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Transmission of Zika virus and dangers of mosquitoes

Health / Health & Fitness /

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the spread of Zika virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact has been reported. Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes genus mosquito -- the same mosquito that spreads dengue and chikungunya viruses.

"It is important to remember the primary...Read more

Many factors play into increased heart disease risk for those with rheumatoid arthritis

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Mayo Clinic: Is it true that people with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of heart disease? How are the two conditions related? Is there a way to lower the risk?

A: Studies have shown that if you have rheumatoid arthritis, your risk of developing heart disease is two to three times higher than people who do not have the disorder. ...Read more

A voter's guide to the health law

Health / Health & Fitness /

Nearly six years after its enactment, the Affordable Care Act remains a hot-button issue in the presidential race -- in both parties.

"Our health care is a horror show," said GOP candidate Donald Trump at the Republican debate in South Carolina Dec 15. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, winner of the Iowa caucuses, said at the debate in Des Moines Jan. 28 ...Read more

Licking wounds, insurers accelerate moves to limit health-law enrollment

Health / Health & Fitness /

Stung by losses under the federal health law, major insurers are seeking to sharply limit how policies are sold to individuals in ways that consumer advocates say seem to discriminate against the sickest and could hold down future enrollment.

Anthem, Aetna and Cigna, all among the top five health insurers, told brokers they will stop paying ...Read more

Study: 29% of colonoscopy patients may have unneeded prescreening visits

Health / Health & Fitness /

Nearly a third of patients who get colonoscopies to screen for cancer visit a gastroenterologist before having the procedure, at an average cost of $124, even though such visits may be unnecessary, a new study found.

Primary care doctors are generally in a good position to alert their patients that they should be screened, discuss the risks and...Read more

Obamacare repeal votes motivate Democratic donors

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- If there's a silver lining for Democrats in Republicans' repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it's that they've made good money from it.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised more than $627,000 since early December in digital grassroots fundraising off Affordable Care Act repeal votes in the ...Read more

Getting to the 'heart' of sleep

Health / Health & Fitness /

Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who don't sleep enough are at higher risk for heart disease. One study that examined data from 3,000 adults over age 45 found that those who slept fewer than six hours per night were about twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack as people who slept six to eight hours per night. Sleep ...Read more

Placenta pill power: Encapsulation is catching on in Kansas City

Health / Health & Fitness /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For weeks following the birth of her first son, Morgan Jones felt angry and overwhelmed.

"It was very illogical," says Jones, who lives in Lee's Summit, Mo.

"I had this beautiful baby in front of me, and I didn't want anything to do with it."

Her symptoms were typical of postpartum depression, a serious mood disorder that ...Read more

Healthy skin, even during winter weather

Health / Health & Fitness /

Two big factors affect your skin during the winter: colder temperatures and a lack of moisture in the air. Both can damage unprotected skin.

By following a few simple self-care steps, though, you can help ensure healthy skin, even during the toughest winter weather.

The weather changes that come with winter can have a huge effect on skin. ...Read more

Pitt study suggests dermatologists give contraception advice

Health / Health & Fitness /

PITTSBURGH--Dermatologists who prescribe women powerful anti-acne medication may soon find themselves taking on another role: contraception counselor.

Isotretinoin, formerly marketed as Accutane, can cause heart and craniofacial birth defects. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration requires women of childbearing age who are taking the ...Read more

Even as Clinton bashes drugmakers, insurers may still feel heat

Health / Health & Fitness /

NEW YORK -- "Price-gouging." "Predatory." "Outrageous." Those are just a few of the barbs presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton, have thrown the way of the pharmaceutical industry this campaign season.

That rhetoric helped sink drug and biotech stocks over the last six months and has overshadowed the candidates' criticism of the ...Read more

Study finds no harm in allowing surgeons-in-training to work longer shifts

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WASHINGTON--Patients suffered no extra harm when doctors training to be surgeons were allowed to work longer shifts, a study released Tuesday concludes, adding to a push to relax the strictest limits on resident hours.

The New England Journal of Medicine study comes as the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is reassessing ...Read more

Do ear infections always need to be treated with antibiotics?

Health / Health & Fitness /

Many parents bring their children with ear infections to express care, urgent care and even the emergency department to request antibiotics. But, sometimes, antibiotics aren't the right choice. Most ear infections cure themselves without the help of antibiotics.

"An ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection that affects the ear. It ...Read more

Aetna CEO has 'serious concerns' about Obamacare sustainability

Health / Health & Fitness /

NEW YORK -- The head of the third-biggest U.S. health insurer said he has "serious concerns" about whether or not Obamacare's new markets are sustainable, echoing criticism from other top for-profit insurers.

"We continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges," Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark ...Read more

Zika virus: What you need to know

Health / Health & Fitness /

Zika virus continues to be a concern, especially for pregnant women traveling to areas of the world where the virus is active. In response to outbreaks in parts of Latin and South America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 2 travel alert, which states that people at high risk, such as pregnant women, may want to ...Read more

Police and the mentally ill: What works best?

Health / Health & Fitness /

The teen was physically imposing -- 5-foot-10 and 240 pounds -- and Houston police Officer Randy Crowder had been warned to expect a fight.

But on that day five years ago when Crowder responded to a call from the young man's concerned mother, he didn't see a criminal, or even a troublemaker.

There's something else going on, Crowder recalls ...Read more

Despite what the candidates say, the Affordable Care Act isn't atop lists of concerns, poll shows

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Although President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act continues to animate political debate in Washington and on the campaign trail, Americans are more concerned with basic health care issues such as the cost of their health insurance, a new national poll shows.

The health care law ranked eighth among issues voters identified as ...Read more

Some work-based health plans exclude outpatient surgery

Health / Health & Fitness /

Libbi Stovall last month looked at the fine print in her company's 2016 health plan, which supposedly meets the strictest standard for employer obligations under Affordable Care Act rules.

The insurance paid for inpatient hospital care, office visits and diagnostic imaging. But it provided no coverage for outpatient surgery, which accounts for ...Read more

Snooze your way to better health

Health / Health & Fitness /

Sleeping in on weekends need not be a guilty pleasure.

New research suggests that catching up on sleep after several nights of missed Zs may help counter the risk of developing diabetes linked to sleep deprivation. A small study published this month in the journal Diabetes Care found that two nights of recovery sleep reversed the ill effects of...Read more

Winter hazard: carbon monoxide poisoning

Health / Health & Fitness /

When winter storms hit and the thermometer drops, homes are buttoned up tight as people try to stay warm. Unfortunately, it's also a time when cases of carbon monoxide poisoning rise. The invisible, odorless gas claims about 500 lives each year. Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

If you or someone you'...Read more