Sorry for the abbreviated links of the day, but I was pretty busy today and have to get up very early tomorrow morning to go out of town.
Cut salt to keep children thin: study– A new study by British researchers indicates that reducing a child’s consumption of salt leads to a decrease in the amount of sugary sodas they consume. This could potentially decrease their risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and a long list of other associated problems. I don’t have much to add to this other than it seems plausible since the only time I ever want a soda is when I’m eating something fairly salty. I am not sure of the science behind it. If anybody knows something about this I would be interested to hear about it.
Strokes among middle-aged women triple– Apparently the number of women having strokes between the ages of 35 and 54 has tripled (~0.5% to ~2%–some rounding obviously) between the periods from 1988-1994 and 1999-2004. While these numbers may not seem that high, it is important to remember that this age group is not associated with having strokes. Researchers also found that the group’s BMI rose from 27 to 29. It seems pretty simple to us: Obesity/Poor diets leads to atherosclerosis/hypertension, which leads to strokes.
Wall Street Journal:
Drug Prices Surge Despite Criticisms On Campaign Trail– This is an excellent article from the Wall Street Journal, which is rapidly becoming my favorite source for medical business information (NEJM will always be tops for actual medical information). I could write a long summary, but I think this paragraph from the article sums it up pretty well:
Pharmaceutical companies increased wholesale prices for the 50 top-selling branded drugs by an average of 7.82% in 2007, after increases of 6.73% and 6.22% in the previous two years, according to Delta Marketing Dynamics Inc., a health-care marketing research company. The most recent increase is almost double the overall U.S. economy’s 4.1% annual inflation rate last year.
The article goes on to suggest some of the reasons including the coming loss of patent protection on some drugs along with the more-interesting attempt to shift demand to a company’s other products that have longer patent protection. This article is definitely worth reading.
Florida Gov. Pushes for Cheaper, Limited Health Insurance– Not wanting to get left behind the other governors who are pushing their own versions of universal health care, Florida governor Charlie Crist has proposed his own version. I suggest that Charlie should go back to the drawing board. Some of the gems from this plan: “one proposed plan wouldn’t even cover hospitalization” and “insurance companies in Florida would be required to sell the cheap plans to anyone who applies — a rule that the industry says could draw lots of sick patients and drive prices up”. The one thing we will commend Crist on is that he is looking at getting rid of certificate of need rules, which hopefully would lead to increase competition driving down prices.
Health Questions for the Candidates– Betsy McCaughey poses some interesting questions for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in advance of the March 4th Texas Democratic primary.