitamin C Dissolves Toxic Protein Aggregates in Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) Researchers at Lund University have discovered a new function for vitamin C. Treatment with vitamin C can dissolve the toxic protein aggregates that build up in the brain in Alzheimer's disease…
"When we treated brain tissue from mice suffering from Alzheimer's disease with vitamin C, we could see that the toxic protein aggregates were dissolved. Our results show a previously unknown model for how vitamin C affects the amyloid plaques," says Katrin Mani, reader in Molecular Medicine…
"The notion that vitamin C can have a positive effect on Alzheimer's disease is controversial, but our results open up new opportunities for research into Alzheimer's and the possibilities offered by vitamin C."
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Prunes exceptional in preventing bone fractures

(UPI) Dried plums, or prunes, improve bone health in people of all ages, but may be most helpful for post-menopausal women, U.S. researchers say…
"Over my career, I have tested numerous fruits, including figs, dates, strawberries and raisins, and none of them come anywhere close to having the effect on bone density that dried plums, or prunes, have," [Bahram H.] Arjmandi says in a statement. "All fruits and vegetables have a positive effect on nutrition, but in terms of bone health, this particular food is exceptional."
The study … found the group that consumed dried plums had significantly higher bone mineral density in the ulna -- one of two long bones in the forearm -- and spine, in comparison with the group that ate dried apples.
This was due, in part, to the ability of dried plums to suppress the rate of bone resorption, or the breakdown of bone, which tends to exceed the rate of new bone growth as people age, Arjmandi says.
Community: There are a number of ways to maintain bone density without medication.
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Get a Health Boost With Blueberries

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Blueberries prove that good things come in small packages. According to the US Department of Agriculture, blueberries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants, thanks to their anthocyanins — the compounds responsible for their blue hue. They are also an excellent source of ellegic acid and soluble fiber. Studies have found that blueberries may help reduce high blood pressure and total LDL cholesterol…
Most fresh supermarket blueberries are the cultivated kind, not the wild picked. You’re more likely to find the wild variety canned or frozen. Blueberries are typically available all summer long, and into September, though you may be able to purchase imported blueberries throughout the year. When buying fresh blueberries, look for those that are deep blue with a chalky white “bloom” that is a sign of freshness. Preferably buy those that have been refrigerated or kept out of the sun, since heat can destroy their antioxidant power. The blueberries should move freely in their container and not be stuck together. Avoid mushy berries or those in stained containers.
Blueberries will last in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days. Make sure to remove any crushed or moldy berries before storing, and don’t wash your berries until you are ready to eat them. You can also keep blueberries frozen for up to a year.
Community: I buy blueberries when they’re on sale and put them straight into freezer bags and then the freezer. I take out and wash and thaw as many as I need to put on my cereal.
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Two Worst Foods for Your Weight

(RealAge.com) For people trying to lose weight, here's the good news: Nutrition researchers have scoped out the enemy. And these two foods are the top waistline assassins: potato chips and soda.
Everyone knows to cut back on junk food. But in a recent, large study examining what foods were most associated with weight gain, potato chips and sweetened drinks stood out as the ultimate arch villains.
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Jerk-Spiced Shrimp
Season fresh shrimp  with a homemade jerk seasoning mix and grill over medium-high heat for three minutes on each side. Serve with a sweet fruit salsa made from chopped pineapple, chopped cucumber, sliced red onion, chopped cilantro, and cider vinegar.
Scallops Yakitori
“Yakitori” is a Japanese word that literally means “grilled bird,” a reference to chicken bits on skewers in a sticky/salty sauce. The sauce itself is so favored that it has come to be known as “yakitori.” Here we make yakitori with scallops, mushrooms and scallions. Don't overcook the scallops; just a few minutes over the heat will do the trick.
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Test for Calcium Buildup May Spot Heart Attack, Stroke Risk

(HealthDay News) A calcium test performed with the assistance of a CT scanner seems to provide insight into the likelihood that certain patients at moderate risk of heart problems will have a heart attack or stroke, researchers say.
The test to detect coronary calcium can help physicians determine whether the patients should take cholesterol-lowering drugs to reduce their cardiovascular risks, the study authors explained.
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New Drug May Put the Squeeze on Heart Failure

(HealthDay News) An experimental heart failure drug may change the way doctors treat this vexing condition, researchers say…
A new drug -- omecamtiv mecarbil…, may someday offer an alternative to current treatments, according to the results of two clinical trials…
"It improves heart function in a completely new and unique manner," said Dr. John R. Teerlink…, author of one of the new studies.
"The drug directly increases the activation of certain heart muscle proteins, effectively recruiting 'more hands on the rope' with each heartbeat," he said. "By improving the efficiency and performance of the heart, it is our hope that patients with heart failure will actually feel better with fewer symptoms of fatigue and shortness of breath, and perhaps even live longer."
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Stem cell team aims for spare heart parts in five years

