The Health News USA November 24 2017

  • Victoria will enact the only legal voluntary assisted-dying scheme in the country in a move met with mixed emotion. Labor government-proposed legislation won narrow support in the state’s upper house on Wednesday after 28  hours of continuous debate and the second of two overnight sittings. Advocates for voluntary assisted-dying welcomed the passage of the legislation through the state’s upper house despite the amendments.
  • With the evolution of smartphones, the Australian Communications and Media Authority reported in 2016 that 5.78 million Australians had a mobile phone, but no fixed-line phone. When children were once taught to dial 000 on the landline, the raft of security and user features on mobiles is adding complexity to teaching kids how to respond in an emergency. An app called Emergency + had been developed to help make it easier for kids when responding to an emergency using a smartphone.
  • According to reports, some well-known Australian companies are investigating whether they can encourage female employees to focus more on their careers by paying for their eggs to be frozen. News Corp reports that the companies are already in negotiations with Australia’s first dedicated egg-freezing clinic. The move would follow the lead of major US companies including Apple, which pays up to $20,000 to freeze its workers’ eggs.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 24th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

The New York Health Department announced Wednesday that a law signed by Governor Cuomo in October placing new restrictions on the indoor use of e-cigarettes is now in effect. State Health Commissioner Doctor Howard Zucker said: “Although e-cigarette use is promoted as a healthier alternative to tobacco use by the vaping industry, research has shown that they may carry long-term health risks for users and those exposed to secondhand emissions,”

The measure, adopted by the Legislature in June, extends the provisions of New York’s Clean Indoor Air Act to include e-cigarettes, effectively banning their use in most restaurants, bars and workplaces. Advocates for the law argued smoke from e-cigarettes poses health risks akin to those of regular cigarettes. They also hope it will help reduce the surging popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping among teens. A state Health Department survey released in January found that the percentage of high school students who used e-cigs had nearly doubled, to twenty point six percent in two thousand sixteen from  ten point five percent in two thousand fourteen.

Critics, including the American Vaping Association, have blasted the measure, arguing the health risks of e-cigarettes are being exaggerated. The new restrictions mark the latest in a series of recent steps taken by the state to curb e-cigarette use, especially among minors.
In July, Governor Cuomo signed into law a measure that outlawed the smoking of e-cigarettes in all public and private schools.

A U.S. government agency reported on Wednesday that the pace slowed in the third week of enrollment for two thousand eighteen Obamacare individual insurance as nearly eight hundred thousand people signed up through the federal government website, down about seventy five thousand people from the previous week.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that  there was an increase, however, in the number of new consumers to the program created by former President Barack Obama, to two hundred twenty thousand three hundred twenty three  from two hundred eight thousand thirty hundred ninety seven in the previous week.  Republican President Donald Trump and lawmakers are trying to undo Obama’s health law but do not have enough votes to repeal it and so must continue to run the insurance program, which offers income-based subsidies. Uncertainty over its future drove two thousand eighteen monthly premiums up more than thirty percent on average as insurers such as Anthem Incorporated, Centene Corporation and Molina Healthcare sought to cover higher costs.

Among the states using with the highest number of individuals signing up were Florida, four hundred ninety eight thousand one hundred sixty eight; Texas, two hundred seventy one thousand seven hundred thirty seven; North Carolina, one hundred thirty eight thousand nine hundred thirty two ; Georgia, one hundred nineteen thousand nine hundred sixty eight; and Pennsylvania, one hundred one thousand two hundred eighty six.

According to a new study  from the Centers for Disease Control,  self-harm attempts by teen girls have tripled since two thousand nine. The study looked at forty three thousand one hundred thirty eight first-time, non-fatal emergency room visits for self-harm cases (self-inflicted hard from overdose/poisoning, cutting and blunt objects) in young people age ten to twenty four from two thousand one to two thousand fifteen. From nineteen ninety three to two thousand eight, rates for self-harm emergency room visits ranged from one point one to nine point six per one thousand. But between two thousand one and two thousand fifteen, the incidence of self-inflicted injury rose from two hundred six point six per one hundred thousand to three hundred three point seven per one hundred thousand in the fourteen-year period.

A spike in self-harm visits occurred after two thousand eight — particularly for young girls, whose self-harm rates nearly tripled from one hundred ten per one hundred thousand in 2008 to three hundred eighteen per one hundred thousand in two thousand fifteen.
Girls ten to fourteen  saw the highest number of emergency room incidents in this same period, with an increase of nearly nineteen percent per year from two thousand eight to two thousand fourteen.
The trend is correlated to the rises in teen depression and suicide rates. The study says self-harm is one of the strongest risk factors for suicide, which is the second leading cause of death among young people aged ten to twenty four. This research, the authors say, shows the need for comprehensive suicide and self-harm prevention tactics within health systems.

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