The FDA Looks Into LASIK
While many people walk away from LASIK vision correction surgery with 20/20 vision or better, others are left with such side effects as glare, poor vision, dry eyes, and problems seeing at night, reports the Associated Press. The Food and Drug Administration estimates that about 5 percent of patients who get LASIK are unhappy with the results. The agency is holding a public hearing today to figure out if the warnings issued about the risks of LASIK are appropriate. And the FDA will be involved in a major study intended to determine how often such complications occur.
Still, after years of refinement, options for vision correction are better and more varied than in the past, U.S. News's Michelle Andrews reports. The U.S. News eye and vision center offers advice on taking care of your eyes.
Veterans Will Be Alerted to Available Health Services
The Department of Veterans Affairs intends to call about 570,000 recent combat veterans to make them aware of the health services available to them, the agency announced yesterday. A government contractor will handle the $2.7 million effort, which comes after criticism that the VA's claims backlog and bureaucratic hurdles have kept some recent veterans from accessing needed mental and physical health services, the Associated Press reports. The agency was also accused of trying to cover up the number of veterans who commit suicide.
U.S. News's On Men blog provides a list of resources that suicidal veterans can turn to.
Kids in America Are Better Off
Life for kids is getting better in the United States in many ways, with fewer sixth graders fearing for their safety at school, more preschoolers getting immunizations, and the number of small children with elevated levels of lead dropping by 84 percent in the past 10 years.
The new data, from the nonprofit Foundation for Child Development, track changes in the lives of children from 1994 to 2006. In that time, the death rates for kids under age 5 declined by one third, and more parents were reading to their kids. Children are also doing better in school, with performance on standardized tests improving for 9-to-12-year-olds.
The Wealthier You Are, the Less Likely to Have a Stroke
Money can't buy you love or happiness, but it may protect you from having a stroke, Michelle Andrews reports. That's the takeaway from a new study in the journal Stroke, released yesterday. Researchers found that the least wealthy were three times more likely to have a stroke between ages 50 and 64 compared with those who were in the top 75th to 89th percentile in wealth (the very wealthiest outliers were excluded). Once people hit 65, however, all bets were off, and wealth no longer afforded them protection. Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, striking some 780,000 people annually.
U.S. News offers advice on how to tell if you're having a stroke and when to seek care.
—January W. Payne