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The Choice Ahead: A Private Health-Insurance Monopoly or a Single Payer
 

The Choice Ahead: A Private Health-Insurance Monopoly or a Single PayerThe Supreme Court's recent blessing of Obamacare has precipitated a rush among the nation's biggest health insurers to consolidate into two or three behemoths.The result will be good for their shareholders and executives, but bad for the rest of us -- who will pay through the nose for the health insurance we need.We have another choice, but...



Fitness apps data reveals American workout habits, most active states
 By Dorene Internicola NEW YORK (Reuters) - Millions of Americans are recording their workout routines and activities on apps that are giving fitness experts new insights into the habits of a logged-in population. Data compiled by fitness and workout tracker apps, MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness, show that California, Colorado and Washington are the U.S. states with the most active residents based on the length, frequency and type of exercise they recorded. "Seven of our top 10 active states were western states," said Rebecca Silliman of MyFitnessPal, which analyzed information recorded by its 65 million users.

Gaza children 'emotionally shattered' one year after conflict
 

Palestinian boy looks through a hole in a makeshift shelter near his family's house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, east of Gaza CityBy Kieran Guilbert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The majority of children living in areas of Gaza hardest-hit during last year's conflict are showing signs of severe emotional distress and trauma, including frequent bed wetting and nightmares, a global children's charity said on Monday. A ceasefire last August ended 50 days of fighting between Gaza militants and Israel, in which health officials said more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians.



Swiss right-to-die group gets green light for new suicide room
 A Swiss organization that helps terminally ill people take their own lives and defends their right to refuse medical treatment said on Monday local authorities had allowed it to open another room for assisted suicides. Exit, which provides lethal drugs to help people die, said the Basel canton's local building council had dismissed objections to its plan to convert part of its office in Binning, Switzerland, into an assisted suicide room. The room would be Zurich-based Exit's second in Switzerland.

5 Easy Steps To Kick Your Caffeine Habit
 

5 Easy Steps To Kick Your Caffeine HabitBy Jennifer Still for Thrive MarketThere's nothing wrong with starting your day with a hot cup of coffee. But, if you absolutely can't get out of bed without some java, chances are you've got a caffeine addiction on your hands.While harboring a love for a beverage-based buzz might seem harmless, it gets a bit scary when you consider that, if...



Molecule clue to memory decline: study
 

New findings offer hope for a memory-restoring treatment.A molecule that accumulates in the blood with age may be linked to cognitive decline, said scientists Monday who mooted hopes of a memory-restoring treatment. The protein, dubbed B2M, is found in higher concentrations in the blood and cerebral spinal fluid of ageing humans, they said. "We are very excited about the findings because it indicates that there are two ways to potentially reverse age-related cognitive impairments," study co-author Saul Villeda of the University of California San Francisco told AFP.



Cash urged for schools in crisis zones as refugee numbers surge
 By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - Cash for educating children caught up in disasters, ranging from the war in Syria to the earthquake in Nepal, needs to rise sharply to cope with a surge in the number of young refugees, a U.N. envoy said on Monday. "While the need is rising, aid is currently falling," former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the U.N. special envoy for global education, told a July 6-7 conference on education in Oslo. Aid to basic education fell to $3.5 billion in 2013 from $4.5 billion in 2010, even as overall aid flows increased to developing nations, he said.

Teva plans to raise Mylan bid by as much as $2 billion: Bloomberg
 

Teva plant is seen in Jerusalem(Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd is preparing to raise its bid for rival drugmaker Mylan NV by as much as $2 billion, to $43 billion, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. The improved proposal could be announced as soon as this week, Bloomberg said. Teva may offer $86 to $88 per share for Mylan, up from the $82 per share it bid in April, Bloomberg reported.



800 million still hungry and poor despite progress of millennium goals: U.N.
 By Magdalena Mis LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - About 800 million people still live in dire poverty and suffer from hunger despite the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) being the most successful anti-poverty push in history, the U.N. said on Monday. The number of people living in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 a day has more than halved, to 836 million from 1.9 billion in 1990, the U.N. said in a report analyzing eight development goals set out in the Millennium Declaration in 2000. "Following profound and consistent gains, we now know that extreme poverty can be eradicated within one more generation," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

Happiness Is Donating Clothes That Are Too BIG!
 

