[ {"id":"2e3391e4-d690-5e29-ba6b-1c1b2dd36ad5","type":"article","starttime":"1484749320","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-18T08:22:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1484756271","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"wire":"true","ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Feds: Agreement reached to clean up abandoned uranium mines on Navajo Nation","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_2e3391e4-d690-5e29-ba6b-1c1b2dd36ad5.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/feds-agreement-reached-to-clean-up-abandoned-uranium-mines-on/article_2e3391e4-d690-5e29-ba6b-1c1b2dd36ad5.html","canonical":"http://curated.tncontentexchange.com/health/feds-agreement-reached-to-clean-up-abandoned-uranium-mines-on/article_f0d8d856-dd91-11e6-9aa3-f783a6d95321.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By TN News Service","prologue":"PHOENIX \u2013 The Navajo Nation and the U.S. Department of Justice have entered into a $600 million settlement agreement targeted at cleaning up 94 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo reservation.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","navajo nation environmental protection agency","economics","ecology","uranium mine","epa","commerce","cyprus amax minerals company","united states","mine","western nuclear"],"internalKeywords":["#tncx","#tncen","#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":3,"commentID":"2e3391e4-d690-5e29-ba6b-1c1b2dd36ad5","body":"

PHOENIX \u2013 The Navajo Nation and the U.S. Department of Justice have entered into a $600 million settlement agreement targeted at cleaning up 94 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo reservation.

Under the settlement, Cyprus Amax Minerals Company and Western Nuclear, Inc., will perform the work and the United States will contribute approximately half of the costs. The settlement terms are outlined in a proposed consent decree filed Tuesday in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona. With this settlement, funds are now committed to begin the cleanup process at over 200 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

\u201cThis historic settlement will clean up almost twenty percent of the abandoned mines on the Navajo Nation,\u201d said Acting Regional Administrator, Alexis Strauss for the EPA Pacific Southwest.

The Navajo Nation encompasses more than 27,000 square miles within\u00a0Utah, New Mexico and Arizona in the Four Corners area. The unique geology of the region makes the Navajo Nation rich in uranium, a radioactive ore in high demand after the development of atomic power and weapons at the close of World War II.

Many private entities, including Cyprus Amax (a successor-in-interest to Vanadium Corporation of America and Climax Uranium Company) and Western Nuclear, mined approximately thirty million tons of uranium ore on or near the Navajo Nation between 1944 and 1986. The federal government, through the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), was the sole purchaser of uranium until 1966, when commercial sales of uranium began. The AEC continued to purchase ore until 1970. The last uranium mine on the Navajo Nation shut down in 1986.

The work to be conducted is subject to oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency.

\u201cThis remarkable settlement will result in significant environmental restoration on Navajo lands\u00a0and will help build a healthier future for the Navajo people,\u201d said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department\u2019s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Many Navajo people worked in and near the mines, often living and raising families in close proximity to the mines and mills where ore was processed. Since 2008, federal agencies\u2014including EPA, the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of the Interior, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Indian Health Service\u2014have collaborated to address uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation. The federal government has invested more than $130 million to address the legacy of\u00a0abandoned uranium mines\u00a0on Navajo lands.

EPA has also compiled a list of 46 \u201cpriority mines\u201d for cleanup and performed stabilization or cleanup work at 9 of those mines. Further, EPA\u2019s cleanup efforts have generated over 100 jobs for Navajo citizens and work for several Navajo owned businesses. The settlement announced today includes 10 priority mines and is expected to create many jobs for Navajo workers.

\u00a0This settlement agreement resolves the claims of the United States on behalf of EPA against Cyprus Amax and Western Nuclear; of the Navajo Nation against the United States, and against Cyprus Amax and Western Nuclear; and of Cyprus Amax and Western Nuclear against the United States. Cyprus Amax and Western Nuclear agree to perform removal site evaluations, engineering evaluations and cost analyses, and cleanups at the 94 mines. In return for that commitment, the United States, on behalf of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy, agrees to place $335 million into a trust account to help fund the cleanup.

