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

Preventing Cancer Through Good Food and Exercise

(The Atlantic) In the American Association for Cancer Research's mammoth new cancer progress report lies the sad fact that about half of the 585,720 cancer deaths expected to occur in the United States this year are related to preventable behaviors. For a disease that often seems (and is) so senseless, it turns out that many cases can be avoided with lifestyle tweaks.
Smoking is the biggest one, associated with nearly 33 percent of preventable cancer diagnoses…
But … a combination of weight problems, poor diet, and exercise account for another third of all preventable cancers. Being overweight or obese is linked to colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, pancreatic, and postmenopausal breast cancer.
The good news is that some kinds of cancer—like lung cancer—are on the decline. Others, though—like those of the pancreas, kidney, thyroid, and liver—are rising steadily.
"The cancers that are increasing are the ones that are associated with obesity," said AACR spokesman and University of Pennsylvania cancer epidemiologist Timothy Rebbeck.
Americans might be smoking less than ever, but obesity rates keep on climbing.
Community: The Huffington Post has this list: “6 Causes Of Cancer That Can Be Prevented.” Even more good news is that many of these same suggestions can reduce heart disease and mental decline risks. Really, it’s a no-brainer.
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Cancer Survivor Numbers Triple From 40 Years Ago: Report

(Businessweek) About 1 in 22 Americans is a cancer survivor, triple the percentage seen 40 years ago, according to a report that suggests science may be slowly catching up with the deadly disease.
About 14.5 million people in the U.S. have outlasted cancer or lived with a malignancy for more than five years, according to a report today by the American Association for Cancer Research. The progress reflects the use of new scientific tools that have allowed researchers to explore the genetic basis of cancer and target the molecular triggers that set it off or allow it to flourish…
“There have been a mixture of successes and not-so-much successes, but the number of successes are growing rapidly when you look at all the new FDA-approved therapies,” Jeffrey Engelman, an oncologist and spokesman for the cancer organization said. “It’s a rather exciting time.”
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Man Survives Rare Cancer Thanks to New 'Targeted' Therapy

(ABC News) James “Rocky” Lagno was so sick that doctors only gave him about a year to live. Having been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer, even aggressive chemotherapy and radiation didn’t prevent the New Hampshire native’s tumors from growing larger.
To top it off, he was also diagnosed with thyroid cancer and then, several months later, an MRI revealed a dozen brain lesions…
Fortunately for Lagno, his wife, Geralynn, lobbied for a biopsy that uncovered a rare genetic mutation linked to lung cancer. Once discovered, Lagno was entered into a clinical trial to test out a relatively new approach to cancer treatment known as molecular targeted therapy.
Traditional cancer drugs are indiscriminant, attacking not just cancer cells but every living cell in the body. Molecular targeting agents like the one Lagno received - which are no longer experimental and are being used with increasing frequency - are designed to target specific cancer mutations, explained Washington University in St. Louis cancer researcher, Elaine Mardis…
In Lagno’s case, the therapy seems to have worked. The real estate agent has been taking two pills of the drug Ceritinib daily for the past three years and, while his tumor isn’t entirely gone, it hasn’t grown or spread either, he said.
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Some Cancer Experts See 'Overdiagnosis,' Question Emphasis on Early Detection

(Wall Street Journal) Early detection has long been seen as a powerful weapon in the battle against cancer. But some experts now see it as double-edged sword.
While it's clear that early-stage cancers are more treatable than late-stage ones, some leading cancer experts say that zealous screening and advanced diagnostic tools are finding ever-smaller abnormalities in prostate, breast, thyroid and other tissues. Many are being labeled cancer or precancer and treated aggressively, even though they may never have caused harm.
As a result, these experts say, many people may be undergoing surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and other treatments unnecessarily, sometimes with lifelong side effects.
Meanwhile, an estimated 586,000 Americans will die of cancer this year—many from very aggressive, fast-moving cancers that develop between screenings and spread too quickly to stop.
We're not finding enough of the really lethal cancers, and we're finding too many of the slow-moving ones that probably don't need to be found," says Laura Esserman, a breast-cancer surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco.
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More Cancer News

