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Health Media Articles

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Microplastics can cross placenta into unborn babies, study shows
2022-12-28, The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/microplastics-in-humans-baby-placen...

Microplastics have been found to cross the placenta into unborn babies, a shocking study reveals. Scientists warn it is impossible to stop children ingesting the tiny plastic particles as well as even smaller nanoplastics, which can be found almost everywhere. Microplastics have also been found in newborn children, the researchers add. Infants ingest microplastics from baby bottles, toys, textiles and food packaging. When microplastics end up in household dust, children can ingest them by playing and crawling on the floor. Microplastics contain other harmful chemicals as well as plastic, such as phthalates and metals added for colour, stabilisation or as a biocide. When microplastics end up outdoors, for example as particles from car tires, this plastic core is often coated with air pollution and car exhaust. Study author Kam Sripada from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said: “It’s quite possible that children are more exposed to microplastics than adults, similar to children’s greater exposure to many other environmental toxic chemicals. “No one knows exactly how much microplastic a child ingests, but several studies now suggest that today’s children absorb microplastics in their bodies as early as at fetal age. “Children do not have a fully developed immune system and are in a very important phase of their brain development. “This makes them particularly vulnerable. Nano and microplastics are so miniscule that they can travel deep into the lungs and can also cross into the placenta.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Opposition to School Vaccine Mandates Has Grown Significantly, Study Finds
2022-12-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/16/health/vaccines-public-opinion.html

For generations of most American families, getting children vaccinated was just something to check off on the list of back-to-school chores. But after the ferocious battles over Covid shots of the past two years, simmering resistance to general school vaccine mandates has grown significantly. Now, 35 percent of parents oppose requirements that children receive routine immunizations in order to attend school, according to a new survey released Friday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Forty-four percent of adults who either identify as Republicans or lean that way said in the latest survey that parents should have the right to opt out of school vaccine mandates, up from 20 percent in a prepandemic poll conducted in 2019 by the Pew Research Center. In contrast, 88 percent of adults who identify as or lean Democratic endorsed childhood vaccine requirements, a slight increase from 86 percent in 2019. The survey found that 28 percent of adults overall believed parents should have the authority to make school vaccine decisions for their children, a stance that in the 2019 Pew poll was held by just 16 percent of adults. The shift in positions appears to be less about rejecting the shots than a growing endorsement of the so-called parents' rights movement. Indeed, 80 percent of parents said that the benefits of vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella outweighed the risks, down only slightly from 83 percent in 2019. The latest survey was based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,259 adults.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Monsanto and the Merchants of Poison
2022-12-23, CounterPunch
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/12/23/monsanto-and-the-merchants-of-poison/

Last week, the report Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide was published by authors Stacy Malkan, Kendra Klein and Anna Lappé. [In 2012], pesticide and processed food companies spent $45 million to defeat a ballot initiative to label GMOs (genetically modified foods) in California. This campaign was led by Monsanto, one of the planet’s largest producers of GMOs. Monsanto created a PR storm through the mouths of so-called third-party “experts” from across the fields of academia and science. It was later revealed that these allegedly neutral voices were closely tied to Monsanto. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015 concluded that glyphosate—the chemical contained within herbicides that most GMO crops have been engineered to resist—is likely a human carcinogen. Thousands sued Monsanto claiming that their exposure of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based product, Roundup, caused their cancers. Monsanto employees ghostwrote scientific papers on the safety of glyphosate and strategized how to discredit journalists and scientists raising concerns about the pesticide. Major universities, including University of California Davis and University of Florida, played a significant role in legitimizing and amplifying pesticide industry product-defense efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cornell University, and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) ... also provided essential aid and cover for pesticide industry propaganda.

Note: A 2019 study found that glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs and science corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘Not anti-vaxxers’: Dr Kerryn Phelps says she suffered COVID vaccine injury, calls for more research
2022-12-20, Sydney Morning Herald
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/not-anti-vaxxers-dr-kerryn-phelps-say...

