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Health News Results - 264

Turning 65 Brings Big Health Care Cost Savings, Study Finds

When Americans are eligible for Medicare at age 65, they see a significant drop in their out-of-pocket medical costs.

Lowering the eligibility age would save even more, especially for people with the highest out-of-pocket costs, according to a new study.

"Me...

Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion Helped Americans' Blood Pressure

With the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, fewer Americans are uninsured and more are getting their blood pressure and blood sugar under control, a new study finds.

The gains are especially strong among Black and Hispanic patients, according to Boston University researchers.

"Our results suggest that over the longer-run, expanding Medicaid eligibility may improve key chronic di...

COVAX Cuts Global COVID Vaccine Supply Estimates By a Quarter

Fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses than expected will be available through the global COVAX program, affecting many less-affluent nations waiting on these doses.

The United Nations forecast last week that it would have about 25% fewer vaccines to distribute through COVAX this year — 1.4 billion compared to an earlier projection for 1.9 billion doses,

  • Cara Murez
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  • September 13, 2021
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  • Black Americans, Mexican Americans Develop Diabetes Earlier in Life

    Black Americans and Mexican Americans typically develop type 2 diabetes up to seven years earlier than their white counterparts, a new study finds.

    In all, more than 25% of adults in the two groups reported being diagnosed with diabetes before age 40, and 20% didn't know they had the disease.

    Researchers said the findings highlight the need to address economic and social conditions ...

    More Affordable Housing, Healthier Hearts?

    One of the keys to good health could be in the hands of those who decide zoning policies for their communities.

    Inclusionary zoning policies that provide for affordable housing were associated with lower rates of heart disease for those who benefited from these dwellings, according to a new U.S. study.

    "Many cities around the country are facing a severe shortage of affordabl...

    Pandemic Brought Big Drop in Breast Cancer Screening in Older, Low-Income Women

    Many parts of the United States saw a significant drop in breast cancer screening of older low-income women during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research shows.

    The analysis of data from 32 community health centers that serve low-income people found that breast cancer screening for 50- to 74-year-old women dropped 8% between July 2019 and July 2020. That wiped out an 18% increase between Jul...

    Leaving Work to Care for Special Needs Child Takes Big Financial Toll

    Having a special needs child can mean medical emergencies and doctors' visits where parents have to take time off from work, and now a new study shows that can bring a bit financial hit to a family.

    Researchers analyzed U.S. government data from more than 14,000 families in that situation and found they lost an average of $18,000 a year in household income in 2016-2017.

    "We found a ...

    Little Change in Number of Uninsured in  Pandemic's First Year

    While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the economy and jobs, it didn't result in fewer Americans having health insurance.

    The number of 18- to 64-year-olds in the United States without health insurance held steady at 11% between March 2019 and April 2021, according to a survey by the Urban Institute, a social policy research organization.

    "Unlike the last recession, los...

    Student Debt to Be Erased for Many With Severe Disabilities, Low Incomes

    More than $5.8 billion in student loan debt will be erased for over 300,000 Americans who have severe disabilities and low incomes, the Biden administration said Thursday.

    "We've heard loud and clear from borrowers with disabilities and advocates about the need for this change and we are excited to follow through on it," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a

  • Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
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  • August 20, 2021
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  • Full Page
  • American Dental Association Pushes for Dental Coverage Under Medicaid

    Dental care should be a required part of Medicaid coverage for adults in every state, the American Dental Association and nearly 130 other organizations urge in a letter to Congress.

    The groups called on lawmakers to support and advance a bill called the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act.

    "Poor oral health hurts more than our mouths," the

  • Robert Preidt
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  • August 20, 2021
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  • Full Page
  • Race-Based Disparities in Americans' Health Haven't Improved: Study

    In a paradoxical finding, new research reveals that more Americans of color have access to health insurance now than they did 20 years ago, but their perceptions of their health status have not improved at all.

    The study, published Aug. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, paints a sobering picture.

    In the bit of good news, researchers found that bet...

    Odds for an Eating Disorder May Vary by Income

    Young Americans from low-income homes are more likely than those whose families are better off to be unhappy with the way they look and to have an eating disorder, a new study finds.

    University of Minnesota researchers examined 2010-18 data from Project EAT, a long-running study tracking the general health and well-being of teens as they move into adulthood.

    "Our study found that h...

    Did Obamacare Expand Access to Insurance for Minorities? In Some U.S. States, Hardly at All

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) reduced the ranks of uninsured Americans, but a recent study shows that many U.S. states did little to close racial gaps in health coverage.

