The Health News USA December 1 2017

  • The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday poured very cold water on the idea that fallout from eliminating Obamacare’s key rule could be reduced by passing another pending Senate bill. The CBO’s director said that it would still expect 13 million more people to not have health insurance by 2027 than are currently projected if Obamacare’s individual mandate is repealed, even if the Alexander-Murray bill is passed into law.
  • The Utah Department of Health is grappling with a growing hepatitis A outbreak that has reached 95 cases, with over 60% of patients requiring hospitalization. Fox 13 Now reported that the majority of cases involve homeless individuals and illicit drug users, with officials citing links to the outbreaks in Arizona and California.
  • A new study suggests that drinking artificially sweetened beverages not only may be associated with health risks for your body, but also possibly your brain. Artificially sweetened drinks, such as diet sodas, were tied to a higher risk of stroke and dementia in the study, which published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke on Thursday.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/29/13-million-more-uninsured-even-under-obamacare-senate-deal-cbo-says.html

The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday poured very cold water on the idea that fallout from eliminating Obamacare’s key rule could be reduced by passing another pending Senate bill. The CBO’s director said that it would still expect thirteen million more people to not have health insurance by two thousand twenty seven than are currently projected if Obamacare’s individual mandate is repealed, even if the Alexander-Murray bill is passed into law.
And the agency also said, again referencing prior projections, it would still expect prices of individual health plans to increase by ten percent each year above current projections under that scenario.

The CBO’s comments in a letter to Senator Patty Murray, Democrat from Washington, co-author of Alexander-Murray, come as the Senate is contemplating a Republican-sponsored tax bill that would repeal the individual mandate, among other things. That mandate requires most Americans to have some form of health coverage or pay a tax penalty. Prior Republican efforts this year to repeal much of Obamacare have failed because of concerns it would significantly increase the number of uninsured Americans. In recent days, a number of Republican senators have suggested that passing Alexander-Murray could reduce some of the impact of repealing the individual mandate, if it is paired with funding of a reinsurance program for Obamacare plans. Alexander-Murray would restore billions of dollars of federal reimbursements to Obamacare insurers that had compensated them for discounts they must grant low-income customers for out-of-pocket health charges. The Trump administration discontinued those reimbursements last month. The bill also would give individual states flexibility in setting rules for what kinds of health plans can be sold.

CBO Director Keith Hall noted that four million more people would be expected to lack health insurance by two thousand nineteen, if the mandate is repealed. That would increase by another nine million as of two thousand twenty seven.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/11/29/utah-hepatitis-outbreak-hits-95-cases.html

The Utah Department of Health is grappling with a growing hepatitis A outbreak that has reached ninety five cases, with over sixty percent of patients requiring hospitalization. Fox Thirteen Now reported that the majority of cases involve homeless individuals and illicit drug users, with officials citing links to the outbreaks in Arizona and California.

Gary Edwards, executive director of the Salt Lake County health department told Fox Thirteen Now: “We’ve been out working with the homeless population on foot, visiting them wherever they might be in downtown Salt Lake on the streets, along the Jordan River, trying to find the individuals and encourage them to be vaccinated.”  Officials have counted ninety five cases so far, which is a sharp increase from the four cases that the area sees each year.

Hepatitis A is a preventable, contagious disease that can be spread through fecal matter or contaminated food or drink. It can cause fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice, or even death in severe cases.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/20/health/diet-sodas-stroke-dementia-study/index.html

A new study suggests that drinking artificially sweetened beverages not only may be associated with health risks for your body, but also possibly your brain. Artificially sweetened drinks, such as diet sodas, were tied to a higher risk of stroke and dementia in the study, which was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke on Thursday.

The study sheds light only on an association, as the researchers were unable to determine an actual cause-and-effect relationship between sipping artificially sweetened drinks and an increased risk for stroke and dementia. Therefore, some experts caution that the findings should be interpreted carefully. No connection was found between those health risks and other sugary beverages, such as sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit juice and fruit drinks. Matthew Pase, a senior research fellow in the department of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and lead author of the new study said “We have little data on the health effects of diet drinks and this is problematic because diet drinks are popular amongst the general population.”

The new study involved data on two thousand eight hundred eight adults older than fifty five and one thousand four hundred eighty four adults older than sixty from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts. The data came from the Framingham Heart Study, a project of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Boston University. In the older-than-forty five group, the researchers measured for stroke and in the older-than-sixty group, they measured for dementia.

The researchers analyzed how many sugary beverages and artificially sweetened soft drinks each person in the two different age groups drank, at different time points, between nineteen ninety one and  two thousand one. Then, they compared that with how many people suffered stroke or dementia over the next ten years. The researchers found that compared to never drinking artificially sweetened soft drinks, those who drank one a day were almost three times as likely to have an ischemic stroke, caused by blocked blood vessels.  They also found that those who drank one a day were nearly three times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia.
Those who drank one to six artificially sweetened beverages a week were two point six times as likely to experience an ischemic stroke but were no more likely to develop dementia.

Heather Snyder, senior director of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer’s Association, called the new study “a piece of a larger puzzle” when it comes to better understanding how your diet and behaviors impact your brain.
“It’s actually really more of your overall diet and overall lifestyle that is linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk, and we do know that heart disease and diabetes are linked to an increased risk of dementia,” said Snyder, who was not involved in the new study.
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“We know that sugary and artificially sweetened beverages are not great for us. This study adds strength to that, and also says they may not be great for your brain, specifically,” she said. “There are alternatives — things we can all do everyday to keep our brains and our bodies as healthy as we can as we age.” Alternatives such as regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates heart rate and increases blood flow and doing puzzles and games to activate and challenge the mind. These are recommendations from the Alzheimer’s Associations list of 10 lifestyle habits to reduce risk of cognitive decline.

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