Researchers found that adults who did moderate-intensity walking for 120 minutes or less per week were at a reduced likelihood of dying prematurely from all causes, compared with inactive individuals, while higher levels of walking were tied to a 20% lower mortality risk. The findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, based on data on more than 139,000 adults enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, showed that the age-standardized overall death rate among those who walked less than the recommended amount of physical activity was 2,851 per 100,000, compared with 4,293 per 100,000 among inactive participants.
People have a soft spot for the classic sad puppy face, and dogs are more likely to adopt the expression when a person is looking at them, a study published in Scientific Reports found. The expression potentially taps into human emotions, but the study did not show that dogs change expression to manipulate people, study leader Juliane Kaminski said.
Biologists in Nebraska have relied on an aging Chesapeake Bay retriever named Train to find mountain lion scat for genetic analysis, leading to the development of population models on which a proposed mountain lion management plan would be based. Train works for belly rubs, tug-of-war games and the occasional peanut butter sandwich.
Federal authorities are enforcing a ban on animals weighing more than 20 pounds on airplanes leaving San Juan, Puerto Rico, forcing some 2,000 hurricane refugees to abandon their pets, says Sylvie Bedrosian, president of Pet Friendly Puerto Rico. The No Pet Left Behind FEMA Act "authorizes FEMA to provide rescue, care, shelter, and essential needs for individuals with household pets and service animals, and to the household pets and animals themselves following a major disaster or emergency," and the embargo violates that act, Bedrosian says, but an employee with one airline says it has received a waiver effective through Oct. 31.
Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced Thursday that 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats signed on to co-sponsor their bipartisan deal aimed at stabilizing the Affordable Care Act markets. Alexander expects the proposal to "become law in some fashion before the end of the year," despite a lack of commitment by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote.
The crude rate of major adverse cardiac events was higher among patients with acute coronary syndromes and diabetes at 25.9%, compared with 16.3% and 16.1% among those with prediabetes and normal glucose metabolism, respectively, according to a study in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. Researchers used a cohort of 547 ACS patients and found that an increased risk of MACE was associated with diabetes, but not with prediabetes.
Researchers found a higher likelihood of developing incident type 2 diabetes among at-risk adults who received statin therapy prior to being diagnosed with diabetes. The findings in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, based on 3,234 participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study, revealed that a longer duration of statin use was associated with a higher diabetes risk among those in the lifestyle intervention group than those in the metformin and usual care groups.
Researchers said 4.8% of Medicare spending in 2012 was potentially preventable, and 73.8% of that amount was incurred by high-cost patients in the top 10% of total individual spending. The report in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed 4% of Medicare beneficiaries were high-cost frail elderly patients, who accounted for 43.9% of total potentially preventable spending.
A program that provided weekly boxes of fresh produce and healthy foods to low-income families with children at risk of diabetes found that children developed a greater interest in eating fresh, local and unfamiliar foods. The program, part of the Food as Medicine initiative in Alameda County, Calif., also improved the health of some parents.
As Congress debates the future of the Affordable Care Act, insurers are focused on enrolling as many Americans as possible when ACA exchanges open Nov. 1, says AHIP spokeswoman Kristine Grow. A shorter enrollment period, less federal support for outreach and the elimination of cost-sharing reduction payments have created a difficult climate, but the most immediate concern among industry leaders is consumer confusion, Grow said.
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