Former federal MP Dr Kerryn Phelps says she and her partner experienced vaccine injury, calling for tests for long COVID and vaccine injuries as well as more research on the long-term harms of the coronavirus and immunisation side effects. In a submission to an ongoing parliamentary inquiry on long COVID Phelps said she and her wife had both been injured after receiving COVID vaccinations. She said her wife, Jackie Stricker-Phelps, suffered long-term symptoms including ongoing nerve pain and fatigue following her first injection, while Phelps herself experienced symptoms including breathlessness and irregular blood pressure following her second shot. In an interview, the former Australian Medical Association president and medical practitioner said more research was vital to understanding both the disease and vaccine injury as the pandemic continues. “People who have vaccine injuries are not anti-vaxxers, because they have turned up to have vaccines ...” she said. She noted in her submission that for many vaccine-injured people, the symptoms were similar to long COVID, including brain fog and fatigue. More than 64 million vaccine doses have been administered across the country, as of November 16, and since December 2021 people injured by one have been able to make a claim for compensation through the vaccine claims scheme. A Services Australia spokesperson said as of November 23, the department has received 3100 applications, and 79 have been approved for claims totaling $3.9 million.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Congress and Industry Leaders Call for Crackdown on Hospice Fraud
2022-12-19, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/congress-and-industry-leaders-call-for-crac...

After ProPublica and the New Yorker published an exposé of hospice fraud, members of Congress have called on the Department of Health and Human Services to “immediately investigate this situation.” The ... investigation described how the lucrative design of the Medicare benefit incentivizes many profit-seeking hospices to cut corners on care and target patients who are not actually dying. It chronicled the lack of regulation and the frustrated efforts of whistleblowers to hold end-of-life care conglomerates accountable. And it drew on state and federal data to reveal how, in the absence of oversight, the number of for-profit hospice providers in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada has lately exploded. Hospice began more than 60 years ago as a countercultural charity movement to help patients die with comfort, support and as little pain as possible. After the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan authorized Medicare to cover the service, dying became a big business. In 2000, less than a third of all hospices were for-profit. Today, more than 70% are. Between 2011 and 2019, the number of hospices owned by private equity firms tripled. For profit-seeking providers, hospice is lucrative: Medicare pays a fixed rate per patient a day, regardless of how much help is offered. The aggregate Medicare margins of for-profit providers hover around 20% compared with just 5% for nonprofits. For-profit hospices are more likely than their nonprofit counterparts to have less skilled staff ... and fewer home visits.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Why the government fails to limit many dangerous chemicals in the workplace
2022-12-15, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/12/15/1142915184/ortho-toluidi...

The permissible exposure limit for ortho-toluidine is 5 parts per million in air, a threshold based on research conducted in the 1940s and '50s without any consideration of the chemical's ability to cause cancer. Despite ample evidence that far lower levels can dramatically increase a person's cancer risk, the legal limit has remained the same. Paralyzed by industry lawsuits from decades ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has all but given up on trying to set a truly protective threshold for ortho-toluidine and thousands of other chemicals. The agency has only updated standards for three chemicals in the past 25 years; each took more than a decade to complete. David Michaels, OSHA's director throughout the Obama administration, [said] that legal challenges had so tied his hands that he decided to put a disclaimer on the agency's website saying the government's limits were essentially useless: "OSHA recognizes that many of its permissible exposure limits (PELs) are outdated and inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health." The agency has also allowed chemical manufacturers to create their own safety data sheets, which are supposed to provide workers with the exposure limits and other critical information. OSHA does not require the sheets to be accurate or routinely fact-check them. As a result, many fail to mention the risk of cancer and other serious health hazards. Almost one-third of more than 650 sheets for dangerous chemicals contain inaccurate warnings.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


Lessons from Germany to help solve the U.S. medical debt crisis
2022-12-14, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/12/14/1142601526/lessons-from-...

In one recent study of health care in 11 high-income countries, the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund found that 44% of Americans had out-of-pocket medical expenses that topped $1,000 in the previous year. Just 16% of Germans reported paying that much. The rates were even lower in France, at 10%, and Great Britain, where only 7% reported similar medical expenses. "Many Americans may not understand how affordable health care is for patients in other countries," said Reginald D. Williams II, who oversees international research at the Commonwealth Fund. "Medical debt is a largely U.S. phenomenon. It just doesn't happen in other countries." Germany, like the U.S., has a largely private health care system that relies on private doctors and private insurers. Like Americans, many Germans enroll in a health plan through work, splitting the cost with their employer. But Germany has long done something the U.S. does not: It strictly limits how much patients have to pay out of their own pockets for a trip to the doctor, the hospital or the pharmacy. This regulation occurs through a highly structured system in which insurers negotiate collectively with physician and hospital groups to set prices. American hospitals and other medical providers for decades have fiercely resisted limits on their prices, spending millions to fight government regulation. [Dr. Eckart] Rolshoven's patients pay nothing when they see him. That not only bolsters their health, he said. It helps maintain what Rolshoven called social peace.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption, pharmaceutical corruption, and health from reliable major media sources.


