Health & Fitness

Health Front: Drug Prices Surge Without Controls

Pfizer Inc., on January 1 raised U.S. prices on more than 100 of its drugs, some as high as 20 percent, according to statistics compiled by global information services company Wolters Kluwer. Pfizer also plans to leave the U.S.when it concludes a $160 million merger with Ireland-based Allergan Pic, primarily to reduce its U.S. taxes. Read More →

Humboldt Health Study Shows Native Americans Die Younger Than Whites

This graph displays the Health Inequity of average age at death in Humboldt County 1996-2012. The red blocks show the average age of death for Whites. The lavender line with X-marks represents Indians. From Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services. American Indian people in Humboldt County,on average, will die 12 years earlier than their White counterparts, according to the most recent summary of health trends by the county’s health department. Read More →

Health Front: Trade Deals Override Food Safety Laws and Labeling

New international trade deals are sure to conceal the origin of the meat products consumers take home. Fast track trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership have the power to unsettle well intentioned food safety laws. The World Trade Organization has recently ruled that the labels on packaged meat products that indicate where cows, chicken, vultures and other animals were born, raised and slaughtered are in violation of international trade pacts because they place foreign imports at an “economic disadvantage.” New international trade agreements allow the World Trade Organization (WTO) to determine that an economic disadvantage clause is more important than food safety. Read More →

Health Front: Biggest HMO Molds Medical Students

• With 38 medical centers and 620 medical offices, Oakland’s Kaiser Permanente is the largest Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) in the world. They have just announced that they intend to open a medical school as part of their plans to expand their existing net yearly income of $3.1 billion. A Sacramento Bee editorial last week boldly states, “Kaiser’s new medical school could be a giant step toward diversity.” Read More →

Health Front: How to Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

By boosting older adults’ participation in colon screening, colon cancer would kill 21,000 fewer people each year. Colon cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Yet, in 2013, only 58 percent of American adults aged 50 to 75 underwent the recommended screening for it. A study published March 12 in the journal Cancer said that lack of screening is responsible for a substantial percentage of colon cancer deaths. Read More →

Health Front: Heroin Overdoses Increasing

• More than 8,200 Americans, an average of 23 people each day, died of heroin overdoses in 2013. That’s according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This is the latest evidence that the nation’s heroin problem is becoming more severe. According to the CDC, the rate of overdose deaths in 2013 was almost triple what it was in 2010, and the increase is evident across all ethnic groups. Read More →

Health Front: Good Diabetes News, Texting and Driving

• A recent study suggests that roughly one-third of people with type-1 diabetes still produce insulin. Despite the long-held idea that type-1 diabetics cannot produce insulin, researchers report in the journal Diabetes Care that a good percentage do in fact secrete the hormone in a small way. Those type -1 diabetics that do secrete insulin now become a true subset of the type 1 population, which has important clinical and treatment implications. Read More →

Health Front: Four New Ebola Treatment Facilities in Bay Area

There are now 35 hospitals in the United States that are designated as Ebola treatment centers, states the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An increasing number of hospitals are now equipped and ready to treat Ebola patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state health officials have updated, trained and prepared 35 hospitals for Ebola, with more expected in the next month. Read More →