[ {"id":"43f917e0-4227-5969-a710-99ca23506a2b","type":"article","starttime":"1498172400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-22T18:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1498195175","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Guided Exercise May Help Chronic Fatigue Patients: Study","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_43f917e0-4227-5969-a710-99ca23506a2b.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/guided-exercise-may-help-chronic-fatigue-patients-study/article_43f917e0-4227-5969-a710-99ca23506a2b.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/guided-exercise-may-help-chronic-fatigue-patients-study/article_6cc5faa4-91d8-5713-bed3-aa1b4845d360.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An expert-guided, self-help exercise program may help people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a new study suggests.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["exercise: misc.","exercise: walking","physical therapy","chronic fatigue syndrome","medicine","anatomy","physiotherapist","patient","pain","self-help","exercise","therapy","wire"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"41bfd52f-fcb3-5a30-b6f1-59c9d953de81","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"600","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/1b/41bfd52f-fcb3-5a30-b6f1-59c9d953de81/594ca49830320.image.jpg?resize=800%2C600"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/1b/41bfd52f-fcb3-5a30-b6f1-59c9d953de81/594ca49830320.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/1b/41bfd52f-fcb3-5a30-b6f1-59c9d953de81/594ca49830320.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/1b/41bfd52f-fcb3-5a30-b6f1-59c9d953de81/594ca49830320.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"43f917e0-4227-5969-a710-99ca23506a2b","body":"

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An expert-guided, self-help exercise program may help people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a new study suggests.

Two hundred CFS patients did workouts for 12 weeks with phone or online video support from a physiotherapist. The program slowly increases physical activity (such as a few minutes walking) once participants have established a daily routine.

Researchers say it may be a good way for CFS patients to begin managing their symptoms without traveling to a clinic, which may tire them. Besides extreme fatigue, CFS can cause muscle and joint pain, sore throat and tender lymph nodes, headaches and problems with memory and sleep.

The study was published June 22 in The Lancet.

\"We found that a self-help approach to a graded exercise program [GES], guided by a therapist, was safe and also helped to reduce fatigue for some people with chronic fatigue syndrome,\"study lead author Lucy Clark said in a journal news release. She is a research fellow at Queen Mary University of London, in England.

Researchers are now investigating whether the benefits lasted beyond the 12-week study.

Clark noted that graded exercise is designed to improve patterns of activity and may require some patients to be less active at the beginning.

\"The aim is to progress carefully to improve, under the supervision of a CFS-experienced therapist, rather than pushing people too hard and towards a setback. Offering the therapy as a self-help approach, supervised by a physiotherapist, could increase access and avoid the fatiguing effects of travel for the intervention,\" she said.

Dr. Daniel Clauw, director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, praised the study in an accompanying journal editorial.

\"The finding that graded exercise therapy is effective even when exercise is not being witnessed and directly guided by a physiotherapist is a substantial advance, since many patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and other functional impairment have difficulty getting to physiotherapy or do not have access to appropriately trained physiotherapists,\" he wrote.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on chronic fatigue syndrome.

"}, {"id":"f33dff04-0580-5789-8b94-8c54c06de0ff","type":"article","starttime":"1498165200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-22T16:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1498195176","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Mammogram Decision Hinges on Patient-Doc Talk, Ob-Gyn Group Says","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_f33dff04-0580-5789-8b94-8c54c06de0ff.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/mammogram-decision-hinges-on-patient-doc-talk-ob-gyn-group/article_f33dff04-0580-5789-8b94-8c54c06de0ff.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/mammogram-decision-hinges-on-patient-doc-talk-ob-gyn-group/article_2337e706-e1e1-53d0-b5e9-ba4326af8c28.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Kathleen DohenyHealthDay Reporter","prologue":"THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- As the debate continues about the best time for mammograms, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is asking women to add their voice to the discussion.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["cancer: breast","cancer: misc.","doctors","mammography","women's problems: misc.","screening","christopher zahn","medicine","radiology","mammogram","decision","american college of obstetricians and gynecologists","otis brawley","doctor","wire"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"3cea835a-265c-5dbc-ab4e-9a06a8817120","description":"Mature female doctor assisting young patient undergoing mammogram","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"600","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/ce/3cea835a-265c-5dbc-ab4e-9a06a8817120/58e32c7e27326.image.jpg?resize=800%2C600"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/ce/3cea835a-265c-5dbc-ab4e-9a06a8817120/58e32c7e27326.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/ce/3cea835a-265c-5dbc-ab4e-9a06a8817120/58e32c7e27326.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/ce/3cea835a-265c-5dbc-ab4e-9a06a8817120/58e32c7e27326.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"f33dff04-0580-5789-8b94-8c54c06de0ff","body":"

