MASSDEVICE ON CALL —The incidence of adults worldwide with diabetes has more than doubled over the last 30 years, according to a study published by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and Imperial College London.
The number of adults with diabetes rose from 153 million in 2008 to 347 million in 2008.
About 70 percent of the rise can be attributed to populating growth and aging, but the rest is driven by obesity, a direct result of worsening diets, researchers said.
"The problem with diabetes is that if prevention fails and people develop the condition, the treatments available are not that effective and have many side effects. It is not like blood pressure and cholesterol, where there are lots of effective drugs," Dr. Majid Ezzati who led the Imperial College London team told Heartwire.
"We should be seriously restricting the availability of sugar-laden food and drinks and providing low-cost healthier alternatives. People will choose to snack on fresh fruit if it is made available at the right price, but at present it is much easier and cheaper to eat sugar-loaded rubbish. That should not be the case," Ezzati added.
Sens. Lieberman and Coburn reveal their Medicare plan
Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) unveiled their own Medicare plan this week, which they called "strong medicine" intended to make the system healthy again.
"Nobody’s going to like this plan. We understand that," Coburn said at a press conference Tuesday.
Most of the cost saving efforts in the plan come from benefit reductions and shifting costs to seniors, such as making seniors pay more for prescription drugs and raising the eligibility age for Medicare, Healthwatch reported.
Robert Wood rolls out hospital care comparison directory
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched their online directory comparing physician and hospital care around the U.S., the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog reported.
The database uses performance data from nationally recognized standards of quality and cost, including how often certain practices recommend screening tests or how long mothers typically spend in a given hospital after a cesarean section.
"It’s the best snapshot now of what quality looks like across the country," said Michael Painter, senior program officer at the RWJF.
President Obama’s health care reform saves $260 million on prescriptions
Nearly half a million seniors saved a combined $260 million on prescription drugs by the end of May, according to the Obama administration.
Administration officials credit the President’s health care reform overhaul with the savings, through which just under 500,000 people have taken advantage of the 50 percent prescription discount, Healthwatch reported..
Massachusetts firefighters is the first patient in New England with Next Step bionic knee
A firefighter who lost his leg in the line of duty six years ago will be the first patient in New England to receive a new bionic knee fitted by Next Step Orthotics & Prosthetics.
The knee was pioneered by Minnesota-based Otto Bock HealthCare. It’s designed to closely match natural movement to reduce strain on the hop and lower back and allow more spontaneous motion.
The implant’s different modes allow for activities like stepping over obstacles and ascending stairs by programming the knee with the flick of a switch, according to a company release.