(Science Daily) Three papers reveal that around three-quarters of cancer patients who have major depression are not currently receiving treatment for depression, and that a new integrated treatment program is strikingly more effective at reducing depression and improving quality of life than current care.
Breast Cancer
(TIME) Ladies, that swath of fabric snapped around your rib cage is not a death trap. A new study … found that among 1,500 women, there was no association between bra wearing and breast-cancer risk.
(LiveScience) Taking soy protein supplements may lead to some concerning genetic changes for women with breast cancer, a new study suggests.
(Science Daily) When factoring in what is now known about breast cancer biology and heterogeneity, breast conserving therapy (BCT) may offer a greater survival benefit over mastectomy to women with early stage, hormone-receptor positive disease, according to research.
(Reuters Health) More than half of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer consider removal of the second, unaffected breast to prevent cancer spread, and according to a new survey, they tend to have more anxiety and less knowledge about breast cancer than women who don't consider CPM. “There is so much information about breast cancer that it’s easy for patients to get overwhelmed. Interventions that address patient anxiety and lack of knowledge are needed to facilitate more informed decision making for patients,” Dr. Katharine Yao … said.
(Science Daily) Despite its acceptance as standard of care for early stage breast cancer almost 25 years ago, barriers still exist that preclude patients from receiving breast conserving therapy (BCT), with some still opting for a mastectomy, according to research.
More . . .


Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Sandwiches
Balsamic vinegar cooks down to a glaze that clings to the sandwich fillings, adding a hint of sweetness and a touch of acidity. Pressing the sandwich after assembling it conducts the heat from the chicken and cooked vegetables to melt the cheese.
Spaghetti with Halibut & Lemon
In this delicious and simple pasta recipe, halibut is “cooked” ceviche-style in a zesty lemon marinade then tossed with warm spaghetti. While the fish marinates, throw together a salad for an easy and healthy dinner.
Los Angeles Times:
One-Pot Comfort Food Suppers
If the anticipation of fall puts you in the mood for comfort food, you may wonder whether robust chilis, savory stews, and warming casseroles can be made without a lot of fuss. The good news is that all the South Beach Diet–friendly dishes in this collection require just one pot—except the cassoulet, which must be transferred to a separate pan for baking.
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Food companies' U.S. calorie-cutting pledge could stall: researchers

(Reuters) A campaign by 16 of the world's largest food and beverage companies to dramatically cut the number of calories sold in the United States may have stalled after initial success, researchers reported on Wednesday.
The companies, including Campbell Soup and PepsiCo, announced in January that they had collectively sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories in the United States in 2012 than in 2007. The drop - 10.6 percent, or 78 calories per person per day - was hailed as an important contribution to the nation's fight against obesity…
[But] total calories from packaged goods sold to households with children by the companies in the "Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation" did not change from 2011 to 2012…
The analysis comes as progress against obesity has stalled. In 2007-2008, according to government data, 34 percent of adults were obese. In 2011-2012, 35 percent were.
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4 things to watch out for on a cereal box

(Consumer Reports) You can’t rely on front-of-box claims to determine how healthful a certain cereal may be. Here are four things to check on the Nutrition Facts label and ingredients list before you buy.
1. Read beyond the first ingredient
[Y]ou may find sugars, fats, and artificial flavors. And whole grain doesn’t always mean high fiber. Check the label; you want a cereal with at least 5 grams of fiber.
2. Watch for sugars
The more sugar, the less healthy the cereal. And beware: Sugar may be listed under multiple names, such as brown sugar, caramel, and honey…
3. Check the source of the fiber
[Added fibers] may not have the same health benefits as fiber from whole grains…
4. Examine serving size
A serving of a dense cereal such as granola may be ½ cup and that of a flake cereal may be 1 cup. Keep that in mind when you’re pouring the cereal into your bowl.
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More Food News

