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Home Blood Pressure-Monitoring Devices Reduce Health Care Costs

July 24, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Home blood pressure monitoring devices can save money by improving healthcare quality and reducing healthcare costs, according to a new study funded by the American Heart Association.

According to the researchers, more than 76 million adults have diagnosed hypertension and many more are undiagnosed. Home monitoring devices let people with high blood pressure or who are at risk for the condition test at regular intervals.

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Antibiotic Use Is Common in Hospice Care

July 22, 2014

By Fran Kritz

A new study finds that use of antibiotics is quite common among terminal patients who are in hospice care.

The researchers used data based on the electronic health records of adults patients discharged to hospice care from Oregon Health & Science University over a three-year period ending in 2013.

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Numbers of Strokes Fall Among People 65 and Older During the Last Two Decades

July 21, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Fewer older Americans are having strokes and those who do suffer a stroke have a lower risk of dying from them, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The study found a 24 percent overall decline in first-time strokes in each of the last two decades and a 20 percent overall drop per decade in deaths after stroke.

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State Senate to Aging Californians: We Care

July 15, 2014

By Matt Perry

While the state Assembly has a committee dedicated to aging and long-term care, the State Senate hasn’t had one since it disappeared from the Committee on Health along with termed out sponsor Elaine Alquist at the end of 2012.

That changed last week when the Senate publicly launched a new Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care at an informational hearing at the Glendale Central Library attended by 125 people.

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Fewer Doctors Enrolled in Low-Income Insurance Program Despite Surge in Patients

July 14, 2014

By Hannah Guzik

Nearly 25 percent fewer physicians were signed up to treat low-income patients in the state’s insurance program this spring compared to a year prior, despite the surge in patients enrolled in Medi-Cal.

The drop in providers is due to the Department of Health Care Services’ efforts to remove doctors who haven’t complied with application requirements or billed the program in a year, spokesman Anthony Cava said.

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Young People Underestimate the Dangers of Hookah

July 14, 2014

By Fran Kritz

A new study by researchers at the UCLA School of Nursing finds that despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that hookah smoking can be just as dangerous as cigarettes, many young adults believe that using the water pipes is not harmful. “With hookah smoking on the rise, particularly among young adults, our goal was to identify factors influencing perceptions, attitudes and preferences toward hookah smoking,” said Mary Rezk-Hanna, a UCLA nursing doctoral student and lead researcher of the study.

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Kids and Young Adults with Dyslexia More Likely to be Physically Abused

July 7, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Adults who have dyslexia are much more likely to report they were physically abused before they turned 18 than their peers without dyslexia, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.

According to the study, thirty-five per cent of adults with dyslexia report they were physically abused before they turned 18; seven per cent of those without dyslexia reported that they had experienced childhood physical abuse.

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California’s Poor Have the Narrowest Doctor’s Networks

July 7, 2014

By Hannah Guzik

Consumers have been complaining this year that Covered California insurance plans have doctor’s networks that are too narrow. The doctors they want to see don’t accept the insurance, they say.

While a relatively new problem for California’s upper- and middle-class residents, this situation has been a problem for the poor for decades.

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AAP: Before Every Playdate Find out if there is an Unlocked and Loaded Gun in the Home

June 27, 2014

By Fran Kritz

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence have  launched the ASK (Asking Saves Kids) campaign to  encourage parents to ask if there is a locked, loaded gun in the home before a child goes out for a playdate. According to the AAP, one out of three homes with children in the U.S.

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Creating Friendships between African-American and Caucasian Couples Can Reduce Prejudice

June 26, 2014

By Fran Kritz

Recent research by social scientists at Wayne State University show that the physical presence of romantic partners in intergroup friendships – friendships with different racial and ethnic groups, religious groups, or sexual orientations – positively influences interactions with people who are perceived to be different from themselves.

The study found that couples who interacted with couples of another race showed a greater positive attitude toward the other group than to same-race couple interactions.

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