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The federal government took important steps to combat tobacco use in 2011, including extending quit-smoking benefits to federal employees, providing partial payment for states that offer tobacco counseling for Medicaid recipients and pushing graphic warning labels for cigarettes.
States, however, did a poor job of tackling tobacco-related issues, said the American Lung Assn.'s 10th annual report on tobacco-control initiatives. No states enacted strong smoke-free-air laws in 2011, and some cut funding to smoking prevention and cessation programs.
"We're talking about a vast, ongoing health crisis," said American Lung Assn. President and CEO Charles D. Connor.
In addition to its impact on individual lives, tobacco use costs the country nearly $193 billion annually in health care costs and lost productivity, he said.
In June 2011, the Food and Drug Administration released images of nine graphic warning labels, including a man smoking through a tracheotomy hole and a small chil ...
Adding to the debate about when to screen men for prostate cancer is a study that shows testing annually for the disease does not reduce deaths.
The research, published Jan. 6 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, updates findings from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial that began in November 1993.
Authors of the most recent study urge physicians to stop screening for the disease in elderly men and those with a limited life expectancy.
"We need to take a more targeted approach and selectively screen men who are young and healthy, particularly those at high risk for prostate cancer, including African-Americans and those with a family history of the disease," said lead study author Gerald Andriole, MD.
"A large majority of the cancers we found [in the study] are slow-growing tumors that are unlikely to be deadly," said Dr. Andriole, chief urologic surgeon at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University ...
Academic institutions are partnering with a military support initiative led by the Obama administration to improve care for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and traumatic brain injury.
First lady Michelle Obama announced that 130 medical education programs have agreed to participate in a program ensuring that physicians are trained to recognize and treat combat PTSD and TBI. Obama spoke about the initiative Jan. 11 at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, one of the participating schools.
"By directing some of our brightest minds, our most cutting-edge research and our finest teaching institutions toward our military families, they're ensuring that those who have served our country receive the first-rate care that they have earned," she said.
The effort is part of the administration's Joining Forces initiative, which coordinates support from different sectors of the economy for service members. Joining Forces Executive Director Brad Cooper ...