October 23, 2012

Tucson, Sure; Mobile, Uh-Uh

1 Hospital Death Rates Vary, State by State

According to Healthgrades, a company that monitors doctors and hospitals, Arizona, California, Illinois and Ohio have the safest hospitals when it comes to treating the four conditions that lead to 54 percent of all hospital-related deaths: heart attack, pneumonia, coronary artery bypass, and sepsis from bacterial infection. The lowest rated hospitals are in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Nevada, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. The report called the differences between various states "substantial," noting that Alabamans run a 42 percent higher risk of death from heart attack in a hospital than Arizonans do, but also cautioned that hospital qualify varies widely within each state, often depending on local economics. The study covered data from 4,500 hospitals from 2005-2011.

More at Tucsoncitizen.com | Posted 5 years ago by Robert S. Wieder

Previously: Mayor May Ban Junk Food in NYC Hospitals

Tags: Hospitals Ranked for Safety, Safest US Hospitals, Unsafe US Hospitals, States with Best Hospitals, Healthgrades on Hospitals

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

Rehab and Other Services

2 Medicare Change Benefits Chronically Ill

Disabled Medicare patients and those with chronic illnesses will continue to have access to rehabilitation and other services at home or in nursing homes under a change agreed to by the Obama Administration. The proposed agreement, outlined in a national class action suit, overturns a longstanding Medicare policy that says patients must show improvement to continue getting rehab. "Our view is that Medicare regulations were intended to allow people to maintain their health status. They don't have to show they are getting any better. The point is to allow them not to get any worse, if possible,” says Gill Deford, Center for Medicare Advocacy and the lead attorney on the case. It could take months before the settlement is finalized in court and before Medicare completes the policy agreement.

More at Www.vitals.nbcnews.com | Posted 5 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Mental Health Needs of Seniors on the Rise

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, Medicare, Obama Administration, Disabled Patients, Gill Deford, Medicare Advocacy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Intensity Counts

3 Walk Faster for Healthier Heart

A more intense exercise routine may be more beneficial for preventing metabolic syndrome than longer, but more leisurely exercise, say researchers. Published in BMJ Open, the research found that brisk walking or jogging for two to four hours a week may reduce risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 35 to 50 percent. Light exercise, such as walking two hours a week, didn't decrease the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Researchers believe that intense exercise may lower risk factors for metabolic syndrome by triggering changes in blood pressure, as well as lipid and glucose metabolism. Metabolic syndrome consists of a collection of risk factors that increase the chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

More at Today | Posted 5 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Omega-3 Enhanced Soybeans to Improve American Diet

Tags: Metabolic Syndrome, Heart Healthy, Walking Faster, Benefits Brisk Walking, More Intense Exercise Better, BMJ Open

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

Stick with Symptom Relief

4 Hormones for Disease Prevention Not Good Idea

While taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for symptom relief around the time of menopause may still be supported, taking HRT after menopause for disease prevention isn't recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which reaffirmed their 2005 guideline for use of HRT (estrogen alone and combination with progestin). While HRT may reduce the risk of broken bones for women past menopause, the increased risks outweigh benefits for chronic disease prevention. Those using HRT after menopause may have increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, breast cancer, dementia, urinary incontinence, gallbladder disease, and blood clots in the lungs and legs. Yet, the study may not apply to women who take HRT for a short time for hot flashes, or to women under 50 who have surgical menopause.

More at WebMD | Posted 5 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Cost of Treating Normal Health Conditions

Tags: Hormone Replacement Therapy, Hormone Replacement Therapy Benefits, Menopausal Symptoms, Menopause Treatment, HRT Risks, Preventive Services Task Force

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (54%) / No! (46%)

When B Is Good

5 Ben and Jerry's Becomes B Corporation

While referring to a company as a "B Corporation" may sound less than flattering, it's actually a compliment, and Ben & Jerry's has just announced they're the first wholly-owned subsidiary to earn B Corp certification. Despite all their work for social and environmental causes, Ben & Jerry's, which was purchased by Unilever, has been accused of "selling out," reports TreeHugger. To keep the company on track in support of various causes, Ben & Jerry's has earned the certification, which means they've promised that their lowest paid hourly worker will receive 46 percent above living wage, all of their U.S. pint containers will be produced with FSC-certified paperboard, and 45 percent of costs of goods sold go to investing in and supporting small suppliers through the Caring Dairy program.

More at TreeHugger | Posted 5 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Ben and Jerry's Half Baked Calorie Counter

Tags: Ben and Jerry's Calories, Ben and Jerry's B Corporation, Caring Dairy Program, Ben and Jerry's Selling Out, B Corp Certification

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Protein and Fat Protective

6 Cut Carbs, Sugar to Reduce Alzheimer's Risk

A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reports that people 70 and older who eat foods high in carbohydrates and heavy in sugar have nearly four times the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition often preceding Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic tracked 1230 people who provided information about what they had eaten during the previous year. Those with the highest intake of sugar were 1.5 times more likely to experience problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment over those who ate the least amount of sugar. In contrast, those with a high intake of protein had a reduced risk of 21 percent. Those who consumed the most fat, compared to the lowest fat intake, were 42 percent less likely to have cognitive impairment.

More at PR Newswire | Posted 5 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Eat Heart Healthy Food for a Healthy Brain, Gastric Bypass May Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

Tags: Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's Disease, Low Carbohydrate Diet, Senior Health, Sugar, Carbohydrate

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

Just over 300 Cases

7 More Infections Tied to Contaminated Steroids

Fungal contamination of a steroid used to manage pain made by the New England Compounding Center, a Massachusetts-based pharmacy, has led to 304 cases of fungal meningitis and 4 cases of joint infections. Seventeen states are affected and 23 people have died. All the pharmacy’s drugs have been recalled but it is estimated that 14,000 people were injected with the steroids, beginning May 21, 2012. Seventy-six clinics in 23 states are notifying all patients and scientists say that symptoms of meningitis can show up over a month after being infected. Anyone who had an injection of methylprednisolone acetate should watch for headache, fever, dizziness, light sensitivity, a stiff neck, nausea, numbness, slurred speech, pain and redness or swelling at the site of injection. It is not contagious.

More at Yahoo! ABC News | Posted 5 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: More Fungal Infections Tied to MA Pharmacy, US Meningitis Outbreak Spreads

Tags: Fungal Meningitis, Methylprednisolone Acetate, New England Compounding Center, Pharmacies, Recall, Fungal Contamination, Fungal Infections

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

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