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Study: One Bottle of Wine Equal to Five Cigarettes
A recent study in BMC Public Health concluded that drinking one bottle of wine per week carries health risks equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes. Researchers sought to translate “the absolute risk of cancer … attributed to moderate levels of alcohol” with smoking. To do so, researchers subtracted “alcohol and tobacco-attributable fractions … from lifetime general population risks of developing alcohol- and smoking-related cancers.” Ultimately, the one bottle of wine per week increased the lifetime cancer risk by 1 percent for men and 1.4 percent for women. The risks were especially high for breast cancer in women.
Report: AI to Add Billions to Healthcare Industry
The value of artificial intelligence (AI) in the global healthcare market is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 43.5 percent between 2018 and 2025. The overall value is expected to reach $27.6 billion. One of the primary factors behind the rise is the greater funding for AI, as indicated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) $1.65 million contest for predictive AI to “better predict health outcomes such as unplanned hospital and skilled nursing facility admissions and adverse events.” Hindrances to AI growth include user reluctance and distrust or security concerns.
FDA Approves Electrotherapy Headphones for Mental Illnesses
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a cranial electrotherapy stimulator (CES) to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia. The prescription device, Cervella, administers small currents across the brain. The treatment uses proprietary technology in the form of headphones with the CES embedded and connected to a mobile app. The manufacturers believe the discreet design will lead to greater adoption. While some have criticized the technology, a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders concluded: “CES significantly decreases anxiety and comorbid depression. Subjects reported no adverse events during the study.“
Employers Support ACA’s Pre-Existing Condition Clause
A survey from Mercer found 95 percent of employers were in favor of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) coverage for pre-existing conditions. The author(s) of the study noted: “Before the ACA was signed into law, the majority of larger employers voluntarily offered group health plans that covered pre-existing conditions for individuals who lacked prior continuous creditable coverage.” Furthermore, nearly half of the 600 surveyed supported subsidies to support ACA coverage while one-third believed the government must curtail short-term health plans’ expansion. The findings follow the Department of Justice’s request to strike down the entire ACA.
Exercise Outweighs Diet for Weight Loss
A new study indicates “successful weight-loss maintainers rely on physical activity to remain in energy balance (rather than chronic restriction of dietary intake) to avoid weight regain.” The study, which was published in Obesity, analyzed three groups: normal body weight, overweight, and weight-loss maintainers, defined as “those who maintain a reduced body weight of 30 pounds or more for over a year.” Researchers logged participants’ total daily energy expenditure as opposed to self-reported questionnaires or dietary journals. Interestingly, weight-loss maintainers consumed more calories than normal body weight participants, but through exercise accounted for the difference.