Federal Prisons Were Told to Provide Addiction Medications. Instead, They Punish People Who Use Them
2022-12-12, The Marshall Project
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2022/12/12/suboxone-federal-prison-opioid-...

Timothy York knows what works to treat his decades-long opioid addiction: Suboxone, a medication that effectively quiets cravings. In 2019, he was relieved to learn that the federal Bureau of Prisons was starting a program to expand access to Suboxone. He’s still waiting. In the meantime, he’s been punished for using Suboxone without a prescription. Last year, after York, 46, was caught with the medication, he spent a month in solitary confinement and had his visitor privileges revoked for a year. York is not alone. The Marshall Project spoke to more than 20 people struggling with addictions in federal prison, and they described the dire consequences of being unable to safely access a treatment that Congress has instructed prisons to provide. Some have overdosed. The lack of Suboxone treatment comes amid a rise in drug-related deaths behind bars. A variety of substances are routinely smuggled into prisons and jails through mail, drone drops, visitors or corrections officers and other staff. In the last two decades, federal data shows that fatal overdoses increased by more than 600% inside prisons and more than 200% inside jails. Forty-seven incarcerated people died of overdoses in federal prison from 2019 through 2021. The data does not specify how many of these overdose deaths were caused by opioids and could have been prevented by medications like Suboxone. During the same period, correctional staff administered Narcan — a drug that reverses opioid overdoses — almost 600 times.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: group shaping US nutrition receives millions from big food industry
2022-12-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/dec/09/academy-nutrition-financial-t...

Newly released documents show an influential group that helps shape US food policy and steers consumers toward nutritional products has financial ties to the world's largest processed food companies and has been controlled by former industry employees who have worked for companies like Monsanto. The documents reveal the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a record of quid pro quos with a range of food giants, owns stock in ultra-processed food companies and has received millions in contributions from producers of pop, candy, and processed foods linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other health problems. The findings are a part of a recently published peer-reviewed study that examined a trove of financial documents and internal communications obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (Foia) request. "It's incredibly influential so if the Academy is corrupt then nutritional policy in the US is going to be corrupt," said Gary Ruskin ... a co-author of the study. The Academy accepted at least $15m from corporate and organizational contributors from 2011-2017, and over $4.5m in additional funding went to the Academy's foundation. Among the highest contributions came from companies such as Nestl©, PepsiCo, Hershey, Kellogg's, General Mills, Conagra, the National Dairy Council and the baby formula producer Abbott Nutrition. The Academy and its foundation also received food industry fundings via sponsorships, which are in effect quid pro quos.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Sperm counts may be declining globally, review finds, adding to debate over male fertility
2022-11-18, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/18/health/sperm-counts-decline-debate#:~:text=On%...

Over the past 50 years, human sperm counts appear to have fallen by more than 50% around the globe, according to an updated review of medical literature. The review, and its conclusions, have sparked a debate among experts in male fertility. “I think one of the fundamental functions of any species is reproduction. So I think if there is a signal that reproduction is in decline, I think that’s a very important finding,” said Dr. Michael Eisenberg, a urologist with Stanford Medicine who was not involved in the review. “There is a strong link between a man’s reproductive health and his overall health. So it could also speak to that too, that maybe we’re not as healthy as we once were,” he said. The new analysis updates a review published in 2017 and for the first time includes new data from Central and South America, Asia and Africa. It was published in the journal Human Reproduction Update. An international team of researchers combed through nearly 3,000 studies that recorded men’s sperm counts and were published between 2014 and 2020. Overall, the researchers determined that sperm counts fell by sightly more than 1% per year between 1973 and 2018. The study concluded that globally, the average sperm count had fallen 52% by 2018. When the study researchers restricted their analysis to certain years, they found that the decline in sperm counts seemed to be accelerating, from an average of 1.16% per year after 1973 to 2.64% per year after 2020.

