The Rundown | Week of 7.1.2019

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Study: Income Inequality Linked to Health Injustice

America’s growing income inequality has impacted health outcomes, according to a recent study in JAMA Network Open. Researchers analyzed health data from 1993 to 2017 to evaluate whether “health equity improved or worsened during the past 25 years in the United States among working-aged adults.” Health equity was measured using “self-reported general health and healthy days” as well as four measures, including “black-white” and “income disparities.” Researchers found that overall income disparities increased and health justice decreased.
>> Read More: Trends in Health Equity in the United States by Race/Ethnicity, Sex, and Income, 1993-2017

Court Rejects Appeal to Extend ACA Briefings

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit refused Republican lawmakers’ attempt to delay oral arguments in a case against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The state attorneys challenging the act’s constitutionality requested a 20-day postponement to file supplemental briefings. The letter was denied, and the oral argument will occur on July 9. “Allowing this appeal to proceed on its current schedule will provide some measure of certainty about the ACA’s future to states, the health care system — including providers and insurers — and ordinary Americans, and allow them to structure their affairs accordingly,” Democratic attorneys responded.
>> Read More: Court Rejects GOP Bid for Oral Argument Delay in ACA Appeal

Evidence Shows Brain Supplements Do Not Work

A recent study by AARP found that more than a quarter of adults older than 50 take “at least one supplement for brain-health reasons,” despite little evidence of benefits. The three-billion dollar industry is projected to grow to $5.8 billion by 2023. The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), who conducted the “evidence review,” ruled “it could not endorse any ingredient, product or supplement formulation designed for brain health.” Instead, a healthy diet was “the best way to get your nutrients for brain health.” Researchers concluded: “Scientific evidence does not support the use of any supplement to prevent, slow, reverse, or stop cognitive decline or dementia or other related neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s.”
>> Read More: The Real Deal on Brain Health Supplements: GCBH Recommendations on Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Dietary Supplements

Excessive EHR Messaging Tied to Burnout

Based on a survey of nearly 1,000 physicians, researchers found that “meaningful redesign of EHR … workflow and a wellness-enhancing work environment are necessary to effectively improve physicians’ well-being.” Physicians surveyed received an average of 114 weekly messages from their electronic health record (EHR). However, providers in family practice and family medicine received more than 200. This excessive messaging led to a 40 percent increased likelihood of burnout symptoms and a 38 percent greater probability of wanting to reduce their clinical workload. Furthermore, “Female physicians had a higher risk of burnout and lower satisfaction with life, compared to males.” Researchers suggested delegating tasks to staff and limiting providers’ off-hours messaging.
>> Read More: Physicians’ Well-Being Linked To In-Basket Messages Generated By Algorithms In Electronic Health Records

Morning Workouts, Consistency Key to Weight Loss

New evidence published in Obesity suggests exercising in the morning may have greater health benefits. The study of 375 adults found that those who exercised most consistently were the most successful at maintaining weight loss. Sixty-eight percent of participants who lost 30 lbs or more and maintained the loss worked out at the same time of day. Lead author Dale Bond, Ph.D., noted: “Our findings warrant future experimental research to determine whether promoting consistency in the time of day that planned and structured physical activity is performed can help individuals achieve and sustain higher levels of physical activity.”
>> Read More: Relationship of Consistency in Timing of Exercise Performance and Exercise Levels Among Successful Weight Loss Maintainers

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