Culture

Fast-rising health costs have eaten nearly all the income gains made by a median-income American family of four over the past decade, leaving them with just $95 per month in extra income, after accounting for taxes and price increases, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Had health care costs risen only as fast as the cost of other goods and services in the United States from 1999 to 2009, the same family would have an additional $545 per month to spend in 2009, according to findings published in the September edition of the journal Health Affairs.

Increased consolidation among health plans nationally may benefit consumers by lowering hospital prices, at least in those regions where health plans are the most consolidated, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Researchers found that hospital prices were about 12 percent lower in the metropolitan areas with the fewest health plans, lending support to the view that when health plans become bigger they can negotiation lower prices from health providers.

WASHINGTON-- A new report released jointly today by AARP's Public Policy Institute, The Commonwealth Fund and The SCAN Foundation shows some states significantly out-perform others in the delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS) to older adults and people with disabilities.

A technology usually reserved for designing buildings, bridges and aircraft has now been used to aid breast tissue reconstruction in cancer patients.

In a study published today, Thursday 8 September, in IOP Publishing's journal Biofabrication, researchers used computer-aided design (CAD) to create an extremely accurate mould of a breast that was used as a visual aid to surgeons in tissue reconstruction operations.

Minority ethnic patients are not satisfied with NHS primary care services, despite the fact that they are using a national healthcare system that is supposed to be providing universal coverage, reveals research published online in BMJ Quality & Safety.

Patient experience surveys are increasingly being used to assess the quality of primary and hospital care alongside the evaluation of clinical outcomes.

Researchers in Canada have found that the relative likelihood of conceiving in the month of March is higher if you're a Canadian school-aged adolescent than if you're an adult.

Adhesive capsulitis, sometimes described as "frozen shoulder," is a condition where the connective tissue around the shoulder joint becomes chronically inflamed, causing thickening and tightening in the affected joint. Diagnosing adhesive capsulitis can be difficult because its symptoms—restricted movement and considerable pain—are similar to a variety of shoulder-related musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis. Proper diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis may require extensive investigation into the patient's medical history to eliminate other causes.

When it comes to the circuits that make up the olfactory system, it seems that less is more. Much like the addition and elimination of extra synapses that helps fine-tune brain circuitry, the olfactory system continues to produce and remove neurons throughout life. Yet it is not entirely clear how and why some newborn neurons are preserved while others are eliminated.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – For better or worse, marital quality influences the well-being of couples and those around them. In addition, economic and social hardships can reduce overall happiness within marriages. According to a new study from the University of Missouri, low-income couples who receive government assistance, such as Medicaid or Food Stamps, are significantly less satisfied and committed in their marriages.

Parental safety concerns may prevent children from getting good exercise, according to a new North Carolina State University study that examined how families use neighborhood parks. Results from the study suggest that children who were monitored too closely by hovering "helicopter" parents were less likely to engage in higher levels of physical activity.

In these tough economic times, universities are under pressure to use their knowledge and discoveries to drive economic growth, but an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) study reveals that not all universities are equal. Universities in the greater south-east of England seem to be better than those in less competitive regions at commercialising their research and innovation.

A team of leading marine scientists from around the world is recommending an end to most commercial fishing in the deep sea, the Earth's largest ecosystem. Instead, they recommend fishing in more productive waters nearer to consumers.

A Cochrane Review of data relating to about 45,000 patients involved in approximately 350 individual studies has provided an evaluation of the effect you can expect to get if you take commonly used painkillers at specific doses. The review also identifies pain killers for which there is only poor or no reliable evidence. This review will help doctors and patients to make evidence informed decisions of which pain killers to use, and is published in the latest edition of The Cochrane Library.

Early results suggest that using virtual reality (VR) human-computer interfaces might help adult stroke patients regain arm function and improve their ability to perform standard tasks, when compared to patients who don't use VR. The findings are reported in a new review published in The Cochrane Library.

Hyderabad, India: Many cases of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) seen in hospital and emergency care could be prevented, says a new study to be presented to the annual conference of the International Pharmaceutical federation (FIP) tomorrow (Thursday) . The researchers who carried out the study say that the finding that preventable ADRs are so widespread has important implications for healthcare systems.