New Diabetes Cases on the Rise
The number of new cases of type 2 diabetes increased from 4.8 per 1,000 people between 1995 and 1997 to 9.1 per 1,000 people between 2005 and 2007, HealthDay reports. Obesity is a leading cause of diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new data are published in the October 31 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The most new cases of type 2 diabetes were seen in southern states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
"The message that we want to get out is to promote lifestyle interventions for people who are at risk for diabetes," study author Karen Kirtland, a data analyst in the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, told HealthDay. "People who are at risk for the disease may be able to delay it or prevent it by losing weight, being physically active, and making healthy food choices."
Earlier this week, U.S. News's Michelle Andrews explored whether expensive diabetes drugs are worth the cost. Previously, Adam Voiland discussed how honey can help diabetics and explored whether your drinking water might be giving you diabetes, and Andrews described a new approach to managing diabetes.
Women Pay More for Individual Insurance Coverage
Women who purchase individual health insurance policies pay more for coverage than do men who are the same age, the New York Times reports. A woman's policy sometimes costs hundreds of dollars more per year than a similarly situated man's policy. Among the reasons for the disparity: Women between the ages of 19 and 55 typically need more-expensive care than men, particularly during their childbearing years. But even without maternity coverage—which, in the individual insurance market, is usually offered as an extra benefit at additional cost—women still pay more for coverage than men.
Finding the Right Therapy for Anxious Children
A study published online this week in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that cognitive behavioral therapy works as well as antidepressants for treating anxiety in children and that CBT and antidepressants combined are even better. CBT, a form of talk therapy, can help children struggling with mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and depression. Unlike other forms of talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on teaching the patient practical skills.
U.S. News's Nancy Shute discusses options for mental health treatment of children.
Equal Coverage for Mental Health Care
Access to mental health care will soon be cheaper and easier for millions of Americans, thanks to a "mental health parity" law signed by President Bush this month, Nancy Shute reports. After a 10-year battle by health advocates, mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder, for example, will be given equal footing with heart disease or cancer on January 1, 2010. The new law doesn't cover everyone; most notably, employees of companies with 50 or fewer workers are excluded, as well as people who buy their own policies. But it comes as a great relief to those who will benefit.
—January W. Payne