In April 2014, the Justice Department and EPA\u00a0announced\u00a0in a separate matter that approximately $985 million of a multi-billion dollar settlement of litigation against subsidiaries of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will be paid to EPA to fund the clean-up of approximately 50 abandoned uranium mines in and around the Navajo Nation, where radioactive waste remains from Kerr-McGee mining operations. EPA commenced field work with the proceeds from this settlement last year. In addition, the United States previously entered into two settlement agreements with the Navajo Nation to fund cleanups at 16 priority mines and investigations at an additional 30 mines for which no viable responsible private party has been identified.

"}, {"id":"2d94c2b3-7d82-501a-944c-f7937301e35a","type":"article","starttime":"1484694000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-17T17:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1484720304","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Higher Risk of Heart Disease for Blacks in Poorer Neighborhoods","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_2d94c2b3-7d82-501a-944c-f7937301e35a.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/higher-risk-of-heart-disease-for-blacks-in-poorer-neighborhoods/article_2d94c2b3-7d82-501a-944c-f7937301e35a.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/higher-risk-of-heart-disease-for-blacks-in-poorer-neighborhoods/article_319a4bd0-1806-5600-8d83-4b001737d645.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans who live in poor neighborhoods are at higher risk for heart disease and stroke than those who live in wealthier areas, a new study finds.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","heart / stroke-related: misc.","race"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"2d94c2b3-7d82-501a-944c-f7937301e35a","body":"

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans who live in poor neighborhoods are at higher risk for heart disease and stroke than those who live in wealthier areas, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data collected from black men and women in Jackson, Miss., who participated in a government-funded study between 2000 and 2011. They also reviewed information collected in the 2000 U.S. Census.

Every decrease on a scale of socioeconomic status was associated with a 25 percent rise in heart disease risk, the researchers found.

When the researchers assessed violence and disorder levels in neighborhoods, there was a similar increase in risk of heart disease for each negative step on the scale. But, the research didn't prove neighborhood conditions caused poor health.

\"For decades, centuries, even, researchers have linked adverse neighborhood economic and social conditions to health,\" said study leader Sharrelle Barber.

Violence and disorder are among the issues that need to be addressed, said Barber, a research fellow at Drexel University's School of Public Health in Philadelphia.

\"These are symptoms of the broader issues of racial and economic inequality that is rampant in urban areas across the United States,\" she said in a university news release.

These issues arise from decades of concentrated poverty, she added. Particulars included limited opportunities for good jobs, proper education and other resources necessary for the individual and community well-being, Barber said.

\"One way of addressing this issue is to invest in economic and social policies at the neighborhood level -- such as creating jobs and educational opportunities -- in tandem with evidence-based efforts to reduce violence,\" Barber concluded.

The study was recently published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The ongoing Jackson Heart Study involves 5,300 black adults in Mississippi. It's the largest single-site study of heart disease in a black American population, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

More information

The U.S. Office of Minority Health has more on black Americans and health.

"}, {"id":"84aca5c1-6c31-5790-908b-f869ce2707fe","type":"article","starttime":"1484686800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-17T15:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1484720305","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Even a Little Daily Activity May Boost Colon Cancer Survival: Study","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_84aca5c1-6c31-5790-908b-f869ce2707fe.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/even-a-little-daily-activity-may-boost-colon-cancer-survival/article_84aca5c1-6c31-5790-908b-f869ce2707fe.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/even-a-little-daily-activity-may-boost-colon-cancer-survival/article_d7896105-e7c1-53ec-aee1-e30febacbeb9.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Alan MozesHealthDay Reporter","prologue":"TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Just a half hour a day of moderate physical activity could be potent medicine for patients with advanced colon cancer, preliminary research suggests.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","cancer: colon","cancer: misc.","exercise: misc."],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"907bacc2-f4f4-5542-bea9-a6fe831c5e6a","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"600","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/07/907bacc2-f4f4-5542-bea9-a6fe831c5e6a/587f06c04f85a.image.jpg?resize=800%2C600"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/07/907bacc2-f4f4-5542-bea9-a6fe831c5e6a/587f06c04f85a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/07/907bacc2-f4f4-5542-bea9-a6fe831c5e6a/587f06c04f85a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/07/907bacc2-f4f4-5542-bea9-a6fe831c5e6a/587f06c04f85a.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"84aca5c1-6c31-5790-908b-f869ce2707fe","body":"

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Just a half hour a day of moderate physical activity could be potent medicine for patients with advanced colon cancer, preliminary research suggests.