(MassLive) Seasonal flu and cold season approaches. Besides getting vaccinated against the flu, eating vegetables … can help boost your body's immune system, against viral and bacterial infections… Here are five foods that help the body fight disease… 1. Butternut squash… 2. Carrots… 3. Beets… 4. Ginger… 5. Red bell peppers.
(Science Daily) Researchers studied the dairy-eating habits of healthy French-Canadians' and monitored how dairy consumption may have an effect on their overall metabolic health. It's well known that dairy products contain calcium and minerals good for bones, but new research has shown that dairy consumption may also have beneficial effects on metabolic health and can reduce risk of metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
(Science Daily) A daily small serve of dairy food may reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke, even in communities where such foods have not traditionally formed part of the diet according to new research.
(Appetite for Health) A serving of kiwifruit (2 kiwis) has twice the vitamin C of an orange, as much potassium as a banana and the fiber of a bowl of whole grain cereal–all for less than 100 calories! If you’re still not convinced of kiwi’s all-star status, here are some more surprising facts that might just persuade you to join team kiwi.
(The Supermarket Guru) Farmigo is a start-up that delivers farm goods right to the consumers. This Brooklyn based company sells produce and other products like milk and cheese purchased directly from farmers. Users place an order online; the order is fulfilled by a farmer who transports it to a centralized packing hub; and then Farmigo delivers it to community drop-off points for the customer to pick up.  And this all happens within 48 hours.
As Founder Benzi Ronen told Fortune, “We don’t have a retail store. We get rid of all of that. We source just in time.” That means there’s no waste and produce is brought directly from harvest.
(Reuters) Two U.S. lawmakers are calling for action to rein in antibiotic use in livestock in response to a Reuters investigation showing how top U.S. poultry firms have been administering drugs to their flocks. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY), said she plans to introduce new legislation authorizing the Food and Drug Administration to collect data on “farm-level antibiotic use.” The pledge was part of a letter Gillibrand sent Tuesday to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. In the letter, Gillibrand said that “the scale of injudicious use” of antibiotics in poultry production documented by Reuters “was staggering.”
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) Erratic weather, rising temperatures, declining water resources and labor shortages are threatening India's bread basket state of Haryana, forcing farmers to abandon age-old practices and adopt technology to ensure food supplies for millions. Using machines which sow rice directly, devices to inform when to irrigate and phone messages warning of infestations, thousands of farmers are learning to adapt to climate change, boost soil fertility and reduce their carbon emissions.
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Why The Best Employees at the Country's top Organic Bread Company Are Ex- Convicts

(Fast Company) Talk to [John] Tucker about his bread company [Dave’s Killer Bread], and he’s happy to discuss growth, expansion, recipe, and so on. But you get the sense that he’s much more excited to talk about the way DKB can make a difference in its community, by giving a second chance to ex-convicts.
Not only is DKB one of few companies that hire ex-felons at all, the company also runs what it calls “partner enrichment programs” that educate these employees about how to manage a budget, resolve conflict, find housing, and so on. “A lot of these individuals face lifelong challenges that stem from incarceration and the reasons for their incarceration,” says Tucker. “We bring that support in-house. We don’t rely on them to go out and find it through public services.”
Tucker says he has a faith in business’s ability, above all, to make a difference in lives. “I call it business with a heart,” he says.
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Quick Takes

