Health Updates 29 July 2011

  • Health care spending to hit $4.6 trillion in 2020, accounting for $1 out of every $5 in the economy: “By comparison, US health care spending this year is projected to top $2.7 trillion, or about $8,650 per capita, roughly $1 of $6 in the economy.  Most of that spending is for care for the sickest people.  The analysis found that President  Barak Obama’s health care overhaul would only be a modest contributor to growing costs, even though an additional 30 million people who would be otherwise uninsured stand to gain coverage.  The main reasons that health care spending keeps growing faster than the economy are the high cost of medical innovations and an aging society that consumes increasing levels of service.” (Associated Press)
  • Tylenol maker lowers maximum dose: McNeil Consumer Healthcare has announced it is lowering the maximum daily dose instructions for Extra Strength Tylenol to six pills a day (3,000 mg) to reduce the risk of acetaminophen overdose.  The currently recommended maximum dose is eight pills a day (4,000 mg)…Although low doses of acetaminophen are generally safe, too much of the drug can cause liver damage.” (Chris Kaiser, MedPage Today)
  • Heat illness strikes male, teen athletes harder: “Males and teens are most likely to require a trip to the emergency department for a heat illness related to sports or another recreational activity, researchers found.  From 2001 to 2009, males accounted for nearly three-quarters (72.5%) of emergency room visits for heat illness following such physical activity, according to Ellen Yard, PhD, an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer at the CDC, and colleagues.  Those most affected were 15- to 19-year-olds…’These findings highlight the need for effective heat illness prevention messages to target all persons who are physically active, including those who participate in unstructured sports and recreational activities’.”  (Todd Neale, MedPage Today)
  • Supreme Court could hear the health care lawsuit as early as next summer: “The Supreme Court was asked on Wednesday to hear a challenge to the health care overhaul law, raising the possibility that the justices could rule on the matter by next summer, just months before the presidential election.  Similar requests are likely to follow, and it is not clear which if any of them the court will agree to hear.” (NY Times)

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