Bloomberg – Iran reports its first 2 cases of MERS virus
Iranian media say the country has recorded its first two cases of the potentially fatal Middle East respiratory virus, first reported in Saudi Arabia two years ago. The kingdom has been the focal point of the outbreak of the virus, known as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. Iran’s Hamshahri daily on Wednesday quoted health ministry official Mohammad Mahdi Gouya as saying the virus was confirmed in two sisters in Kerman in southeastern Iran. One was reported to be in critical condition.
Boston Globe – New study links exercise, mobility in elderly
While exercise has long been promoted as the elixir of youth, a large clinical trial conducted partly at Tufts University finally provides strong proof for the claim: It found that elderly people who walked and did basic strengthening exercises on a daily basis were less likely to become physically disabled compared to those who did not exercise regularly. For the study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers recruited sedentary people ages 70 to 89 years who had trouble walking more than a quarter-mile. Half of them were randomly assigned to participate in a daily exercise program, and after nearly three years, they had an 18 percent lower risk of losing their walking abilities compared with the others, who were instructed to take health education classes.
The Verge – NYPD will begin carrying drugs to reverse heroin overdoses
The abuse of heroin and pharmaceutical opioids has grown dramatically in the US over recent years, prompting law enforcement and public health officials to take action. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 percent of the approximately 38,000 drug overdose deaths recorded in 2010 were related to pharmaceuticals. Statistics from the Justice Department show that deaths from heroin overdoses increased by 45 percent between 2006 and 2010. The issue has drawn broader attention following the February death of celebrated actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in his New York apartment after overdosing on heroin and other illicit drugs.
Kaiser Health News – States consider using Medicaid to pay college health plan premiums
Some students headed for college this fall will get top-drawer health coverage at little or no cost, because Medicaid will pay the premium for the college’s student health plan. The program is already being used at some Minnesota and Montana colleges. Proponents say it gives students who are eligible for coverage under Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for low-income people, access to a wider network of providers at the local, national and even international level.
TIME – Poor economy has fueled rising obesity rates, study finds
A new report suggests that obesity rates are spiraling in developed countries, thanks in part to the global economic slowdown of the past few years. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report released Wednesday says that sharper increases in obesity rates have been observed in women and the poor, and in countries such as France, Australia, Switzerland and Mexico, where the obesity rate climbs by as much as three per cent a year.
Reuters – Exercise reduces mobility problems among older adults: study
People in their 70s and 80s who took part in a moderate-intensity exercise program over several years were more likely to retain their ability to get around independently, according to a new study.
The results add to a growing body of evidence that regular physical activity may help to keep older adults moving as they age, said the study’s lead author.
The Post-Standard – New York state Assembly passes medical marijuana legislation
The Democratic-led state Assembly on Tuesday passed legislation that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, increasing pressure on the Senate to pass it before the session concludes at the end of June. The bill, dubbed the Compassionate Care Act, passed 91-34. The Assembly had previously passed medical marijuana legislation, and in April Democratic Speaker Sheldon Silver said if the Senate were to take up the legislation the Assembly would pass it again.