(Washington Post) The nation’s poverty rate dipped slightly last year as more Americans shifted from part-time work to full-time jobs, but wages barely kept up with inflation so there was no significant change to incomes, according to Census Bureau statistics released Tuesday. The new census figures reflect a nation that is still struggling to emerge from the severe recession that officially ended almost five years ago. Poverty, though in decline, remains high. The increase in jobs has not affected the degree of income inequality. And median wages have been stuck at the same level since 2009.
Community: Income redistribution continues—upward. As we’ve seen in numerous posts, financial insecurity is dangerous to our health.
(UPI) A new CDC report shows that while the problem of death by painkiller drug overdose is getting worse, the death rate increase has slowed slightly since 2006.
(ThinkProgress) "It is a public health crisis in every sense of the word, and it is critical that we treat it is as such."
(Science Daily) Patients facing death or irreversible disease progression -– most of whom have exhausted all approved treatment options -- sometimes seek access to unapproved and unproven interventions. This type of access, often referred to as “compassionate use,” is unregulated by federal authorities, subject to corporate pharmaceutical policies that change mid-stream, and could potentially adversely affect clinical care in the future, according to preliminary studies.
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5 physical therapy treatments you probably don't need

(Consumer Reports) At some point in your life—maybe after an injury or surgery, or just after you reach a certain age—there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself in a physical therapist’s office. And as you look around at the balance balls, ultrasound machines, and other contraptions, and as your body is pushed and pulled in a variety of odd and sometimes even painful ways, you may ask yourself: Does any of this stuff really help?
Well, yes—and no. And now, thanks to the American Physical Therapy Association, it’s easier to distinguish what works from what doesn’t. The organization recently identified five treatments physical therapists sometimes offer that usually don’t help, are often a waste of time and money, and in some cases can even delay your recovery or pose risks…
1. Heat and cold…
2. Exercise machines after knee replacement…
3. Wimpy exercise programs…
4. Bed rest for blood clots…
5. Whirlpools for wounds.
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Ebola News

(Science Daily) A mathematical model that replicates Ebola outbreaks can no longer be used to ascertain the eventual scale of the current epidemic, finds new research.
(Reuters) The unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa requires a $1 billion response to keep its spread within the "tens of thousands" of cases, United Nations officials said on Tuesday. The virus has killed 2,461 people, half of the 4,985 infected by the virus, and the toll has doubled in the last month, World Health Organization Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward said… He said the WHO's previous forecast that the number of cases could reach 20,000 no longer seemed a lot, but the number could be kept within the tens of thousands with "a much faster reponse".
(Reuters) President Barack Obama on Tuesday called West Africa's deadly Ebola outbreak a looming threat to global security and announced a major expansion of the U.S. role in trying to halt its spread, including deployment of 3,000 troops to the region.
(U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) A team of specialized officers from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is being prepared to deploy to manage and staff a previously announced U.S. Department of Defense hospital in Liberia to care for health care workers who become ill from Ebola… Sixty-five Commissioned Corps officers, with diverse clinical and public health backgrounds, will travel to Liberia to provide direct patient care to health care workers. In addition to their professional expertise, these officers will undergo further intensive training in Ebola response and advanced infection control.
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) The World Bank approved a $105 million grant on Tuesday to speed up delivery of emergency supplies and provide support for healthcare workers in the three West African countries worst affected by the Ebola crisis.
(Reuters) The United Nations Security Council could adopt a resolution later this week to expand the global response to the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa by calling on countries to lift travel restrictions and provide urgent assistance, including field hospitals and staff.
(Reuters) The Ebola response in Liberia, the country worst hit by the outbreak, will focus on community-level care units since new treatment centers are unlikely to be ready for weeks or months, World Health Organization Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward said on Tuesday. "The absolute first priority is to establish enough capacity to rapidly isolate the cases so that they are not infecting others. We need Ebola treatment centers to do that, very very quickly, but they take time to build, as you've seen," he said.
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Interesting Stuff

