Data showed people on a gluten-free diet had urinary concentrations of arsenic that were almost twice as high as people who were not on the diet, according to a study published in Epidemiology. Researchers said people on a gluten-free diet also had higher blood levels of inorganic mercury.
A Korean study in the Journal of Women's Health found breast-feeding for at least 12 months over a woman's lifetime was associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, compared with breast-feeding for less than 12 months. The findings were based on more than 4,700 women ages 19 to 50 years.
Adults with type 1 diabetes in the continuous glucose monitoring plus blood glucose monitoring group had 65% of the mean time spent with blood glucose levels at 70 to 180 mg/dL at 26 weeks, compared with 63% in the CGM-only group, according to a study in Diabetes Care. Researchers used a cohort of 226 patients and found that one severe hypoglycemic event occurred in the CGM+BGM group, while none occurred in the CGM-only group.
A study in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes maintained the natural production of their insulin levels after receiving injections of the GAD-alum drug, developed based on the GAD65 protein, and vitamin D supplements. Swedish researchers evaluated six diabetes patients ages 20 to 22 and plan to continue the study and expand it to more participants.
Researchers found that older type 2 diabetes patients on long-term metformin therapy had significantly lower mean vitamin B12 concentration, compared with those without diabetes who were not on metformin. The findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, based on 16,945 veterans with and without diabetes, ages 50 or older, revealed that metformin users were two to three times more likely not to receive testing for vitamin B12 status, depending on their age.
A $5.5 million fine was imposed on Memorial Healthcare System in South Florida by the HHS Office for Civil Rights after the provider was cited for its failure to regularly audit employee access to protected health information from 2011 to 2012, which led to data breaches that affected 115,143 people. Memorial Healthcare will also implement a corrective action plan as part of its resolution agreement to settle HIPAA violations.
Kortex, a virtual reality headset accessory that is also designed to function independently, has been introduced by Fisher Wallace Laboratories for use in sleep and stress management. The device, which is being crowdfunded on an Indiegogo campaign with an initial funding target of $75,000, stimulates serotonin production in the brain while reducing cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
Health savings accounts are important tools to help reduce health care costs and give consumers more choice and control over their care, writes AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner, noting that research from AHIP finds that 20 million consumers are taking advantage of the accounts. Greater flexibility would improve their utility as a means for making health care more affordable, she writes.
Researchers found that insured workers with the lowest wages are three times more likely to obtain care at an emergency department and over four times more likely to be hospitalized for an avoidable condition as the highest-earning employees. The study, published in Health Affairs, notes that lower-wage workers may have difficulty accessing care after work or avoid free preventive services because of concerns they will be unable to manage cost sharing if any problems are diagnosed.
Republican plans for replacing the Affordable Care Act involve giving states more power, integrating health savings accounts and other measures, and AHIP supports the HSA idea, but spokeswoman Kristine Grow said insurers need more information about how consumers will be encouraged to maintain coverage, so they can develop products accordingly for next year.
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