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- As the debate continues about the best time for mammograms, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is asking women to add their voice to the discussion.

In updated guidelines on breast cancer screening for average-risk women, ACOG emphasized shared decision-making between a woman and her doctor about when to start mammography screening and how often to do it.

\"What is critically important is that the patient's value and preferences are factored into that decision-making process,\" said Dr. Christopher Zahn, ACOG's vice president of practice activities.

The new guidelines, Zahn said, are \"empowering women to be involved in that decision.\"

ACOG recommends that women at average risk of breast cancer be offered screening mammography beginning at age 40. The decision about whether to start at that age, however, should be made by a woman and her doctor. The discussion should include information about benefits and harms.

If a woman doesn't start screening in her 40s, she should begin no later than age 50, the guidelines state.

Under previous guidelines, ACOG recommended annual screening beginning at age 40 for average-risk women.

Repeat screening every one or two years is recommended, based on more discussion, the guidelines suggest. Those at average risk should continue screening until at least age 75. After 75, the decision, again, should be based on a discussion with the doctor and include information about the woman's health status and expected longevity.

The new guidelines evolved after experts reviewed recent research on mammography, Zahn said.

A discussion between a woman and her doctor should include information on both benefits and harms, Zahn said. For younger women, he said, the ratio of benefits to harms is a little lower, he said, because the incidence of breast cancer in younger women is generally lower.

Among the potential harms are callbacks for more testing and biopsies for lesions that turn out to be benign, Zahn said. A woman who is concerned about the potential harms may decide to delay screening until later, he said.

Under the new guidelines, he said, \"we acknowledge there are several approaches\" and that women should choose a strategy that works best for them.

\"We are no longer standing here wagging our finger at someone saying, 'Go do this' and 'get this done,' \" Zahn said.

The other major organizations issuing guidance also stress that a woman discuss the pros and cons with her doctor when deciding on mammography.

Currently, the American Cancer Society guidelines say a woman at average risk can start mammograms at 40 if she chooses, but the group recommends that yearly mammograms begin at age 45. By age 55, a woman can choose to have the screening annually or every other year and can continue to discuss with her doctor the best screening regimen for her.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines recommend starting at age 50 for average-risk women and repeating the screening every two years. However, those guidelines also say women under age 50 should weigh the pros and cons and decide if they should begin screening earlier.

\"The guidelines [from various groups] are all coming into line and becoming agreeable for a number of reasons,\" said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer at the American Cancer Society. One is recognizing the value of evidence-based medicine. Another, he said, is that \"we are trying to respect people's rights to self-determination and making decisions for themselves.

\"We are starting to realize it is likely that a few women in their 40s do benefit from mammography,\" Brawley said, but it is also likely that others are inconvenienced or harmed by the screening.

\"Every medical intervention we do is always a balance between the benefits and the risks,\" he said.

More information

To learn more about mammograms, visit the American Cancer Society.

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THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Although states where recreational marijuana is legal may have experienced a slight bump in traffic collisions, the good news is that there wasn't an increase in crash-related fatalities compared to other states, two new studies show.

Insurance claims data show that Colorado, Washington and Oregon all experienced an increase in auto accident claims after retail marijuana sales became legal, according to research by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

But Washington and Colorado had similar rates of traffic fatalities as eight other states that haven't legalized recreational pot, an analysis of federal crash data published June 22 in the American Journal of Public Health found.

