The Springdale School District in Arkansas has reduced sodium in student meals by 11% by working with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The school district also has tried to buy foods lower in sodium and is offering high-sodium foods less often.
Virulent Newcastle disease was detected by Redwood City veterinarians, sparking new worries in the Bay Area of California. Northern California's first known case of the disease -- which affects poultry and other birds, including some wild species -- brings animal health professionals into "uncharted territory in terms of its spread about the state," said University of California at Davis poultry specialist Richard Blatchford.
Reproductive biologists are injecting surrogate-father farm animals with sperm-producing stem cells from males with desired characteristics such as disease resistance or heat tolerance as a way of propagating those qualities more quickly than conventional breeding would allow. The technique could be beneficial for a variety of livestock species and could also assist with conservation of birds and other species for which semen storage is problematic.
Mortality within 30 days of a heart attack among older US adults dropped to 12% between 1995 and 2014, down by more than one-third since 1995, while hospitalizations for heart attacks also declined 38%, according to findings published in JAMA Network Open. Researchers analyzed more than 4 million Medicare patients, and lead researcher Dr. Harlan Krumholz cautioned that the increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes could undermine these improvements.
Men with prediabetes and hypogonadism who received testosterone therapy experienced a reduction in A1C, 90% of whom achieved normal glucose regulation, compared with 40.2% in the untreated group who progressed to type 2 diabetes, according to a study in Diabetes Care. German researchers evaluated 316 men and found that the testosterone therapy group also had improvements in fasting glucose, HDL, LDL, lipid accumulation product, non-HDL, total cholesterol, triglycerides, triglyceride:HDL ratio, triglyceride-glucose index and the Aging Males' Symptoms scale.
Researchers recruited 45 middle-school students to undergo cardiovascular screening at school and found that 34.8% had high A1C or lipid levels and 23.2% had high triglyceride levels, while 42.2% had a body mass index in the overweight or obese range and 57.8% had a normal or low BMI. The findings in The Journal of Pediatrics also revealed that two children with A1C levels in the diabetes range had not been diagnosed with the disease and did not have symptoms, highlighting the need for CV screenings, said researcher Dr. Robert Siegel.
A study presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session showed that a smartphone app used to monitor heart rate had a negative predictive value of 97%, correctly identifying diabetes in 72% of cases using the photoplethysmography signal only. Researchers used a cohort of nearly 55,000 individuals from the Health eHeart study, mean age of 45, and found that the model's ability to identify diabetes rose to 81% after combining it with other common risk factors for the disease.
Big US health systems are not planning to change their investment strategies even as a dozen of the largest systems ended 2018 with a total of $3.7 billion in investment losses. Steven Shill of the BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation said it's not wise to sell when the market is down, and health systems will hold on if they are pursuing specific objectives.
Atlantic Health System CEO Brian Gragnolati says one issue hospitals have in common is trying to operate in an era of health care disruption, deficits, consolidation and changing relationships with insurers. "Now the relationship has to be different because we have to be going in the same direction if we are going to take on this issue of affordability," Gragnolati said.
Sapphire Digital's SmartShopper program offers financial incentives to people who shop around for the best value in health care services, and across the US in 2017 the company says it paid out $2.1 million and saved employers and health insurers more than $17 million. Vice President Rob Graybill said patients need an "a-ha moment" of an expensive bill to motivate them to shop for like consumers.
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