(Science Daily) Why are human faces so variable compared to other animals, from lizards and penguins to dogs and monkeys? Scientists analyzed human faces and the genes that code for facial features and found a high variability that could only be explained by selection for variable faces, probably because of the importance of social interactions in human relationships and the need for humans to be recognizable.
(Discover Magazine) Your brain has a lot to think about, so if there’s a way to outsource a few mental tasks to save bandwidth, it’s going to do it. Now researchers have discovered another such workaround: the neurons in your fingertips perform some computational tasks independently of the brain.
Researchers from UmeĆ„ University in Sweden demonstrated that nerve endings in our fingertips encode information about touch intensity and shape before those signals ever travel to the brain. Their findings challenge the long-held belief that our skin simply signaled that something was touched, and our brains processed all the bits of information about shape. 
(Discover Magazine) Weighing in at more than 65 tons and measuring 85 feet from head to toe, Dreadnoughtus is among the largest dinosaurs belonging to the gigantic family known as titanosaurs. To date, it is the most complete skeleton of a gigantic dinosaur, which allowed researchers to accurately calculate its size. Dreadnought is an Old English word that means “fear nothing,” and at seven times the size of a Tyrannosaurus rex, researchers say the aptly named Dreadnoughtus was nearly impervious to attack.
(Science Daily) Thoughts of the family tree may not be uppermost in the mind of a person suffering from a slipped disc, but those spinal discs provide a window into our evolutionary past. They are remnants of the first vertebrate skeleton, whose origins now appear to be older than had been assumed. Scientists have found that, unexpectedly, this skeleton most likely evolved from a muscle.
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Medical Technology News

(AP) A new app is making it easier to donate blood. The American Red Cross describes the app as a first of its kind. It allows users to schedule blood donations, locate a donation center, track their donations and invite friends to join in the giving, among other features. The app can also synchronize a blood donation appointment with the donor's schedule and lead to exclusive discounts at retailers. Call[ed] the Blood Donor App, it is free and available for download in app stores.
(Scientific American) Just when it seems there's a mobile app for just about everything, psychologists have shown there's room for one more: they are using smartphones to help them better understand the dynamics of moral and immoral behavior out in the community.
(Reuters) Developers of apps for mobile devices are asking a U.S. agency to clarify its rules for protecting patient health information to reflect the fast-evolving technology… In the letter viewed by Reuters, the developers said they are struggling to compete with larger vendors that have the resources to hire lawyers and consultants. They say they must rely on government websites, which have not been updated recently. Regulators "have not kept pace with the rapid growth of technology that gives users greater access to healthcare providers and more control over their health information," the letter said.
(Science Daily) Wearable electronic activity monitors hold great promise in helping people to reach their wellness goals. These increasingly sophisticated devices help the wearers improve their wellness by constantly monitoring their activities and bodily responses through companion computer programs and mobile apps. Given the large market for these devices, researchers analyzed 13 of these devices to compare how the devices and their apps work to motivate the wearer.
(Science Daily) Medical researchers have designed a remote medical care system that supports the rehabilitation of people with spasticity, an alteration of the nervous system related to increased tone muscle making motor skills difficult or impossible for those affected.
(Science Daily) The recently developed fluorescent protein Amrose is now being used for advanced near-IR imaging procedures. With the aid of a novel evolutionary platform technology, scientists have developed this infrared marker as part of a combined effort to improve the quality of tissue imaging.
More . . .

Pharma News

(Forbes) A large observational study finds that people who received a prescription for a generic statin were more likely to take their pills than people who received a prescription for a brand-name statin. This increased adherence appeared to lead to a small but significant improvement in outcomes.
(Reuters) Switzerland, home to the world's two biggest drugmakers, might be expected to give them an easy ride. But Roche and Novartis are finding no immunity in their home market from a European-wide price squeeze. Governments and healthcare authorities around the world are questioning whether they are getting the best value for money as they struggle to find space in their budgets to care for an ever older and sicker population. Their demands that medicine prices be cut is a growing challenge for drugmakers.
(Businessweek) Actavis Plc (ACT:US) was sued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is trying to stop the drugmaker from swapping one version of its Namenda Alzheimer’s drug for another. The Dublin-based company’s plans to discontinue the immediate-release version of its Namenda Alzheimer’s drug and switch patients to an extended-release version with patents that expire later violate state and federal antitrust laws, Schneiderman said in a complaint filed today in federal court in Manhattan.
(Reuters) Merck & Co on Monday said it expects next year to seek U.S. approval for its long-delayed experimental osteoporosis drug, odanacatib, after the once-weekly medicine met its primary goals in a late-stage trial.
(Reuters) Abbott's Absorb dissolving heart stent proved as safe and effective one year after being placed in a diseased artery as the company's market-leading Xience drug coated metal stent with a significantly lower rate of chest pain, according to data… Absorb works in the same way as traditional heart stents, propping open arteries that have been cleared of blockages to restore normal blood flow. But unlike metal stents that remain permanently in place, Absorb softens over several months and dissolves in two to three years, allowing the treated artery to regain more normal flexibility to expand and contract.
(Reuters) Injecting Roche's cancer drug Avastin as a cheap eye treatment does not appear to increase deaths or serious side effects, according to an independent study that is likely to fuel a row over the medicine's unapproved use. An analysis of nine clinical trials - including three unpublished ones - concluded that health policies favoring the much more expensive eye drug Lucentis over Avastin were not supported by current evidence.
More . . .