The conclusions of the two separate studies don't necessarily conflict, said J.T. Griffin, chief government affairs officer for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

\"One of the characteristics of a driver who's on marijuana is they tend to drive more slowly,\" Griffin said. \"If they're doing that but they're impaired, to me that would imply to me there would be more fender-benders. There would be more rear-end collisions and people running off the road and those kinds of things.\"

Analysis of insurance claims revealed that states experienced a combined 2.7 percent increase in collision claims when recreational marijuana hit the open market, compared to other nearby states, according to the HDLI.

Increases in collision claims varied by state:

\"Worry that legalized marijuana is increasing crash rates isn't misplaced,\" David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said in a statement. \"HLDI's findings on the early experience of Colorado, Oregon and Washington should give other states eyeing legalization pause.\"

However, a separate review of traffic fatality data kept by the Federal Highway Administration showed that fatal wrecks occurred in Washington and Colorado at about the same rate both prior to and following implementation of legal marijuana.

Year-over-year changes in crash fatality rates in the two recreational pot states were similar to those in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, said lead researcher Dr. Jayson Aydelotte. He's a trauma surgeon with Seton-Dell Medical Center at the University of Texas-Austin.

Recreational marijuana laws have amounted to a \"giant social experiment,\" Aydelotte said, and officials are now finding out how legal pot can affect public safety.

So far, eight states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing recreational pot sales, according to NORML, a group advocating for the reform of marijuana laws.

\"One of the claims was that if you legalize marijuana, you're going to have a whole population of drugged drivers out there and have more traffic deaths,\" Aydelotte said. \"It looks like there's no statistically significant difference before or after, or compared to control states that didn't have those laws passed.\"

Findings from the crash fatality study \"ought to be reassuring to lawmakers and those in the public who possessed concerns that regulating adult marijuana use may inadvertently jeopardize public safety,\" said Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML.

But Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., noted concerns that pot can increase the overall risk of vehicle accidents.

\"The public should therefore interpret this study with caution until further research is conducted,\" Krakower said of the traffic fatality study.

Griffin said the two studies show that more needs to be done to understand the potential effects of marijuana on driving ability.

\"We certainly know it's never good to use an impairing substance and then drive, but marijuana affects the body very differently than other drugs do,\" Griffin said. \"We have a lot more to learn. It is something states need to look at when they're considering legalization.\"

One particular challenge is coming up with a way to judge whether driving ability has been impaired by pot. Marijuana does not lend itself to something as simple as a blood alcohol test, Griffin said, which means law enforcement will need even more training to be able to enforce impaired driving laws against drivers under the influence of pot.

\"Frankly, there may never be a .08 standard because of the way the drug works,\" Griffin said, referring to the standard blood alcohol level for drunk driving.

More information

For more about marijuana-impaired driving, visit the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Simple changes to your lifestyle might delay the start of dementia or slow its progression, a new report suggests.

Some scientific evidence indicates that keeping your mind active through \"cognitive training,\" controlling your blood pressure and exercising more may pay dividends in terms of brain health, researchers determined.

Although not yet proven to thwart the cognitive decline that accompanies aging or dementia, the public should have access to this information, said Alan Leshner. He led the committee at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that compiled the report.

\"There are a few domains where the evidence that does exist suggests they might have an effect,\" said Leshner.

\"At least two of those, we know, are good for a whole lot of other things that people do or that they could suffer from. That's controlling your blood pressure if you have hypertension and engaging in physical exercise,\" said Leshner, CEO emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Leshner's group was asked by the U.S. National Institute on Aging to research measures that might delay mild mental decline or Alzheimer's-like dementia.

Specialists welcomed the findings, which the researchers deemed encouraging even if not definitive.

\"It's high time that people are given information about things they can do today to reduce their risk of cognitive decline and possibly dementia,\" said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer's Association.

\"Everyone is worried\" about their mental functioning, he said. \"But you shouldn't feel helpless. You should take control of your brain health,\" he added.

According to the report, which was released June 22, three promising areas for future research include:

He said the committee did not try to pinpoint which mental activities might be best; how low blood pressure should go; or how much exercise one needs to get the most benefit.