Happiness Is Donating Clothes That Are Too BIG!HI SP! (Special People)....Well - First time I haven't written a blog for more than a month! It's been a very busy few months for me, as many of you know.Imagine being told by 2 doctors that your kidneys just aren't doing their job for you. What a shock for someone who's sailed through life, throughout her first 74 years, without any...



How Sexism and Implicit Bias Hurt Girls and Women's Health
 

How Sexism and Implicit Bias Hurt Girls and Women's HealthThis piece originally appeared in Role Reboot.I had a headache that lasted for years. It was there when I woke up and there when I went to sleep. I got so used to it that one day, when my husband, bemoaning a rare headache, asked if we had any painkillers, I realized that for me the exceptional day was not having a headache. The doctors I...



Lifestyle factors can halve heart failure risk after 65
 

A man exercises in downtown Los AngelesBy Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Older people who walk briskly, are moderately active in their free time, drink moderately, don’t smoke and avoid obesity may be half as likely to develop heart failure as people who don't engage in these healthy habits, a new study suggests. Based on the findings, optimizing a few healthy lifestyle factors can cut heart failure risk in half, according to lead author Liana Del Gobbo, a research fellow at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. “A key finding is that physical activity among older adults does not have to be strenuous to reduce heart failure risk,” Del Gobbo told Reuters Health by email.



Lush conditions fuel Colorado increase in rabbit fever
 

In this July 5, 2015, photo, a rabbit dines on the lawn surrounding a car dealership in Littleton, Colo. A damp spring has provided rabbits with ample food supplies and, as a result, has increased the population of rabbits which, in turn, has upped the risk for a relatively rare bacterial disease in the state-tularemia, or rabbit fever. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)DENVER (AP) — Fed by unusually lush vegetation, rabbits have been breeding like rabbits around Colorado, increasing the risk for what is normally a rare bacterial disease in the state. Fifteen people have contracted tularemia (too-lah-'REE-mee-ah), or rabbit fever, so far this year.



'Smell flowers, not smoke': Seattle curbs cigarettes in parks
 Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products in Seattle's parks became illegal on Monday, as the U.S. Pacific Northwest's largest city joined other American metropolises in restricting puffing in public. Seattle's Parks and Recreation officials voted in May to ban smoking in all of its 465 parks. Cities have pursued the ban as the dangers of cigarette smoking became more widely accepted, and because of cigarette butt litter.

All clear at Maryland military hospital after gunshot report
 

Police SWAT team members prepare to enter the campus of Walter Reed Medical Center as police investigate report of gunshot in Bethesda, MarylandAuthorities gave the all clear at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Washington, the biggest military hospital complex in the world, after a report of a gunshot triggered a lockdown on Monday, the U.S. Navy said. Police found no sign of a gunshot or injuries at the sprawling 243-acre (98-hectare) campus in Bethesda, Maryland, the Navy said on its Twitter feed. A call to police reporting the sound of a gunshot triggered the lockdown of the Bethesda, Maryland, site and a massive security response.



Care for depression, anxiety helps war-exposed children long-term
 

-PHOTO TAKEN 21JUL05- Sierra Leonian kids pose in Kailahun, about 19kms (12 miles) away from the Lib..By Anne Harding (Reuters Health) - Treating depression and anxiety in youngsters affected by war may have lasting benefits for their mental health and ability to function in society, new findings suggest. The study, of former child soldiers and other young people affected by Sierra Leone's civil war, found that those with higher levels of anxiety and depression two years after the end of the conflict had the highest levels of these “internalizing symptoms” four years later. The findings suggest that treating anxiety and depression in war-affected youth could have multi-faceted effects on their future mental health, attitudes, and behavior, the researchers write in Pediatrics.



Q&A: As Obama health law survives, GOP split over next move
 

FILE - In this June 25, 2015 file photo, students cheer as they hold up signs supporting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) after the Supreme Court decided that the ACA may provide nationwide tax subsidies, outside of the Supreme Court in Washington. Last month’s Supreme Court decision upholding the statute’s federal subsidies, which help millions of Americans afford health care, shattered the GOP’s best chance of forcing Obama to accept a weakening of his prized law. Without that leverage, Obama would likely veto any major changes they’d send him. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)WASHINGTON (AP) — Having lost their latest war against President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, Republicans must decide how to wage battles that could fan the issue for the 2016 elections.