    Researchers found that in the two years after the ACA came into force, some U.S. states showed large reductions in the number of Black, Hispanic and low-income residents who were uninsured.

    Other states, however, s...

    Where You Live Could Predict Your Survival After Heart Attack

    There are many factors that affect your longevity after experiencing a heart attack. And now, new research finds that your neighborhood could play a key role in your long-term survival.

    The researchers found that patients in poorer neighborhoods had a lower chance of survival over five years, and that Black patients in those neighborhoods had a lower chance than white patients.

    "Thi...

    WHO Slams COVID-19 Booster Shots in Wealthy Nations

    Wealthy nations shouldn't be giving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to their citizens while poor nations struggle to get first doses of vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

    The U.N. health organization called for a moratorium on booster shots until at least the end of September, even for the elderly, health care workers and other high-risk groups.

    "I understa...

    Deaths From Alzheimer's Far More Common in Rural America

    Death rates from Alzheimer's disease are particularly high in the rural United States, a preliminary study finds, highlighting a need for health care resources in traditionally under-served areas.

    Researchers discovered that over the past two decades, rural areas in the Southeast have seen the highest death rates from Alzheimer's, at 274 per 100,000 people. That's about twice the rate as ...

    More Than Half of Americans Plagued by Back, Leg Pain

    There's much Americans may disagree on, but many share one thing in common: chronic pain.

    More than half of U.S. adults suffer from pain, with backs and legs the most common sources, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

    Overall, the investigators found that nearly 59% of American men and wo...

    Testosterone's Ties to Success May Be a Myth

    Higher levels of testosterone don't give men or women an edge in life, claims a new study that challenges a common belief.

    "There's a widespread belief that a person's testosterone can affect where they end up in life. Our results suggest that, despite a lot of mythology surrounding testosterone, its social implication...

    Patients of Color Less Likely to Get Specialist Care Than White Patients

    People of color are consistently less likely to see medical specialists than white patients are, a new U.S. study finds, highlighting yet another disparity in the nation's health care system.

    Researchers found that compared with their white counterparts, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans had significantly fewer visits to doctors of various specialties -- ranging from...

    Money Can Buy Americans Longer Life: Study

    Money may not buy happiness but new research suggests it may at least help Americans live longer.

    "Our results suggest that building wealth is important for health at the individual level, even after accounting for where one starts out in life," said Greg Miller, a faculty fellow at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research, in Chicago. "So, from a public health perspective,...

    Pandemic Changed Grocery Shopping for Rich and Poor

    Changes in Americans' grocery shopping habits during the pandemic made pre-existing gaps in access to food even worse, researchers report.

    While many wealthier people switched to online ordering and did more stocking up, most low-income people still had to shop in-person at local small grocers and dollar stores and do so regularly because they couldn't afford to stock up on groceries.

    Many Hit Hard by Pandemic Now Swamped by Medical Debt

    The coronavirus pandemic has left plenty of Americans saddled with medical bills they can't pay, a new survey reveals.

    More than 50% of those who were infected with COVID-19 or who lost income due to the pandemic are now struggling with medical debt, according to researchers from The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates a high-performing health care system.

    "T...

    Extreme Heat Hits Poorer Neighborhoods Harder

    Extreme heat strikes poor and minority neighborhoods in U.S. cities harder than those that are wealthier and mainly white, a new study finds.

    "The distribution of excess urban heat varies within cities, and as a result, communities do not share a city's extreme heat burden equally," said study co-author Jennifer Burney. She's chair of global climate policy and research at the University o...

    Americans With Diabetes Were Hit Hard by COVID Pandemic

    As many as two of every five Americans who've died from COVID-19 were suffering from diabetes, making the chronic disease one of the highest-risk conditions during the pandemic, an expert says.

    About 40% of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States were among diabetics, a "really quite sobering" statistic that should prompt people with the ailment to get vaccinated, said Dr. Robert Gabbay...

    Get COVID-19 Vaccines to Poor Nations Instead of Making Booster Shots: WHO

    COVID-19 vaccine makers such as Pfizer should focus on getting shots to poor countries instead of trying to persuade wealthy nations to give their citizens booster shots, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said at a press briefing held Monday.

    Despite a lack of evidence that third doses of vaccines are necessary, drug companies are lobbying the United States and other Western coun...

    Even Before Pandemic, One-Third of U.S. Adults Went Without Dental Care

    Millions of American adults haven't seen a dentist in at least a year, a new U.S. government health survey reveals.

    In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic made dental visits difficult, a third of adults under 65 hadn't had a dental exam or cleaning in the past 12 months, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    And the problem was worse in ...