These are areas that need more research. Randomized trials are the \"gold standard\" of research and are the only ones that can prove or disprove a benefit from an intervention, he said.

One dementia specialist said some biological evidence supports the benefit of exercise, but in the final analysis, genetics might be the biggest determinant of whether you develop dementia.

\"There is good evidence that physical exercise delays onset or slows progression [of dementia], perhaps because exercise stimulates release of nerve cell survival substances,\" said Dr. Sam Gandy. He directs the Center for Cognitive Health at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

There is also good evidence that in people who carry the APOE4 gene mutation, which predisposes them to Alzheimer's, exercise can erase amyloid from their brains. Amyloid plaque is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, he said.

However, it's also possible that \"genetic loading\" for dementia is so strong in some people that diet and lifestyle will never be enough to prevent mental decline, he said.

Even without scientific backup for these lifestyle improvements, Leshner said they're worthwhile in their own right to improve other aspects of your health, such as preventing heart disease and strokes and improving the quality of your life.

\"They're good for a whole bunch of other things,\" Leshner said.

More information

For more on dementia, visit the Alzheimer's Association.

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THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Certain genes linked to heart disease may also improve your chances of having children, a new study suggests.

Australian researchers said the findings seem to offer a potential explanation for why evolution has allowed these genes to persist for centuries.

While lifestyle is clearly important in heart disease risk, scientists have found many genes also influence those odds.

\"Genes play a very important role in coronary artery disease risk across an individual's lifetime,\" said study author Sean Byars, a research fellow at the University of Melbourne. In fact, it's estimated that genes account for about 50 percent of the risk.

The rest, he said, is due to other factors, including habits like smoking and eating a poor diet.

Heart disease is a major killer worldwide, and it has long plagued humanity. Scientists have found evidence of clogged arteries in Egyptian mummies, Byars and his colleagues pointed out.

The researchers said that raises a fundamental question: Why haven't the genes that promote heart disease been weeded out by natural selection?

Natural selection is the process by which organisms -- including humans -- evolve to have better survival odds.

The new study suggests one answer: Byars' team found that a few dozen genes tied to heart disease might also contribute to people's \"reproductive success.\"

Since heart disease usually strikes later in life, after people have had their kids, it would be a reasonable trade-off for better fertility -- at least in terms of survival of the species.

The findings, published online recently in the journal PLOS Genetics, do not have any immediate implications for managing heart disease or fertility, Byars said.

\"This study is more about potentially helping to provide a fundamental understanding of why [heart disease] is so prevalent in modern humans,\" he explained.

Byars did, however, point to a big-picture issue: The findings may sound a cautionary note about \"gene-editing\" -- a technology scientists are studying with the hope of correcting genetic flaws that cause disease.

\"One potential concern a study like this raises,\" Byars said, \"is that in an era of gene-editing, we need to be very careful about unintended consequences of modifying our genomes -- due to shared functions of these genes that are not always obvious.\"

For the study, the researchers used two large databases with a wealth of genetic information, along with data from a long-running health study of U.S. adults.

The investigators first focused on 76 genes that are linked to heart disease -- the kind caused by clogged arteries. From there, the researchers found that 40 genes were also tied to at least one aspect of reproductive \"fitness.\"

Some were related to the number of children people had, while others were tied to a woman's age at her first and last menstrual period. There were 19 to 29 genes, the researchers said, that were tied to \"traits\" that can directly sway male or female fertility.

Heart disease is, of course, a complex condition that involves many different factors. Even if Mother Nature insists that humans carry heart-disease genes, there is still plenty that people can do about it, according to Dr. Robert Rosenson.

Rosenson, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, pointed to the example of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).

FH is an inherited disorder caused by a single genetic defect, and it leads to very high \"bad\" cholesterol levels and a substantial risk of premature heart disease.

But even with those genetic cards stacked against them, Rosenson said, people with FH can prevent or delay heart complications -- by taking cholesterol medication, exercising regularly, not smoking and eating a healthy diet.