Ebola-stricken nations need $700 million to rebuild healthcare
 

The blood of a survivor of Ebola virus is extracted as part of a study launched at Liberia's John F. Kennedy Hospital in MonroviaGuinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone need a further $696 million in donor funding to rebuild their battered health services over the next two years in the wake of the deadly Ebola epidemic, senior World Health Organization (WHO) officials said on Monday. WHO Assistant Director General for Health Systems and Innovation Marie-Paule Kieny said that donors had pledged $1.4 billion of an estimated $2.1 billion required by the three countries before December 2017. More than 500 healthcare staff are among the over 11,200 people killed in West Africa by the worst recorded outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, which erupted in Guinea in December 2013 and continues to claim lives.



Cancer Mortality News, Between the Lines
 

Cancer Mortality News, Between the LinesA CDC report just released indicates that the age-adjusted risk of cancer death is declining for Americans overall, and the trajectory is largely in line with the aspirational objectives of Healthy People 2020. There are several, salient messages in this report- and at least one more between its lines.First, as noted, the principal finding is...



8 Ways to Live in Hormone-y
 

8 Ways to Live in Hormone-yEveryday I keep trying to be the best me, the healthiest me, yet sometimes I am downright shocked and insulted when my body and brain go AWOL. Something is going on, and it's called menopause -- there I said it, the change of life. Sometimes it feels like "the curse," but I'm choosing to believe it's a new beginning. A grounded, wiser me lurks...



Signs of aging appear in mid-20s, study finds
 

Aging is typically studied in the elderly, but a study released Monday said different rates of aging can be detected as early as the mid-20sThe findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' July 6 issue are based on a group of 954 people born in New Zealand in 1972 or 1973. Using a total of 18 biological measurements, researchers determined a "biological age" for each participant at age 38 -- with some registering under 30 and others appearing to be nearly 60. When scientists looked closely at the ones who had aged more quickly, they found signs of deterioration were apparent at age 26, the age when the first set of biological measurements were taken.



Many docs come to work sick
 By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Many doctors, nurses, midwives and physicians assistants come to work sick even through they know it puts patients at risk, a new survey suggests. At the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Julia E. Szymczak and colleagues analyzed survey responses collected last year from 536 doctors and advanced practice clinicians at their institution. Doctors were more likely than nurses or physicians assistants to work while sick.

AstraZeneca, Cephalon to pay to resolve Medicaid allegations: U.S.
 

A man walks past a sign at an AstraZeneca site in MacclesfieldWASHINGTON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca LP has agreed to pay $46.5 million and Cephalon Inc $7.5 million to resolve allegations that the two drug companies underpaid rebates owed under the Medicaid program, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday. (Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Bill Trott)



Mammograms may not reduce breast cancer deaths
 

A woman undergoes a free mammogram inside Peru's first mobile unit for breast cancer detection, in LimaBy Reuters Staff (Reuters Health) - Breast cancer screenings may not lead to fewer deaths but may lead to overdiagnosis, U.S. researchers suggest. In areas of the U.S. with high levels of screening, more tumors were diagnosed - but breast cancer death rates were no lower than in areas with fewer screenings, researchers report. "The mortality results that we observed are far from definitive," cautioned Charles Harding, the study's lead author from Seattle, Washington.



Humana cuts outlook, raising new concerns about Aetna deal
 By Caroline Humer NEW YORK (Reuters) - Humana Inc, fresh from announcing an agreement to be purchased by larger rival Aetna Inc, prompted new investor concerns about the $33 billion deal on Monday by lowering its 2015 financial forecasts. The transaction announced on Friday is already expected to face a tough review by U.S. antitrust regulators, particularly if another major deal among health insurers emerges. Humana, which has posted disappointing results for several quarters in a row, said on Monday that members of its Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly were using hospital services at a higher rate than the company expected.

Aetna CEO addresses antitrust concerns over Humana deal
 

A trader points up at a display on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Caroline Humer NEW YORK (Reuters) - Aetna Inc's chief executive said Monday he was confident any antitrust review of the health insurer's proposed purchase of smaller rival Humana Inc would allow the deal to close in the second half of 2016. Mark Bertolini said Aetna had already prepared for possible divestitures to address overlaps with Humana's business in the largest-ever U.S. health insurance deal. Aetna has not discussed the deal directly with the U.S. Department of Justice, but has consulted with regulatory experts, Bertolini told cable channel CNBC.