    Missing Teeth, Higher Odds for Dementia?

    Brushing and flossing is good not only for your teeth: It might also benefit your brain, a new study suggests.

    The findings showed that tooth loss is tied to an increased risk of dementia, though getting dentures may help reduce that risk.

    For the study, New York University researchers analyzed 14 studies that included more than 34,000 older adults and nearly 4,700 with diminished t...

    State Lotteries Don't Boost COVID Vaccination Numbers: Study

    Lotteries that pay cash and prizes to Americans who get vaccinated sound like a sure-fire recipe for success, but a new study finds they don't actually boost vaccination rates.

    After media reports suggested that Ohio's "Vax-a-Million" lottery increased vaccination rates, other states decided to use lotteries to reinvigorate slowing vaccination rates.

    "However, prior evaluations of t...

    Gap in Breast Cancer Survival for Black, White Patients Shrinks, But Not by Enough

    Racial disparities in breast cancer survival have narrowed in recent years, but Black women with the disease still have double the death rate of white women.

    That's according to a study that tracked breast cancer trends in Florida between 1990 and 2015. Overall, deaths from the disease declined among Black, Hispanic and white women alike -- with the improvement being greater among minorit...

    Wealth & Health: How Big Financial Changes Affect Your Heart

    The state of your finances may affect more than your pocketbook.

    So claims new research that suggests a loss of wealth is associated with an increased risk of heart problems, while a boost in finances is associated with a lower risk.

    "Low wealth is a risk factor that can dynamically change over a person's life and can influence a person's cardiovascular health status," said stu...

    Women's Cancer Screenings Plummeted During Pandemic

    Breast and cervical cancer screenings dropped sharply among low-income minority women during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

    That could lead to delayed cancer diagnoses, health consequences and an increase in existing disparities, the agency warned.

    The new findings "reinforce the need to safely maintain routine health care services d...

    Pandemic Day Care Closures Forced 600,000 U.S. Working Moms to Leave Jobs

    When child care centers were forced to close in the pandemic's early months, hundreds of thousands of American working mothers lost their jobs, new research shows.

    The study is just the latest illustration of the toll the pandemic has taken on working women in the United States.

    Over the first 10 months of the U.S. pandemic, more than 2.3 million women left the labor force, accordin...

    Poorly Managed Diabetes Raises Odds for More Severe COVID

    Hospitalized patients with diabetes who hadn't been taking their medication had more severe cases of COVID-19, a new study shows.

    "Our results highlight the importance of assessing, monitoring and controlling blood glucose [sugar] in hospitalized COVID-19 patients from the start," said study author Sudip Bajpeyi, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Texas at El Paso. H...

    Most Cases of Dementia in U.S. Seniors Go Undiagnosed: Study

    Most Americans with dementia are undiagnosed, which shows how important it is to screen and assess seniors for the disease, researchers say.

    Their new analysis of data from a nationwide survey of about 6 million Americans aged 65 and older revealed that 91% of people with cognitive impairment consistent with dementia did not have a formal medical diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disea...

    Hawaii to Ease COVID Rules for Fully Vaccinated Tourists

    Hawaii will drop COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules for fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. mainland in two weeks, Gov. David Ige announced Thursday.

    When the restrictions are lifted on July 8, visitors using the quarantine exemption will have to upload their vaccination cards to a state website and bring a hard copy of their vaccination card with them, the Associated Press

    Drop in Life Expectancy From COVID Much Worse for Black, Hispanic Americans

    The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a significant blow to life expectancy in the United States, researchers say.

    Overall, American life expectancy dropped by just over one year in 2020. But researchers found the pandemic hit minority groups even harder, shaving more than three years off the life expectancy of Hispanic people and almost two years off that of Black people.

    The numbers "give y...

    Pandemic May Have Created a 'Baby Bust,' Not Boom

    The pandemic not only cost hundreds of thousands of American lives, but it also appears to have triggered a deep drop in births, U.S. health officials reported Wednesday.

    Until 2020, the birth rate had been declining about 2% a year, but that rate dropped to 4% with the start of the pandemic, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

    "When you tak...

    Why Do So Many Kids Never Get Swimming Lessons?

    Cost and lack of time are among the reasons parents don't enroll their kids in swimming lessons, a new survey finds.

    "Swimming is one of the most important life-saving skills that children and adults should master. Whether for fun or for exercise, swimming will serve them well for the rest of their lives, and it's never too early to start learning," said Dr. Matthew Davis, chair of medici...