\"Even if you have a disease-causing genetic trait, lifestyle absolutely makes a difference,\" Rosenson said.

Most genes tied to heart disease do not have such a dramatic effect -- a large number, he noted, have a \"minor\" impact on heart disease risk.

But studying the genetics of heart disease will hopefully lead to better treatments, Rosenson said.

Genes, he explained, may help explain why one person responds well to a cholesterol-lowering statin, while someone else \"gains weight and develops diabetes,\" for example.

\"Someone might develop a drug side effect simply because they've inherited a trait that interferes with a drug-elimination pathway,\" Rosenson said.

The hope for the future, he said, is to use genetic information to help predict which treatments will likely benefit an individual patient.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on genes and heart health.

"}, {"id":"b690e487-3c59-59bc-b610-7322a2f6ddcd","type":"article","starttime":"1498154400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-22T13:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1498195182","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Senate Republicans Reveal Their Replacement for Obamacare","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_b690e487-3c59-59bc-b610-7322a2f6ddcd.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/senate-republicans-reveal-their-replacement-for-obamacare/article_b690e487-3c59-59bc-b610-7322a2f6ddcd.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/senate-republicans-reveal-their-replacement-for-obamacare/article_43bbda88-385b-5b6f-88e8-7c652dafb6cf.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter","prologue":"THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Attempting to thread a very tight needle, Senate Republicans on Thursday released a health-care reform bill intended to undo major parts of the Affordable Care Act while still supporting the public's access to health insurance.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["government","health costs","insurance: lack of","insurance: medicaid","insurance: medicare","insurance: misc.","health care access / disparities","senate","politics","republicans","mitch mcconnell","legislation","bill","medicaid","republican","wire"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"5297c02c-3f31-5f1f-ba1b-a051a6be19ee","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"600","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/29/5297c02c-3f31-5f1f-ba1b-a051a6be19ee/594ca49c48ec1.image.jpg?resize=800%2C600"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/29/5297c02c-3f31-5f1f-ba1b-a051a6be19ee/594ca49c48ec1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/29/5297c02c-3f31-5f1f-ba1b-a051a6be19ee/594ca49c48ec1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/29/5297c02c-3f31-5f1f-ba1b-a051a6be19ee/594ca49c48ec1.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"b690e487-3c59-59bc-b610-7322a2f6ddcd","body":"

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Attempting to thread a very tight needle, Senate Republicans on Thursday released a health-care reform bill intended to undo major parts of the Affordable Care Act while still supporting the public's access to health insurance.

The 142-page bill, crafted behind closed doors, would result in more gradual but deeper cuts to Medicaid funding than cuts proposed in a controversial bill passed by the House of Representatives in May.

But the Senate bill also attempts to soften other much-derided aspects of the House's health-care plan, in an effort to attract moderate votes. Even President Donald Trump has privately called the House's health-care legislation \"mean.\"

For instance, the Senate GOP proposal would still forbid insurance companies from raising premiums or withholding coverage to people with preexisting medical problems -- one of the hallmarks of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.

The bill also would maintain federal tax credits to help people afford health insurance, and those credits would be based primarily on income. However, the credits would require people to purchase a less comprehensive plan, and would not be available to as many low-income people, according to published reports.

The tax credits would be tied to income -- similar to the Affordable Care Act, but different from the House bill that would link the funding to a person's age. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has stated that basing tax credits on age would increase out-of-pocket costs for many low-income Americans, according to the Associated Press.

The Senate bill would also cut all taxes related to the Affordable Care Act, including mandates that everyone have health insurance and that employers with more than 50 workers provide health coverage for their workers.

Also under the Senate proposal, insurers would be able to charge older customers more for their coverage than they could under the Affordable Care Act, the Washington Post reported.

States would have more flexibility in determining the essential health benefits that all insurance companies must provide, such as prescription drug coverage, preventive health screenings, and coverage of mental health services.

Congressional Republicans have vowed since its introduction in 2010 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only afford to lose two votes and still get the legislation passed. The Kentucky Republican aims to have a vote on the proposed legislation next week, prior to Congress' July 4 recess.

