ObamaCare May Cause Many Health Insurance Cancellations

As the new Affordable Care Act rolls out, many individual and small-company insurance policies will be canceled as early as this fall. Policies that fail to meet the new insurance plan standards will be discontinued, and many people will be left to find new plans that meet standards. Insurance plans will be required to carry better coverage while Medicare will be expanded for lower income families and individuals. A health care industry consultant, Bob Laszewski said, “you’re going to be forcibly upgraded.” More here

Diabetes Grows In the U.S.

According to the Morbidity and Mortality report (MMWR) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of individuals who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in many U.S. states has grown at an alarming rate, jumping by 100% or more from 1995 to 2010. The report shows that southern states where obesity rates are higher topped the list. Approximately 25.8 million Americans have diabetes while 70 million are pre-diabetic. Linda Geiss, the lead author of the MMWR and a statistician with CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation said, “even when you know that [the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes] is increasing, to see that level of increase was shocking to me.” More here

Financial Hope For Women With High Breast Cancer Risk

Many individuals have been turned down by insurance companies for various health risk prevention services including breast cancer testing. However, under the Affordable Care Act all health plans will be required to provide medical service coverage for all individuals with an “A” or “B” rating received from the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force. Task Force guidelines under the act recommend “women whose family history is associated with an increased risk for deleterious mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes be referred for genetic counseling and evaluation for BRCA testing.” More here

Heartburn Now Linked To Throat Cancer

A new study has found that heartburn may increase the risk of throat cancer by 78%. The study consisted of 631 individuals who had been previously diagnosed with squamous cell cancers of the vocal cords and throat who were not heavy drinkers or smokers. Over-the-counter antacids can provide individuals who suffer frequent heartburn relief while also protecting them from throat cancer in the future according to Scott M. Langevin, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Cincinnati. More here

Stroke-Related Medical Costs Expected To Grow

According to the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, costs for stroke care are likely to increase. Experts suggest that by 2030 stroke-related medical costs will rise to $240.67 billion, a 129% increase from 2010. Stroke prevalence is expected to increase in the United States by 21% by 2030. Additionally, direct medical costs for older stroke patients are also expected to increase between 172% and 182%. More here

Estimated Medical Expenses For Retirees Drops

According to estimates from Fidelity Investments, the amount needed to cover medical expenses after retirement has dropped from last year by 8%. Fidelity expects medical expenses for a couple retiring in 2013 at age 65 to be approximately $220,000, not including any nursing home costs or long-term care. The executive vice president of Fidelity, Brad Kimler said, “unlike other needs like housing or food, many drastically underestimate health-care costs and therefore don’t incorporate it into their overall retirement plan.” More here

Kava Extract May Help Chronic Anxiety

A new study conducted in Australia has found that the extract from Kava, a psychoactive plant, holds properties that can benefit people suffering from chronic anxiety. In the study, 75 patients who had previously been diagnosed with chronic anxiety took Kava extract tablets for 6 weeks. Those who consumed  the extract daily showed significant improvement by the end of the term. According to the study, Kava extract is comparable to anxiety medications like Xanax but is considered much less addictive. More here

Physical Fitness May Lower Risk For Future Disease

According to a study led by Dr. Susan Lakoski of the University of Vermont, men who are physically active can protect themselves from cancer even more than 20 years after fitness. The study consisted of more than 17,000 men who took fitness tests. The study found that men who were considered fit at age 50 are less likely to suffer from heart disease and cancer later in life. The ASCO president, Dr. Sandra Swain said, “this important study establishes cardiorespiratory fitness as an independent and strong predictor of cancer risk and prognosis in men.” Experts suggest that the study’s findings may be relevant to women as well, but more information is needed. More here

Many Doctors Using Alternative Cancer Treatments

A new approach is being used to fight certain cancers. Genetic tests, clinical studies and novel drugs have been established to offer an alternative to chemotherapy and other treatments which are hard on the body. The medical director of the Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center and president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr Sandra Swain said, “we’ve tried the approach of big, nonspecific treatments … We have found that throwing chemo at patients has not (necessarily) cured them.” More here

Skin Cancer May Decrease Risk Of Alzheimer’s

A new study conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY has found that skin cancer may protect individuals from other diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The study showed that individuals with non-melanoma skin cancer are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. The study consisted of 1,103 individuals around the age of 79 and lasted almost four years. 109 of the participants reported they had been diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer in the past. Over the course of the study, 32 more participants developed skin cancer while 100 participants developed Alzheimer’s. Only 2 of the individuals who developed Alzheimer’s also developed skin cancer. The lead author of Albert Einstein College and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Richard Lipton said, “the theoretical basis for thinking that there could be a relationship comes from the fact that Alzheimer’s and cancer are opposites kind of disorders in terms of cell division.” More here