The Health News USA December 10 2017

  • Researchers now estimate that 46.7 million U.S. adults have some indication of Alzheimer’s disease, the result of a new method to identify brain changes that are known to lead to the degenerative disease. According to a new study, about 6 million Americans are known to have Alzheimer’s or mild-cognitive impairment, in the most accurate assessment of the scope of the disease.
  • According to figures released by Covered California on Wednesday, enrollment in health plans on Covered California, the state-run insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, was up 28% in November compared to the same period last year. 102,000 new consumers selected a health plan on the exchange during the first month of open enrollment, between November 1 and November 30  — up from the 80,000 people who did so during the same period last year.
  • A Danish study has found that modern birth control pills that are lower in estrogen modestly raise the risk of breast cancer, especially with long-term use.  Researchers discovered a similar breast cancer risk with the progestin-only intrauterine device, and they could not rule out a risk for other hormonal contraceptives like patches and implants. About 140 million women use some type of hormonal contraception, including about 16 million in the United States.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 10th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/7/15-million-americans-will-have-alzheimers-or-other/

Researchers now estimate that forty six point seven million U.S. adults have some indication of Alzheimer’s disease, the result of a new method to identify brain changes that are known to lead to this disease. According to a new study, about six million Americans are known to have Alzheimer’s or mild-cognitive impairment, in the most accurate assessment of the scope of the disease. Doctor Ron Brookmeyer, the study’s lead author told The Washington Times:
“We’re now getting new numbers on the number of people who don’t yet have Alzheimer’s disease but are in earlier states of the disease.” Of the forty six point seven million Americans with some indication of the disease, roughly one -in-seven will progress to dementia, said Doctor Brookmeyer, professor of biostatistics at the University of California-Los Angeles.
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A diagnosis at ninety years old will require a much different treatment plan than a diagnosis at sixty five years old. The researchers estimate that by two thousand sixty, fifteen million people will have Alzheimer’s-related dementia and of those, four million will require intensive care services such as living in a nursing home. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was published Thursday in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
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Alzheimer’s disease is incurable, but research has shown that preventive measures — eating well, physical activity, being mentally active and social — can help stave off the disease.
Alzheimer’s research moved to the forefront of the national agenda in two thousand eleven with the enactment of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which led to development of a task force  to advance prevention and treatment options by two thousand twenty five. Last month, Microsoft founder Bill Gates announced a one hundred million dollar donation for research, with half going to start-up ventures and the other fifty million dollars going to the Dementia Discovery Fund, a public-private partnership advancing research.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Covered-California-enrollment-up-28-percent-so-far-12411120.php

According to figures released by Covered California on Wednesday, enrollment in health plans on Covered California, the state-run insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, was up twenty eight percent in November compared to the same period last year. About one hundred two thousand new consumers selected a health plan on the exchange during the first month of open enrollment, between November one and November thirty — up from the eighty thousand people who did so during the same period last year.

Roughly one point three million people in California are enrolled in plans through the exchange, which offers discounted health insurance to low-income consumers as well as to those who don’t get health insurance through employers. Most people who buy plans through the exchange are low-income and receive federal subsidies to lower their monthly insurance premium. But fifteen percent of exchange enrollees earn too much to qualify for subsidies, and pay full price. Covered California officials estimate that people who receive subsidies are paying ten percent less in premiums than they paid last year. But those who do not receive subsidies are paying, on average, ten percent more. That is due to a combination of factors: rising overall healthcare costs, and a decision by the Trump administration to halt billions of dollars in payments from the federal government to health insurers.

Open enrollment for Covered California ends January thirty one. But in order for coverage to begin January one, consumers must sign up by December fifteen.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/12/07/birth-control-pills-linked-to-small-increase-in-risk-breast-cancer-study-shows.html

A Danish study has found that modern birth control pills that are lower in estrogen modestly raise the risk of breast cancer, especially with long-term use.  Researchers discovered a similar breast cancer risk with the progestin-only intrauterine device, and they could not rule out a risk for other hormonal contraceptives like patches and implants. However, the overall increased risk was small, amounting to one extra case of breast cancer among seventy seven thousand women using contraceptives per year. Experts warned women should balance the study’s findings against the benefits of the pill, which includes a lower risk of other cancers. Doctor JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who was not involved in the research said : “Hormonal contraception should still be perceived as a safe and effective option for family planning.” Manson suggested women in their forties should consider using non-hormonal IUDs, getting their tubes tied or talking with their partners about a vasectomy.

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Current and recent use of hormonal contraceptives was associated with a twenty percent increased risk of breast cancer. Risk increased with longer use, from a nine percent increase in risk with less than a year of contraceptive use to a thirty eight percent increase after more than ten years of use. Researchers analyzed the health records of one point eight million women, ages fifteen to forty nine, in Denmark.
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David J. Hunter, a professor at the University of Oxford, told The New York Times there are no new contraceptives that are risk-free. About one hundred forty million women use some type of hormonal contraception, including about sixteen million in the United States.

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