\"We have to act,\" McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday, \"because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo.\"

Senate Democrats on Thursday defended President Barack Obama's signature legislation, saying Republican claims that the law was failing are off base, and the GOP proposal would force millions of Americans to lose health-care coverage and leave others with higher out-of-pocket costs, the AP reported.

\"We live in the wealthiest country on earth. Surely we can do better than what the Republican health-care bill promises,\" said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.)

The most controversial aspect of the Senate proposal likely will be the cuts to the Medicaid program, which offers coverage to lower-income Americans.

The bill would continue the Afforable Care Act's enhanced Medicaid expansion funding until 2021, and then phase it out over three years. But federal funding for the program would be capped, based either on a fixed amount per enrollee in states or as a lump-sum block grant paid directly to states, according to published reports.

Further, the Senate bill would limit Medicaid even more over time by tying the annual growth rate of those funds to standard inflation, rather than more generous index of medical inflation, starting in 2025. This would likely force states to cut back on their Medicaid programs, according to an analysis by CNN.

This structure could appeal to both Senate moderates and conservatives, a Washington Post analysis contended.

Health-care advocacy groups on Thursday decried the cuts to Medicaid.

\"The Senate bill will slash funding for our nation's Medicaid program, which provides coverage for 20 percent of Americans and 39 percent of children, many of whom have asthma, COPD and other lung diseases,\" Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association, said in a statement. \"The proposed cuts to Medicaid under this bill will be devastating for children, seniors and people living with disabilities for whom health care is critical. Cuts to Medicaid will lead to more asthma attacks.\"

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said: \"Millions of Americans would lose health insurance coverage under this plan. The bill would devastate the Medicaid program, our nation's health care safety net on which 69 million low-income Americans and people with disabilities -- including 37 million children -- rely.\"

More information

To read the health care bill, visit the U.S. Senate.

"}, {"id":"5cca7f25-ea15-5946-9f01-0749b9e48bc9","type":"article","starttime":"1498154400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-22T13:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1498195182","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Tissue Testing Can Spot Zika at Birth: CDC","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_5cca7f25-ea15-5946-9f01-0749b9e48bc9.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/tissue-testing-can-spot-zika-at-birth-cdc/article_5cca7f25-ea15-5946-9f01-0749b9e48bc9.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/tissue-testing-can-spot-zika-at-birth-cdc/article_1bfe001a-1116-5f19-ba3a-239dc62e894d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to the Zika virus in pregnancy can wreak havoc on babies, but diagnosing the infection before birth remains a challenge. Now, there's some good news: U.S. health officials say testing placental and fetal tissue after a child is born can confirm or rule out infection.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["centers for disease control","pregnancy: risks","screening","zika","anatomy","physiology","infection","test","medicine","cdc","birth defect","tissue","researcher","wire"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"babdaa9d-cdcc-527f-a2fe-c69379dd66ec","description":"Health issue concept, image of crying baby bitten by Aedes Aegypti mosquito as Zika Virus carrier","byline":"AmuseArtography","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"600","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/ab/babdaa9d-cdcc-527f-a2fe-c69379dd66ec/58e47b2588aa3.image.jpg?resize=800%2C600"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/ab/babdaa9d-cdcc-527f-a2fe-c69379dd66ec/58e47b2588aa3.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/ab/babdaa9d-cdcc-527f-a2fe-c69379dd66ec/58e47b2588aa3.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/ab/babdaa9d-cdcc-527f-a2fe-c69379dd66ec/58e47b2588aa3.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"5cca7f25-ea15-5946-9f01-0749b9e48bc9","body":"

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to the Zika virus in pregnancy can wreak havoc on babies, but diagnosing the infection before birth remains a challenge. Now, there's some good news: U.S. health officials say testing placental and fetal tissue after a child is born can confirm or rule out infection.