(Reuters) Stem cell researchers in Hong Kong and the United States are trying to grow spare parts for the human heart that may be ready for tests on people within five years, they said on Thursday.
Scientists have already made basic heart muscle from stem cells, but the Hong Kong-led team wants to refine it so it can replace any part damaged in heart attacks, and to recreate the natural pacemaker, where the heartbeat originates.
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Graphic Images on Cigarette Packs a Turn-Off for Smokers

(HealthDay News) Smokers are less likely to buy cigarettes if they are in plain, unbranded packages with warning labels featuring graphic images of cancer, a new study finds…
New cigarette warning labels, including graphic images of lung and mouth cancer, are scheduled to be introduced by the Food and Drug Administration in September 2012.
"Results from our study suggest that the new health warnings with graphic pictures will reduce demand for cigarettes," [study co-author Matthew] Rousu said.
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Study questions testosterone's link to early death

(Reuters Health) Drooping testosterone levels probably don't cut years off a man's life, although earlier studies had suggested they might, according to a new report.
Instead, decreases in the male sex hormone may simply be a sign of overall health status, which also dips with age, researchers say…
While drug companies refer to "low T" as a treatable medical problem affecting millions of American men, critics say they are trying to make a buck by turning normal aging into a disease.
There is no doubt that very low testosterone levels affect the body and dampen sex drive.
But where to set the threshold between normal and abnormal levels is still an open question, whose resolution is not made easier by natural variation in the male sex hormone.
Community: As far as I’m concerned, aging is most certainly a disease. There’s no cure, but I’m determined to manage the symptoms as best I can.
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Can "biofield healing" relieve cancer fatigue?

(Reuters Health) A new study suggests that "biofield healing" -- and in some cases, even fake versions of the energy-field therapy -- may help ease fatigue in breast cancer survivors…
In the new study, a type of biofield healing called energy chelation, in which practitioners place their hands in standard positions across the body in silence, was linked to a decrease in fatigue in women who recently recovered from breast cancer.
But so was a mock treatment, in which scientists were trained to do the identical hand placements without concentrating on healing the patient.
"Touch appears to matter, rest appears to matter, interaction with a practitioner appears to matter," said study author Shamini Jain.
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Many US doctors face malpractice claims, few pay

(Reuters Health) Virtually every U.S. doctor practicing in a high-risk specialty will face at least one malpractice claim during their career, and even physicians in low-risk areas have a 75 percent chance of facing a suit at some point, according to a new study.
At the same time, more than three-quarters of the claims do not result in any payments…
The current study did not look at why a large proportion of claims do not lead to payments. A previous study cited by the authors, however, found that up to 40 percent of malpractice claims are not associated with medical errors. But the claims that are, are more likely to lead to compensation payments.
In an editorial recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Gianna Zuccotti and Dr. Luke Sato of the Harvard Medical Institutions in Boston said malpractice claims are only a proxy for mistakes in hospitals and clinics.
Malpractice claims, they said, represent only the tip of the iceberg for medical errors.
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Price-gougers hike costs of vital drugs during shortage

(MSNBC.com) Amid growing shortages of life-saving drugs, some back-door suppliers are capitalizing on the problem, jacking up prices for medications for cancer, high blood pressure and other serious problems by as much as 4,500 percent, a new hospital survey shows.
So-called “gray market” medical suppliers — vendors who operate through unofficial channels — inflated prices by an average of 650 percent on drugs that were either back-ordered or completely unavailable. They included widely used but hard-to-get drugs aimed at fighting cancer, ensuring sedation during surgery or treating patients who need emergency care.
That’s according to new research by Premier, a North Carolina-based alliance of 2,500 hospitals and 73,000 other healthcare sites in the United States.
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Majority of Pharmaceutical Ads Do Not Adhere to FDA Guidelines, New Study Finds

(Science Daily) A study … of 192 pharmaceutical advertisements in biomedical journals found that only 18 percent were compliant with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, and over half failed to quantify serious risks including death…
"Marketing research has consistently shown that journal advertising is the most profitable form of drug marketing, with an estimated return on investment of five dollars for every dollar spent," said Dr. Deborah Korenstein, lead author of the study… "Our study, the first in nearly 20 years to provide a systematic assessment of the adherence of US advertisements to FDA guidance, shows that the current system is not in the best interest of the health of the public."
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Medicare Advantage: Seniors overwhelmed