    A Real Headache: Racism Plays Role in Migraine Care

    The color of your skin may very well determine how your headache gets treated, a new study warns.

    The same percentage of white, Black and Hispanic Americans - about 15% - suffer from severe headaches and/or migraines, the investigators noted.

    But the current analysis, conducted by 16 headache disorder experts, found that Black men are far less likely to receive headache treatment; t...

    Death Rates Are Rising Across Rural America

    In rural America, more people die from chronic health conditions and substance abuse than in suburbs and cities, and the gap is widening.

    Researchers report in a new study that the difference in rural and urban death rates tripled over the past 20 years mostly due to deaths among middle-aged white men and women.

    "We looked at all-cause death, and found that instead of the difference...

    Why Getting Your Groceries Online Might Be Healthier

    Fewer temptations at checkout?

    People may spend more money when they buy their groceries online, but they also tend to buy fewer unhealthy, "impulse-sensitive" foods like candy and cookies, new research shows.

    For the study, the researchers looked at the shopping habits of 137 primary household shoppers in Maine to compare their in-store and online purchases. The shoppers had shopp...

    'Boomerang Kids': When an Adult Child Moves Back Home

    It's a scenario fraught with potential conflict: Moving back home as an adult can be tough - on both the grown children and their parents.

    But it can also come with opportunities, as long as expectations are established early, say some "boomerang kids" who moved back in with mom and/or dad after reaching adulthood.

    A new study interviewed 31 of those young adults, aged 22 to 31, who...

    Out-of-Pocket Costs Delay Cancer Follow-Up Care, Even for the Insured

    About 1 in 10 U.S. cancer survivors delays follow-up care because they can't afford associated medical bills, even if they're insured.

    That's the conclusion from an analysis of data from more than 5,400 survivors of various cancers. Most were insured, college-educated and had annual incomes above the national average. Their average age was 67, and most were female and white.

    Up to 1...

    When Cardiac Deaths Rose During Pandemic, Minorities Suffered Most

    During the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, heart disease and stroke deaths rose in the United States, but a new study shows the increases were much larger in minority groups.

    Researchers compared monthly cause-of-death data for March to April 2020 to the same period in 2019. They found that heart disease deaths rose about 19% among Black people, Hispanic folks and Asian individu...

    COVID Caused Almost 1 Million Extra Deaths Across 29 Wealthy Countries

    COVID-19 caused nearly 1 million excess deaths in 29 wealthy nations in 2020, with the United States claiming the highest number, researchers report.

    Excess deaths refer to the number of deaths above what's expected during a given time period.

    Overall, there were an estimated 979,000 excess deaths in the 29 countries last year.

    The five countries with the highest number of ex...

    Sleep Apnea Raises Odds for Severe COVID-19

    People suffering from severe obstructive sleep apnea are at a greater risk of catching COVID-19, a new study finds.

    But researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California also found that the longer patients used a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask while sleeping, the more their COVID-19 risk dropped.

    For the study, a team led by pulmonologist Dr. Dennis Hwang collect...

    For the Poor, Even a Small Medical Bill Can Trigger Coverage Loss

    WEDNESDAY, May 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) - When people with low incomes are asked to help pay for their health insurance, some drop their coverage, even when bills as low as $20 per month arrive.

    That's the upshot of a new study of Medicaid expansion in the state of Michigan.

    Leaving the insurance plan means people may miss out on preventive care or timely treatment of illnesses. It...

    Fear of Losing Health Insurance Keeps 1 in 6 U.S. Workers in Their Jobs

    Many American workers remain in jobs they'd rather leave -- simply because they don't want to lose their health insurance, a new Gallup poll reveals.

    That's the situation for 16% of respondents in a nationwide poll of more than 3,800 adults conducted March 15-21.

    The fear is strongest among Black workers. Pollsters found they are more likely to keep an unwanted job at 21% than Hispa...

    Race, Neighborhood Affects How Long You'll Live After Heart Attack

    The risk of dying within five years of a heart attack is notably higher among poor Americans than their wealthier peers, but race also plays a role, a new study reveals.

    While Black residents of poor neighborhoods appear to face a higher risk of death than their counterparts in wealthier ZIP codes, poor Black patients are also more likely to die after a heart attack than poor white patien...

    Who's Most Likely to Join a Clinical Trial?

    Cancer patients most likely to sign up for clinical trials during their treatment include people of color, those with higher incomes and those who are younger, a new study finds.

    "This study informs our understanding of who is participating in cancer clinical trials," said study author Dr. Lincoln Sheets, an assistant research professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, in...