Developments in Healthcare

  • Economic anxiety isn't just rising, it's jumping to new heights, with 61% of consumers saying they feel high or severe levels of anxiety. A study by market researcher Yankelovich conducted in June 2008 found that 37% of consumers feel severe economic anxiety - a number that's nearly tripled in only six months. In the first wave of tracking in January 2008, only 14% of consumers felt severe economic anxiety, while 19% felt high anxiety and 32% felt moderate anxiety.
  • Stem cells for 10 genetic disorders have been createdstrong> by Harvard scientists, letting them watch the diseases develop in a lab dish. This could help speed efforts to find treatments for some of the most confounding ailments. Researchers plan to make the cell lines readily available to other scientists.
  • Common fertility treatments do not work, a Scottish study found. Common treatment involves inserting sperm directly into the womb and the use of clomid, a drug that stimulates the ovaries. For insemination, the birth rate was 23%, for clomid, 14%. Those figures are not different from success rates with no intervention. Of women taking the drug,10% - 20% suffer side effects. The drug also increases the likelihood of having twins and triplets.
  • Most people who have strokes don't act quickly enough to get a clot-dissolving treatment that can limit brain damage. Only 23% of people arrived at hospitals within two hours of the onset of symptoms - someone suspected of having a stroke should have a tomography scan within 35 minutes to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Men adopt far more than women. Never-married women adopt children at a far higher rate than never-married men, but overall men adopt at twice the rate that women do. That's mostly from men adopting stepchildren after marrying women with kids from a previous relationship. Also, minority women try to adopt at a higher rate than white women.
  • Young pregnant women putting their babies up for adoption are increasingly rare.Before 1973, 9% of births to never-married women were given up for adoption. By '02, that had fallen to 1%.
  • The proportion of working-age Americans facing medical debt rose to 72 mil or 41% last year, up from 58 mil or 34% in '05, according to a new survey by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund. About half of those facing health debt have up to $2,000 in bills, while 12% have more than $4,000 in debt and another 12% have more than $8,000. The survey also found, most of those with medical debt said they had exhausted their savings, with some also tapping iota credit cards, home equity or cutting back on food or heat to cover health care costs.
  • Adult obesity rates rose in 37 states, and more than 25% adults are obese in 28 states vs.19 states last year, according to a survey by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Over 31% of adults are obese in Miss., followed by W.Va. and Ala. In '91, no state had an obesity rate above 20%, but now two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese.
  • Church attendance could boost teens' GPAs, a study by the Univ. of Iowa found. Students who attend religious service weekly average a GPA 0.144 higher than those who never attend services. Also, weekly church goers in grades 7-12 had lower dropout rates. Church gives kids regular contact with possible role models, researchers said.


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