(UPI) The large number of complex insurance choices offered by Medicare Advantage programs may overwhelm many U.S. seniors, researchers say…
 [P]ayment hikes [in 2003] dramatically increased the number of private plans participating in the program and encouraged plans to compete for enrollees by offering lower premiums and more generous benefits, such as prescription drug coverage…
The study … found on average an increase in the number of plans was associated with increased Medicare Advantage enrollment if the number of available plan options was fewer than 15. However, if the number of options surpassed 30, such increases were associated with decreased enrollment, the study found.
Community: Medicare Advantage programs are a ripoff of the public. The original idea for having them was that private programs would be cheaper than Medicare itself. That proved not to be the case, of course, and therefore they have to be subsidized. Reductions in that subsidy that were included in last year’s health care reform act were then used by Republicans to regain control of the House of Representatives. They claimed that Democrats were “cutting Medicare.” Democrats failed to show voters that it was this inefficient program that was being cut, not basic Medicare.
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New label to help people pick health insurance

(Reuters) Insurers and employers will have to spell out plainly the costs and benefits of the health plans they offer starting next year…
Among other things, the label will tell customers their premium, deductible and out-of-pocket costs, and the costs associated with medical events and procedures, such as doctor visits and breast cancer treatments. Insurers must provide the information before a customer purchases a plan and when there are any changes.
"Today, many consumers don't have easy access to information in plain English to help them understand the differences in the coverage and benefits provided by different health plans," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
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Employees beware: Higher healthcare costs ahead

(Reuters) Large employers expect big increases in healthcare costs in 2012, and say they'll pass more and more of those costs on to their workers. That's the result of a new survey by the National Business Group on Health, a trade group for these large companies.
"It's a huge burden on businesses and employers," says Helen Darling, the group's president. "Healthcare costs continue to gallop along at over seven percent." Members say they expect their 2012 costs to be 7.2 percent above their 2011 costs, which are trending 7.4 percent above 2010 costs. (Separately, Standard & Poor's reported more modest increases in actual healthcare costs. The average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.61 percent over the 12 months ending in June 2011. Click here to see the study: link.reuters.com/mup33s)
Community: How can insurers keep getting away with raising premiums at a greater percentage than the rise in costs? Why wasn’t there a public option offered in last year’s so-called reform act? Why don’t we have Medicare for everyone?
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Fish Oil's Impact on Cognition and Brain Structure

(Science Daily) Researchers … have found positive associations between fish oil supplements and cognitive functioning as well as differences in brain structure between users and non-users of fish oil supplements. The findings suggest possible benefits of fish oil supplements on brain health and aging…
[Study leader Lori Daiello, PharmD,] reports that compared to non-users, use of fish oil supplements was associated with better cognitive functioning during the study. However, this association was significant only in those individuals who had a normal baseline cognitive function and in individuals who tested negative for a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease known as APOE4. This is consistent with previous research…
Daiello says, "…[F]sh oil use was associated with less brain shrinkage in patients taking these supplements during the ADNI study compared to those who didn't report using them."
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More evidence links pesticides, diabetes

(Reuters Health) People with relatively high levels of certain pesticides in their blood may have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes -- particularly if they are overweight, a new study suggests…
In the U.S., diet is the main potential source of exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) -- with fatty foods, like dairy products and oily fish, topping the list.
Lab research has suggested that some persistent organic pollutants impair the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, which could help explain the link to type 2 diabetes.
Some of the compounds also have been shown to promote obesity, which is itself a major risk factor for diabetes, noted Riikka Airaksinen of Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare, who led the new study.
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Relationship Between Glaucoma and Diabetes, Hypertension

(Science Daily) Many Americans suffer from diabetes and hypertension and, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, these individuals may have an increased risk of developing open-angle glaucoma (OAG)…
The study focused on the possible associations between various components of metabolic syndrome -- a collection of conditions that includes obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels) -- that affects one fifth of the U.S. population…
While the researchers found that diabetes and hypertension increased the risk of OAG, the study showed that hyperlipidemia actually reduced by 5 percent the risk for developing the disease. Further research is under way to evaluate whether it is the hyperlipidemia itself, the medications used to treat the condition, or both that reduces the risk of glaucoma. Findings from this research may eventually lead to novel treatments for glaucoma.
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Potassium-rich diet tied to lower stroke risk

(Reuters) People who eat plenty of high-potassium fruits, vegetables and dairy products may be less likely to suffer a stroke than those who get little of the mineral, according to a study…
"Dietary potassium intake is inversely associated with risk of stroke," wrote lead researcher Susanna Larsson, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
She added that the findings do not prove that potassium itself is what produces the positive effect, but they strengthen existing evidence that it might.
Since high-potassium foods are generally healthy ones -- including beans, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy -- the findings offer one more reason for people to eat more of them, Larsson told Reuters Health.
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5 Tips for High Triglycerides

