HEALTH

Americans least able to afford health care are the heaviest smokers

BY Michael Johnsen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Almost one-third of Americans who have not had enough money to pay for health care and/or medicine in the past 12 months are smokers, according to the October 2011 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The percentage of smokers is cut in half (14.2%) when it comes to the population that can afford to pay for health care and/or medicine in the past 12 months. Of the Americans without a personal doctor, 27.5% smoke.

“As the economic burden of smoking continues to greatly affect the U.S. healthcare system and the productivity of our businesses and communities, more employers are turning to mandates and incentives to get their employees to curb their nicotine addiction,” stated Ben Leedle, Jr., Healthways president and CEO. “The October WBI smoking and basic access numbers reveal an alarming disparity in the U.S. population, and show an immediate need for individuals to take steps to improve their own well-being, proactively controlling these costs."

October data also revealed that of the 20% of Americans that did not have enough money to buy food within the past 12 months, 34.9% are smokers. The percentage of Americans who smoke drops drastically down to 13.8% for those who can afford to buy food. The same pattern is observed when looking at those who did/did not have enough money to provide adequate shelter in the past 12 months.

 


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mikemorgan says:
Nov-21-2011 02:13 pm

Certain people are always going to smoke as long as cigarettes are legal tobacco products, and the numbers might even be higher since some won't admit to smoking even ananymously. Electronic cigarettes are more popular and accepted, so see www.ecigwerks.blogspot.com for more.

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HEALTH

Factor Nutrition presents study on supplement supporting memory

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — Factor Nutrition Labs on Monday presented a study supporting supplementation with its FocusFactor product to improve brain function before the Gerontological Society of America.

The clinical study of 89 adults used the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, a standardized neuropsychological test and one of the most commonly used tests of memory in psychopharmacology research, the company stated. The study also used CogScreen, a computer-administered neuropsychological test battery developed for the Federal Aviation Administration for evaluating the cognitive functioning of pilots.

The mean age of subjects who participated was 49.1 years. The study was conducted over a six-week period. The clinical study of FocusFactor was sponsored by Factor Nutrition and was conducted by Cognitive Research, a full-service contract research organization.

“The clinical study demonstrated that, compared to placebo, FcousFactor improved abilities referred to as memory, concentration and focus in healthy adults,” Cognitive Research president Gary Kay said. “Following six weeks of treatment, subjects who received FocusFactor had a mean increase in recall of 6.5 words compared to 4.5 words for those who received placebo.”


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Citi: Flu season to peak later in 2012 than it did last year

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Citi Investment Research & Analysis is projecting that the peak of flu season may occur beyond last season’s peak of January/February, a factor that may place a negative drag on retail same-store sales results over first quarter 2012.

"Flu activity in week 44 (the week ended Nov. 5) decreased significantly year over year and also declined versus last week," wrote Citi analyst Deborah Weinswig in a research note earlier this week. "Due to the weak early season result, we believe the 2011-2012 flu season could peak later than 2010-2011’s January/February peak, which will likely have a negative impact on Rx same-store sales during the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012," she noted. "In addition, we believe that increased competition among the drug stores, supermarkets and discounters has resulted in lower flu vaccination numbers at each retailer versus last year. We will continue to monitor this season’s flu numbers and gauge its impact on the drug stores’ same-store sales results."

Season-to-date through week 44, the number of positive reports of influenza as a percentage of total cases tested was 0.8%, versus 3.9% during the same week-ending date last year (62 cases-to-date TY vs. 395 LY). And the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network reported that 1.3% of patient visits in week 44 were due to ILI, which is below the national baseline of 2.4%, above the 1.2% reported last week, and in line with the 1.3% reported during the same week-ending date last year. 


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