Insight News

Tuesday
Aug 04th

Health

Postal Service tests ability to deliver medication in a public health emergency

On Sunday, May 6, U.S. Postal Service volunteers will make an unusual delivery in selected Twin Cities neighborhoods: An empty pill bottle at each residential mailing address. In the west metro, all residential addresses in ZIP codes 55411 and 55422 will be a part of the exercise, so people in parts of north Minneapolis, Crystal, Golden Valley, and Robbinsdale will receive the delivery. People who receive the pill bottle do not need to do anything—just recycle the bottle.

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Black women have twice the odds of infertility

PRNewswire/ -- Infertility affects one in eight couples or 7.3 million people in the U.S.  12% of women of reproductive age experience difficulty having a baby and Black women have twice the odds of infertility compared to white women.  11.5% of Black women report infertility compared to 7% of white women but yet studies indicate that Black women use infertility services less often.  Why?  "In the past, there was a lack of attention toward the problem of infertility in minority women, and most marketing campaigns of infertility awareness and treatment were not directed towards us.  This resulted in a lack of awareness about infertility as a disease and about avenues for seeking evaluation and treatment," says Dr. Desiree McCarthy-Keith, the newest reproductive endocrinologist to join Georgia Reproductive Specialists.  "Cost of infertility services can be prohibitive to couples from all ethnic backgrounds and cost may be a factor for some Black women as well," she continues.  "I believe lack of access to infertility care and limited awareness about evaluation and treatment options can also be substantial obstacles that keep many women from receiving the care that they need."

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Health care for us

Health care for us

It has been two years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, and already, the new law is improving the lives of African-Americans.
Since March 2009, more than 2.4 million African-American seniors with Medicare have received free preventive services such as diabetes screenings. About 410,000 more African- American young adults who would otherwise be uninsured gained coverage due to the law. In addition, 5.5 million African-Americans with private health insurance now have coverage for preventive services without paying an extra penny at their doctor's office.

And 10.4 million African-Americans with private insurance coverage no longer face lifetime limits thanks to the new health care law -- in other words, your insurance company can no longer drop your coverage at a time when you need it most.

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HPV and oral sex: A risky mix

What's the cause for the alarming 225 percent increase in oral cancer? Could it be heavy smoking or drinking? Well a new study in Clinical Oncology shows human papillomavirus (HPV) and oral sex are the culprit.
 
Certain oral cancers have declined by more than 50 percent thanks to decreases in tobacco use. Meanwhile, HPV related head, neck and throat cancers have exploded along with the popularity of oral sex (and deep kissing).

One long-term effect of the HIV epidemic has been an oral sex free-for-all. Also, many young people don't think being orally receptive is committing a sexual act. So as the popularity of oral sex zoomed one unintended consequence appears to be an increase in HPV related oral cancers.

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Health In Perspective: The oral sex, cancer connection

One of the most striking recent medical developments is difficult to talk about, but it’s timely and important. Cancers of the tongue and throat, all categorized as oropharyngeal cancers, are appearing at an epidemic rate! These cancer types were previously seen almost exclusively in older people who smoked and drank to excess. This is no longer true. Now the most common cause of cancer of the tonsil and tongue is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). That’s right, the sexually transmitted disease. And it is occurring in ever younger people of all socioeconomic classes. But now comes the squeamish part. The increased rate of this cancer directly parallels the evolution in sexual practices that have occurred within our society over the past 40 years. The risk factor most strongly associated with this cancer is a history of performing oral sex and oral-anal contact. That’s because the tonsils in the back of the throat are fertile ground for this virus.

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Health exchanges create affordable care

This week, two years ago, President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law.  By doing so, he started states down the path to creating Health Benefits Exchanges, or marketplaces that will help Americans find affordable health care. The state of Minnesota has chosen to create its own exchange, drawing on our history of leadership and excellence in the area of healthcare. 

But, Minnesotans needs to ensure that the Exchange doesn’t fall victim to party-line politics. Some legislators want to put the Exchange into the hands of the health insurance companies and insurance brokers.

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Ellison hails second anniversary of Health Care Reform

Ellison hails second anniversary of Health Care Reform

Approximately half of metropolitan Minneapolis residents benefit
Only two years after its enactment more than half of Metropolitan Minneapolis residents are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as the Healthcare Reform bill. 

The landmark bill, signed March 23, 2012, made comprehensive health care available to millions of Americans and gave them more control over the coverage they can receive. 

Because of ACA insurance companies cannot refuse to cover children with pre-existing conditions like asthma or diabetes. In addition young adults can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26 and seniors get discounts on prescription drugs, as well as free preventative services. Estimates are that almost half of the people in the Minneapolis area have improved health insurance coverage as a result.

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