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Triglycerides are the form in which fat moves through the bloodstream to your body's tissues. Whenever your LDL ("bad") cholesterol is measured, triglycerides are checked, too… High triglyceride levels can be genetic, but dietary influences are strong, and refined carbohydrates in the diet are the main factor boosting triglyceride levels in the blood. This is especially true for quick-digesting (high-glycemic-load) carbs. In many people, these foods elevate insulin levels, and insulin affects both triglyceride synthesis and the storage of fat.
I recommend the following lifestyle changes to help keep your serum triglyceride levels down in the desirable range:
1.    Get regular exercise.
2.    Lose weight if you're overweight.
3.    Cut back on alcohol, avoiding beer especially (even small amounts of alcohol can elevate triglyceride levels).
4.    Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by eating salmon, sardines, black cod and herring on a regular basis, and consider taking a molecularly distilled fish oil supplement that contains both EPA and DHA in a dose of 2-4 g per day.
5.    Maintain a diet that's low in processed carbohydrates, such as my anti-inflammatory diet, and familiarize yourself with the concept of glycemic load, which can help you choose carbohydrate foods that rank low on that scale.
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5 Reasons to Drink Green Tea

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Looking for a simple resolution to improve your overall health? Start drinking green tea. My beverage of choice, green tea is a potent source of catechins - healthy antioxidants that can inhibit cancer cell activity and help boost immunity. Need more reasons to drink green tea? It can also:
1.    Lower cholesterol levels and rates of heart disease
2.    Help protect against bacterial infections
3.    Promote joint health and stronger bones
4.    Reduce inflammation
5.    Enhance the effects of antibiotics, even against drug-resistant bacteria and "superbugs"
Green tea is available in a wide range of varieties - introduce yourself by substituting a cup of green tea for a cup of coffee, or add a glass of iced green tea to your afternoon ritual and you will soon be enjoying the health benefits of this delicious beverage! Learn to appreciate the subtle fragrance of good-quality green tea and use teatime to unwind, meditate and take respite from your stress du jour.
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Pizza Provencal
Upgrade pizza night by making a pie loaded with fresh basil, rotisserie chicken, and all the best of Italian-inspired ingredients. A food processor makes quick work of the homemade sauce. Serve with artichoke–green bean salad.
Smoky Ham & Corn Salad
Fresh corn, diced deli ham and crunchy croutons are tossed with a smoky, creamy dressing in this light summer salad. Serve with a crisp glass of rosé and sliced melon.
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Vitamin D receptor slows colon tumors

(UPI) Vitamin D, specifically its receptor, slows the action of a key protein in the carcinogenic process of colon cancer cells, researchers in Spain say…
The study … says patients in the initial stages of colon cancer, when the vitamin D receptor still has a substantial presence in the cells, could benefit from vitamin D3, but this would not be useful in the advanced stages when the presence of the vitamin D receptor is very much reduced.
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U.S. Women Using Dangerous Weight-Loss Pill 2 Years After Recall

(HealthDay News) Many women in the United States continue to use a Chinese weight-loss supplement that's been recalled due to dangerous ingredients, a new study indicates.
Pai You Guo contains the pharmaceuticals sibutramine and phenolphthalein, both of which are banned in the United States because they increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer…
"Even when the supplements are known to be hazardous, the FDA lacks the ability to remove them from store shelves," [study author Dr. Pieter Cohen] noted.
Until there are stronger regulations in the United States, people should not use any supplement that claims to help them lose weight, the researchers said.
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The Fattier Your Heart, the Greater Your Heart Disease Risk

(HealthDay News) The amount of hidden fat that collects around the heart may be a stronger indicator of cardiac disease risk than a bulging waistline or flabby thighs, a new study reports.
Heart fat hidden behind the rib cage -- known as pericardial fat -- appears to promote irregular plaque build-up along coronary artery walls that causes atherosclerosis and can trigger heart attacks, the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the study…
Pericardial fat is linked to being overweight or obese, according to the study.
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New Risk Score Spots Patients at High Risk of Serious Blood Clots

(Science Daily) A new risk prediction tool can identify patients at high risk of serious blood clots who might need preventative treatment, according to a study…
The tool, which can be found at www.qthrombosis.org, is based on simple variables which the patient is likely to know and could be easily integrated into GP computer systems to risk assess patients prior to hospital admission, long haul flights, or starting medications that carry an increased clotting risk.
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