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New CDC Report Shares Effective Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities

April 23, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Evidence-based interventions at the local and national levels provide promising strategies for reducing racial and ethnic health disparities related to  several conditions, including HIV infection rates, immunization coverage and motor vehicle injuries and deaths, according to a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Minority Health and Health Equity.

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Fussy Infants and Toddlers Tend to Watch More Media

April 23, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Fussy babies and toddlers are more likely to be exposed to media, according to a new study.

The researchers looked at data from 7,450 children in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of children born in 2001, including information reported by parents at 9 months and 2 years of age.

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Study: Nursing Homes Must Prepare for Influx of Alzheimer’s Patients

April 18, 2014

By Fran Kritz

A new study on Alzheimer’s disease by researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health finds that a culture change is desperately needed for to help improve the quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes. Facilities also need help to prepare for the millions of patients expected to be diagnosed with the disease in the next few decades.

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What Else Do the Statistics From California’s Exchange Reveal?

April 18, 2014

By Hannah Guzik

Nearly 1.4 million people enrolled in a Covered California health plan, the state announced this week, after the open enrollment period ended Tuesday.

The big headline was that the enrollment total exceeded the state’s target. But included in the press release were statistics on who enrolled, how they enrolled and what health plan they selected.

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Depression Can Hit New Fathers as well as New Mothers

April 16, 2014

By Fran Kritz

A new study by researchers at Northwestern University finds that new dads should be screened for depression, not just new mothers.

“It’s not just new moms who need to be screened for depression, dads are at risk, too,” says Craig  Garfield, MD, lead author of the study and an associate professor in pediatrics and medical social sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

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Report: California Lacks Psychiatric Beds for Severely Mentally Ill

April 15, 2014

By Hannah Guzik

Jails and prisons are the largest “mental institutions” in California, holding far more people with severe psychiatric illnesses than state hospitals, according to a report released last Tuesday by the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs’ Association.

“For a state with 38 million people — 1 in every 8 Americans lives in California —there are almost no public psychiatric beds available for individuals with serious mental illness,” the report states.

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Recommending Mammograms for Elderly Women Should be Determined by Expected Longevity

April 11, 2014

By Fran Kritz

A new review of studies on breast cancer and elderly women by researchers at UCSF and the Harvard School of Medicine suggests that doctors should focus on how long a patient is likely to live when deciding whether to order mammograms for their oldest female patients rather than order them routinely.

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Young Teenagers Give Birth to a Quarter of all Babies Born to Teen Mothers

April 9, 2014

By Fran Kritz

The number of babies born to mothers ages 15 to 17 years of age has declined but still represents over a quarter of teen births each year, according to the April issue of Vital Signs, a monthly health indicator publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)  According to the CDC, that fact underscores the need for targeted interventions to prevent teen pregnancy.

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Fewer Fractures Linked to Higher Socioeconomic Status Among Minority Middle Aged Women

April 8, 2014

By Fran Kritz

If you are a middle-aged African-American or Asian woman, your social class may play a significant role in how likely you are to suffer bone fractures, according to a new study by researchers at UCLA.

The researchers used data on 2,167 pre-menopausal women from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) bone study.

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Does the U.S. Have the Best Medical System?

April 7, 2014

By Hannah Guzik

I interviewed the top finance official at a large Southern California hospital a few weeks ago. She said she was skeptical of the Affordable Care Act. “We need to keep in mind,” she said, “that we do already have the best medical system in the world.”

Is this true, I wondered?

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