Medical Practice News

(Wall Street Journal) Doctors are overextended, skeptical of changes wrought by the federal health law, but more optimistic about the future of medicine than they were two years ago, according to a new survey of 20,000 U.S. physicians. Despite many specific complaints, 71% of those polled said they would choose to become doctors again if they were making the choice today, up from 66% two years ago. And 50% would recommend it to their children, compared with 42% in 2012 and 40% in 2008… Respondents to the survey, conducted every two years by the nonprofit Physicians Foundation, were younger, more likely to be female and more likely to be employed by a hospital or health system than in past years, reflecting industry trends.
(Wall Street Journal) Patients looking for convenient medical appointments can now see UCLA Health System doctors using their cell phones, computers or tablets. It’s part of an ongoing effort at UCLA and elsewhere to extend alternatives to the in-person doctor visit to busy consumers outside rural areas.
(Science Daily) Using a pain clinic as a testing ground, researchers have shown that a management process first popularized by Toyota in Japan can substantially reduce patient wait times and possibly improve the teaching of interns and residents.
(Science Daily) An educational program for nurses can help address knowledge gaps related to advance health care directives -- thus helping to ensure that patients' wishes for care at the end of life are known and respected, report researchers.
(Science Daily) In the largest study of its kind, an investigation shows that home health agencies providing organizational support to their nurses get better outcomes. The best outcomes for patients, including fewest hospitalizations and transfers to nursing homes, are achieved by home health agencies that provide supportive work environments, enabling nurses to focus on patient care.
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Number of ER visits due to high blood pressure 'on the rise'

(Medical News Today) [An] analysis revealed that the number of emergency room (ER) visits for essential hypertension - high blood pressure that has no identifiable cause - increased by 25% over the 5-year period, while the number of ER visits for hypertension with complication and secondary hypertension - high blood pressure in which the cause can be identified - rose by 19%.
The team notes, however, that hospital admission for patients with secondary hypertension and hypertension with complication reduced by 12%, while the number of deaths among patients who were admitted dropped by 36%.
Dr. [Sourabh] Aggarwal says the reduction in hospital admissions and deaths is likely to be down to the increased skill in high blood pressure treatment among hospital physicians. "But there is still a large unmet need for patients to have better help controlling their blood pressure in the outpatient setting," he adds.
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Health Insurance News

