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Viewpoints: Medicare's future finances; 'promising deal' on VA; Texas 'war on abortion'

Viewpoints: Medicare's future finances; 'promising deal' on VA; Texas 'war on abortion'

Medicare got some good news Monday, when the trustees who oversee its finances announced that the fund that pays for hospital care will remain solvent until 2030, four years longer than its forecast from last year. [More]
Alterations to single gene could predict risk of suicide attempt

Alterations to single gene could predict risk of suicide attempt

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered a chemical alteration in a single human gene linked to stress reactions that, if confirmed in larger studies, could give doctors a simple blood test to reliably predict a person's risk of attempting suicide. [More]
Five-year $10.7M grant to study control, prevention of sexually-transmitted infections

Five-year $10.7M grant to study control, prevention of sexually-transmitted infections

The University of Maryland Schools of Dentistry (UM SOD) and Medicine (UM SOM) jointly announced today that they have received a five-year $10.7 million grant award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health to study the causes, prevention and treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). [More]

Researchers examine strong link between brand-specific alcohol ads and youth drinking behavior

Underage drinkers are three times more likely to drink alcohol brands that advertise on television programs they watch compared to other alcohol brands, providing new and compelling evidence of a strong association between alcohol advertising and youth drinking behavior. [More]
FDA approves use of Imbruvica to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia

FDA approves use of Imbruvica to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of Imbruvica (ibrutinib) to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who carry a deletion in chromosome 17 (17p deletion), which is associated with poor responses to standard treatment for CLL. Imbruvica received a breakthrough therapy designation for this use. [More]
Mothers who live near green spaces deliver babies with higher birth weights

Mothers who live near green spaces deliver babies with higher birth weights

Mothers who live near green spaces deliver babies with significantly higher birth weights, according to a new study, "Green Spaces and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes" published in the journal, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. [More]
"Fist bumping" transmits significantly fewer bacteria than handshaking

"Fist bumping" transmits significantly fewer bacteria than handshaking

"Fist bumping" transmits significantly fewer bacteria than either handshaking or high-fiving, while still addressing the cultural expectation of hand-to-hand contact between patients and clinicians, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). [More]
Norovirus vaccines: an interview with Dr Benjamin Lopman, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA

Norovirus vaccines: an interview with Dr Benjamin Lopman, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA

Noroviruses are a group of viruses. They're the leading cause of gastroenteritis, which causes diarrhea and vomiting. They affect the whole age range from young children to the elderly, and, in the US, they cause about 20 million cases annually. [More]
Childhood obesity linked to early puberty

Childhood obesity linked to early puberty

A new link has been identified between obesity in childhood and the lowering of the age of puberty. [More]
Minister Ambrose calls for proposals to tackle prescription drug abuse

Minister Ambrose calls for proposals to tackle prescription drug abuse

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today issued a national Call for Proposals to improve the prescribing practices for prescription drugs that have a high risk of abuse or addiction. [More]
New York City moves forward to implement law banning tobacco discounting schemes

New York City moves forward to implement law banning tobacco discounting schemes

Tobacco companies have abandoned their legal challenge to New York City's innovative new law prohibiting tobacco discounting schemes, as they chose not to appeal a federal court ruling that upheld the law. The deadline for the tobacco companies to appeal was July 18. [More]
Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Health approves hepatitis C drug telaprevir

Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Health approves hepatitis C drug telaprevir

The Chemistry, Food & Drugs Division of the Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Health approved the introduction of Telaprevir to the market, an innovative therapy that significantly increases the cure rate from Hepatitis C, and it is indicated for patients infected with the genotype 1 virus. Telaprevir is available in Trinidad under the trade brand INCIVO®. [More]
NYUCD to offer accelerated AAS degree in dental hygiene from January 2015

NYUCD to offer accelerated AAS degree in dental hygiene from January 2015

New York University College of Dentistry is pleased to announce that, effective January 2015, it will offer an accelerated, continuous, 17-month, Associate in Applied Science degree in dental hygiene. [More]
New book describes worldwide initiatives to prevent the crisis of obesity and diabetes

New book describes worldwide initiatives to prevent the crisis of obesity and diabetes

Prediabetes and Diabetes increasingly consume the healthcare community and remain priority areas that require immediate attention. [More]
State highlights: Public comments on Mass. hospital deal; Wash. insurance case brings allegations; Mo. clinic reaps dividends from new law

State highlights: Public comments on Mass. hospital deal; Wash. insurance case brings allegations; Mo. clinic reaps dividends from new law

Quite an "only in Massachusetts" moment. Patriots owner Robert Kraft and leaders of Raytheon, Suffolk Construction and Putnam Investments have all filed letters in support of an anti-trust agreement that would not normally see the light of day before a judge approves the deal. The opposition includes public health professors, a group of top economists and politicians battling Attorney General Martha Coakley in the governor's race. This show of force is weighing in on a deal Coakley negotiated with Partners HealthCare. It would let the state's largest hospital network expand its market power, but with constraints, some of which would last for 10 years (Bebinger, 7/24). [More]
Early life experiences influence risk of cognitive impairment in later life

Early life experiences influence risk of cognitive impairment in later life

Early life experiences, such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy, may have greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment late in life than such demographic characteristics as race and ethnicity, a large study by researchers with the UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center and the University of Victoria, Canada, has found. [More]
ESMO: Proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation may impact cancer research

ESMO: Proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation may impact cancer research

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the leading pan-European association representing medical oncology professionals, has expressed concern that the proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation could make cancer research impossible and add a significant burden to both doctors and cancer patients. [More]
Mexico, US sign statement of intent to promote safety of fresh agricultural products

Mexico, US sign statement of intent to promote safety of fresh agricultural products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the government of Mexico's National Service for Agro-Alimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) signed a statement of intent forming a partnership to promote the safety of fresh and minimally processed agricultural products. [More]
Cedars-Sinai launches applied research center to improve value of patient care

Cedars-Sinai launches applied research center to improve value of patient care

Cedars-Sinai has launched an applied research center to improve the value of patient care inside the medical center and beyond its walls by strengthening patient-doctor bonds and bringing greater efficiency to the delivery of clinical services. [More]
Longer looks: the economics of infertility; placebos as treatment raises ethical dilemmas

Longer looks: the economics of infertility; placebos as treatment raises ethical dilemmas

About a decade ago, Medicaid programs were struggling to keep up with skyrocketing prescription drug costs. Between 1997 and 2002, drug spending in the program for low-income Americans grew by about 20 percent annually. ... Medicaid directors began looking for ways to tamp down on those costs. One of the most popular policies was something called "prior authorization" for a new wave of more expensive, anti-psychotic drugs ,... These policies, in a sense, worked: they helped rein in how much Medicaid spent filling prescriptions. But in another sense, they may not have worked at all: a growing body of research has begun questioning whether restricting drug spending may have just shifted costs elsewhere -; particularly, into the prison system (Sarah Kliff, 7/22). [More]