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Showing posts from September 10, 2016

Drug Use in America: What the Numbers Say

Among those with a substance use disorder, three out of four people (or about 15.7 million) had a substance use disorder related to alcohol, Kana Enomoto, the principal deputy administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), said at a news conference today (Sept. 8). In addition, 1 in 3 people with a substance use disorder had a disorder related to drug use, and 1 in 8 people had a disorder involving both drugs and alcohol, Enomoto said. For the report, the federal government used the definitions of substance use disorders as they are explained in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

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Hospitals Jack Up Costs 'Strategically,' Study Finds

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that many hospitals charged more than 20 times the cost of some services, particularly for certain services like CT scans and anesthesiology. "Hospitals apparently mark up higher in the departments with more complex services, because it is more difficult for patients to compare prices in these departments," Ge Bai, who led the study and is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, said in a statement. Other high-tech services with exorbitant markups include MRI, electrocardiology (tests of the heart's electrical patterns) and electroencephalography (tests of the brain's impulse patterns), according to the findings.

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Irregular Heartbeat May Have Wide-Ranging Effects in the Body

The effects of an irregular heartbeat can ripple across the entire body, a new meta-analysis finds. The particular type of irregular heartbeat that researchers looked at, called atrial fibrillation, is a well-known cause of strokes, but the condition also increases a person's risk for complications such as heart failure, kidney disease and dying of heart disease, according to the meta-analysis. In the study, published Sept. 6 in the journal The BMJ, researchers analyzed 104 studies that included a total of more than 9 million patients, including more than half a million who had atrial fibrillation.


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Hurricanes Normally Peak Today

While none are brewing right now, odds are elevated today, as a result of a confluence of factors, from winds, to atmospheric pressure to ocean water temperature, according to the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration. Of course, that doesn't mean a nasty storm is actually in store for the Atlantic coast. "The tropical activity is usually greatest on average on that day," said Neal Dorst, a researcher with the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory Hurricane Research Division.


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