Health Highlights: Jan. 7, 201401/07/14
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Supreme Court Refuses Groups' Request to Block Health Care
A request by two groups to block implementation of the new
health care law has been denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Monday, Chief Justice John Roberts refused an emergency stay
request from the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons,
Inc. and the Alliance for Natural Health USA, the
The groups asked the chief justice Friday to temporarily block
the law. They said Congress had passed the law incorrectly by
starting it in the Senate instead of the House. Revenue raising
bills are supposed to originate in the House.
The two organizations also wanted the chief justice to block
doctor registration rules they say will make it more difficult for
independent non-Medicare doctors to treat Medicare-eligible
A decision is still pending on a request by a group of nuns for
a temporary block on the health care law's birth control coverage
Poorer Americans More Likely to Have Dangerously Low Blood Sugar
at End of Month: Study
A new study finds that low-income Americans with diabetes are
much more likely to be hospitalized for dangerously low blood sugar
levels (hypoglycemia) at the end of the month when their food
budgets are depleted, compared with the start of the month.
There was no such end-of-the-month increase in hospitalizations
for hypoglycemia among higher-income people with diabetes,
according to the University of California, San Francisco study,
The New York Timesreported.
The analysis of data from more than two million people in
California revealed that hospital admissions for hypoglycemia among
low-income people with diabetes were 27 percent higher at the end
of the month than at the beginning, according to the study
published online Monday in the journal
Hypoglycemia occurs when diabetes patients do have not have
enough to eat, but continue taking their diabetes medications,
Congress is currently debating proposed legislation that
includes the food stamp program for poor people. House Republicans
want to cut spending on the program by $40 million, but Democrats
oppose such a move.
Paralyzed Teen in Robotic Body Suit to Kick Ceremonial Ball at
The first ceremonial ball at this year's World cup in Brazil may
be kicked by a paralyzed teenager wearing a brain-controlled
robotic body suit.
The suit will help the teen to stand up from a wheelchair, walk
to a soccer ball and kick it toward the goal. The kicker will be
chosen from a group of 10 paraplegic male and female teens who are
currently training for the event,
The exoskeleton suit was created through an international
nonprofit collaboration called The Walk Again Project, which was
led by the Duke University Center for Neuroengineering. Electrodes
in a helmet translate the wearer's thoughts into action.
Over the next few months, one teen and an alternate will be
chosen for the World Cup ceremonial kick and begin their final
training, suit lead designer Dr. Miguel Nicolelis told
He noted that the ultimate goal of The Walk Again Project is to
make wheelchairs obsolete.
"The World Cup kick will show the world we are getting very close to this kind of milestone," Nicolelis told ABC News. "Most people don't believe it is possible, but if all goes well, this will prove to them that we are closer than they realized."
Paleo Diet is Worst, DASH Diet is Best: Experts
The controversial Paleo Diet was last on the 2014 "Best Diets
U.S. News & World Report, while the DASH plan was named
the best overall diet.
The Paleo Diet emphasizes consumption of lots of produce and
animal protein, while avoiding sugar, grains, legumes and diary
altogether. Another high-protein, low-carbohydrate approach called
the Dukan diet tied the Paleo Diet in last place,
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was
developed by the U.S. National Institute of Health for people with
high blood pressure, but is also effective in reducing cholesterol
and lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney stones and
diabetes, according to the NIH.
U.S. News & World Report'sasks experts to evaluate
different diet plans and this year they rated 32 of the most
popular ones. A top-ranked diet has to be fairly easy to follow,
safe, nutritious, effective for weight loss and protective against
heart disease and diabetes,
Just behind the DASH diet was the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes
Diet, also created by the NIH. Tied for third place were the Mayo
Clinic Diet, the Mediterranean Diet and Weight Watchers.
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