Nigerian gay, bi men report more fear in healthcare after law
 By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Gay and bisexual men in Nigeria are reporting increased reluctance to access healthcare after the country passed a law last year levying additional sanctions against same-sex couples. While consensual sexual relationships between men were already illegal in Nigeria, the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, signed into law in January 2014, prohibited participation in organizations supporting gay people or attempts at any kind of civil same-sex relationship. There were reports of arrests and torture following the enactment of the law, according to a paper in The Lancet HIV by Sheree Schwartz of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and colleagues.

Faith groups can help boost healthcare in developing nations: experts
 

Thousands of members of The Salvation Army from around the world, march down The Mall in LondonBy Magdalena Mis LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Religious groups are an under-used health resource that could help achieve universal healthcare and accelerate the medical response to disease outbreaks, health experts said on Tuesday. Faith-based organizations such as the Islamic Relief or the Salvation Army are the only health providers in some regions and the medical community should build on their experience, reach and influence to save lives, a study published in the Lancet medical journal said.



FGM app launches in Britain as school holiday danger zone nears
 

Traditional surgeon holds razor blades before carrying out female genital mutilation on teenage girls in Bukwa districtBy Kieran Guilbert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A new app designed to educate young people about female genital mutilation (FGM) was launched in Britain on Tuesday amid a government crackdown on people who take girls abroad to undergo the practice during the summer holidays. Britain's first FGM app, "Petals", presents facts and information about the practice, offers a quiz to test the user's knowledge and provides details on where young girls can receive help - including a direct link to an FGM advice line. FGM involves the partial or total removal of external genitalia and can cause serious physical and psychological problems and complications in childbirth.



Creation, Exhilaration, and the Color of Wonder
 

Creation, Exhilaration, and the Color of WonderTake time to let your mind wandermeander along neuropaths of bliss -- saturated, earth-rich, present. Thoughts and feelings flow hand in hand through your soul's ponderland.Create your new world for today, this month, this season. Built of fibers lean and strong. A foundation for life. The ease of exhilaration by your side, reverberating,...



'Stunning' number of large drug doses by doctor, expert says
 

Terry Spurlock, right, of Holly, Mich., a former patient of Dr. Farid Fata, speaks with his wife Nikii outside federal court, Monday, July 6, 2015, in Detroit. Patients of Fata received "stunning" doses of a powerful, expensive drug that exposed them to life-threatening infections, an expert testified Monday as a judge heard details about a cancer specialist who fleeced insurance companies and harmed hundreds of people. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)DETROIT (AP) — Patients of a Detroit-area doctor received "stunning" doses of a powerful, expensive drug that exposed them to life-threatening infections, an expert testified Monday as a judge heard details about a cancer specialist who fleeced insurance companies and harmed hundreds of people.



Pregnant drinking common in Ireland, England, Australasia
 

The World Health Organization warns that alcohol use during pregnancy can damage the unborn child for life -- though there is no certainty about the dose at which it becomes dangerousTwenty to 80 percent of women questioned in England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand drank alcohol while pregnant, researchers said Tuesday, flagging a "significant public health concern". "New policy and interventions are required to reduce alcohol prevalence both prior to and during pregnancy," the authors wrote. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that alcohol use during pregnancy can damage the unborn child for life -- though there is no certainty about the dose at which it becomes dangerous.



The world's oldest man dies in Japan, aged 112
 

File photo of Sakari Momoi, a resident of Saitama prefecture, writes a message to communicate with Saitama Mayor Hayato Shimizu in TokyoSakari Momoi, who was recognized as the world's oldest man and credited healthy eating and getting plenty of sleep for his longevity, has died at the age of 112, Japanese media said on Tuesday. Momoi was born in an area of Fukushima hit hard by the tsunami and nuclear meltdowns of four years ago in February 1903 - the year the teddy bear was introduced and Orville Wright carried out the first powered, heavier-than-air flight. Named the world's oldest man in August 2014, Momoi, a former teacher who spent his days practicing calligraphy and taking part in recreational activities at the hospital where he lived, donned a suit and tie for a ceremony to receive a plaque from Guinness World Records.



