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Latest News Around the Web

VA Researching Alternative Therapies For PTSD Sufferers

The San Diego Union-Tribune (1/9, Steele) reports, “Nationally,” Veterans Affairs is “embracing alternative therapies,” including meditation and yoga, “to help veterans deal with combat stress and…physical pain.” However, a “May VA research conference concluded that evidence of the benefit of these therapies on post-traumatic stress disorder — possibly the signature wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — is still thin. Now VA researchers in San Diego, which has the largest population of post-9/11 military veterans in the nation, have received funding to conduct additional studies.”

Related Links:

— “PTSD? Try meditation and yoga,” Jeanette Steele, San Diego Union-Tribune, January 8, 2012.

Patients Not Taking Prescribed Medicines Cost US Healthcare System $290B Yearly

The AP (1/4, Johnson) reports, “Patients not taking medicine as prescribed cost the US healthcare system roughly $290 billion a year in extra treatment and related costs, research shows. One study estimated those patients pay about $2,000 a year in extra out-of-pocket medical costs.” Notably, “nearly three in four Americans don’t take their prescription medicine as directed. Even among those with serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes, about one in three don’t.”

Unfortunately, “for patients with chronic health conditions — nearly half the US population — not taking medications as prescribed can bring serious consequences,” even premature death.

Related Links:

— “Following the doctor’s orders on your medicine can save you thousands, prevent hospital stays,” Linda A. Johnson, Chicago Tribune, January 3, 2011.

“Positive Activity Interventions” May Counteract Depression

HealthDay (1/3, Thompson) reports that “a growing body of research that has found that ‘positive activity interventions’ — like helping someone with groceries, writing a thank you note or even counting your blessings — can serve as an effective, low-cost treatment for depression.” Michelle Riba, MD, former president of the American Psychiatric Association, “agreed that positivity can have a dramatic effect on people’s psychological well-being.” She stated, “In general, people who help others stop focusing on their own pains and problems and worries and feel good about themselves.”

Related Links:

— “With Depression, Helping Others May in Turn Help You,” Denise Thompson, HealthDay, January 2, 201.

Methamphetamine Users More Likely To Attempt Suicide

HealthDay (12/31, Mozes) reported, “Drug users who inject themselves with methamphetamine are 80 percent more likely to attempt suicide than those abusing other drugs,” according to a study published in the December issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Researchers arrived at this conclusion after examining “material from interviews involving nearly 1,900 men and women that were conducted in the Vancouver area over seven years, from 2001 to 2008.”

HealthDay also pointed out that the study was partly funded by the US National Institutes of Health.

Related Links:

— “Meth Users Much More Likely to Try Suicide,” Alan Mozes, HealthDay, December 30, 2011.

Maternal Poverty, Diabetes May Increase Risk For AD/HD In Offspring

HealthDay (1/3, Mann) reports that “the combination of poverty and having diabetes during pregnancy significantly raises the risk of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) in a woman’s offspring,” according to a study published in the January issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. In a study involving 212 children, 115 of which came from low-income families or had mothers with gestational diabetes or both, researchers found that “children born to such moms are as much as 14 times more likely to have AD/HD by the age of six.” In fact, mothers “who had either gestational diabetes or were poor were twice as likely to have children with AD/HD, but the combination of these two risk factors was even more powerful.”

Related Links:

— “Mom’s Poverty, Diabetes Might Raise ADHD Risk in Kids,” Denise Mann, HealthDay, January 2, 2012.

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