Study authors who tracked more than 1,200 colon cancer patients found a 19 percent decline in risk for early death among those who got 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily.

And, five or more hours of moderate -- but non-vigorous -- activity a week pushed that survival benefit to 25 percent, researchers said.

Walking, cleaning or gardening counted as moderate exercise, the study authors said.

Exercise benefits previously have been reported for early stage cancer patients. \"But this study extends to patients who have advanced cancer and a much more grim prognosis,\" said Dr. Andrew Chan. He's an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

\"And even among that population, there seems to be a benefit to physical activity,\" said Chan, who wasn't involved in the study.

What's more, a half hour of such activity daily also translated into a 16 percent drop in the progression of disease, the study authors said.

The findings held up even after accounting for a range of factors, including patient age, body weight, overall health, other serious disease, or the particular type of cancer treatment underway.

\"There is certainly increasing data to suggest that patents who have cancer and who are physically active do have a better prognosis,\" said Chan. \"This has been shown in several other studies, and with different types of cancer.\"

This study bolsters that literature, he said, and demonstrates that this appears to be the case \"even if they weren't active before their diagnosis.\"

The other thing novel with this study, Chan added, is that it looks at patients who don't consider themselves cured, unlike most other cancer-exercise studies.

The study team, led by Dr. Brendan Guercio, is scheduled to present the findings this week at the annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, in San Francisco. Data and conclusions presented at meetings are usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The study can't actually prove that exercise improves the prognosis for late-stage colon cancer.

Still, \"while exercise is by no means a substitute for chemotherapy, patients can experience a wide range of benefits from as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day,\" Guercio said in a symposium news release. He's a resident physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Surprisingly, the researchers noted that advanced-stage colon cancer patients only appeared to derive benefit from moderate -- not vigorous -- activity. No similar link was seen with routinely engaging in more strenuous sports or running.

Patients were surveyed about their physical activity when they began chemotherapy treatment. The researchers then determined weekly activity levels using a scientific measure known as the \"metabolic equivalent task\" (MET). MET designations reflect the amount of energy expended during physical activity.

But why didn't more strenuous activity confer similar benefits?

\"It's difficult to understand,\" said Chan. \"There's not a clear explanation biologically as to why there would be a different outcome in terms of vigorous activity, as opposed to more moderate activity. Most studies actually haven't seen that.\"

Going forward, it's important to determine if this is a true difference, he said, and if so, to try to explain it.

Guercio and his colleagues agreed that more research is needed to confirm the findings. The study was funded in part by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

More information

There's more on exercise and cancer at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Talking or texting on your cell phone may spell trouble during exercise, researchers say.

In two studies, they found that talking or texting on a cell phone during a workout lowers the intensity of your exercise session. More importantly, the study team noted that cell phone use affects balance, which can increase the risk of injuries.

\"If you're talking or texting on your cell phone while you're putting in your daily steps, your attention is divided by the two tasks and that can disrupt your postural stability, and therefore, possibly predispose individuals to other greater inherent risks such as falls and musculoskeletal injuries,\" study author Michael Rebold, assistant professor of integrative exercise science at Hiram College in Ohio, said in a school news release.

Specifically, texting on a cell phone reduced postural stability by 45 percent. Even talking on a cell phone reduced postural stability by 19 percent.

But, if you want to pump up your workout with some tunes, go right ahead. Listening to music on a cell phone had no significant effect on postural stability during a workout, according to the study of 45 college students.

The studies about the effects of cell phone use during workouts were published in the journals Computers in Human Behavior and Performance Enhancement & Health.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a guide to physical activity.

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TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Planning a hiking trip in an eastern U.S. national park? Better pack tick repellent -- a new study found these parks are home to ticks that carry Lyme disease.

