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Helpful information on the world of beauty and aesthetics supplies.
Fallacies abound regarding sodium and wine consumption
An American Heart Assn. survey shows that more than half of Americans believe drinking wine is good for the heart, but few know how much to consume to receive the health benefits. The survey also found that most adults incorrectly think that sea salt is lower in sodium than table salt. AHA spokesman Gerald Fletcher, MD, said misconceptions like these could negatively affect adults' cardiovascular health. He said his organization recommends that physicians educate patients on ways to lower their sodium consumption. He also encourages doctors to talk to patients about the negative health effects of drinking too much wine, such as an increase in blood pressure. "Hypertension is a devastating [disease]. ...And it's very strongly influenced by your intake of salt," said Dr. Fletcher, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. In March, the AHA surveyed 1,000 adults 18 and older on their beliefs about how salt and wine affect heart health. Sixty-one percent consider sea sal [Read more]
Coalition pushes for safe injection practices
More education and research and superior product designs are needed to end unsafe injection practices that have led to 30 infectious-disease outbreaks in the last 10 years, said a coalition of physicians, nurses, manufacturers and government officials. In the last decade, more than 125,000 patients have been notified about potential exposure to infectious diseases such as hepatitis C due to reuse of syringes, according to the Safe Injection Practices Coalition, which was formed in 2008. Along with Premier, an alliance of more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals, the coalition co-sponsored an April 26 meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss the problem (www.premierinc.com/quality-safety/tools-services/safety/topics/safe_injection_practices/meeting.jsp). "These are largely preventable medical errors -- they are not so different from wrong-side surgery," said Joseph Perz, DrPH, who leads the prevention team in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and [Read more]
House OKs permanent ban on federal abortion funding
Washington -- The House has approved a bill that permanently would prohibit federal funds from being used to pay for abortions or buy insurance plans that cover abortions. The legislation is now in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it is unlikely to move forward as a standalone bill. Even if it were approved as part of a larger bill and sent to President Obama's desk, White House senior officials have indicated they would advise him to veto the measure. The House passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R, N.J.), by a 251-175 vote on May 4. Sixteen Democrats supported the bill, while no Republicans voted against it. The bill would ban federal funding from being used to pay for abortion services or health plans that cover abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the pregnant woman is in danger, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The restrictions mirror a ban known a [Read more]
Doctors failed to inquire about Gitmo detainees' injuries, study alleges
Physicians and other health professionals at Guantanamo Bay failed to properly document and report evidence "highly consistent" with detainee allegations of torture, says a case review of nine detainees' medical records published in the April issue of PLoS Medicine. Three of the detainees had documented physical injuries that were highly consistent with their allegations of abuse, including contusions, bone fractures, lacerations and peripheral nerve damage, said the study, written by two experts on the evidence of torture. The reviewers were hired as medical consultants by attorneys for some of the detainees. The detainees said they were exposed to interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures, stress positions, beatings, forced nudity, prolonged isolation and sexual molestation -- all recognized as torture by the United Nations Convention Against Torture as well as the U.S. government before 2002. None of the detainees, held in the U.S. facility at [Read more]
Health plan for preexisting conditions gaining in popularity
Washington -- Enrollment in a federal-state insurance program for people with preexisting conditions reached 18,313 by the end of March, an increase of nearly 6,000 since Feb. 1, according to data released May 6 by the Dept. of Health and Human Services. The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan -- created by the health system reform law -- provides coverage to U.S. citizens who have been both uninsured for at least six months and denied health insurance because of at least one medical condition. Premiums are more expensive than traditional health insurance, with older Americans facing the highest costs, but are less expensive than many similar state insurance programs. Despite the recent uptick, total program enrollment has been considered lackluster. The Congressional Budget Office had estimated that 200,000 people would register for PCIP each year, one of the more conservative enrollment estimates provided. In response to the lack of interest, HHS lowered premiums this year [Read more]
Obesity rising in adults with arthritis
As obesity prevalence increases among adults with arthritis, the author of a new study is urging primary care physicians to regularly assess the weight and activity levels of patients with the condition. Doctors should talk to obese patients with arthritis about ways to shed pounds through diet and low-impact exercises, said Jennifer Hootman, PhD, lead author of the study in the April 29 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Low-impact exercises include riding a stationary bike, swimming, walking and water aerobics. Hootman encourages doctors to schedule follow-up visits to monitor progress. "When obese people [with arthritis] are inactive, their arthritis gets worse, because their muscles get weak. When people who are a normal weight get arthritis, they often gain weight because they're inactive. ... We really want to try and address this, because we can break the cycle," said Hootman, an epidemiologist with the CDC's [Read more]
VA hospital in Colorado to share patient data with private physicians
Physicians treating veterans in southeast Utah soon will have an easier time coordinating care with doctors treating them at the nearest veterans' hospital, which happens to be across the state line in Colorado. The Veterans Health Administration will begin testing a health information exchange between the Grand Junction (Colo.) VA Medical Center and Moab (Utah) Regional Hospital and surrounding physician practices. The VA hopes this is the first of many projects across the country that will expedite the coordination of care for the seven in 10 veterans who receive some portion of care from private physicians and hospitals. Without a health information exchange, care was often repeated, delayed or inefficient because physicians had to wait for phone calls and faxes. The health information network will allow private physicians to get the medical records of the veterans they treat and share their clinical notes and test results with VA hospitals. "I think this is probably one of [Read more]
Bipartisan House caucus to promote generic drugs
Washington -- Two House members have established a group that they hope will produce legislation that leads to wider use of generic drugs, including follow-on biologics, and reduced national health spending growth. Reps. Jo Ann Emerson (R, Mo.) and Peter Welch (D, Vt.) founded the Congressional Affordable Medicines Caucus on May 12. The lawmakers have started recruiting additional members and will craft a caucus agenda when the initial member drive is finished. "At the end of the day, we want to get more of our colleagues involved in these issues," Emerson said during a May 12 conference call with reporters. Welch said two primary goals of the caucus are reducing health spending growth and demonstrating that lawmakers need to work across party lines to solve problems. Emerson said she also expects the group to lobby for an expansion of the Food and Drug Administration office responsible for approving generic drugs. Emerson said some of the generic drug policies she supports [Read more]
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