People are talking about: Diet soda, ebola, Affordable Care Act deadline

Published on Saturday, 5 April 2014 18:39 - Written by From Staff Reports

Diet soda linked to heart disease in postmenopausal women. Women who have two or more diet sodas per day have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a report presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session last week in Washington, D.C.

Researchers studied 59,614 post-menopausal women — it is the largest study on heart health and diet soda. They point out that the need to avoid refined sugars may still result in some of the same health problems. Researchers have linked diet sodas with metabolic syndrome and believe artificial sweeteners in sodas may trigger reward sensors in the brain, which leads to overeating.

See the study at tinyurl.com/lrnfatv.

Report: Exercise now, healthy brain later. A study published in the American Academy of Neurology’s journal, Neurology shows that participation in cardio exercises during youth preserves memory and cognitive skills in middle age.

Researchers followed the cardiovascular health of 18- to 30-year-olds since the mid-1980s. Their verbal memory, psychomotor speed and executive function was tested 25 years later. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/mh825oe.

Recent outbreaks in U.S., West Africa. Measles outbreaks in two big metropolitan areas — New York City and Orange County, Calif. — has public health officials highlighting the importance of vaccinations. Nationwide, at least 84 cases of the once virtually eliminated disease has been reported in 11 states. Mumps continue to spread in Ohio, particularly on the campus of Ohio State University. Public health officials have reported at least 116 cases, with 93 on the college campus. Both mumps and measles are preventable with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, or MMR. Officials believe the anti-vaccine movement is a factor in the increase in these diseases.

Meanwhile, panic spreads in West Africa as the deadly Ebola virus claimed at least 80 lives. Ebola is a highly contagious virus contracted through bodily fluids. This is the first Ebola outbreak in West Africa — the virus usually surfaces every few years in central African countries. The virus was first identified in 1976, and has killed at least 1,700 people. Once infected with the virus, death can occur within two to 21 days, as it spurs organ failure.

Missed the ACA deadline? It’s not too late to get insurance. The open enrollment period for signing onto the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace ended March 31, and government officials are touting that 7.1 million people signed up for insurance. The next open enrollment begins Nov. 15, but there are other ways individuals can get health insurance before then.

If individuals found technical trouble while in the process of applying before March 31, they have until April 15 to finish. Read the Washington Post story at wapo.st/1hoR2Ss.

For those who qualify for Medicaid, there is no deadline to apply. There also is a special enrollment for those who had certain circumstances that did not allow them to apply such as serious illness, domestic abuse and natural disasters.

Lastly, to avoid the insurance mandate’s fine, people can go outside the Marketplace and directly to an insurance agent. However, this would be more costly, as people will not qualify for government subsidies.