Health Updates 17 June 2011

  • Anthony Weiner, Tiger Woods, David Duchovny…is sexual addiction for real? “There is also skepticism among the public and some psychologists that the sexual disorder even exists, but is rather an excuse for infidelity or viewing pornography.  There is no diagnosis of addiction at all in the official listing of mental disorders – The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  But as not everyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic, sex addiction is characterized by out of control compulsive behavior.  And it can be more damaging to family life and harder to give up than more typical addictions”.  (Reuters)
  • Study shows Medicaid kids are often denied medical care: “Children on public insurance are being denied treatment by doctors at much higher rates than those with private coverage, according to an undercover study that had researchers pose as parents of sick kids seeking an appointment with a specialist.   Snubbed even by specialists whose offices supposedly accept public insurance patients, these kids also had to wait much longer to see a doctor.  Low Medicaid reimbursements are the likely reason, the study authors said.” (Associated Press)
  • FDA links heart problems to smoking-cessation drug Chantix: “The Food and Drug Administration says a study of 700 heart disease patients taking Chantix showed a small uptick in heart problems among those taking the smoking-cessation drug versus those taking placebo.  The agency stressed that the drug helped patients quit smoking and that this benefit should be weighed against potential heart risks”. (Businessweek)
  • Federal budget talks look at Medicare: “One idea would revamp Medicare’s outdated copayments and deductibles to provide better protection against catastrophic expenses, but it could lead to seniors paying a bigger share of the cost for some everyday services.  The goal is to save taxpayers money by discouraging over treatment.  The impact on individual seniors is less clear.  Few details are available, but such changes could create winners and losers”. (Associated Press)
  • Education level may determine your survival rate of cancer: “Among men, the least educated died of cancer at rates more than 2.5 times that of men with college degrees, the latest data show.  In the early 1990’s, they died at two times the rate of most-educated men.  For women, the numbers aren’t as complete but suggest a widening gap also.  The data, from 2007, compared people between the ages of 25 and 64″. (Associated Press)

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