Health Advice



Lowered Expectations

Scott LaFee on

Compared to people in other middle- and high-income countries, Americans die young -- and sometimes needlessly due to inadequate access to health care. A report from the Commonwealth Fund surveyed the 50 states and concluded:

The best health care was in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Washington, where average life expectancy is 80 to 81. That's still lower than in most comparable countries.

The worst health care is in Mississippi and West Virginia, where life expectancy is under 75, lower than in Mexico, which has the lowest life expectancy among middle- and high-income countries.

Even Grand Theft Auto?

A study of nearly 2,000 children found that those who reported playing video games for three hours per day or more performed better on cognitive skills tests involving impulse control and working memory compared to children who had never played video games.

They also noted the differences in cognitive function observed between the two groups was accompanied by differences in brain activity. Functional MRI brain imaging analyses found that video game-playing children showed higher brain activity in regions of the brain associated with attention and memory than did those who never played. The children also showed more brain activity in frontal brain regions that are associated with more cognitively demanding tasks, and less brain activity in brain regions related to vision.


Get Me That, Stat!

Less than one-quarter of Americans working in the private sector have paid sick leave. But in states that mandated paid sick leave during the pandemic, that mandate resulted in nearly a 6% decline in visits to emergency departments.

The biggest drops came from Medicaid patients, with big declines in visits that could be handled in primary care: for adults, dental problems, mental health issues and substance use disorder; for kids, asthma.

Stories for the Waiting Room


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Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate Inc.



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