Health Updates 9 September 2011

  • Appeals court dismisses Virginia’s health care challenge: “The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) does not have a legal right to sue over the law’s requirement that most people buy insurance….The Supreme Court is almost certain to have the final say on whether the coverage mandate is constitutional.” (The Hill)
  • US physicians out-earn doctors in other developed nations: ” US primary care doctors, although frequently considered underpaid, nonetheless earned more on average ($186,582 a year, after practice expenses, but before taxes) than primary care doctors in any of the other countries studied.” (NPR)
  • COPD risk outpaces host of other diseases: “The lifetime risk that someone will develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is about one in four – higher than the risk for many cancers and cardiovascular diseases, researcher reported….The findings ‘draw attention to the huge burden of COPD on society and can be used to educate the public about the need for attention and resources to combat the disease,’ they concluded.”  Study doctors also noted that COPD is “one of the most deadly, prevalent and costly chronic diseases” but there had been, to date, no comprehensive estimates of the risk of the disease in the general population.  The magnitude of the lifetime risk estimate, was, according to the researchers, “surprising”.  (Michael Smith, MedPage Today)
  • 5 warning signs of Alzheimers: More than 30 million worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease.  Minor memory loss is a normal part of aging, but the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are not.  If you or a family member display any of the following, it may be time to have a talk with your doctor: 1). memory loss that disrupts daily life; 2). challenges with planning and problem solving; 3). familiar tasks are becoming unfamiliar; 4). confusion about time or place; and 5). trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.  (

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