Headphones cause loss of focus in the workplace; proposed changes to psychiatric manual could impact diagnoses; hospitals provide greater discounts for those without insurance; and former APHA president receives Medal of Freedom today. These stories and more topping public health headlines today, Tuesday, May 29, 2012.
Kaiser Health News – Proposed Changes To Psychiatric Manual Could Impact Addiction Diagnosis
What’s in a name? That’s a question that experts are wrestling with as they prepare to revise the diagnostic manual that spells out the criteria for addiction and other substance-use problems. The revised guide, called DSM-5, will incorporate changes to more than a dozen categories of disorders, including those related to mood, eating and personality, as well as substance use and addiction.
NPR – How Do Your Dinnertime Rules Compare To The Obamas’?
If you listen to the Morning Edition interview with first lady Michelle Obama, you’ll know she’s come out with a new book about the White House garden. It’s just one more effort to help create a culture of wellness among Americans, which began with her Let’s Move campaign in 2010. As leader of this campaign, Mrs. Obama has been careful to keep it real. She acknowledges that her family, like most of the rest of us, enjoys burgers and fries on occasion. But she has also made it clear that in the Obama household, there are some rules at meal time.
Public Health Newswire – Foege to be awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom
Hailed as the health innovator behind the eradication of smallpox, past APHA President William Foege, MD, MPH, has left an indelible mark in the field of global health. Because of his dedication and service to the public’s health, President Obama today presents Foege with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Los Angeles Times – Insurers forcing patients to pay more for costly specialty drugs
Thousands of patients in California and across the nation who take expensive prescription drugs every month for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments are facing sticker shock at the pharmacy. Until recently, most of these patients typically paid modest co-pays for the advanced drugs. But increasingly, Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna and other insurers are shifting more prescriptions to a new category requiring patients to shoulder a larger share of the drug’s cost.
UPI.com – C-section may double risk of child obesity
Cesarean section deliveries — already linked to an increased risk of childhood asthma — may double the risk of preschool child obesity, U.S. researchers say. Dr. Susanna Huh of Children’s Hospital in Boston and colleagues said the study involved 1,255 mother-and-child pairs… A Cesarean section delivery was associated with a doubling in the odds of obesity by the time the child was age 3, irrespective of birth weight and after taking maternal weight and several other influential factors into account
Wall Street Journal – At Work, Do Headphones Really Help?
Marissa Yu works in a busy office, surrounded by 120 co-workers in a mostly open space. Yet when she has a question, needs an update or tries to reach some of her colleagues, she might as well talk to the wall. The culprit: ear buds playing music and noise-canceling headphones.
Wall Street Journal – New Surgery Tries a Device to Treat Stubborn Heartburn
When medications aren’t enough to control the unpleasant symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux, surgery is sometimes necessary. A new procedure done with no incisions is being promoted as an alternative to conventional surgery. Traditional heartburn surgery involves tiny incisions in the abdomen, through which surgical tools are inserted and a new valve is created that prevents stomach contents from rising up. In the new procedure, the valve is created by inserting a surgical device that looks like a toy fishing pole into the mouth and snaking it down the throat to where the esophagus meets the stomach.
The Los Angeles Times – Many hospitals, doctors offer cash discount for medical bills
A Long Beach hospital charged Jo Ann Snyder $6,707 for a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis after colon surgery. But because she had health insurance with Blue Shield of California, her share was much less: $2,336. Then Snyder tripped across one of the little-known secrets of healthcare: If she hadn’t used her insurance, her bill would have been even lower, just $1,054.
Miami Herald – To tan or not to tan
Florida is one of the leading states in the nation for tanning beds, according to the Indoor Tanning Association, with an estimated 800 facilities and possibly many more installed at gyms, spas and other facilities that do not belong to the association. In 2010, industry revenue was estimated at $2.6 billion. And yet health organizations have repeatedly warned about the dangers. The World Health Organization went so far as to classify tanning devices as carcinogenic in 2009 after finding that the risk of melanoma rose 75 percent in people who used indoor tanning before age 30.