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Health & Spirit

Taking the cops out of mental health-related 911 rescues

Health / Health & Fitness /

DENVER -- Every day that Janet van der Laak drives between car dealerships in her sales job, she keeps size 12 shoes, some clothes and a packed lunch -- a PB&J sandwich, fruit and a granola bar -- beside her in case she sees her 27-year-old son on the streets.

" 'Jito, come home," she always tells him, using a Spanish endearment. There he can ...Read more

New study shows potential link between bad quality sleep and Alzheimer's in Hispanics

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Hispanics who have trouble sleeping may be at a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, according to a new study.

The study found a possible link between insomnia, prolonged sleep duration (more than nine hours of sleep) and a decline in neurocognitive functioning, which could precede Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, said ...Read more

Federal health officials propose loosening anti-kickback laws

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration on Wednesday unveiled plans to loosen two anti-corruption laws for doctors, in a bid to promote new ways of delivering coordinated health care while attempting to preserve the laws' core aim of combating fraud and abuse.

Physician groups have long sought changes to the anti-kickback law and the Stark self-...Read more

How PG&E's historic blackouts will put California's medical emergency planning to the test

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Health care providers and officials around Northern California said that PG&E's electrical grid shutdown, expected to trigger blackouts in 34 of 58 counties on Wednesday, will test on a grand scale whether residents and medical care facilities have done enough to planning for medical emergencies.

"Placer County is expected...Read more

Study: If you have heart disease, here's how much you should sleep to prevent early death

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If you've been diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes or heart disease, getting enough sleep at night is imperative, according to a new report.

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine recently conducted a study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, to explore the association between lack of sleep and ...Read more

Cancer patients often need this one basic thing to participate in clinical trials

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When Paul Bagga was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer that soon spread to his brain, the nonsmoker was devastated and terrified.

More than five years later, the Flourtown retiree, 67, is going strong, thanks to participating in clinical testing of a targeted drug developed by Pfizer. Lorbrena was approved last November, and it is still ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: What are seborrheic keratoses?

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Dear Mayo Clinic: I have brown spots over the top half of my body, which my doctor says are seborrheic keratoses and are harmless. What causes them, and is there a way to prevent more from appearing?

A: Seborrheic keratoses are a common skin issue, particularly in older adults. Although they don't pose any health risks, these skin growths can ...Read more

Extent of health coverage gains from California gig worker law uncertain

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A new California law that reclassifies some independent contractors as employees, requiring they be offered a range of benefits and worker protections, will likely expand health insurance coverage in the state, health policy experts say.

But it might end up harming some workers.

That's in part because the law, which takes effect Jan. 1, could ...Read more

Warren has many plans, but on health care, she's with Bernie

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WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Warren has a plan for everything -- but on the crucial 2020 issue of health care, she's borrowing from a rival and fellow progressive -- Bernie Sanders.

The presidential candidate who made a mark with her signature "I have a plan for that!" is the only one of the five top-polling Democrats without a sweeping proposal of ...Read more

The roll-back of an Obama-era regulation could leave transgender patients at risk of health care discrimination.

Health / Health & Fitness /

Len Meyer knows what it's like to fight a health insurance company for coverage.

Meyer, who is nonbinary and transgender, spent more than six months battling an insurance company to cover a double mastectomy. The company claimed the procedure wasn't medically necessary, and denied it three times before the insurer agreed to cover it in 2015, ...Read more

Healthy Men: Do you need more testosterone?

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Testosterone has taken a beating lately. We all know that it's the hormone that makes guys, well, guys. It's also associated with ultra-macho, boorish behavior, excessive body hair, and other unwanted things. That said, it's still an essential hormone for men (and for women too, believe it or not), and if you don't have enough of it, you could ...Read more

Healthy Men: Could masculinity be killing us?

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Dear Healthy Men: How much do you think that masculinity could be hurting men?

A: A lot. But I'd argue that it's less masculinity itself and more the pressure to be a "real man"-- which, thanks to phrases like "Man up," "Play through it," and "Big boys don't cry," starts long before we can even stand up -- that's doing the harm.

John and ...Read more

Trump speech offers dizzying preview of his health care campaign strategy

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President Donald Trump offered a preview of what his 2020 health agenda might look like in a speech Thursday -- blasting Democratic proposals for reform and saying he would tackle issues such as prescription drug prices and affordability.

He outlined the pillars of his health care vision, which included protecting vulnerable patients; ...Read more

You've got questions about Medicare's 2020 fall enrollment period. We've got answers.

Health / Health & Fitness /

Medicare's fall open enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, is an opportunity to review your benefits and make changes in time for 2020.

But signing up or reviewing your coverage can seem daunting.

Last year, we asked Philadelphia Inquirer readers what they'd like to know about Medicare, and brought an excellent list of questions ...Read more

Home remedies: When to use and not use antibiotics

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For parents and caregivers, it can be hard to tell whether your child's illness requires antibiotics or if there are other ways to effectively treat his or her symptoms. To prevent overuse of these drugs, it's important to know when home remedies can be used instead of antibiotics.

"If your child has an ear infection, consider using over-the-...Read more

Doctors may need to 'step up' asthma treatment for African American children

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Deaths from asthma are disproportionately higher among black patients than among white patients, but black patients constitute the minority of participants in trials informing treatment.

As a result, recommended treatments might not work well enough for African Americans.

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine conducted ...Read more

Health anxiety tends to rise after age 50. It doesn't have to take over your life

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BUCKINGHAM TOWNSHIP, Pa., -- After she broke her neck in a car accident at age 28, Renee Tucker's doctors told her that her newly repaired spine would never be as strong as it was before. Another accident could paralyze her.

She's not allowed to run or ride on roller coasters, but the Buckingham Township mother of two has mostly been able to ...Read more

Infectious diseases A-Z: Roll up your sleeve, it's time for your flu shot

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When is the best time to get your flu shot? Ideally, it's before flu season becomes active in your community.

Flu activity across the U.S. is low, making it the perfect time to roll up your sleeve for your annual flu shot. "The general advice is get the vaccine as soon as you can," says Dr. Gregory Poland, director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine ...Read more

Community health centers teeter on financial cliff, courtesy of Congress

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WASHINGTON -- Down in the Louisiana bayou, Dr. Gary Wiltz is wondering how he's supposed to run 14 community health centers and treat 30,000 patients without a large chunk of federal money. Again.

As happened in 2017, Congress is on the precipice of failing to meet the Sept. 30 deadline for reauthorizing the Community Health Center Fund that ...Read more

GM tells striking union members it will continue their health coverage

Health / Health & Fitness /

DETROIT -- In a significant reversal, General Motors has told the UAW that it will continue to pay for health coverage of striking workers.

GM told the union after it went on strike Sept. 16 at company sites nationwide that it was kicking health care costs to the union, a move that UAW leaders said blindsided them, even though they had ...Read more