Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Up to Half of Americans Have Pre-Existing Illness: Report
A U.S. government analysis released Tuesday suggests that as
many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have pre-existing health
conditions that could result in them being rejected by private
insurers or having to pay more for health coverage.
The ailments that affect one-fifth to one-half of non-elderly
Americans range from cancer to chronic conditions such as high
blood pressure, heart disease and asthma, the
Washington Post reported.
The analysis was released by the secretary of the department of
Health and Human Services just hours before an expected House vote
on a bill to repeal the new health care law. Republicans dismissed
the document as "public relations" by the Obama administration.
While it can be difficult for sick people to buy insurance, the
analysis overstates the problem, an insurance industry spokesman
Cheney Thinking About Heart Transplant
Given his medical history, former U.S. Vice President Dick
Cheney says he'll need to make a decision about whether to have a
He currently requires a battery-powered heart pump, which makes
it "awkward to walk around," Cheney told
NBC in an interview, the
Associated Press reported.
"I'll have to make a decision at some point whether I want to go for a transplant," he said in the interview.
Cheney, 69, has had five heart attacks since the age of 37. His
most recent was last year, the
AP reported. He had bypass surgery in 1988 and two subsequent
angioplasties to open narrowed coronary arteries. He had a
pacemaker implanted in his chest in 2001 and in 2008 required an
electric shock to restore normal rhythm to his heart.
Fatty Acids Ease PMS Symptoms: Study
Dietary supplements that contain essential fatty acids can help
ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, according to a new
Brazilian researchers found that PMS symptoms were significantly
reduced when women took capsules with about one gram of a blend of
three essential fatty acids,
The study appears in the current issue of the journal
The human body does not produce essential fatty acids, which are
found in foods such as eggs, nuts, vegetable oils, fish and
Apple CEO Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave
Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs is taking his second medical leave of
absence in two years in order to focus on his health.
He announced his intentions in a note Monday to company
employees, but no further information was provided about his
current condition, the
Associated Press reported.
In 2004, Jobs was treated for a rare form of pancreatic cancer
and in 2009 he had a liver transplant.
Jobs said he will continue as CEO during his medical leave and
will be involved in major decisions, but the company's chief
operating officer will be responsible for day-to-day operations,
Opposition to Health Care Law Decreases: Poll
The level of opposition to the U.S. health care law has
decreased, according to a phone survey of 1,001 adults conducted
Associated Press-GfK poll found that 41 percent of
respondents oppose the law, while 40 percent support it. Following
November's congressional elections, opposition was 47 percent and
support was 38 percent.
Opposition remains strongest among Republicans, with 71 percent
against it, while 35 percent of independents and 19 percent of
Democrats are oppose the law.
Overall, strong opposition to the law is 30 percent, which is
close to the lowest level recorded in
AP-GfK polls going back to September 2009.
Only about one in four respondents want the law repealed, 43
percent want it changed so that it does more to rework the health
care system, and fewer than one in five want it left as it is, the
Nearly six in 10 respondents are against the law's requirement
that people must have health insurance or face penalties.
A Republican-led vote on repealing the health care law is
expected to take place this week in the House.