WHO urges governments to raise tobacco taxes to beat smoking
 

A woman lights a cigarette in this illustration picture taken in ParisBy Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Governments around the world should increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products to save lives and generate funds for stronger health services, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. In a report entitled "The Global Tobacco Epidemic 2015", the United Nations health agency said that too few governments make full use of tobacco taxes to dissuade people from smoking or help them to cut down and quit. The number is forecast to rise to more than 8 million people a year by 2030 unless strong measures are taken to control the what it calls a "tobacco epidemic".



After coal, can better health save West Virginia?
 

Faded sign welcomes drivers to Williamson, West VirginiaBy Valerie Volcovici WILLIAMSON, WV (Reuters) - With coal trains chugging past in the distance, Jack Perry watches as his wife, Margie, plants row upon row of Hungarian pepper seedlings in the community garden that residents of this West Virginia coal town call the "Garden of Eatin'."     "The peppers they sell at the stores don't taste anything like this," says Perry, a retired coal worker. Unlike their neighbors in Kentucky, where there have been state-sponsored economic transition efforts, West Virginians have been largely left on their own to respond to coal's decline.



New Brazil rules seek to cut Cesarean craze
 

Brazil hopes to cut down on its high rate of caesarean section births.New regulations aimed at rolling back Brazil's obsession with Cesarean sections took effect Monday, with the government hoping it can steer the country from its status as a world leader in C-section births. About 84 percent of Brazilian mothers on private health care undergo the operation, in which the baby is delivered through a small incision in the mother's abdomen -- often for no other reason than the convenience of being able to choose the date. Brazil's new rules require doctors and hospitals to share information with patients, notably the number of Cesareans they have already carried out.



Pregnant drinking common in Ireland, England, Australasia: study
 

For a healthy pregnancy, it's best to avoid alcohol.Twenty to 80 percent of women questioned in England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand drank alcohol while pregnant, researchers said Tuesday, flagging a "significant public health concern". "New policy and interventions are required to reduce alcohol prevalence both prior to and during pregnancy," the authors wrote. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that alcohol use during pregnancy can damage the unborn child for life -- though there is no certainty about the dose at which it becomes dangerous.



Senegalese risk lives in migrant exodus despite stability at home
 

Nfamara Diawarra poses for a picture with his family in Segoucoura, SenegalBy Makini Brice and David Lewis SEGOUCOURA, Senegal (Reuters) - Mahamadou Diaby lost his savings of $4,000 in a failed bid to reach Europe that saw him smuggled across the Sahara by migrant traffickers before being shot by police and thrown in jail for six months in Libya. Back in his sun-baked village of Segoucoura in Senegal - a peaceful but poor West African nation - the 23-year-old says he would do it all over again.     "I say thanks be to God that I am back and didn't die," said Diaby, surrounded by his family. "But if I see an opportunity to go again, I will try ... I cannot just sit around with the old people." In total, almost 2,000 illegal migrants have perished on the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Italy so far in 2015.



Ebola-stricken nations need $700 mln to rebuild healthcare
 

A French Red Cross team picks up a suspected Ebola case from the centre of ForecariahGuinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone need a further $696 million in donor funding to rebuild their battered health services over the next two years in the wake of the deadly Ebola epidemic, senior World Health Organization (WHO) officials said on Monday. WHO Assistant Director General for Health Systems and Innovation Marie-Paule Kieny said that donors had pledged $1.4 billion of an estimated $2.1 billion required by the three countries before December 2017. More than 500 healthcare staff are among the over 11,200 people killed in West Africa by the worst recorded outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, which erupted in Guinea in December 2013 and continues to claim lives.



Arrested ex-Toyota exec Hamp to be released from custody: Kyodo
 

Toyota Motor Corp's Managing Officer and Chief Communications Officer Julie Hamp speaks to media during a news conference in Nagoya, central JapanTokyo prosecutors plan to release former Toyota Motor Corp executive Julie Hamp from custody after she was arrested last month on suspicion of illegally importing the painkiller Oxycodone into Japan, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday. Japan's daily Yomiuri newspaper reported Hamp was unlikely to be charged because prosecutors judged there was little criminal intent in the case, in which a family member had mailed Oxycodone pills to her to alleviate knee pain. Kyodo said Hamp, who resigned from her post as chief communications officer last week three months after her appointment as Toyota's first female managing officer, is set to be released without indictment on Wednesday, the latest she can be held without a formal charge.



 
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