New York Times:
Ask Well: How Often Should You Get Dental X-Rays? (Karen Weintraub)
People who see a dentist regularly and have good oral hygiene and no current dental problems might need bitewing X-rays of molars only every two to three years to check for early cavities, said Dr. Aruna Ramesh, director of the oral and maxillofacial radiology division at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston.
Report Finds Less Misuse of Painkillers by Teenagers (Alan Schwarz)
A new federal report suggests that misuse of prescription painkillers among teenagers is decreasing, news that heartened officials who remained concerned at the steady numbers regarding marijuana and e-cigarette use.
A Park to Sop Up Pollutants Before They Flow Into the Gowanus Canal (Lisa W. Foderaro)
Aptly called Sponge Park, the 2,100-square-foot plot will, when it opens next spring, intercept thousands of gallons of storm water, along with pollutants like heavy metals and dog waste, before they can enter the canal.
Curing Hepatitis C, in an Experiment the Size of Egypt (Donald G. McNeil Jr.)
Abdel Gawad Ellabbad knows exactly how he was infected with hepatitis C. As a schoolboy in this Nile Delta rice-farming village, his class marched to the local clinic every month for injections against schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease spread by water snails. A nurse would boil the syringes, fill each with five doses and then jab five boys in a row with a single needle.
Wall Street Journal:
Valeant Unveils Drug Pricing, Distribution Pacts With Walgreens (Jonathan D. Rockoff)
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. said Tuesday it has found a new partner to replace the controversial mail-order pharmacy that had helped patients fill prescriptions for the company’s pricey skin and other drugs.
Genetic Testing May Be Coming to Your Office (Rachel Emma Silverman)
A handful of firms are offering employees free or subsidized tests for genetic markers associated with metabolism, weight gain and overeating, while companies such as Visa Inc., Slack Technologies Inc., Instacart Inc. recently began offering workers subsidized tests for genetic mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer.
Chipotle Pulls Back on Local Ingredients (Julie Jargon)
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has touted its use of local ingredients and fresh produce to help differentiate it in a crowded fast-food market. Now a string of disease outbreaks is forcing the once-scrappy upstart to act more like the big chains it long has derided.
HealthCare.gov Users to Get Two-Day Extension for Picking 2016 Plans (Louise Radnofsky)
WASHINGTON—Last-minute shoppers on HealthCare.gov will get a two-day extension to pick their 2016 insurance plans, the Obama administration said late Tuesday, in what had been the final hours before the first sign-up deadline of the law’s fresh enrollment season.
Cigarette Smoking Down Among High School Students, Study Finds (Tripp Mickle)
Daily cigarette smoking has plummeted among high-school students, falling 50% or more over the past five years, according to a new government-sponsored study.
Millennium Health Wins Approval of Chapter 11 Plan (Peg Brickley)
Millennium Health LLC’s chapter 11 plan was confirmed Monday, but it was almost immediately challenged with an appeal from Voya Investment Management.
ACA enrollment deadline extended two days after last-minute surge (Amy Goldstein)
Mere hours before a deadline to begin or renew insurance coverage through HealthCare.gov for Jan. 1, federal officials said consumers could have extra time to buy health plans.
Maternal exposure to anti-depressant SSRIs linked to autism in children (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
A new study provides some of the strongest evidence yet that using an antidepressant like Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft during the final two trimesters of pregnancy may be linked to a higher risk of autism spectrum disorder for the child.
Beware the rule-following co-worker, Harvard study warns (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
Every workplace has them. The colleague who bad-mouths you behind your back at the water cooler. The boss who takes credit for everyone else’s ideas. The sexist jerk people actively avoid by taking circuitous routes to the printer and lying about their happy hour plans.
Live In A Walkable Neighborhood? You Get To Be Thinner And More Healthy (Ben Schiller)
Our health is determined not only by what we eat and how much we exercise, but also by our environment. For example, does your neighborhood encourage walking or cycling to restaurants or stores? Does it make you want to take a stroll after dinner in the evening?
The Second Assault (Olga Khazan)
Victims of childhood sexual abuse are far more likely to become obese adults. New research shows that early trauma is so damaging that it can disrupt a person’s entire psychology and metabolism.
The Risks of Over-the-Counter Diabetes Treatment (Sarah Jane Tribble)
As anyone who needs insulin to treat diabetes can attest, that usually means regular checkups at the doctor’s office to fine-tune the dosage, monitor blood-sugar levels and check for complications. But here’s a little-known fact: Some forms of insulin can be bought without a prescription.
Why Martin Shkreli’s Price Hike May Hurt Everyone…Including You And The Pharmaceutical Industry (Bruce Y. Lee)
Why should you care if former hedge fund manager and current pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli plans to raise the price of benznidazole, a treatment for Chagas Disease, by potentially over 100,000 percent?
American Politics Are Bad For Your Health (Roy Smythe)
In this moment in history we should be benefitting from the exponentially increasing ability to collect large amounts of information as well as the accrual of a great deal of recorded human experience to assist with decision-making – the analytic and synthetic raw material to inform and move civilization forward.
The Overuse Of Antipsychotics In Dementia Care (Mike Good)
When you’re new to a complex disease such as Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, it’s nearly impossible to know what’s right and what’s wrong. All of our lives, we have put our trust in the medical professionals who examine us and send us on our way with a prescription that fixes everything.