Such testing found that only 1 in 10 who were in danger of being infected actually were, and infection didn't automatically mean birth defects, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

\"Testing of placental tissues from live births can continue to be considered when results of maternal Zika virus testing are not definitive or testing is not performed within the optimal time,\" said the researchers led by Dr. Sarah Reagan-Steiner, of the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

Zika infection is most often spread by mosquitoes, but can be transmitted during sex. It usually causes only mild symptoms in healthy adults. However, infection during pregnancy can result in serious birth defects, including microcephaly (a smaller-than-normal head), and brain abnormalities.

Doctors need to know which babies to monitor. But current blood tests aren't foolproof, and there's only a short window for accurate detection, the researchers explained in background notes.

Searching for a better method, the new study analyzed results of tissue testing for pregnancy-related Zika infection in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

\"Even though the number of pregnant women who had a Zika diagnosis confirmed through placental testing is low, this type of testing can provide a definitive diagnosis, which can help families and doctors plan the right course of follow-up,\" the researchers said in the June 22 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a CDC publication.

Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said the report highlights the importance of postnatal testing for Zika.

\"There is often uncertainty about whether the mother contracted Zika virus during the pregnancy and there are limits to the accuracy of prenatal testing of the mother,\" Wu explained.

\"When the post-delivery testing confirms infection, there must be close follow-up of the [baby],\" she added. \"Though microcephaly is evident at birth, other more subtle effects of Zika infection may not be known immediately.\"

Another expert agreed.

\"While testing of placental tissue can be useful, this does not tell the whole story,\" said Dr. Jill Rabin. \"Women with positive tests may not have babies with obvious [defects]; nevertheless, their children may subsequently demonstrate functional problems such as difficulty with vision, hearing or developmental delays.\"

Scientists are \"learning more about Zika virus infection as time progresses and diagnostic tests are refined,\" added Rabin, co-chief of Women's Health Programs-PCAP Services at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

The CDC researchers found that of 546 live births with possible maternal Zika virus exposure, just 11 percent -- or 60 -- proved positive.

In 81 cases of pregnancy loss where tissues were available for sampling, 22 percent -- or 18 -- tested positive for Zika virus.

And in almost 400 births where an unidentified infection had occurred, testing was able to confirm Zika in 10 percent of babies. Tissue tests also ruled out Zika in another 10 percent of cases where infection likely occurred well before the mother's blood was tested, the researchers said.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, and to avoid risky sex with someone who may have contracted Zika, experts said.

\"Women of childbearing age should avoid traveling areas with high rates of Zika virus, and if they find themselves in these areas, using insect repellent with DEET, mosquito netting, staying indoors and using air conditioners should help reduce the risk,\" Rabin noted.

More information

For more about Zika, visit the World Health Organization.

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THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have high levels of brain inflammation, a discovery researchers say could lead to new treatments.

In OCD, people typically have frequent, upsetting thoughts that they try to control by repeating certain rituals or behaviors, such as washing hands or checking door locks.

Canadian researchers compared 20 OCD patients and a control group of 20 people without the condition. In the OCD patients, inflammation was 32 percent higher in six brain regions that play a role in OCD, according to the study.

\"Our research showed a strong relationship between brain inflammation and OCD, particularly in the parts of the brain known to function differently in OCD. This finding represents one of the biggest breakthroughs in understanding the biology of OCD, and may lead to the development of new treatments,\" senior author Dr. Jeffrey Meyer said.

Meyer is head of the Neurochemical Imaging Program in Mood and Anxiety Disorders at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

Inflammation or swelling is the body's response to infection or injury. While it helps the body heal, it can sometimes be harmful. Altering the balance between helpful and harmful effects might be a key to treating OCD, Meyer said in a center news release.

He said medications developed to target brain inflammation involved in other disorders might help treat OCD.

Finding a new approach to treatment is important, because current medicines fail to help nearly a third of OCD patients. About 1 percent to 2 percent of teens and adults have the anxiety disorder.

\"Work needs to be done to uncover the specific factors that contribute to brain inflammation, but finding a way to reduce inflammation's harmful effects and increase its helpful effects could enable us to develop a new treatment much more quickly,\" Meyer concluded.

The study was published June 21 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on obsessive-compulsive disorder.

"} ]