Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Appeals Judge Grants Extension in Planned Parenthood Funding
In the ongoing legal fight over funding for Planned Parenthood
in Texas, a federal appeals judge on Tuesday said more time is
needed to hear arguments on whether that state can prevent the
group from receiving funding as part of the the Women's Health
The move comes less than 24 hours after another federal district
court judge, Judge Lee Yeakel, issued an order forbidding Texas
from enforcing a law that bans Planned Parenthood from
participating in the program.
On Tuesday, Fifth Circuit Appeals Judge Jerry Smith gave lawyers
for eight Planned Parenthood clinics involved in a lawsuit against
the state until 5 p.m. Tuesday to present their arguments about why
Texas should be prevented from enforcing the law, the
Associated Press reported.
"We are disappointed in the stay granted last night," Sarah Wheat, interim CEO of Planned Parenthood of Austin Family Planning, told the AP. "When presented with both sides, the District Court agreed the rule was likely unconstitutional, and that implementation would cause a serious problem with health care access for Texas women."
Under the appeals judge's order, Texas can exclude the Planned
Parenthood clinics from the Women's Health Program today, according
to Texas Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman
New Facebook Initiative Promotes Organ Donation
Facebook has introduced an initiative to help promote organ
donations for people who require life-saving transplants.
Facebook users in the United States and Britain can now indicate
that they are organ donors on their timelines. If they are donors,
they can find links to official donor organ registries and enroll,
Agence France-Presse reported.
"We want to make it simple," said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. "You just put in the state or country that you're from, so that we can help link you to the official registries."
"Today, more than 114,000 people in the United States, and millions more around the globe, are waiting for the heart, kidney or liver transplant that will save their lives," Zuckerberg said in a statement with Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, AFP reported.
Insurer Agrees to Cover Transgender Woman's Mammograms
A transgender American women has won insurance coverage for
mammogram breast cancer screening after a long battle.
Beth Scott, 44, was told by her doctor she needed a mammogram
and underwent the procedure in June 2010. She paid $385 out of
pocket and then submitted the claim to her insurance company Aetna,
which denied the claim,
ABC News reported.
The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund took up the
case and announced this week that it had won the landmark battle
and resolved Scott's claim. The settlement clarified that this type
of denial will not happen in the future and that transgender people
will be able to change their sex on their insurance records by
providing a birth certificate or driver's license.
"I am really pleased and glad it went smoothly," Scott told
ABC News. "It's something that gives me hope -- by the fact that Aetna apologized and reimbursed me," she said. "Their willingness to treat transgender people is a positive sign."
U.N. May not Meet 2015 HIV/AIDS Treatment Goal: Report
The United Nations' goal to stop and reverse the spread of
HIV/AIDS by 2015 may not be achieved due to funding shortfalls,
says a U.N. report released Monday.
It said about $15 billon was available for HIV/AIDS projects in
2010, but an estimated $22 billion to $24 billion will be required
by 2015 to meet the U.N.'s targets, the
Associated Press reported.
"It will be impossible to achieve global targets without sufficient financial resources," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in the report, which called for funding from public, private and charitable sources.
Ban said the international community needs "to now stand up to
meet the commitments it has made," the
More than 7 million people with HIV/AIDS in low- and
middle-income nations were receiving antiretroviral treatment in
2011. The U.N.'s goal is to double that to 15 million people in
Sleep Affects Genes' Influence on Weight: Study
Getting more sleep helps people counter the influence that genes
have on weight, a new study says.
"The less sleep you get, the more your genes contribute to how much you weigh. The more sleep you get, the less your genes determine how much you weigh," said lead author Nathaniel Watson, a neurologist and co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center in Seattle, USA Today reported.
He and his colleagues studied 604 pairs of identical twins and
484 pairs of fraternal twins and found that those who slept longer
at night had lower body mass index than those who slept less.
Genetic factors accounted for about 32 percent of weight variations
among those who averaged more than nine hours of sleep per night,
60 percent for those who slept seven to nine hours, and 70 percent
for those who slept less than seven hours.
The study appears online in the journal
The findings offer another good reason to be sure you get enough
sleep every night, sleep expert Jodi Mindell, a psychology
professor at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, told
"If you're trying to lose weight, getting enough sleep gives you a fighting chance," Mindell said.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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