Blacklegged ticks -- also known as deer ticks -- carrying Lyme disease were found in nine national parks: Acadia National Park in Maine; Catoctin Mountain Park and Monocacy National Battlefield in Maryland; Fire Island National Seashore in Long Island, N.Y.; Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania; Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., and Manassas National Battlefield Park, Prince William Forest Park and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

This is the first time researchers have confirmed that the ticks are living at the parks, although it's long been suspected that the ticks were there because of human Lyme disease infections.

\"We know Lyme disease is increasing both in numbers of infections and in geographic range in the United States,\" said researcher Tammi Johnson in a news release from the Entomological Society of America. Johnson is with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

\"This is the first large-scale survey in multiple national parks, and though suspected, it had not been previously confirmed that ticks in many of these parks were infected. It's quite likely that ticks infected with Lyme disease spirochetes are present in other parks in Lyme disease endemic areas, too,\" she explained.

Lyme disease symptoms include fever, headache and rash. Left untreated, the infection can spread to the heart, joints and nervous system, according to the CDC.

Visitors to the parks can reduce their risk of infection by following these guidelines, according to the U.S. National Park Service and the CDC:

\"The results of this study serve as a reminder that while enjoying the parks, visitors can and should take steps to help protect themselves and their loved ones from tick and other bites,\" Johnson said.

The study findings were published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

More information

For more about Lyme disease, try the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Black and Hispanic Americans are less likely than whites to get high blood pressure under control, a new study suggests.

Researchers reviewed data from nearly 8,800 adults who took part in the 2003-2012 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The study team found that 74 percent of white patients were getting treatment for high blood pressure. For blacks, the treatment rates were slightly lower at 71 percent. For Hispanics, the high blood pressure treatment rate was only 61 percent.

Researchers also looked at high blood pressure control rates, defined as readings below 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for those with diabetes or chronic kidney disease, and below 140/90 mm Hg for everyone else. Control rates were 43 percent for whites, 37 percent for blacks and 31 percent for Hispanics, the study reported.

Black and Hispanics younger than 60 without health insurance were more than 40 percent less likely than whites without insurance to have their high blood pressure under control.

One bit of good news from the new research: The percentage of all adults with high blood pressure taking medications for their condition rose from 66 to 77 percent during the study period.

The study was published Jan. 17 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

\"High blood pressure is very common, and it is strongly linked to cardiovascular diseases like stroke, heart attack and heart failure,\" said senior author Dr. Edgar Argulian. He's an assistant professor of medicine and a cardiologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in New York City.

\"High blood pressure is also very treatable, so from a public health perspective, it's important to know if prevention and treatment strategies are working and what differences exist across racial and ethnic groups,\" Argulian said in a journal news release.

Study lead author Dr. Sen Gu said expanded health care coverage could help minimize the differences in high blood pressure treatment. But, \"There are multiple factors that contribute to racial disparity,\" she added.

\"We need better patient education, better physician-patient communication and support for patients making lifestyle changes like exercising more and eating healthy,\" Gu said. She is an assistant professor at St. John's University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in New York City.

\"The good news is that more people are receiving treatment and getting their high blood pressure under control. At the same time, it is important to note that disparities between whites and racial and ethnic minorities persist,\" Gu said.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more on high blood pressure.

"}, {"id":"c2041784-cec2-5b70-b1a8-d9168bf8d19c","type":"article","starttime":"1484676000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-17T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1484720307","priority":0,"sections":[{"health-med-fit":"lifestyles/health-med-fit"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Obamacare Repeal Could Bring Many More Uninsured, Higher Premiums","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/article_c2041784-cec2-5b70-b1a8-d9168bf8d19c.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/obamacare-repeal-could-bring-many-more-uninsured-higher-premiums/article_c2041784-cec2-5b70-b1a8-d9168bf8d19c.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/health-med-fit/obamacare-repeal-could-bring-many-more-uninsured-higher-premiums/article_c304c372-72c6-5253-818e-47af42f64d1d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Repealing major parts of the Affordable Care Act could deprive 18 million Americans of insurance in the first year, a new report concludes.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","economic status","government","health costs","insurance: lack of","insurance: misc."],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"ed922457-6d5c-5ccb-a6da-861a7af22f8d","description":"Affordable Care Act / Obamacare document on a desk","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"800","height":"600","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/d9/ed922457-6d5c-5ccb-a6da-861a7af22f8d/585b7d84d0614.image.jpg?resize=800%2C600"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/d9/ed922457-6d5c-5ccb-a6da-861a7af22f8d/585b7d84d0614.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/d9/ed922457-6d5c-5ccb-a6da-861a7af22f8d/585b7d84d0614.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/d9/ed922457-6d5c-5ccb-a6da-861a7af22f8d/585b7d84d0614.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"c2041784-cec2-5b70-b1a8-d9168bf8d19c","body":"

