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Public Health Protections Are Not Sign of a Nanny State

October 31, 2013

By Carolyn Newbergh

Cries that we live in a nanny state that protects people who need no protection ignore an extraordinary fact: public health measures have had a long, proud history in this country and are all around us, reducing harm and disease and enabling people to live longer, fuller, and more productive lives, speakers told a recent state Senate subcommittee hearing.

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Ending Domestic Violence is a Group Effort

October 31, 2013

Ending Domestic Violence is a Group Effort

By Leah Bartos

For two years, she had been trying — and failing — to get away from the violence and abuse.

She worried not only about her own safety, but also the safety of her three young children. She wanted a divorce. She wanted custody.

But despite her efforts, this resident of Contra Costa County faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge.

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Current HPV Vaccines May Be Less Effective in African-American Women than in Whites

October 31, 2013

By Fran Kritz

African-American women may be less likely than white women to benefit from currently available human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to prevent cervical cancer, according to a new study by researchers at the Duke University School of Medicine. Some of the HPV strains in the two currently available vaccines, they found, are more likely to be found in white women than in African-Americans.

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Study: Barrier to HIV Cure Higher than Previously Thought

October 31, 2013

By Fran Kritz

A new study finds that the barrier to discovering a cure for HIV may be higher than previously thought.

Antiretroviral drug therapy, the standard response to HIV, targets actively replicating HIV virus but has no impact on inactive, also known as latent, forms of the virus. That latent cell base, or reservoir, in HIV-infected patients consists of proviruses—viral DNA that gets inserted into the genome of the patients’ immune cells.

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Study: Calcium from Diet, Not Supplements May Be Best Advice for Preventing Osteoporosis in Older Adults

October 31, 2013

By Fran Kritz

Preferred advice for calcium intake for older adults in order to prevent osteoporosis may be to get the nutrient from their diet, rather than supplements, according to a new study review.

According to Dr. Douglas Bauer, MD, professor of medicine at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine, calcium supplements are known to have several side effects, the most common being indigestion and minor constipation, and kidney stones are a rare complication.

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SNAP Benefits Decrease to $1.40 a Meal

October 30, 2013

SNAP Benefits Decrease to $1.40 a Meal

By Sarah Peters

Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the program formerly known as food stamps, will have less money to spend on meals, and millions of dollars will leave the state’s coffers when a federal program expires Oct. 31.

The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act — the federal economic stimulus bill — provided a 13.6 percent nationwide average increase in SNAP benefits in 2009.

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Covered California in Translation

October 29, 2013

Covered California in Translation

By Chris Richard

Understanding the Affordable Care Act can be a challenge for health-policy experts, let alone for the thousands of Californians seeking to sign up for health insurance. Imagine trying to decipher the process if your only language were Singhalese.

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After the ACA: addressing health before health care

October 28, 2013

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act say the controversial law is the country’s best hope for improving the health of all Americans and slowing the growth in health care costs. Opponents say it will do the opposite: driving up the cost of care, disrupting relationships with our doctors, and making Americans more dependent on their government.

But what neither side acknowledges is that even if the law works exactly as intended, it is unlikely to have much effect on how healthy we are, how sick we get and how long we live.

The Affordable Care Act, at bottom, is more about health insurance than health care. And even the parts about health care are not necessarily about health.

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Caring for Mom: Frustrations of a Daughter, Advice From an Expert

October 28, 2013

Caring for Mom: Frustrations of a Daughter, Advice From an Expert

The Sandwich Generation, middle-aged adults who care for children and parents, face many frustrations. Gary Barg offers support and advice.

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Marketing by Parks May Boost Use for Exercise

October 25, 2013

By Fran Fritz

A new study finds that even small increases in marketing to current park users and non-user residents of local communities can increase use of parks for physical activity, providing a cost-effective way to potentially improve a community’s health.

“When physical activity opportunities and reminders become more obvious, whether they are overt signs or notices for classes or new walking paths, they may lead people to becoming more active, especially if they are already in a park,” says Dr.

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