Belly Fat and Early Death
Having too big a belly may raise the risk of early death in women, a new study reports. The research, published online in the journal Circulation, is the largest study so far to look at the association between fat around the midsection and premature death, the Los Angeles Times reports. The study included more than 44,000 women and found that those with waist sizes of 35 inches or larger had a 79 percent greater chance of early death compared with women whose waists were 28 inches or smaller. Belly fat has long been linked to health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. An earlier study, published in March in the journal Neurology, linked larger bellies with an increased risk of dementia. U.S. News provided tips on reducing your belly size.
An Update on Heparin
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday increased its estimate of the number of people who have died since early 2007 after taking the blood thinner heparin. Sixty-two people have died since January 2007 because of an allergic or low blood pressure reaction to heparin--more than triple the number the FDA previously reported. There were just three allergic-reaction deaths in 2006, the agency says. The FDA announced in February that Baxter Healthcare Corp. temporarily stopped making the injectable blood-thinning drug because of reports of serious allergic reactions, including trouble breathing, nausea and vomiting, excessive sweating, and rapidly falling blood pressure that may lead to shock. FDA officials have identified a contaminant in the heparin but have not definitively linked it to the increase in deaths.
What Lack of Insurance Coverage Can Mean
A new study spells out, state by state, how many people died in 2006 because they didn't have health insurance, Michelle Andrews reports. In California, for instance, more than eight working-age people died each day because they lacked coverage, a total of 3,100 for the year. The death toll from lack of insurance was 390 in Arkansas. In 2002, the Institute of Medicine found that adults without insurance were 25 percent more likely to die before their time than those with private insurance. It estimated that 18,000 adults died in 2000 for this reason. The Urban Institute later updated that figure to 22,000 for 2006. Families USA, a nonprofit health advocacy group, has now broken down the figures for 25- to- 64-year-olds in every state and the District of Columbia. The group's report, "Dying for Coverage," was released yesterday.
More In-Store Healthcare
MedStar Promptcare -- a line of clinics that will be located on site in select Rite Aid stores--is the result of a partnership between the drugstore chain and Consumer Health Services, Inc., which manages physician-staffed health clinics. MedStar Health, a large provider of hospital and health care services in the mid-Atlantic region, will provide oversight of the clinics and access to follow-up care. Four locations are expected to open in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas this summer.