Working odd hours may increase likelihood of heart diseases; public health department says breaking up isn’t so hard to do with education; and should New York City be more lenient on sick days? These stories and more topping public health headlines today, Friday, July 27, 2012.

Kaiser Health NewsOlympians face unique health insurance options
You might not have the physique of an Olympic athlete, but you could have health insurance like one. That’s the point of a series of ads this year from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the official supplier of health insurance for Team USA. Highmark’s “PPO Blue” plan covers about 1.4 million Americans. Among them are about 1,000 elite athletes who, along with more than 360 U.S. Olympic Committee employees, get coverage through the Elite Athlete Health Insurance program.

Medical News TodayShift work tied to higher risk for heart attack, stroke
An analysis that reviews studies covering over two million people finds shift work is associated with a higher risk for vascular events, such as heart attack and ischaemic stroke. The study is the largest examination of shift work and vascular risk to date. The researchers, from Canada and Norway, write about their findings in a paper published online in the BMJ on Thursday. They report that compared to regular daytime workers, shift workers had a 24% higher risk for coronary events, a 23% higher risk for heart attack, and a 5% higher risk for stroke.

Fox NewsTwo more patients ‘free of HIV’ after bone marrow transplants
The HIV virus of two more patients has been suppressed, thanks to a bone marrow transplant, the Boston Globe reported. Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the ‘Berlin patient,’ underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2007 to treat leukemia, using a donor with a rare gene mutation that provides natural resistance to HIV. Doctors declared him “cured” soon after. These two new patients were also seeking treatment for cancer, according to the newspaper.

Kaiser Health NewsWords can wound: How the media describe the mentally ill and disabled
NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg threw herself into the center of a word usage debate in February when she asked the lawyer for a man who had lied about receiving a Congressional Medal of Honor, “So, is your client a nut case?” A paraphrase of the question about Xavier Alvarez also appeared in a text write-up of the story Feb. 22 on NPR’s website. In online comments about that story, listeners criticized Totenberg for insensitivity. “I almost dropped my teeth” at the question, wrote commenter Amy Gasper on the day the story was published.

USA TodayBoston advises teens on how to break up
Andrew Curtin said it happened at least twice at his Boston-area high school in the last year. Angry about a breakup, a boy ended up at the school nurse’s office with a broken hand after punching a locker or a wall. “You don’t think about when you see two people walking down the hall, ‘Are they in a bad relationship or is it good?'” the 17-year-old Waltham High School senior said Thursday.

ABCAnother hospital waives co-pays for shooting victims
A fourth hospital says it will forgive part of the medical bills for the theater shooting victims. Parker Adventist Hospital treated three victims and, hospital officials said they would forgive any parts of their medical bills that weren’t covered by insurance.

FuturityFor young adults, ‘sexting’ just part of dating
For today’s young adults who grew up with smart phones and the internet, “sexting” may be just another normal, healthy component of dating. University of Michigan researchers looked at the sexting behavior of 3,447 men and women ages 18-24 and found that while sexting—sending explicit messages or images by phone—is very common, it isn’t associated with sexually risky behaviors or with psychological problems.

The AtlanticIn Bloomberg’s healthy NYC, still afraid to take (on) sick days
Why is regulating soda size okay — but mandating sick days taboo? It’s more complicated than you think. Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s New York City has been a veritable petri dish of public health experiments: banning smoking in bars and restaurants before anyone else did, posting calorie counts on menus for all to see, and, perhaps, preventing the sale of sodas if they’re anything bigger than mid-siz