People With Intellectual Or Developmental Disabilities Particularly Vulnerable To Effects Of Tobacco Use And Dependence

June 8, 2009

While tobacco use is an ongoing health hazard for the entire population, its consequences for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities can be especially severe. And the medical community often tends to overlook the tobacco-related burdens these people face. An extensive review of published research on this topic appears in the June edition of the journal Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

“This is too important an issue to ignore,” said Dr. Marc L. Steinberg, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the article’s lead author. “Health care professionals often do not ask these individuals about tobacco use or exposure.”
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Recession Prompting Increase In Number Of People With HIV Seeking Public Services In California

June 3, 2009

The Los Angeles Times on Sunday examined how the recession is impacting people living with HIV in California. Brad Hare, medical director of University of California-San Francisco’s Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital, said that people living with HIV who have lost their jobs and private health insurance are turning to public and nonprofit clinics for the first time and are responsible for a 12% increase this year in the clinic’s overall patient visits. He added that many of the patients he sees have gone months without receiving medical care. In addition, at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, which also provides HIV treatment, the number of new patients has doubled over the last year, Thomas Soule, a spokesperson for the center, said. The Times also profiled a client of the center (Lin, Los Angeles Times, 5/31).

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World Heart Federation Warns That Burden Of Tobacco Epidemic Continues To Worsen Societies And Economies – 6 M People Will Die And $500 Billion Lost

June 2, 2009

G-20 leaders pledged to provide the International Monetary Fund with $500 billion to help struggling economies, sparking global controversy. Yet startling research shows that the combined costs of tobacco-related death and related productivity losses, healthcare expenditures, employee absenteeism, and widespread environmental harm are responsible for draining the same amount – $500 billion – from the global economy each year and it receives much less attention than it deserves.
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Helping Mentally Ill People Find Jobs Could Save Federal Government $368 Million A Year

May 21, 2009

A national program to help mentally ill people on Social Security disability programs find jobs could spur greater independence while saving the federal government $368 million annually, according to a study by Robert Drake of Dartmouth Medical School and colleagues in the May-June 2009 issue of Health Affairs.

Approximately 27 percent of people who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are mentally ill. Surveys show that up to 70 percent of people with mental illnesses want to work. Drake and his coauthors say that a national “supported employment” program would help these people, as well as those with mental illnesses who qualify for the separate Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, to earn incomes that could total up to $1.6 billion a year.
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AHIP, BCBS Say They Support Guaranteed Coverage For People With Pre-Existing Health Conditions, As Long As All Individuals Required To Obtain Cover

January 10, 2009

America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in separate announcements on Wednesday said that they would support guaranteed health coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions, as long as lawmakers also approve an enforceable requirement that all U.S. residents obtain coverage, the New York Timesreports.

Some congressional lawmakers on Wednesday said that they want to pass health care legislation next year that is in line with the health care proposal of President-elect Barack Obama. According to the Times, “The new position taken by the insurance industry — the industry that helped sink President Bill Clinton’s plan for universal health coverage in 1994 — could ease the way for passage of such legislation” (Pear, New York Times, 11/20). Both of the industry’s proposals are included in a health care overhaul plan released last week by Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) (CongressDaily, 11/19). Obama’s proposal would require insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions but initially would apply the coverage requirement only to children.
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Terrence Higgins Trust And Age Concern Wirral Invite Local People To Take Part In Focus Groups

January 9, 2009

Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) and Age Concern Wirral are inviting members of Wirral’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and people living with HIV aged 50 and over to come forward and take part in a new and exciting project called Hidden Voices.

THT and Age Concern Wirral are holding a series of focus groups to learn about people’s experiences as an older member of the LGBT community, as well as the experiences of people living with HIV. The focus groups will allow both organisations to find out what sort of services people in the community need. Dates for the focus groups will be in the New Year but people are invited to register now.
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People Urged To Take Precautions Following Rabid Bat Discoveries – Idaho

January 7, 2009

Several rabid bat reports in Idaho are prompting public health officials to warn people throughout the state to take precautions around bats and make sure that their dogs, cats, and horses are adequately vaccinated against rabies.

Two rabid bats were recently discovered from Ada County, as well as two rabid bats from Kootenai County. Every year rabid bats are reported from across Idaho, last year 12 rabid bats were reported from sites across the state.
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