Health News Roundup: Mental illness, likely to get cancer screening; Democrats to U.S. Supreme Court save Obamacare and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
People with mental illness less likely to get cancer screening
(Reuters Health) - People with mental illness get screened for cancer at much lower rates than the general population, which may contribute to higher rates of cancer deaths among the mentally ill, researchers say. In a review of 47 previous studies covering 4.7 million people in 10 countries, the study team found that adults with mental health issues were 24% less likely overall to get screened for cancer compared with the general population.
Democrats ask U.S. Supreme Court to save Obamacare
The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and 20 Democratic-led states asked the Supreme Court on Friday to declare that the landmark Obamacare healthcare law does not violate the U.S. Constitution as lower courts have found in a lawsuit brought by Republican-led states. The House and the states, including New York and California, want the Supreme Court to hear their appeals of a Dec. 18 ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that deemed the 2010 law's "individual mandate" that required people to obtain health insurance unconstitutional.
Chinese authorities say viral pneumonia outbreak is not SARS, MERS or bird flu
Chinese healthcare authorities in Wuhan said an outbreak of viral pneumonia was not Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) or bird flu, and that they were still working to identify the cause and source. In a statement posted on its website Sunday night, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said a total of 59 cases of unknown viral pneumonia had been reported as of Sunday, including seven in a critical condition. It also said it had put 163 people who had had contacts with the patients under medical observation.
Commuters may get less sleep and exercise
(Reuters Health) – People with full-time jobs who endure long commutes may be more likely to have sleep problems and sedentary lifestyles than counterparts who work closer to home, a Swedish study suggests. Among individuals working more than 40 hours a week, commuting more than a half-hour each way to work on a typical day was associated with a 25% higher risk of having an inactive lifestyle and a 16% higher risk of sleep problems, the study found.
Novartis, Merck, and Allergan join those raising U.S. drug prices for 2020
Novartis AG, Merck & Co Inc and Allergan Plc were among companies that raised U.S. prices on more than 100 prescription medicines on Friday, bringing the tally to 445 drugs that will cost more in 2020, according to data analyzed by healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors. That is above the average of 404 drug price increases in the first three days of January over the past five years. Nearly all of the price increases are below 10%, with the median price increase around 5%, according to 3 Axis.
InterCure gets Israel's first imported medical cannabis shipment
Canndoc, an Israeli producer of medical-grade cannabis, on Sunday received a shipment of 250 kilos of dried whole cannabis flowers that it says will help alleviate a shortage in Israel. Canndoc, a unit of InterCure Ltd, last week signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Canada's Tilray Inc for the import and export of medical cannabis.
Kids see you when you're drinking
Children may learn from an early age when it's appropriate to drink and how many drinks are okay from watching all the adults in their lives, a Dutch study suggests. Researchers asked 75 fathers and 83 mothers how common it would be for adults to drink in a range of situations like during a party, at work, while watching television or while driving. Then, they asked 359 unrelated children, ages 4 to 8, in which situations they thought it was common or appropriate for adults to drink.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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