The percentage of US adults with diabetes rose from 10.8% in 2008 to 2009 to 11.5% in 2016 to 2017, while obesity rates increased from 26.0% to 28.3%, according to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. West Virginia had the highest diabetes rate at 17.9%, compared with less than 9% in Alaska, Colorado and Montana.
Voluntary benefits in 2019 will focus on student loan debt, caregivers, increasing savings, employee communications and encouraging the use of financial wellness benefits, according to Purchasing Power Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Halkos. "2019 is going to see even more growth and refinement of these benefits that provide so many options that resonate with employees," Halkos said.
A CDC report found that the suicide rate among Americans of working age rose by 34% from 2000 to 2016, and some jobs are associated with higher risk than others. Researchers analyzed the occupations of over 22,000 people who died of suicide in 17 states and found rates were highest in construction and extraction fields for men and in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media for women.
California's Department of Managed Health Care has approved the proposed $69 billion merger between CVS Health and Aetna on the condition that they would keep premium hikes to a minimum after the deal. Company leaders also agreed not to raise premiums as a result of acquisition costs and to invest $240 million in the state's health care delivery system.
The FDA on Thursday announced that it will ban the sale of most flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in convenience stores and most other traditional retail outlets to reduce the prevalence of vaping among youths. The sale of sweet- and fruit-flavored tobacco products is limited to age-restricted stores or online merchants that use age-verification checks under the new restrictions, and the agency also plans to seek a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.
A Financial Finesse report showed the financial health of employees improved when they were continuously engaged in a financial wellness program, and retirement contribution rates increased by 38%. The report found this trend also leads to a reduction in the average age at which workers can retire and replace 80% of their income.
Hennepin County in Minnesota began offering an employee wellness program in 1982, and the current HealthWorks initiative, open to its more than 11,000 employees, spouses and retirees, includes stress reduction, weight management and exercise. The county estimates the $1.4 million program could save $2.8 million by preventing illness and workplace burnout.
Youths conceived with assisted reproductive technology had 58% increased odds of developing intellectual disabilities at ages 8 or older, as well as a higher likelihood of severe deficits, compared with those born without ART, according to a study in Pediatrics. Researchers also found that intellectual disabilities and known genetic disorders were more likely among those born through intracytoplasmic sperm injection compared with those born through traditional in vitro fertilization.
Research reported in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences found older adults who participated in a local choir called Community of Voices enjoyed the group activity and it led to a happier outlook and less loneliness. Researcher Julene Johnson said many older adults experience loneliness, social isolation and depression and initiatives are needed to help them remain engaged in the community.
The Food Bank of North Alabama's mobile pantry works with senior communities to ensure low-income elderly residents have access to healthy foods. Food Bank of North Alabama Executive Director Shirley Schofield said almost 20% of seniors in the state need food assistance, and the state has applied to be part of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which is designed to help the elderly get needed food supplies.
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