Note: There are strong links between sperm quality and motility, and environmental toxins like pesticides and endocrine-disruptors. Consider also reading an excellent collection of resources and studies that associate cell phone radiation with men’s reproductive health issues. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Study finds ‘huge’ increase in children going to the emergency room with suicidal thoughts
2022-11-14, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/14/health/suicide-er-visits-kids/index.html

There has been a steady increase in the number of children who are seen in emergency rooms for suicidal thoughts, according to a new study. The study, published ... in the journal Pediatrics, used data from hospitals in Illinois. The researchers looked at the number of children ages 5 to 19 who sought help for suicide in emergency departments between January 2016 and June 2021. In that period, there were 81,051 emergency department visits by young people that were coded for suicidal ideation. About a quarter of those visits turned into hospital stays. The study found that visits to the ER with suicidal thoughts increased 59% from 2016-17 to 2019-21. There was a corresponding increase in cases in which suicidal ideation was the principal diagnosis, which rose from 34.6% to 44.3%. Hospitalizations for suicidal thoughts increased 57% between fall 2019 and fall 2020. “It just really highlights how mental health concerns were really a problem before the pandemic. I mean, we saw this huge increase in [emergency department] visits for kids of all ages, honestly, in 2019, and it’s very concerning,” said study co-author Dr. Audrey Brewer. Dr. Nicholas Holmes ... at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, said the increase in the number of kids seeking help in his health care system has been “profound.” “Over the last nine years, where we would see about anywhere from one to two patients a day that were having a behavioral health crisis, now we’re seeing 20-plus a day,” said Holmes.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


What Everyone Should Know About the Brain’s Ability to Heal
2022-10-25, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/25/opinion/brain-stroke-recovery-fetterman.html

Our brains are made up of billions of cells that work together to create our every ability. Wipe out those cells, through a stroke or other brain trauma, and you may no longer be able to read, but you might still be able to speak, sing or write. It’s all about where the brain is damaged — which systems of cells are traumatized and which are not. The three-pound mass of neurological tissue that we call the brain has the power not only to create every ability we have but also to manifest our perception of reality. Our brains have a two-pronged defense mechanism that kicks in when brain trauma occurs. Not only are we able to grow some new neurons — a process called neurogenesis — especially in the sites where physical trauma has occurred, our brain cells are capable of neuroplasticity, which means they can rearrange which other neurons they are in communication with. That’s why, whenever I meet someone who has experienced a brain trauma of any sort, I don’t focus on what abilities that person has lost, but rather I marvel at what insights that person might have gained because of the experience. Few things have greater impact on how people choose to live their lives than neurological trauma or near-death experiences. And when we find ourselves to be neurologically impaired, we become vulnerable and need others to support us rather than criticize or judge us. I became a much more compassionate and empathetic person following my stroke and recovery. Perhaps I am not the only one.

Note: The above was written by Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist and the author of "My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey." Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


A ‘game-changer’ for millions of Americans: You can now buy hearing aids over the counter
2022-10-17, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/17/health/over-the-counter-hearing-aids-available...

For the first time, adults with mild to moderate hearing loss in the US will be able to buy over-the-counter hearing aids. Those who are under 18 or who have severe hearing loss will still need a prescription. In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order meant to promote competition; it encouraged the US Food and Drug Administration allow over-the-counter, prescription-free hearing aids, and the FDA announced the long-awaited rule change in August. The move ushers in options that should be cheaper and possibly even better. Now, instead of getting a prescription and having a custom fitting with a hearing health professional, adults can buy hearing aids directly from a store or online. Some doctors estimate that 90% of the population with hearing loss could benefit from these over-the-counter devices. Experts say the move is a “game-changer.” The number of people with hearing loss is substantial. About 1 in 8 people in the US ages 12 and older has hearing loss in both ears. About a quarter of people 65 to 74 have hearing loss. On average, people spend at least $4,000 out of pocket for devices for both ears, according to a 2020 study published in the medical journal JAMA. Prices can vary: Large retailers may offer a pair for about $1,400, but some can cost as much as $6,000 per ear. Until now, five companies have controlled 90% of the global marketplace for hearing aids. That kind of consolidation meant there was little price competition.

Note: Why were these not available over the counter before? Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


US firms exploiting Trump-era loophole over toxic ‘forever chemicals’
2022-10-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/12/pfas-toxic-forever-chemic...