(U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) … in the Pioneer ACO Model and Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) generated over $372 million in total program savings for Medicare ACOs.  The encouraging news comes from preliminary quality and financial results from the second year of performance for 23 Pioneer ACOs, and final results from the first year of performance for 220 Shared Savings Program ACOs. Meanwhile, the ACOs outperformed published benchmarks for quality and patient experience last year and improved significantly on almost all measures of quality and patient experience this year.
(Wall Street Journal) The survey, based on data for 27,627 people and released Tuesday, provided an incomplete picture of the effect of federal health law, as its interviews occurred from January through March. Since the Obama administration estimated that nearly half of the 8 million people who signed up for Medicaid or private insurance plans in the new marketplaces did not do so until near or at the conclusion of the enrollment period at the end of March, many of those people’s new insurance status were not captured in the survey.
(ThinkProgress) Lower income Americans are becoming insured at a greater rate than non-poor Americans.
(Reuters) HealthCare.gov, President Barack Obama's health insurance exchange, has security and privacy protection vulnerabilities, a U.S. government watchdog reported on Tuesday, nearly a year after the website's troubled rollout… "Until these weaknesses are addressed, increased and unnecessary risks remain of unauthorized access, disclosure, or modification of the information collected and maintained by Healthcare.gov...", the GAO said.
(Kaiser Health News) Provisions in the Affordable Care Act seek to curb individual states from setting new mandates requiring insurers to cover specific care but many local legislators are trying to work around that. 
(David E. Williams, Health Business Blog) Pennsylvania and now Utah are joining other Republican-run states that have decided to say yes to the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act after all… It makes perfect sense. As I’ve described repeatedly … refusing Medicaid expansion is self-defeating for a state. With elections coming up in November, some Republican leaders have realized it might be self-defeating for them in a very personal sense!.. So far the South is solid in its rejection of Medicaid expansion, except for Arkansas. Look for that to change in 2015, even if the GOP takes the Senate.
(WVEC.com) A poll released Wednesday by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University shows 61 percent of Virginia voters support expanding Medicaid to cover more Virginians who lack health insurance. However, almost half of the voters polled worry that the federal government might not pay its share.
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Health Is Cornerstone of a Happy Retirement

(MarketWatch) New Merrill Lynch research, conducted in partnership with Age Wave, finds that 81 percent of retirees cite health as the most important ingredient to a happy retirement, followed by financial security (58 percent), loving family and friends (36 percent), and having purpose (20 percent)…
The study revealed that boomers are a whole new type of health care consumer – one who takes charge of their health and health care decisions. Compared to their parents’ generation, boomers are 2 1/2 times more likely to say they are proactive about their health, including being four times more likely to actively research health information…
The vast majority of survey respondents across all generations expressed overwhelming interest and enthusiasm in a wide range of potential innovations and new medical technologies to help them age with greater health and vitality. At the top of the list is “therapies to slow down the aging of the brain.” Among several other potential innovations of great interest to people, as revealed through the study, are technologies that would allow them to grow and replace their own organs, wearable microsensors to help manage their health, and genetic analysis that can predict diseases for which they are at risk…
To download “Health and Retirement: Planning for the Great Unknown,” visit www.ml.com/retirementstudy. This report is the fourth in a series of in-depth studies focusing on seven life priorities, as defined through the new Merrill Lynch Clear program. Merrill Lynch Clear is a pioneering framework designed to connect people’s lives to their finances and help them live their best life in retirement. To explore additional content and resources related to these seven life priorities, visit www.ml.com/retire.
Community: Please invite your friends who are at or reaching retirement age to read Many Years Young. You’ll find here the latest information from reliable sources on staying as healthy as possible as we age, and making informed decisions about your health.
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7 Health Boosters That Will Surprise You

(Meg Selig, Psychology Today) Do YOU have any of these stranger-than-fiction health boosters in your life?  Here they are:
1. Friendly neighbors. Amazing as it sounds, when people feel like they are part of their neighborhood, have friendly neighbors whom they feel would help out in a pinch, and trust most of their neighbors, their heart attack risk goes down. A lot…
2.Telling the truth. I kid you not when I say that a recent study … revealed that honesty is the best policy when it comes to health…
3. Windows in your workplace. A small study compared 27 workers in windowless offices with 22 in workplaces with windows. The office workers with more light exposure had better sleep quality, longer sleep duration, were more active, and had better quality of life than those workers without windows…
4. Green plants. And speaking of the workplace, offices enriched with green plants not only increased workers’ productivity (by 15%), but also made them happier…
5. Blue water… [A] new book … argues that water—being in it, on it, near it, or under it—can calm a frazzled mind and make a body healthier…
6. Relating to nature.  Let’s see…natural light, green plants, blue water, better air quality…hey! That sounds like being out in nature.  Indeed, there are now numerous studies showing that if you spend time in nature, you are likely to be happier, less stressed, and healthier…
7. Moderate worrying… [Researchers] discovered that moderate worriers were likely to live longer, healthier lives because they can envision the worst and prepare for it. They are also less prone to taking foolish risks.
Community: See more suggestions from Rebecca Scritchfield MA, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist, “9 Habits for a Healthier, Happier Life,” and from Dr. Andrew Weil, “4 Surprising Tips for Lifelong Health.”
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Yes! Sweat the Small Stuff

