Life Expectancy Surpasses 78
Life expectancy in the United States has surpassed 78 years for the first time, the Associated Press reports. The longer life spans are largely due to declining mortality rates from nearly all of the leading causes of death, including cancer, accidents, heart disease, and diabetes. But, according to World Health Organization data, the United States lags behind about 30 other countries in life expectancy. Japan has the longest expected life span—83 years for babies born in 2006.
Safeway Offers $4 Prescription Drugs
The Safeway supermarket chain is the latest retailer to charge only $4 for hundreds of prescription drugs at its store pharmacies on the East Coast and in Chicago, according to the Washington Post. Safeway began testing the program at stores in Dallas and Houston in March. Included on the list of medications are antibiotics and drugs for blood pressure and thyroid conditions.
Wrinkle Therapies That Work
Skin treatments for crow's feet and fine lines abound, but there's some confusion about what really works, Lindsay Lyon reports. In the past decade, University of Michigan researchers have tried to provide some clarity. They looked into the mechanisms behind aging skin, and they now have a better understanding of how best to tame the process without Botox or plastic surgery. After analyzing several dozen of their studies, the team reported last month that three treatments definitely rejuvenate skin: topical retinoic acid, carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, and injections of cross-linked hyaluronic acid. All three are able to replenish collagen, which skin loses with time.
How to Avoid False Positives on Mammograms
There are ways to get a more accurate mammogram, since some mammography facilities are better than others, according to a study published this week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The analysis of 44 facilities, which performed nearly half a million mammograms over five years, found that, on average, mammograms missed about 20 percent of breast cancers that were diagnosed soon after, Deborah Kotz reports. And about 10 percent of the time, they yielded a "false positive" result that later turned out not to be cancer.
Kotz previously reported that mammograms are an imperfect imaging tool and do a lousy job finding breast cancers in women with dense breasts.
—January W. Payne