Author: Editor - Health News

Obamacare Widened Access to Cancer Care

THURSDAY, Oct. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) — More U.S. cancer patients gained insurance they needed for their care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), new research reveals. Researchers tracked government data on more than 858,000 adults aged 19 to 64 with a first-time cancer diagnosis. The uninsured rate fell from just over 5.7 percent between 2010-2013 to about 3.8 percent in 2014, when the ACA health insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion went into effect, the study found. Increases in coverage occurred for people with numerous types of cancer, those with early- and late-stage disease, and among different ethnic/racial groups, the study found. The finding has real implications for patients, the researchers say, as Congress wrestles with a potential repeal or replacement of Obamacare. “Policy changes that reduce Medicaid funding or weaken protections for individuals with pre-existing condition could be particularly harmful for patients with cancer,” conclude a team led by Aparna Soni, of the business school at Indiana University, in Bloomington. According to the study, the number of uninsured Americans with cancer fell in 2014 in states that experienced Medicaid expansion due to the ACA. On the other hand, that number didn’t budge in states without Medicaid expansion. Two hospital administrators agreed that the findings offer insights into future health of Americans with cancer. The findings, “suggest that the ACA saved lives, especially in those states with Medicaid expansion,”...

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Lying Down After an Epidural: A Smart Idea?

THURSDAY, Oct. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Lying down after an epidural increases a first-time mother’s chances of having a normal birth, a new study suggests. With an epidural, a tube is inserted into a space below the spinal cord, and small doses of painkillers can be given during childbirth. More than 50 percent of U.S. women in labor have an epidural for pain relief, according to the American Pregnancy Association. But having an epidural increases the risk of having to use instruments — such as forceps or suction — during childbirth. It’s been suggested that lying down after receiving an epidural may improve the likelihood of a spontaneous birth, the British researchers said. To investigate that theory, the study authors looked at nearly 3,100 first-time mothers in British hospitals. The women 16 and older, and received a low-dose epidural while in labor. About half laid down afterwards, while half stayed in an upright position. About 41 percent of those in the lying down group had a spontaneous birth, compared with about 35 percent of those in the upright group. There were no short- or long-term disadvantages for mothers or infants in either group, the researchers said. The report by Peter Brocklehurst, from the University of Birmingham, and colleagues was published Oct. 18 in the BMJ. Lying down “appears to be easy and cost-free to adopt. This evidence will...

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Could Too Much Exercise Be Bad for Men’s Hearts?

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) — When it comes to exercise, can you get too much of a good thing? Possibly, suggests a new study that found white men who exercise more than seven hours a week have an 86 percent higher risk of developing plaque build-up in their arteries. No such elevated risk was seen among either black men or women. Plaque build-up is a critical warning sign for possible future heart disease risk. “We were surprised by the finding, mainly because we essentially think of exercise as medicine. And we’ve never thought of exercise as perhaps having an upper limit in terms of its cardiovascular benefit,” said study author Deepika Laddu. She’s an assistant professor of physical therapy at the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. But Laddu doesn’t want any men to hang up their running shoes just yet, because there are many questions that remain to be answered. “What we saw is only an association, and we cannot say that high physical activity actually causes plaque build-up in white men,” she noted. “And we certainly do not mean to say that exercise is bad for you. In fact, it could perhaps be that white men already face a higher than average risk for plaque build-up than other men, and that exercise actually prevents this plaque from rupturing, which...

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Protein ‘can stop viruses developing’

By Ken Macdonald BBC Scotland Science Correspondent 19 October 2017 From the section Scotland Image caption The Hira protein could have a fundamental role to play in combating both viruses and cancer Researchers at the University of the West of Scotland have discovered a protein that can stop viruses developing. The team had already established that the same protein can suppress cancer. Now the fight is on to fully understand how it works in the hope of turning the laboratory research into a treatment. The protein is called Hira. Technically it is a histone chaperone complex, but it is...

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Women ‘deserve apology’ over vaginal mesh implants

Women ‘deserve apology’ over vaginal mesh implants 18 October 2017 From the section UK Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionStephanie and Peter Williams say it’s made it “impossible” for them to be intimate Women left in permanent pain and unable to walk, work or have sex because of vaginal mesh implants deserve an apology, a senior MP has said. Dr Sarah Wollaston, chairman of the health committee, said some claim they did not consent to having the device fitted and were unaware of the risks. MPs also called for an inquiry into the implants which are...

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