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U.N. aborts plan to evacuate patients from Aleppo, blames all parties
25 Oct 2016 at 1:00am
The United Nations has abandoned plans to evacuate patients from besieged rebel-held east Aleppo which it had hoped to accomplish during a three day lull in fighting last week, blaming all parties to the conflict for obstructing efforts. "The evacuations were obstructed by various factors, including delays in receiving the necessary approvals from local authorities in eastern Aleppo, conditions placed by non-state armed groups and the government of Syria's objection to allowing medical and other relief supplies into the eastern part of the city," U.N. Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien said in a statement on Monday. "I am outraged that the fate of vulnerable civilians ? sick and injured people, children and the elderly, all in need of critical and life-saving support ? rests mercilessly in the hands of parties who have consistently and unashamedly failed to put them above narrow political and military interests," he said.
Obama health plan hit by double-digit premium hikes
25 Oct 2016 at 12:56am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama's health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That's sure to stoke another "Obamacare" controversy days before a presidential election.
Air pollution can affect blood pressure: study
25 Oct 2016 at 12:16am
Long-term exposure to urban air pollution incrementally increases the risk of high blood pressure, according to a study released Tuesday of more than 41,000 European city-dwellers. Constant noise pollution -- especially traffic -- also boosts the likelihood of hypertension, researchers reported in the European Heart Journal. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for premature illness and death.
Six die in fire at Malaysian hospital
24 Oct 2016 at 9:38pm
Seven people were trapped by the fire inside the second-floor intensive-care unit of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Bahru, bordering Singapore, the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department said on its official Twitter account. It was unclear what started the fire, or whether the casualties were patients or hospital staff.
How autism in girls may help reveal the disorder's secrets
24 Oct 2016 at 9:27pm
CHICAGO (AP) ? Think autism and an image of an awkward boy typically emerges, but the way autism strikes girls ? or doesn't ? may help reveal some of the developmental disorder's frustrating secrets.
FDA approves Merck's lung cancer drug as first-line treatment
24 Oct 2016 at 7:21pm
(Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc on Monday said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its immunotherapy Keytruda for use in certain previously untreated lung cancer patients, making it the only approved first-line treatment. The drug has been approved for treating metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with high-levels of a protein known for suppressing the immune system called PD-L1. The drug has already been approved for patients who have undergone previous chemotherapy for advanced non-small lung cancer.
U.S. government says benchmark 2017 Healthcare.gov premiums up 25 percent
24 Oct 2016 at 5:24pm
The average monthly premium for the benchmark plan is rising to $302 from $242 in 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services said. The agency attributed the large increase to insurers adjusting their premiums to reflect two years of cost data that became available. The government provides income-based subsidies to about 85 percent of people enrolled, and those credits will increase with the higher premiums.
Obama administration confirms double-digit premium hikes
24 Oct 2016 at 5:17pm
Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama's health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That's sure to stoke another ...
Gadgets in decline as R&D shifts to software and services -study
24 Oct 2016 at 4:02pm
By Eric Auchard FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Research and development spending by the world's biggest companies is accelerating into software and services while investment in physical products is falling sharply, an annual study by consulting firm PwC has found. The study is both a reflection of current spending priorities by the top 1,000 companies in North America, Europe, Japan, China and the rest of the world, but also a benchmark against which many firms will judge their future growth plans. The 2016 Global Innovation 1000 Study released on Monday by PwC's "Strategy&" unit found that by 2018, the healthcare industry will overtake computer and electronic hardware as the top R&D sector, spending $165 billion versus $159 billion.
Virginia health board lifts contested rules on abortion clinics
24 Oct 2016 at 4:01pm
(Reuters) - Virginia's Board of Health voted on Monday to remove contested regulations on abortion clinics that included meeting hospital-like building standards, a spokeswoman said. The 11-4 vote lifted restrictions imposed under a 2011 law that the board found were an undue burden on abortion providers, the spokeswoman said. Among other guidelines, the regulations called for facilities that perform five or more abortions a month to undertake costly renovations to meet hospital-style building codes instead of their current design as outpatient clinics.
Young football players' brains change after one season
24 Oct 2016 at 3:32pm
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Children's brains undergo noticeable changes after just one season of football, even if they were never diagnosed with a concussion, according to a new imaging study. While there is no way to know whether the changes may lead to health problems down the road, the researchers found that the degree of change seen in the brain's white matter tracts was tied to the amount of exposure a child had to head impacts during play. "It?s really another study that suggests there are changes in the brain associated with all of these head impacts," said lead author Dr. Christopher Whitlow, of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
U.N. wants $200 million to pay Haiti's cholera victims, communities
24 Oct 2016 at 3:19pm
By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations hopes it can raise $200 million for payments to families of more than 9,300 cholera victims in Haiti and to communities worst-affected by the outbreak of the disease, which has been blamed on Nepali U.N. peacekeepers. Half could be spent on communities, with the remaining $100 million paid to families of victims, U.N. special advisor David Nabarro told reporters.
U.S. transgender hockey player takes aim at being role model
24 Oct 2016 at 2:55pm
By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When ice hockey player Harrison Browne asked his professional league to change his name in his official player profile, to Harrison from Hailey, he did not suspect what a big moment it was.
Water soak fine for labor but not birth, doctors advise
24 Oct 2016 at 2:10pm
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Water deliveries have no proven benefits for mothers and may lead to serious health problems for babies, U.S. doctors advise. For mothers, laboring in water may help ease pain, lower the need for anesthesia and potentially speed up the early, or first, stage of labor before the cervix is fully dilated and the baby is ready to emerge, according to new recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). ?No specific maternal or infant risks have been identified with first stage immersion,? said Dr. Joseph Wax, chairman of ACOG?s committee on obstetrics practice and an author of the guidelines.
Changes in depression symptoms tied to lung cancer survival
24 Oct 2016 at 2:09pm
(In paragraph 6, clarifies that 14 percent of 745 people not depressed at baseline, 105 people, became depressed.) By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Worsening depression symptoms are associated with shorter survival for lung cancer patients, particularly those in the early stages of disease, according to a new U.S. study. Conversely, when depression symptoms lift, survival tends to improve, researchers found. ?Surprisingly, depression remission was associated with a mortality benefit as they had the same mortality as never-depressed patients,? said lead author Donald R. Sullivan of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.