VA Extends New Hepatitis C Drugs to All Veterans in Its Health System

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JAMA

 

Aided by new funds from Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is extending new antiviral treatments to all veterans with hepatitis C treated within its sprawling health care system—regardless of the stage of their illness and whether they contracted these infections during military service.

The move puts the VA at the forefront of combatting the nation’s deadliest infectious disease, which kills more people in the United States than HIV, tuberculosis, pneumoccocal disease, and dozens of other infectious conditions combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


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Harvard researchers link “good” fats with longer life

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Harvard Health Letter

October 2016

A recent Harvard study on dietary fat, one of the largest and longest to date, offers more evidence to consider ditching or reducing unhealthy fat in your diet.

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New Study Shows HIV Epidemic Started Spreading in New York in 1970

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NBC News

OCT 26 2016

A new genetic study confirms theories that the global epidemic of HIV and AIDS started in New York around 1970, and it also clears the name of a gay flight attendant long vilified as being “Patient Zero.”

Researchers got hold of frozen samples of blood taken from patients years before the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS was ever recognized, and teased out genetic material from the virus from that blood.

Image: Colorized electron microscope image of the HIV virus.

The human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS. BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images

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Want a Zika Test? It’s Not Easy

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The New York Times

SEPT. 19, 2016

Jamie Palmeroni-Lavis plays with her son, Daniel, and husband, Rob Lavis, at Adeline Park in Rochester, N.Y. The couple traveled to the Dominican Republic recently and want to be tested for Zika before having another baby. Credit Rachel Jerome Ferraro for The New York Times.
Jamie Palmeroni-Lavis plays with her son, Daniel, and husband, Rob Lavis, at Adeline Park in Rochester, N.Y. The couple traveled to the Dominican Republic recently and want to be tested for Zika before having another baby. Credit Rachel Jerome Ferraro for The New York Times

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Implant for Opioid Dependence

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JAMA

The first buprenorphine implant for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence has received FDA approval (http://1.usa.gov/1RuiaRi).

Previously, buprenorphine was approved for opioid dependence as a pill or film placed under the tongue or on the inside of the cheek until it dissolves. The pills and films are effective but can be lost, forgotten, or stolen. The 6-month implant may improve adherence for many people in recovery. It is intended for patients with prolonged clinical stability at a daily dose of 8 mg or less of oral buprenorphine.

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Organic Meat and Milk Higher in Healthful Fatty Acids

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The New York Times

Organic meat and milk differ markedly from their conventionally produced counterparts in measures of certain nutrients, a review of scientific studies reported on Tuesday.

In particular, levels of omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for lowering the risk of heart disease, were 50 percent higher in the organic versions.

Credit Matthew Staver for The New York Times

Credit Matthew Staver for The New York Times

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Superbugs” and the very real threat of untreatable infections

Harvard Health Letter

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria mutate to “outsmart” or resist antibiotic medicine, making the bacterial infection more difficult for doctors to treat and cure with standard medications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2 million people are infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria every year, and more than 23,000 people die from these infections.

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Helpless to Prevent Cancer? Actually, Quite a Bit Is in Your Control

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The New York Times

Americans seem very afraid of cancer, with good reason. Unlike other things that kill us, it often seems to come out of nowhere.

But evidence has increasingly accumulated that cancer may be preventable, too. Unfortunately, this has inflamed as much as it has assuaged people’s fears.

As a physician, I have encountered many people who believe that heart disease, which is the single biggest cause of death among Americans, is largely controllable. After all, if people ate better, were physically active and stopped smoking, then lots of them would get better. This ignores the fact that people can’t change many risk factors of heart disease like age, race and family genetics.

Credit Dominic Kesterton

Credit Dominic Kesterton

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CDC: Half of black gay men will be diagnosed with HIV

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CBS News

If current HIV diagnosis rates persist, about half of all gay black men and a quarter of gay Latino men in the United States will be infected with HIV in their lifetime, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings, which represent the first-ever projections of lifetime risk of HIV infection in the U.S., were presented today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston.

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How to Eat Healthy Meals at Restaurants

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The New York Times

Most meals at American restaurants aren’t healthy. They’re packed with processed food and enough calories to cover two or three sensible meals.

Yet it’s entirely possible to eat both healthy and tasty restaurant meals. And because eating out is one of life’s great pleasures, we’ve put together this guide to smart restaurant eating. It ranges from undeniably healthy meals — with a rich variety of foods, heavy on fruits and vegetables, light on sugar — to fast-food meals that are at least better than the alternatives if you find yourself eating at McDonald’s.

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