Health Updates 8 September 2011

  • Harvard study: a drink a day is good for middle-aged women: “Those who drank between one-third and 1 drink per day five to seven days a week were almost 50 percent more likely to be in good health when they got older compared with those who did not imbibe.” (Washington Post)
  • Healthcare costs took big bite our of income gains: “Although the typical American family experienced a significant increase in annual income over the 10 years ending in 2009, more than 40% of that gain was wiped out by increased spending on healthcare, according to a new study.  Median income for a typical family went from $76,000 in 1999 to $99,000 in 2009…that increase should mean that the average family in 2009 had $545 more to spend each month than it did in 2008, but after paying for healthcare and other taxes, that prototypical family had just $95 extra each month….During that time period, health insurance premiums increased from $490 to $1,115 per month, and out-of-pocket spending increased from $135 to $235 per month.” Their verdict: “Our analysis reveals that during the past decade, growth in healthcare spending sharply reduced the disposable income of Americans while increasing the federal deficit”. (Emily Walker, MedPage Today)
  • Aerobic exercise may reduce dementia risk: “Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition’s progression once it starts, reported a Mayo Clinic study published this month in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
  • Feds arrest 42 Miami-area suspects in Medicare fraud sweep: “The various South Florida indictments were unveiled as part of a Justice Department crackdown on Medicare fraud in hot spots such as Brooklyn, Detroit and Los Angeles, resulting in a total of 91 defendants being charged with $295 million in bogus billing.” (Miami Herald)

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