Chemical companies are dodging a federal law designed to track how many PFAS “forever chemicals” their plants are discharging into the environment by exploiting a loophole created in the Trump administration’s final months, a new analysis of federal records has found. The Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act put in place requirements that companies discharging over 100lb annually of the dangerous chemicals report the releases to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But during the implementation process, Trump’s EPA created an unusual loophole that at least five chemical companies have exploited. PFAS ... accumulate in humans and the environment. A growing body of evidence links them to serious health problems like cancer, birth defects, liver disease and autoimmune disorders. The Trump EPA gave PFAS an unusual exemption under the law that allows companies not to report discharges if the amounts are ... less than 1% of a total mixture. Companies discharging thousands of pounds of PFAS could have gotten their releases under the 1% threshold via several routes. Companies may have added water to PFAS to dilute it to the point that it is below 1%. However, the total amount of PFAS released is still high, and may present a threat once in the environment. Companies may also be using complex mixtures with multiple PFAS. If the companies keep any one PFAS compound below the 1% threshold, then they won’t have to report it.

Note: Read more about the risks and dangers of these 'forever chemicals.' For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


How mud boosts your immune system
2022-10-10, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220929-how-outdoor-play-boosts-kids-immu...

"Don't get dirty!" was once a constant family refrain, as parents despairingly watched their children spoil their best clothes. Today, many parents may secretly wish their children had the chance to pick up a bit of grime. According to recent research, the dirt outside is teaming with friendly microorganisms that can train the immune system and build resilience to a range of illnesses, including allergies, asthma and even depression and anxiety. Certain natural materials, such as soil and mud ... contain surprisingly powerful microorganisms whose positive impact on children's health we are only beginning to fully understand. Our brains evolved in natural landscapes, and our perceptual systems are particularly well suited to wild outdoor spaces. Supporting this theory, one study from 2009 found that children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were better able to concentrate following a 20-minute walk in the park, compared to a 20-minute walk on the streets of a well-kept urban area. People who grow up on farms are generally less likely to develop asthma, allergies, or auto-immune disorders like Crohn's disease [due to] their childhood exposure to a more diverse range of organisms in the rural environment. Michele Antonelli, a doctor from Italy ... has researched the ways that mud therapies can influence health. People with [skin] disorders ... seem to have an impoverished community of organisms. "These microorganisms can play a major role in many major chronic diseases," he says.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


A potentially cancer-causing chemical is sprayed on much of America’s farmland. Here is where it is used the most.
2022-10-10, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/data-graphics/toxic-herbicides-map-showing-high-use-s...

Every day, farms across the country use a potentially cancer-causing chemical that is in the world’s most common weedkillers. And data shows that it’s most used in the Midwest and parts of the South. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in many herbicides, has been in use for nearly 50 years. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded in a 2015 report that the chemical “is probably carcinogenic to humans.” Glyphosate’s main use is in agriculture. Weedkillers containing it are used on nearly half of all planted acres of corn and soybeans in the U.S. They’re also used on acres of farmland where wheat, oats, fruits and cotton are grown. Pesticide residue testing from the FDA found glyphosate residues on a wide variety of crops, including oats, soybeans, cranberries, grapes, raisins, oranges, apples, cherries and beans. A 2020 Department of Health and Human Services report notes that the greatest potential exposure is among farm workers and gardeners that use glyphosate-based herbicides and those who live near farms, manufacturing plants ... and hazardous waste disposal sites. For the general public, the report notes that exposure to glyphosate typically comes by touching or eating food or water containing residues. Some studies have found a link between increased cancer rates and higher levels of exposure. Several peer-reviewed studies have also suggested that herbicides containing glyphosate may disrupt hormones and alter the gut microbiome

Note: Don't miss the interactive map of glyphosate usage available at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


‘The Cash Monster Was Insatiable’: How Insurers Exploited Medicare for Billions
2022-10-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/08/upshot/medicare-advantage-fraud-allegation...

