Mon, Oct

(Reuters) - Medical malpractice liability costs the U.S. healthcare system more than $55 billion a year, most of it in "defensive" medical practices such as extra tests and scans, according to a report released on Tuesday.

- These costs account for 2.4% of annual U.S. healthcare spending.
- they noted there is no comprehensive system for tracking such damages,
- "Notably missing from this list are malpractice insurance premiums,"
- "We cannot debate the potential for medical liability reform to bring down health care costs in any meaningful way without realistic cost estimates,"

Total malpractice indemnity payments were $5.72 billion a year in 2008 dollars -- about $5 billion in actual damages and less than $2 million in punitive damages.

Read more …Malpractice liability costs U.S. $55.6 billion, most of it in "defensive" medical practices -...

(Reuters) - New U.S. reforms are poised to dramatically shift the nation's healthcare spending, not only curbing Medicare costs but also pumping more money toward the private sector as roughly 32 million people gain coverage.

- "There's definitely going to be a larger demand for services in 2014," -- CMS's National Health Statistics Group.
- Nearly 16 million people will buy health insurance from private companies through the exchanges in 2014, growing to more than 30 million by 2019,
- That would nearly double the amount of money spent on health care for such consumers while also helping to reduce prices,
- Health care is already expected to reach 17.5 percent of GDP this year.

Read more …U.S. Healthcare reforms will increase demand for services as over 30 million people gain coverage...

The study will focus on exposure to oil and dispersant products and potential health consequences such as respiratory, neurobehavioral, carcinogenic, immunological conditions, and mental health concerns.

- "No. 1 is air quality, which was maybe the biggest concern early on when the well was still leaking" -- "The second is skin contact with the oil"
- She said oil contamination of seafood is also a serious concern as fisheries have been reopened. "The main fisheries in the Gulf include shrimp and oysters, which happen to be very inefficient in clearing oil-related spills,"

A survey of 599 local residents done a year after the Exxon Valdez spill found that people who had been exposed to the spill were 3.6 times more likely to have an anxiety disorder, 2.9 times more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder and 2.1 times more likely to show signs of depression.

Read more …Experts will study short and long-term health effects of BP oil spill - Reuters (article link)

(Reuters Health) - People with metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of risk factors for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes -- have a better chance of reversing it if they stick to a healthy diet, a new study shows.

- After five years, nearly half no longer had the metabolic syndrome.
- People who adhered the most closely to the AHEI were nearly twice as likely to have reversed their metabolic syndrome.

For people with central obesity, defined as waist circumference above 102 centimeters (40 inches) for men and 88 centimeters (35 inches) for women, those with the healthiest diets were nearly three times as likely to have recovered from metabolic syndrome than those with the unhealthiest eating patterns; healthy eating also had a somewhat stronger effect for people who started out with high levels of harmful triglycerides.

Read more …A health diet can reverse metabolic syndrome linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke...

- Brazilian viper bite lead to lower blood pressure, leading to Captopril.
- Rattlesnakes venom lead to Heparin a blood thinning medication.
- Some proteins in snakes may lead to treatments in Cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and even Asthma.
- Note; many snakes are dying due to global warming and it is the same for many other reptiles.

Read more …The use of Snakes in modern medicine and links to modern medication - CNN (video)

High Cost of Obesity

- $147 billion a year, $14 billion for child obesity, $344 billion projected in 8 years, 21% of total medical costs.
- the treatment of cancer and diagnosis is about $104 billion in comparison.
- changing habits, activity, poverty, and access to healthy foods are the many factors.
- Many ideas and what's working in Washington D.C.

Read more …Obesity yearly costs increasing and at $147 billion surpassing cancer at $104 billion - CNN (video)

- Studies of children have detected attention deficit disorders, memory and language problems in Segovia and Remedios.
- Around 15 kidney transplants are carried out in Remedios every year -- mercury vapor stays in the kidneys, damaging them.
- The U.N. calls for elimination of mercury in mining -- to use of centrifuges, which allow for greater gold extraction than mercury.

Read more …Colombia's gold dark side, mercury poisoning spreading to the population, neurological and kidney...

- "This is the first step, conceptually, toward a good shot at a universal vaccine,"
- Vaccinated mice and ferrets produced antibodies that protected them against flu strains from 1934-2007.
- Seasonal influenza kills 250,000-500,000 people a year globally, including 36,000 in the U.S.

Read more …A two-step vaccine using DNA to "prime" + influenza vaccine may providing a Universal flu vaccine...

- Low vitamin D levels have long been linked to a higher risk of multiple sclerosis.
- Experts suspect an expectant mother's lack of exposure to sunlight - the main source of vitamin D - may affect the fetus's central nervous system or immune system, and predispose it to developing MS later in life.

Read more …Mothers who have low exposure to sunlight vitamin D during their first 3 mths of pregnancy may...

High-intensity interval training can help you get fit with shorter, harder workouts. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports.
- high-intensity interval training can help you improve or get fit more quickly.
- interval training example is 1 minute high intensity, 1 minute rest, 1 minute high intensity, 1 minute rest ..

Read more …High-intensity interval training; Get fit quicker - CNN (video)

Two studies of more than a million UK men and women suggest excess weight and alcohol act together to raise the risk of cirrhosis and other liver diseases.
- "We estimate that almost 20% of liver cirrhosis in middle-aged UK women is due to excess weight, while almost 50% is due to alcohol consumption."
- Obese men who said they drank 15 or more units a week had the greatest risk of liver disease; almost 19 times higher than those who were slim.

Read more …Obese drinkers face liver 'double whammy' - BBC (article link)
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