Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
French Study Casts Doubt on Bras' Benefits
Women may be better off without bras, a French researcher
Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon spent 15 years assessing the
anatomy of 330 women, ages 18 to 35, and concluded that "medically,
physiologically and anatomically" breasts gained no benefit from
having their weight supported by bras,
The New York Timesreported.
In fact, bras could be harmful in terms of posture and muscle
tone, the sports scientist warned. He explained that wearing a bra
means "supporting tissues will not grow and even they will wither
and the breast will gradually degrade."
However, Rouillon noted that these are preliminary findings and
it is too early to advise all women to stop wearing their bras,
Steady Decline in Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage: Report
A 10 percent decline in employer-sponsored health insurance over
the past decade has contributed to the increase in the overall
number of Americans without health coverage, a new report says.
Employer-sponsored health insurance dropped from 69 percent in
1999 to 60 percent in 2010. During that period, the amount a worker
paid annually for insurance more than doubled, from $435 to $1,056
for an individual and from $1,526 to $3,842 for a family,
Coverage across the country varied from state to state, based on
state law, average employer size and regional employment rates,
according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report.
The steady decrease in employer-sponsored health insurance has
occurred in spite of changes in the economy and employment rates,
Andrew Hyman, director of the foundation's health care coverage
USA Today. It's not clear how the 2010 health care law will
affect the situation, he added.
China Bird Flu Death Toll Rises to 10
Ten people in China have now died from the H7N9 bird flu virus
and the number of human infections has increased to 38.
The latest death was a 74-year-old man who died Thursday in
Shanghai, city officials said. He was one of three new infections
confirmed in Shanghai today. Two other new cases were reported in
the neighboring province of Jiangsu,
The official state news agency
Xinhuasaid that China has enough flu medication to fight the
H7N9 outbreak and is also working on a vaccine that it expects will
be ready within seven months.
Xinhuaalso said that police detained eight people in a
number of provinces for spreading rumors on the Internet about the
bird flu outbreak. The news agency said they are being detained for
up to 10 days for fabricating posts and causing panic,
Large Rise in U.S. Nursing Home Costs: Survey
The median annual cost of a private room in a nursing home in
the United States rose 24 percent over the past five years, from
$67,527 to $83,950, a new survey says.
The price climbed 4 percent from last year to this year,
according to Genworth's 2013 Cost of Care Survey, which is based on
data from nearly 15,000 long-term care providers,
The cost of a semi-private room at a nursing home has increased
23 percent over the past five years to a median of $75,405 a year.
The cost of being in an assisted living facility also rose 23
percent and is now $41,400 a year.
Prices are being pushed up by a number of factors, including
food, building maintenance, insurance and labor costs, Bob Bua,
vice president of Genworth, told
Parents of Infants in Study Not Warned About Dangers
The parents of premature babies involved in a study examining
how the babies were affected by different levels of oxygen were not
warned that participating in the study could increase their
infants' risk of blindness or death, according to the U.S. Office
for Human Research Protections.
In a letter to the University of Alabama, the office outlines
what it said were violations of patients' rights. The university
was the lead site for the study conducted between 2004 and 2009,
The New York Timesreported.
Government officials said the university did not detail the
risks in consent forms given to parents. Specifically, infants in
the high-oxygen group had an increased risk of blindness and those
in the low-oxygen group had a greater risk of death than if they
had not taken part in the study.
In the study, 91 of 509 infants in the high-oxygen group became
blind and 130 of the 654 babies in the low-oxygen group died,
A University of Alabama spokesman said the consent forms were
written by researchers at another university participating in the
study, but that they were approved by all 23 academic institutions
involved in the study, which was funded by the U.S. National
Institutes of Health.
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