Researchers from the UK and Australia found an association between a higher body mass index and an increased risk of depression, with women at a 21% higher risk, compared with 8% in men. The findings in the International Journal of Epidemiology, based on 48,791 individuals with depression and 291,995 controls, revealed that "the psychological impact of being obese is likely to cause depression," said lead author Dr. Jess Tyrrell.
Eleven percent of urban patients had engaged in online health maintenance activities, including communicating with providers, paying bills or maintaining health records, compared with 7% of rural patients, according to a Department of Agriculture analysis of data for 50,000 households. Researchers also found that 2.5% of urban patients had used remote health monitoring devices compared with 1.3% of rural patients.
A study in the Annals of Family Medicine found patients spent 14.1% less on health care costs and had 16.1% lower odds of hospitalization when they received care from physicians with the highest continuity of care scores, compared with those who visited physicians with the lowest scores. Researchers evaluated Medicare claims data for 1,448,952 beneficiaries and recommended adding continuity of care-related quality measures to the Quality Payment Program and reducing focus on process-based measures in federal reporting requirements.
Ninety percent of more than 600 providers polled by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives have implemented off-site data backup systems, while 78% and 77% have implemented off-site redundant data centers and storage virtualization, respectively, according to CHIME's 2018 HealthCare's Most Wired survey. Rounding out the list of backup and data-repository processes implemented at health care organizations were cloud services for clinical and nonclinical systems, infrastructure-as-a-service and data-as-a-service.
The move to value-based health care over the past five years has led to improved clinical quality and outcomes, as well as cost savings, according to a Humana study. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roy Beveridge asked why providers have been slow to adopt value-based care payment models.
Researchers today have the opportunity to extract and use routine patient data to develop targeted treatments and medications to support precision and personalized medicine. As policy makers and the health care community recognize and embrace its potential, precision medicine will alter how research is performed and knowledge is created.
CDC officials reported that 90 of at least 252 possible cases of acute flaccid myelitis in 27 states have been confirmed so far this year, and most cases affected children. The agency still doesn't know the cause of the polio-like illness, but Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said a task force of specialists has been created to better understand the condition.
The percentage of US counties reporting cancer as the top cause of mortality rose from 21% in 2003 to 41% in 2015, while the percentage that listed heart disease as the leading cause dropped from 79% to 59% during the same period, according to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Mortality for both diseases dropped during the study period, but cancer mortality fell more slowly.
The CMS said a HealthCare.gov security breach detected on Oct. 16 may have affected 93,689 individuals, higher than the initial estimate of 75,000 consumers. The agency has already notified affected consumers and offered them free credit protection and other services such as identity theft insurance, identity monitoring and identity restoration, although the agency is not sure whether any personal information was compromised.
A MetLife report showed 41% of public-sector employers have a pension plan, compared with 16% of private employers, and 29% have financial planning workshops or financial wellness tools, compared with 18% of private peers. The report found 90% of public-sector employees, across age groups, find financial wellness tools to be important.