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Accelerate Medical Progress

Dietary Supplements Help Teens Healthier Choices Improving Your Child's Health iBirth Technology Keeping Fit While Sitting Veterans Health Care Update Hypertension Medicine Delivered

How To Help Accelerate Medical Progress In America

(NAPSI)—Each year in the United States, nearly 16,000 kids are diagnosed with cancer. And on any given day, as many as 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Beyond its debilitating symptoms, the death rate for Alzheimer’s is on the rise.

But there are steps you can take to protect your family from these potentially devastating medical conditions.

One idea that may come as a surprise to many Americans is to contact your congressional representatives and the candidates for their seats.

That’s the suggestion of a national, nonpartisan, voter education initiative called “Ask Your Candidates!” designed to empower voters to talk to candidates about the future of medical progress in the United States. Congress plays a key role in influencing the future of lifesaving research. Many voters are asking candidates if, once elected, they will vote to increase federal funding for medical research and support policies that spur innovation.

The initiative helps voters engage candidates on social media and through local events, grassroots, advertising and other interactive projects. Launched by Research!America, the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority, Ask Your Candidates! illuminates the crux of the issue: Federal funding for medical research is lower today than it was in 2010, and Congress has the authority to set future funding levels.

According to polling commissioned by Research!America, more than 60 percent of Americans believe candidates should assign a high priority to funding for medical research—and with good reason.

What The Researchers Do

Research—conducted at universities, research institutions and government agencies—lays the groundwork for treatments and cures for diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s to diabetes and many others.

Such research has, among many other things:

• Cut in half the death rate from childhood and adolescent cancer between 1975 and 2010.

• Restored mobility to wounded warriors and those with a disabling condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

• Dramatically reduced deaths from heart disease by nearly a third between 2000 and 2010.

• Saved our economy more than $21 in direct medical costs for every dollar spent on the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

What You Can Do

Voters can communicate with their candidates by visiting www.askyourcandidates.org to find out whether they will assign a high priority to medical research.

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Dietary Supplements May Help Reduce Health Care Costs

(NAPSI)—Here’s food for thought about finances: Use of specific dietary supplements in U.S. adults over the age of 55 not only helps improve their health but, according to a new economic report, can also mean significant savings in health care costs.

The Study

The new report, “Smart Prevention—Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements,” issued by the economic firm Frost & Sullivan, examined four separate chronic diseases and the potential for health care cost savings when U.S. adults over the age of 55, diagnosed with these conditions, used one of eight different dietary supplement regimens. The report found that utilizing certain dietary supplements that have been shown scientifically to help reduce the risk of experiencing a costly disease event among high disease-risk population groups can also be effective at controlling potential health care costs—in some cases, resulting in billions of dollars in savings. The study was funded through a grant from the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry.

The Problem

Approximately 75 percent of total U.S. health care dollars are spent treating preventable diseases, with only 3 percent spent on disease prevention programs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For example, medical events—that is, inpatient procedures, hospital stays and emergency room visits—related to coronary heart disease (CHD), one of the conditions examined in the report, cost $78 billion a year.

A Solution

However, if U.S. adults over the age of 55 years with high cholesterol took psyllium dietary fiber daily, the net cost savings from medical events related to CHD could be almost $2.5 billion a year between 2013 and 2020. Similarly, if U.S. women over the age of 55 with osteoporosis took calcium and vitamin D at preventive intake levels daily, the health care system could save $1.5 billion a year. For many people, the report can be a wake-up call to talk to their doctor, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or dietitian about smart prevention, including which dietary supplements and what intake levels are right for them.

Learn More

The report is available in its entirety at www.supplementforsmartprevention.org. Visit www.crnusa.org. Follow CRN on Twitter @CRN_Supplements and @WannaBeWell and on Facebook.com/lifesupplemented.

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Helping Teens Make Healthier Choices

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for parents who are looking for ways to help their teens make healthier choices when it comes to eating and exercise.

