The Boston Globe – Study suggests Affordable Care Act is improving health
The Affordable Care Act has provided health insurance to some 20 million people. But are they any better off? This has been the central question as we’ve been watching the complex and expensive health law unfurl. We knew the law was giving people coverage, but information about whether it’s protecting people from debt or helping them become more healthy has been slower to emerge. A few recent studies suggest that people have become less likely to have medical debt or to postpone care because of cost.

FOX News – Study details possible link between Zika and severe joint condition
Scientists in Brazil studying a possible link between Zika virus infection in the womb and severe joint abnormalities in babies say they should be added to the growing list of conditions to watch for. In an analysis of seven cases of children with joint deformities, the researchers said the abnormalities – a condition known as arthrogryposis – could be a result of Zika’s effect on the developing baby’s motor neurons, cells that control the contraction or relaxation of muscles.

The Atlantic – Cost of Lead Poisoning in Flint Now Estimated at $458 Million
Switching to the Flint River as the city’s primary water source was an attempt to save around $5 million over the course of two years in Flint, Michigan. Instead it has cost $458 million. That’s according to calculations from analyst Peter Muennig at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Only $58 million of that is expenditure by the state on medical care and unleaded water. The bulk of the number includes the social costs: Exposures leaking IQ points from children and disposing them to aggression and violence later in life, which leads to lower economic productivity, greater dependence on welfare programs, and greater costs to the criminal justice system.

Medscape – Get Moving: High Physical-Activity Level Reduces Risk of 5 Diseases
High levels of physical activity can reduce the risk for five major diseases, including type 2 diabetes, new research shows. Findings from the systematic review and meta-analysis were published online August 9 in the BMJ by Hmwe H Kyu, PhD, of the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues. The data, from a total 174 studies comprising 149,184,285 total person-years of follow-up, suggest that the more total regular daily physical activity one engages in — including recreation, transportation, occupational activity, and/or daily chores — the lower the risks for breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and ischemic stroke.