Health Highlights: Aug.24, 201108/24/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Some Employers May End Workers' Health Coverage in 2014:
A new survey finds that nearly 10 percent of midsized or large
employers in the United States may stop offering health coverage to
workers when insurance exchanges are launched in 2014.
An additional 20 percent of the companies aren't certain what
they'll do, according to the survey completed last month by
benefits consultant Towers Watson, the
Associated Press reported.
A June survey conducted by another benefits consultant, Mercer,
found that 8 percent of large and smaller employers said they were
either "likely" or "very likely" to end health coverage for their
workers when the federal exchanges start.
The exchanges, part of the health care overhaul, are meant to
give people an opportunity to shop for insurance that could be
subsidized by the government based on the purchaser's income, the
Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt has Dementia
The winningest coach in U.S. women's basketball revealed Tuesday
that she's been diagnosed with early onset dementia, but Pat
Summitt said her immediate focus is on her University of Tennessee
The 59-year-old Hall of Fame coach made the announcement about
her incurable condition in a one-minute video posted on the
school's Web site, the
Associated Press reported.
"I plan to continue to be your coach," Summitt said in the video. "Obviously, I realize I may have some limitations with this condition since there will be some good days and some bad days."
While she isn't sure how long she can continue coaching the Lady
Vols, Summitt said she'd do it "as long as the good Lord is
Reaction from former players and others in women's basketball
was much the same: Summitt will approach the challenge head on.
"As a player, we know coach is the type who's not going to give up. She's going to fight, she's going to do everything she can," Michelle Snow, who played for Tennessee from 1998-2002, told the AP. "She's probably going to be the best patient they ever had. She's a fighter and she's been through a lot. She knows how to fight and she's going to continue to do that."
"My first reaction was tremendous respect, how she was publicly acknowledging this disease," Indiana Fever coach Lin Dunn told the AP. "She will bring national attention to this disease and she can spearhead a move to try and fight it."
Brain Harmed by High Salt, Low Activity: Study
Too much salt and too little exercise is bad for your brain, a
new study warns.
It included 1,262 men and women, ages 67 to 84, who were
followed for three years. Those with the highest sodium intake
(3,091 milligrams a day or more) and the least amount of physical
activity tended to have poorer cognitive performance than those
with an active lifestyle and low sodium intake,
USA Today reported.
The study was published in the journal
Neurobiology of Aging.
"These findings are important because they help people know they can be proactive in retaining healthy brains as they age," said researcher Carol Greenwood, a professor at the Baycrest Center for Geriatric Care at the University of Toronto, USA Today reported. "Baby Boomers especially need to know
that sitting on the couch watching television for long periods of
time and eating salty snacks is not good for them."
New Conflict of Interest Rules for Federally-Funded
Financial conflict of interest rules for U.S. government-funded
researchers who also receive money from drug and medical device
companies have been finalized by the National Institutes of
Under the new rules, researchers who receive more than $5,000 in
income from drug or device companies must disclose the fact, and
universities or other institutions that employ the researchers must
make the information available to the public upon request, the
Washington Post reported.
Universities will also have to create policies to manage the
financial conflicts of researchers, but these plans don't have to
be made public.
The new rules were created in response to a number of cases in
which federally-funded researchers did not disclose millions of
dollars they received from companies with a financial interest in
the results of their work, the
Recalled Step Stools Pose Fall Hazard
A recall of step stools that pose a fall hazard is being
expanded by Target Corp.
The wooden step stools with storage can break apart of collapse
under the weight of a user. So far, Target has received 27 reports
of the stools breaking or collapsing, resulting in injuries such as
fractured wrists, a fractured hip and pelvis, and scrapes and
The stools were sold at Target stores nationwide and online from
January 2007 through October 2010.
About 206,000 of the stools were recalled on Aug. 4 and this new
recall brings the total to 341,000.
For more information, consumers can contact Target at
800-440-0680 or go to Target's Web site.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.