There is a brochure from the Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a national information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, called “Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers.”

It’s designed to help parents support their teens’ efforts to live a healthier lifestyle, particularly as the school year gets under way.

Here are some examples.

Choose Healthy Foods And Beverages

• Cover half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Try dark green, red, and orange vegetables, which have high levels of nutrients you need, such as vitamin C, calcium and fiber.

• Drink water or low-fat or fat-free milk, and avoid high-sugar beverages like soda and energy drinks. This may help you consume fewer calories from added sugars, which provide energy but few or no nutrients.

• Avoid pizza, candy and fast food.

Be More Physically Active

• Commit to being physically active for 60 minutes a day. It’s fine if you can’t do it all at once. You can be active for as little as 10 minutes at a time, spread throughout the day.

• Choose activities you like. Try soccer or basketball, or go on a hike with friends.

• Walk or bike to school. Just be sure to stay safe.

For more tips, teens can check out WIN’s “Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers.” This brochure features more ideas for consuming healthy foods and beverages and being physically active, a tool for planning healthy meals, and a tip sheet that teens can post in their lockers to remind themselves to stick with healthy habits.

Contact WIN to get your free copy of the brochure. Or go to www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/take_charge.htm to read and download the brochure.

For more information, call WIN at 1-877-946-4627 or visit www.win.niddk.nih.gov. You can also like WIN on Facebook at www.facebook.com/win.niddk.nih.gov.

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Tips On Improving Your Child’s Health

(NAPSI)—It’s estimated that about one-third of kids in the United States are overweight or obese. Being overweight as a child can lead to health problems later in life. Fortunately, as a parent or other caregiver, there are things you can do to help your child consume healthy foods and beverages, be physically active, and get to and stay at a healthy weight.

For example, try these tips from “Helping Your Overweight Child” from the Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a national information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health:

Choosing Healthy Foods and Beverages

• Buy and serve fruits and vegetables-fresh, frozen, canned or dried. Let your child choose them at the store. Get fruit without added sugar and vegetables without salt or added fats.

• Eat fast food less often. When you do visit a fast-food restaurant, encourage your family to choose healthier options, such as grilled instead of fried chicken.

• Don’t use food as a reward when encouraging kids to eat. For example, promising dessert to a child for eating vegetables sends the message that vegetables are less valuable than dessert.

Getting More Physical Activity

• Be active together as a family. Assign active chores, such as making beds, sweeping or vacuuming. Plan active outings, like a walk through a local park.

• Children need about 60 minutes of physical activity each day, but they don’t have to do it all at once. Several 10- or even five-minute bursts of activity throughout the day are just as good.

• Activities that kids choose on their own are often best. Encourage your child to play soccer with friends, catch and throw a ball, dance, or bike (with a helmet).

Additional Information

Looking for more? Check out WIN’s “Helping Your Overweight Child.” This fact sheet features ideas for supporting your child, lists of healthy snacks and activities your child may enjoy, and more tips to help your child choose healthy foods and beverages and be more physically active each day. Contact WIN to get your free copy. Or go to www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/over_child.htm to read and download the fact sheet.

For more information, call WIN at 1-877-946-4627 or visit www.win.niddk.nih.gov. You can also like WIN on Facebook at www.facebook.com/win.niddk.nih.gov.

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iBirth—Technology To Consider During Your Hospital Tour

(NAPSI)—As expecting parents, visiting the hospital you plan to have your baby at helps you get familiar with the policies, procedures and technologies available in labor and delivery. Having the time to check out your hospital of choice with an eye toward comfort, safety, support and service can make all the difference in having the birth experience you want.

Hospitals today offer many new technologies and services in labor and delivery you’ll want to ask about during your tour:

Comfort: Some of the best labor and delivery suites offer private rooms with bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, satellite radio, refrigerators, rocking chairs, sofa bed or extra bed for birth coaches. Many hospitals have taken the extra step to offer rooms with cozy, more homelike or hotel-inspired decor and softened lighting to create a more comfortable atmosphere. While most hospitals have adapted to the use of cell phones and tablets, it is important to check the hospital’s personal electronics policy.

