Older adults with or without mild cognitive impairment who had better cardiorespiratory fitness based on elevated VO2 max scores had less white-fiber deterioration in their brains, with white matter degradation associated with reduced executive functioning among those with MCI, according to a study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. The findings suggest that regular exercise to maintain or improve cardiorespiratory fitness in old age may help protect against cognitive decline and dementia, researchers wrote.
Research published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed lower overall childhood obesity rates in households where parents had a college education, compared with households where parents had less education. Researchers said the link between child obesity rates and income differed by race and gender.
The rate of US babies younger than age 1 year who died from unintentional suffocation rose from 12.4 per 100,000 persons in 1999 to 28.3 per 100,000 in 2015, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers also found that the increase was primarily driven by the growing prevalence of infant suffocations and strangulations in bed but said some of the increase may be due to improved diagnosis.
Black Book Research surveyed 7,459 health care professionals, administrators and technology managers in ambulatory and inpatient settings in 23 countries and found that 72% of respondents cited application programming interfaces, web services and clinical portals as their preferred method for connecting disparate systems. Ninety percent of respondents outside the US reported being confused about what defines a highly interoperable EHR system, while 7% indicated their regional health IT system had "meaningful connectivity" with other providers.
A Korean study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that among adults with thyroid cancer, use of less than 115 micrograms or at least 145 micrograms of levothyroxine daily following radioiodine ablation therapy or thyroidectomy was associated with a higher risk of fracture than use of 115 to 144 micrograms daily. The findings were based on data for 185,956 patients with thyroid cancer and matched controls.
More than 160 health care organizations sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar urging him to revoke CMS guidance for states requesting work requirements for Medicaid recipients and to withdraw related waiver approvals, saying the policy could inhibit health care access for people with chronic conditions, particularly those dealing with substance abuse and mental health disorders. The groups said the policy interferes with the government's efforts to curb opioid abuse and improve re-entry from the criminal justice system.
Apple and 12 health care provider organizations will collaborate on an initiative to improve patient care coordination by sharing EHR data. The initiative, which will rely on Health Level 7's Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard, will enable patients to use the Apple Health app to download some of their medical records and store the data on their iPhones.
More companies are offering employees financial incentives, including cash and student loan payment matching, to reduce stress and to encourage them to participate in financial wellness programs. An International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans survey found that 17% of companies offering financial wellness programs had incentives in 2016, up from 10.7% in 2014.
Older patients may avoid eating calcium-rich foods or taking supplements for bone health and osteoporosis because they are lactose intolerant or have heart disease, diabetes or other health issues, writes registered dietitian nutritionist Beth Kitchin. Research shows all foods can fit into a diet for these patients and dietitians can help create an evidence-based calcium treatment plan that fits their lifestyle and needs, Kitchin said.
Nutrition experts said some superfoods can be expensive, difficult to find and over-hyped, and people may benefit more from eating a variety of regular healthy foods. Registered dietitian nutritionist Amanda Barnes said superfoods can be highly processed and consumers may be able to find the same substances in foods more commonly available at the grocery store.