By next year, half of Medicare beneficiaries will have a private Medicare Advantage plan. Most large insurers in the program have been accused in court of fraud. The health system Kaiser Permanente called doctors in during lunch and after work and urged them to add additional illnesses to the medical records of patients they hadn’t seen in weeks. Doctors who found enough new diagnoses could earn bottles of Champagne, or a bonus in their paycheck. Anthem, a large insurer now called Elevance Health, paid more to doctors who said their patients were sicker. And executives at UnitedHealth Group, the country’s largest insurer, told their workers to mine old medical records for more illnesses. Each of the strategies — which were described by the Justice Department in lawsuits against the companies — led to diagnoses of serious diseases that might have never existed. But the diagnoses had a lucrative side effect: They let the insurers collect more money from the federal government’s Medicare Advantage program. A New York Times review of dozens of fraud lawsuits, inspector general audits and investigations by watchdogs shows how major health insurers exploited the program to inflate their profits by billions of dollars. Eight of the 10 biggest Medicare Advantage insurers — representing more than two-thirds of the market — have submitted inflated bills, according to the federal audits. And four of the five largest players — UnitedHealth, Humana, Elevance and Kaiser — have faced federal lawsuits alleging ... fraud.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


86% of kids under 17 have antibodies from a past COVID infection, CDC data shows
2022-10-06, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/86-kids-17-antibodies-past-covid-infection-cdc/...

More than eight in 10 kids under the age of 17 have antibodies from a past COVID-19 infection, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The analysis shows that as of August, 86% of children between 6 months and 17-years-old have had at least one COVID infection since the pandemic began. That number is an increase from data in April, when the public health agency found 75% of people under the age of 17 had been infected with the virus. "What we have to recognize is this is more of an indication that there's been broad spread of this virus in the pediatric community," said Dr. John Brownstein, an ABC News contributor. "And that, you know, the kids are not sheltered from this virus. And we know that in a small number of cases, there's severe impacts." What the findings don't mean is that 86% of children and adolescents are now protected against COVID reinfection because they've had COVID before. Experts have noted that they don't know exactly how long protection from infection lasts after contracting the virus. "What we should not take away from this data is that that the kids are now immune from infection," Brownstein said. "As we know, immunity wanes, variants evolved to evade prior immunity."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Study links in utero ‘forever chemical’ exposure to low sperm count and mobility
2022-10-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/oct/05/pfas-sperm-count-mobility-tes...

A new peer-reviewed Danish study finds that a mother’s exposure to toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” during early pregnancy can lead to lower sperm count and quality later in her child’s life. PFAS – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – are known to disrupt hormones and fetal development, and future “reproductive capacity” is largely defined as testicles develop in utero during the first trimester of a pregnancy, said study co-author Sandra Søgaard Tøttenborg. PFAS are a class of about 12,000 chemicals typically used to make thousands of products resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they accumulate in humans and the environment and do not naturally break down. A growing body of evidence links them to serious health problems such as cancer, birth defects, liver disease, kidney disease and decreased immunity. The study ... examined semen characteristics and reproductive hormones in 864 young Danish men born to women who provided blood samples during their pregnancies’ first trimesters between 1996 and 2002. Mothers with higher levels of exposure more frequently raised adult men with lower sperm counts, as well as elevated immotile sperm levels, meaning their sperm did not swim. This exposure also increased the amount of non-progressive sperm – sperm that do not swim straight or swim in circles. Both issues can lead to infertility. The ubiquitous chemicals are estimated to be in 98% of Americans’ blood.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Success of experimental Alzheimer’s drug hailed as ‘historic moment’
2022-09-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/sep/28/alzheimers-disease-progressio...

An experimental drug has slowed the rate of decline in memory and thinking in people with early Alzheimer’s disease. The cognition of Alzheimer’s patients given the drug, developed by Eisai and Biogen, declined by 27% less than those on a placebo treatment after 18 months. This is a modest change in clinical outcome but it is the first time any drug has been clearly shown to alter the disease’s trajectory. “This is a historic moment for dementia research, as this is the first phase 3 trial of an Alzheimer’s drug in a generation to successfully slow cognitive decline,” said Dr Susan Kohlhaas, the director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “Many people feel Alzheimer’s is an inevitable part of ageing. This spells it out: if you intervene early you can make an impact on how people progress.” In the study, which enrolled roughly 1,800 patients with early stage Alzheimer’s, patients were given twice-weekly infusions of the drug, called lecanemab. It was also shown to reduce toxic plaques in the brain and slow patients’ memory decline and ability to perform day-to-day tasks. The results offer a boost to the “amyloid hypothesis”, which assumes that sticky plaques seen in the brains of dementia patients play a role in damaging brain cells and causing cognitive decline. A series of previous drug candidates had been shown to successfully reduce levels of amyloid in the brain, but without any improvement in clinical outcomes, leading some to question whether the research field had been on the wrong track.

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