Support: From physicians using smartphones to monitor patients’ labor and childbirth professionals (doulas, midwives) on staff to having Jacuzzi tubs, birth balls and squat bars available, hospitals offer the people and equipment to support families in their birth experience. Most hospitals offer the option to have the baby room-in with the mother to support bonding, but you will want to know the hospital policies in advance.

Safety: Astonishingly, an estimated 22 percent of all incidences of retained surgical sponges occur in vaginal births, which has the potential for significant health risks to new moms. Today, many hospitals use new sponge detection technology in surgical procedures to prevent retained surgical sponges. The RF Assure Delivery System is the only sponge detection device specifically designed for labor and delivery.

Services: If you plan to breastfeed your baby, check to see if your hospital offers the services of a lactation consultant during your stay. Some hospitals also provide a private refresher on baby care (diaper changing, cord care, bathing, etc.) prior to discharge. Check to see if your hospital allows in-room delivery of meals from local restaurants, a particularly nice option to notorious hospital and cafeteria food.

Knowing your hospital has the latest services and technologies designed to ensure your comfort and safety gives you a lot of confidence in your choice of where you deliver your baby.

For more information, visit www.rfsurg.com.

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Tips For Keeping Fit While Sitting

(NAPSI)—Sitting too long in a conventional chair at the office or on the couch at home is bad news for the body—but you can do something about it. According to chiropractor Dr. Todd Comer, who specializes in musculoskeletal and repetitive stress injuries, it can weaken the muscles of the spine, decrease metabolic activity, which is linked to heart disease, and can even decrease a person’s life span.

“Many of us suffer from what’s called the sitting disease, which is caused by the sedentary lifestyle we lead today,” said Dr. Comer. “Even if you are physically active, you are still at high risk from the negative health effects of uninterrupted sitting.”

Dr. Comer offers these tips to help people stay fit and healthy while sitting at work and home:

• Try not to sit for more than 45 minutes at any given time without getting up and standing for at least 15 minutes. This has been shown to increase productivity and help offset the sitting disease.

• At home, stay active by marching in place. Next, get on your hands and knees to perform cow and cat stretches to elongate shortened and sedentary muscles.

• A great stretch for your upper body is to cross your right knee over your left knee and pull it up toward you. Then, twist your back and turn your head to the right. Hold for five seconds. Now perform on the opposite side.

• Another seated stretch is to sit on the edge of the chair, tuck your feet in, open your arms and hands to the side, squeeze your shoulder blades together and then pull your neck in, giving yourself a triple chin. Hold for five seconds.

• Consider investing in your health with an ergonomic chair such as the Back App chair. The chair’s innovation is the adjustable red ball under the saddle seat, which provides smooth balanced movements that promote a natural healthy posture. When the chair is in motion, you’ll get a gentle workout that will help prevent aches and pains in your neck, back and hips. It will also strengthen your back and encourage proper posture. To find out more about the Back App, visit www.backapp.com.

Dr. Comer cautions that it’s important for people to understand their fitness level and, in order to prevent injuries, not to overdo it when performing any exercises.

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Veterans: Health Care Updates You Need To Know

(NAPSI)—Health care and health insurance are complex for most people, but for veterans even more so. Veterans have different and unique health care options that make decision making even more challenging. If you or a loved one has served in the military, it’s important to be aware of recent health care changes and the range of health coverage options available to veterans.

“Many veterans will be able to access more than one source of coverage,” said Hector De La Torre, executive director of the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies® (TCHS). “In fact, one in four veterans has more than one source of health care coverage.”

VA health care is the most widely known health benefit for veterans, made available by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Of the more than 21 million veterans in the United States, around 9 million are enrolled in VA, and over 5 million accessed VA care last year. However, the VA is only one of many options available to veterans and their families seeking access to health care and health insurance.

