Health Updates 18 July 2011

  • Controversy heats up over mystery Medicare board: “An independent panel authorized by President Barak Obama’s health care law to control excessive Medicare cost increases is drawing heavy fire from Republicans.  Nearly every health industry lobbying group is pushing for its repeal, as are some consumer advocates.  GOP lawmakers call it a rationing panel, and at least one has suggested seniors will die from its decisions.  But don’t look for the Independent Payment Advisory Board to start chopping any time soon.  It doesn’t exist yet.  Known at IPAB, the board may not be appointed for another couple of years, and remains in suspended animation to see if the brouhaha dies down.” (Associated Press)
  • Kids safer with granny behind the wheel: “Grandma may be safer behind the wheel than mom when it comes to injuries from car crashes involving children, an insurance data base showed….This advantage was seen despite grandparents not strapping kids in as well as parents and older drivers being more likely to get in accidents…’Perhaps grandparents are made more nervous about the task of driving with the ‘precious cargo’ of their grandchildren and establish more cautious driving habits to offset these challenges’, the researchers wrote.” (Crystal Phend, MedPage Today)
  • Study finds brain injury more than doubles the risk of dementia: “A large study of older war veterans suggests that those who experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI) during their lives had more than two times the risk of developing dementia, according to scientists from the University of California-San Francisco.” (USA Today)
  • Diet tips to help reduce some cancer risks: “A healthy diet can help the body in its efforts to heal itself, and in some cases, particular foods can lessen the risks of serious illness”.  Consider trying the following: 1). Avoid polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, all partially hydrogenated oils and foods containing trans-fatty acids (deep-fried foods); 2). Minimize consumption of foods with added sugar; 3). Increase omega-3 fatty acid intake (cold water oily fish, freshly ground flaxseed and walnuts); 4). Reduce consumption of animal foods;  5). Use hormone-free, organically produced products whenever possible; 6). Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies; 7). Eat shiitake, enokidake and oyster mushrooms often; and 8). Drink green tea every day. (

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