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Repealing major parts of the Affordable Care Act could deprive 18 million Americans of insurance in the first year, a new report concludes.

That number would jump to 32 million by 2026, according to a new report from the nonpartisan U.S. Congressional Budget Office.

Moreover, insurance premiums could double over 10 years if significant provisions of the health care law were repealed, the budget office determined.

President-elect Donald Trump and other Republicans have pledged to dismantle the controversial health care law, often called Obamacare, which was passed in 2010.

While the Republican-controlled Congress passed a measure last week that sets a repeal effort into motion, a replacement plan has not yet been presented. For the new report, the budget office predicted the likely effects of a replacement act that was approved by Congress in 2015 but vetoed by President Barack Obama last year.

Under that now-defunct bill, people would not have faced tax penalties if they went without insurance. It also would have eliminated funding to expand Medicaid -- the publicly supported insurance for the poor -- and subsidies that help poor people pay for private insurance.

But insurers would still have been required to cover all applicants, at normal rates, including those with pre-existing medical conditions.

\"Eliminating the mandate penalties and the subsidies while retaining the market reforms would destabilize the nongroup market [those who buy insurance as individuals], and the effect would worsen over time,\" the report concluded, according to The New York Times.

The budget office said three changes would lead to the 10-year surge in the number of uninsured. It calculated that 23 million fewer people would be covered in the individual insurance market, and 19 million fewer people would have Medicaid coverage. An increase in people with job-based insurance would partly offset these trends.

The report comes in the wake of a weekend of protests from Americans who want the Affordable Care Act to remain intact, and just days before Trump's inauguration.

More information

HealthCare.gov outlines preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act.

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TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Over a decade, there was a nearly fivefold increase in the number of babies born each year to American women who have used opioids, a federal government report says.

There was also a dramatic rise in the number of infants born with a dependency on opioids, the report found. These drugs include heroin and prescription painkillers such as fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin).

\"It is critical that pregnant women of all ages have access to prevention, treatment and recovery services that meet their specialized needs,\" said Kana Enomoto, from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

\"Programs that provide pregnant women with access to opioid use disorder treatment and reproductive health services can help ensure that these future mothers and their children live healthier, happier, and more productive lives,\" Enomoto said in an agency news release. SAMHSA prepared the report for U.S. Congress.

Overall, women of childbearing age who were pregnant were less likely to have used an opioid recently (1 percent) compared to non-pregnant women (3 percent), the SAMHSA study found.

Still, even that one percent figure translates to an average of about 21,000 pregnant women using opioids for \"non-medical reasons\" in the past month, the report's authors said.

Age was a major factor in opioid use during pregnancy. Younger women are significantly more likely to use opioids for non-medical reasons during pregnancy. Those 15-17 had the highest use (2.8 percent), while women between 18 and 25 had the next highest rates (1.5 percent).

In contrast, among pregnant women over 25, only 0.5 percent had used opioids for a non-medical reason in the past month, the report said.

Of the more than 21,000 women who were pregnant when admitted for substance abuse treatment in 2012, 23 percent reported heroin use, while 28 percent reported using a non-heroin opioid.

Special treatment programs for pregnant/postpartum women aren't always easy to find, the study found. In fact, according to SAMHSA, just 13 percent of outpatient-only substance abuse treatment facilities offer programs for pregnant and postpartum women. And 13 percent of residential treatment facilities have such programs, according to 2012 SAMHSA data.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more on opioids.

"} ]