How Sonic CEO Plans To Handle Fast Food’s Big Issues In 2016 (Nancy Gagliardi)
A shifting landscape is the new normal for fast food: Whether it’s the quest for all natural ingredients, procurement efficiency or social justice, all the major players have been looking for ways to respond to what consumers say they want and what they are willing to pay—all the while maintaining margins and gaining marketshare.
Medicare’s Bundled Payment Loses Some Interest Among Providers (Bruce Jaspen)
Some 1,500 medical care providers are moving forward to accept bundled payments from the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly, but that’s just 25% of those that first expressed interest in a voluntary effort, anew analysis by health research firm Avalere Health shows.
NICE urges doctors to treat dying patients as individuals (Smitha Mundasad)
End-of-life care in England must be tailored to the needs of dying patients rather than a “tick-box approach”, the health watchdog NICE says. Patients must be treated with respect and compassion, it said, and doctors should avoid making “snap decisions” about whether someone was dying. The guidance is designed to address misuse of the previous system, the Liverpool Care Pathway.
Financial problems ‘endemic’ in NHS (Nick Triggle)
Money problems in the NHS in England are becoming “endemic” – and despite the extra money promised by government, there is no guarantee the service will get back on track, auditors say. The National Audit Office (NAO) said levels of deficits were “becoming normal practice”. Last month, ministers unveiled plans to increase the NHS budget by £8.4bn above inflation in this Parliament.
Kadcyla breast cancer drug ‘too expensive’ for NHS, says NICE (Michelle Roberts)
A life-extending breast cancer drug will not be routinely offered on the NHS in England and Wales, despite repeated pleas and negotiations. The final guidelines from NICE say the price tag per patient – £90,000 at full cost – is not tenable. Manufacturer Roche says it offered a discount – the same one it used to cut a deal with the Cancer Drugs Fund.
Smoking ‘linked to earlier menopause’ (N/A)
Women who are heavy or habitual smokers are more likely to experience the menopause earlier, a study suggests. The report, involving 79,000 women, showed those who smoked from the age of 15 went through the menopause on average 21 months earlier than women who did not smoke. The paper also found a weaker link with prolonged exposure to passive smoke.
The Financial Times:
AstraZeneca pours millions into China R&D (Andrew Ward)
AstraZeneca is to invest hundreds of millions of dollars expanding its capacity to develop and manufacture drugs in China, representing a bet that the country’s pharmaceuticals market remains on course for long-term growth despite a recent slowdown. The UK-based group said it was deepening a strategic alliance with WuXi AppTec, a big Chinese drug manufacturing and contract research organisation, to produce innovative biological medicines in China
The Daily Mirror:
Have a healthy festive season with these essential tips – and remember them in song (Michele O’Conner)
Partridge can be a great alternative to traditional turkey if you want something special and a bit different. And don’t forget that pear tree. Studies show eating one or two pieces of fruit every day cuts the risk of a heart attack or stroke by up to 40%. And pears, in particular, contain vitamin B2 and vitamin C, powerful antioxidants which help prevent high blood pressure, repair damaged tissue and strengthen the immune system.
A glass of wine a day could reduce your chances of dying from dementia (Andrew Gregory)
It’s already believed to cut the risk of stroke and heart disease – and now scientists say drinking a glass of wine a day may cut the risk of dying from dementia. Consuming two or three units daily has been linked to fewer deaths in Alzheimer’s disease patients, according to research published in medical journal BMJ Open on Thursday.
Why IVF’s link to ovarian cancer isn’t as simple as the headlines suggest (Miriam Stoppard)
Recently there were newspaper reports linking IVF to a higher risk of ovarian cancer . And yes, it’s true, the cancer figures from women who had undergone IVF did display this tendency. Reading these reports must have been pretty scary for women who’d had IVF or were contemplating it. They shouldn’t have been.
The Daily Mail:
‘Arrogance’ of doctors STILL using banned death pathway because ‘they think they know what’s best for patients’ (Sophie Borland)
Doctors are still following the abolished Liverpool Care Pathway because they think they know best when it comes to caring for dying patients, the health watchdog has warned. Concerns have prompted NICE to publish major guidelines today, reminding hospital staff not to make ‘snap decisions’ about the fate of those near death. The highly controversial LCP involved withdrawing food, fluid and medication from the terminally ill.
Can’t sleep? Do the DISHES: Insomnia experts reveal the best ways to clear your mind before bed time… (Rasmus Hougaard)
Clearing your mind before bedtime can be a real challenge in modern life but is the best way of ensuring you get a good night’s sleep. Quality shut-eye is an increasingly elusive prospect for many people according to Healthista experts, with many people finding it difficult to remember the last time they had two or three consecutive nights of really good kip.
Even PASSIVE smoking may raise the risk of infertility by 20% and bring forward the menopause by 2 YEARS (Madlen Davis)
Active and passive smoking are linked to infertility in women and an earlier menopause, a study has found. People who are exposed to high levels of tobacco – either through smoking themselves or passively – can experience menopause one or two years earlier than those who have never smoked or been exposed to passive smoking. Current or former smokers were found to have a 14 per cent greater risk of infertility while passive smokers – exposed to the highest levels of fumes – were 18 per cent more likely to have trouble conceiving than non-smokers.
How your frantic lifestyle could trigger DEMENTIA: People living stressful lives are at ‘greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s (Lisa Ryan)
Stress is known to trigger unsightly outbreaks of acne, excruciating headaches and even weight gain. But now a new study warns stress could also lead to dementia later in life. Scientists determined that feeling stressed out increases elderly people’s risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.