The national nonprofit TCHS has developed the Veterans Health Coverage Guide to help veterans understand and successfully navigate the complexities of health care. The following overview of health coverage options, as well as detailed information on how different types of coverage interact with each other, can be found at http://bit.ly/1s5Z2hS.

1. VA Health Care

VA health care, put simply, provides health care services exclusively for veterans. Health services are mostly provided in VA medical facilities, although there is a regional option through Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3). VA benefits may be received in conjunction with other health insurance or as stand-alone coverage. Enrollment in VA is optional and can be terminated or reinstated. It is generally available to veterans of any age who were honorably discharged from active military service after at least two years, and reserve members who completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty. Costs vary depending on years of service, income, and the nature of the care. All service-related care is free within the VA system.

2. TRICARE

TRICARE is health insurance provided by the Department of Defense for active-duty personnel and their families. TRICARE is available to active-duty service members, military retirees (those who completed 20 years of service) and their dependents. It may be used in conjunction with other health insurance or as stand-alone coverage. To enroll, veterans must also be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Veterans may enroll in Medicare or Medicaid while also receiving VA or TRICARE, but cooperation between the programs varies.

3. Employment-Based Insurance

Veterans in the civilian workforce are able to access insurance offered through their employer the way any other employee would. Employment-based insurance is the largest source of coverage for veterans under age 65. Veterans are able—but not required—to receive both employment-based coverage and VA benefits. For veterans who have both private employment-based insurance and VA, the VA can bill private insurance for the care they receive at VA facilities.

4. State Health Care Exchanges

Exchanges are new health insurance marketplaces in each state. Veterans will be able to purchase a health care plan through one of the health care Exchanges. However, an individual must be completely uninsured in order to qualify for a lower-cost marketplace plan. Enrollment in the VA Health Plan makes veterans ineligible for subsidies in the Exchange. In order to qualify for a subsidy or discount, a veteran must end enrollment in the VA plan and experience a gap in coverage between terminating VA benefits and enrolling in a marketplace plan. Should a veteran wish to return to VA benefits in the future, eligibility may change. Enrollment in the VA plan does not affect the ability of a veteran’s family to receive Exchange subsidies if they otherwise qualify. The next open enrollment period in the Exchange begins on November 15, 2014, continuing through February 15, 2015.

5. Medicaid

Medicaid is the largest source of medical and health-related services for people with low incomes (typically up to $12,000/$16,105 per year for an individual) in the United States. Eligibility varies by state. Medicaid is free or low cost (for co-pays), depending on income. Medicaid does not cover any health services at VA facilities, but for those with both Medicaid and TRICARE, Medicaid acts as the secondary payer. Unlike most other sources of insurance, Medicaid has no open enrollment period, which means veterans can enroll at any time.

6. Medicare

Medicare is health insurance provided by the federal government to individuals age 65 and older, as well as some adults with disabilities. All U.S. citizens and permanent residents 65 and older are eligible. To ensure the lowest monthly premiums, veterans must enroll within three months before or after their 65th birthday. Medicare and TRICARE work together—there is a branch of TRICARE called “TRICARE for Life” that becomes available when you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B (basic Medicare). Medicare becomes your primary insurance and TRICARE pays for any co-insurance and deductible. Medicare and VA benefits, however, do not work together. Medicare does not pay for any care received at VA facilities, but it will cover care at a non-VA facility.

For the complete Veterans Health Coverage Guide or for more information on the Transamerica Center for Health Studies, visit www.transamericacenterforhealthstudies.org/affordable-care-act/veterans.

The Transamerica Center for Health Studies® is a division of the Transamerica Institute®, a nonprofit, private foundation. The Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS) is focused on empowering consumers and employers so that they can achieve the best value and protection from their health coverage, as well as the best outcomes in their personal health and wellness. Although care has been taken in preparing this material and presenting it accurately, TCHS disclaims any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of any material contained herein and any liability with respect to it.

