Health experts are now suggesting that an ultra-low intake of salt could harm your health. Many individuals at high risk of heart disease have been instructed by their health care providers to lower their intake of sodium to federal guidelines, approximately 1,500 milligrams a day. Studies now show that extreme reduction may actually increase chances of developing heart problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that more research needs to be conducted to come to an absolute conclusion. The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s said, “the bottom line for consumers is still: cut back on sodium.” More here
Hospitals around the country have been reporting a string of germs that have recently become increasingly resistant to antibiotics. While infections caused by the evolving germs have been labeled uncommon, people should begin taking precautionary measures to avoid the germ. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4% of hospitals in the nation have seen at least one case involving the super germ. Many experts are calling the germ a significant threat until they can stop it from spreading. More here
According to Dr. Lyn Finelli, a flu specialist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season is extremely dangerous for the elderly. This year’s flu season will go down in history as one of the worst seasons ever, but now experts say the flu is beginning to normalize except in older adults. “The numbers for hospitalizations are extremely high in the elderly. In fact, they are the highest we have had since surveillance began in 2005,” said Dr. Finelli. According to statistics the flu is still considered widespread in 38 states but has decreased in severity. More here
According to an advanced study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, daily exercise and a healthy diet can possibly reverse Type 2 diabetes. Doctors have yet to find a cure for Type 2 diabetes, but with physical activity and healthy diets 11.5% of adults suffering from the disease saw positive signs of remission. Assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance, Dr. Pieter Cohen said, “if the great majority of people are losing weight and their sugars are going down, whether or not we call that a remission…it’s great news.” More here
Flu season’s peak has yet to hit, but Dr. Kenneth Lucas of the Patient First clinic says he’s seen a 30% jump in flu cases this season, which “hit the fan around Christmastime” and “really rolled in with the holidays.” Doctors and health-department directors all agree this could be the worst flu season in years. Tom Skinner, spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worries that activity will continue to increase. Flu season usually peaks in late January, or early February said Skinner, but by November, the flu was considered to be widespread and severe in many locations. More here and here
Symptoms of cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks can be brought upon when blockage occurs in the arteries. Every year approximately 610,000 American endure their first heart attack, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A study from the University of Missouri discovered a defense to fight arterial blockage. Bilirubin, a drug usually used to treat newborns that have been diagnosed with jaundice may now bring hope for many people who suffer from cardiovascular disease. More here
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention release their life expectancy tables every 10 years. The data reveals which state’s residents live the longest and whether or not the average has improved or decreased over the past decade. According to the CDC’s most recent results, all 50 states and the District of Columbia saw life expectancy at birth improve from 1989-1991 to 1999-2001. But despite the gains, there is still a nearly seven year difference between the state with the longest living residents and those at the bottom of the list. For example, Hawaii was the state whose residents enjoyed the longest life expectancy. Hawaiians live to an average of 80.2 years old. On the other hand, Mississippi’s life expectancy was just 73.9. The District of Columbia had the worst life expectancy at 73.1 years, though it also experienced the largest improvement since the last report. More here.
A study from researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Health found that deaths from heart attack and stroke fell 40 percent among diabetics between 1997 and 2006. The research, which compared 3-year death rates for Americans 18 years and older with and without diabetes, also revealed that deaths from all causes fell 23 percent during the same time period. Despite the encouraging results, people with diabetes are still twice as likely to die from heart attack and stroke than people without diabetes. The CDC recommends following a healthy meal plan, getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week, and losing weight if needed to help manage diabetes and prevent cardiovascular disease. More here and here.
Hepatitis C-related illnesses, such as liver cancer and cirrhosis, result in 15,000 deaths each year. And, because baby boomers account for more than 75 percent of all American adults infected with hepatitis C, most of those deaths occur among the boomer generation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released new guidelines recommending all baby boomers get a one time test, due to the fact that many people infected with the virus don’t know it because there are few noticeable symptoms. If all baby boomers were tested it could potentially identify as many as 800,000 additional people living with hepatitis C. And, because newly developed medical treatments can cure up to 75 percent of infections, the recommended test could prevent thousands of deaths. According to the CDC, baby boomers are five times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C than other adults. More here and here.
According to a recent survey of 52,000 people conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three Americans was in a family experiencing financial struggles due to medical expenses. One in five people were in a family having trouble paying medical bills and one in 10 was in a family that had medical bills they were unable to pay at all. The survey was the most comprehensive study conducted by the CDC on the issue and may be the largest of its kind. But though the results portray a large portion of the nation struggling with medical bills, experts warn that the statistics may be skewed by the fact that many Americans have been cutting back on health and medical spending. Among people over the age of 65, low-income Americans were more than three times as likely to be in a family that had problems paying for medical care over the past year. More here.