(Lauren Kessler, Counterclockwise) Health and wellness is the result of specific choices. You reach for an apple instead of a bag of chips. You take a walk instead of sit in front of a screen. You stretch your calves when you wait on line at the grocery store. You go to bed a half hour earlier. Earth-shaking? No. Life-changing? You bet.
I was reminded of this way of thinking when I read Deborah Szekely’s new post at wellnesswarrior.org. I’ve written about kick-ass nonagenarian Deborah before. Let me quote her again right now:
Achieving overall fitness and well-being is built choice by choice, one “smidgen” at a time. So is disease and infirmity. In fact, the small choices—repeated often enough and over time—have the greatest impact. The cumulative effect of actions and non-actions shape the person we are today and the person we are in the process of becoming as we age.
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More General Health News

(Discover Magazine) Imagine if everyday technology could transform how we manage our health and wellbeing? What if your phone could alert your doctor to a change in your behavior? Or what if grandma’s stove could tell you she is already up and about in the morning? It sounds complicated but as it turns out, it might simply be a matter of tapping into the data generated from everyday devices. Two independent groups in California are doing just this.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Fear is a common motivator in health - when something goes wrong with our health, we are motivated to see a doctor and find a quick fix. Dr. Weil believes fear is not a good motivator for good health and instead believes education is a better option for motivation of making lifestyle changes. See what else Dr. Weil says about motivating people to make better choices in life and their health.
(Science Daily) Financial hardship, or feeling that one can’t make ends meet, may be more predictive of health risk behaviors than actual income levels for people with low-incomes, finds a recent study.
(Science Daily) Poor physical health and financial health are driven by the same underlying psychological factors, finds a new study. Researchers found that the decision to contribute to a 401(k) retirement plan predicted whether or not an individual will act to correct poor physical health indicators revealed during an employer-sponsored health examination.
(Los Angeles Times) The continual complaint about television's negative impact on our health recently erupted into full blown clamor when a study published in the Journal of American Medicine seemed to indicate that too much television could shorten a person's life. But there are times when binge watching is not just excusable, it's restorative.
(Science Daily) It has been known for its flavorful addition to soups and as a delicacy for dogs but bone marrow fat may also have untapped health benefits, new research finds. Researchers find that with calorie restriction, a less-studied fat tissue releases adiponectin, which is linked to reduced risk of diseases like diabetes.
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6 Healthy and Delicious Chicken Dinners
Chicken is a staple in many parts of the world and it lends itself to a wide variety of flavors and preparations. Chicken breast without the skin can be enjoyed on all Phases of the South Beach Diet. Steer clear of fattier dark meat wings and legs. You'll find dozens of healthy chicken recipes on Southbeachdiet.com. Here are six of our favorites.
Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes
All you need is twenty minutes to get this dish in the slow cooker. You'll have a hearty chicken and veggie supper waiting for you when you get home. If you don't care to use the wine, you can use 1/2 cup of additional chicken broth.
Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
This healthy Buffalo chicken sandwich recipe takes the traditional accompaniments to Buffalo chicken wings—carrots, celery and blue cheese dip—and turns them into a crunchy slaw to top the sandwich.
Washington Post:
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