 

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Getting Hypertension Medicine Delivered to Your Door Is Convenient With AstraZeneca Direct

s(NAPSI)—Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common condition that affects nearly 1 in 3 Americans. In addition to following a healthy diet and lifestyle, many people living with the condition are prescribed daily medication to control their hypertension and heart failure and will need long-term access to this important class of medicine.

When you are faced with getting prescriptions filled every month, managing costs and ensuring consistent delivery options is an important first step in ensuring a successful treatment plan and making sure that you always have your daily dose. Over 19 million Americans who regularly take a prescription medication have gone online or used a coupon to get special offers on their medicines. Adding home delivery is one more way to conveniently ensure access to important medicine. If you’re looking for savings and convenience, AstraZeneca Direct is a new way to get branded hypertension medicine, TOPROL-XL® (metoprolol succinate), delivered to your home at an affordable price.

As part of AstraZeneca’s patient-focused program, AstraZeneca Direct, patients will pay just $30 for a 3 month/90-pill supply of TOPROL-XL or $15 for a 1 month/30-pill supply for home delivery of TOPROL-XL. Other branded medications available through AstraZeneca Direct include NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) and ARIMIDEX® (anastrozole) tablets.

“High blood pressure affects a large cross-section of our community, some of which may not be able to get their medicines as quickly as they’d like or at a price that they can afford,” said Rick Suarez, Executive Director, GI and Foundation Brands. “Programs like TOPROL-XL Direct provide people living with high blood pressure a convenient way of getting an important medicine delivered directly to their door.”

And signing up is easy. No insurance is necessary. All that’s needed is a valid prescription from your doctor for a 90-day or 30-day supply to complete the online enrollment process at www.TOPROL-XLDirect.com. Once enrollment is complete, TOPROL-XL will be shipped directly to your home. During and after enrollment, patients will have access to a 24-hour support center to contact via e-mail or phone if they have questions, the opportunity to request auto refills, and free home delivery. Don’t you want to try this new prescription delivery service today?

Because of the possibility of serious side effects, such as chest pain or a heart attack, you should not stop taking TOPROL-XL suddenly. If your doctor decides you should stop taking TOPROL-XL, you may be instructed to slowly reduce your dose over a period of time before stopping it completely.

TOPROL-XL may not be right for everyone, especially people who have the following health conditions:

• Extreme slowing of the heart rate

• Sudden and severe drop in blood pressure and blood flow through the body because the heart is not pumping normally

• Uncontrolled heart failure

• Slowdown of the heart’s electrical signal causing a slower heart rate

• Damage to the heart’s natural pacemaker that affects the heart’s rhythm unless one has a pacemaker device

• Any allergies to TOPROL-XL or its ingredients

It is important to take your medications every day as directed by your doctor.

Patients who have asthma or asthma-like lung disease should, in general, not take TOPROL-XL.

Your doctor may not want you to take TOPROL-XL if you are currently taking certain types of high blood pressure medicine, or have adrenal gland tumors, diabetes, low blood sugar, liver damage, overactive thyroid disease, or hardening of the arteries in the arms or legs.

Your doctor may not want you to start taking TOPROL-XL if you are about to have any type of surgery.

If you have a history of serious allergic reactions, the usual dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) may not work as well if you are taking TOPROL-XL.

Until you know how you will react to TOPROL-XL, avoid activities that require alertness.

Contact your doctor if you have any difficulty in breathing.

In patients with high blood pressure, the most common side effects were tiredness, dizziness, depression, diarrhea, itching or rash, shortness of breath, and slow heart rate. If you experience any of these or other side effects, contact your doctor.

Approved Use for TOPROL-XL

TOPROL-XL is approved for the treatment of high blood pressure. It may be used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It’s good for you to know more about your medical condition and the medicine you are taking for it, so talk to your doctor about high blood pressure and TOPROL-XL.

For full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING about suddenly stopping therapy with TOPROL-XL, visit www.Toprol-XL.com or call 1-800-236-9933.

Intended Audience is US Consumers

3022504 Last Updated 8/14

 

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