Hormones and Cancer – New studies continue to support the existing evidence that connects hormone replacement therapy to adverse health consequences in women. Frequently used to treat the symptoms of menopause, HRT should be avoided if possible and if it cannot be avoided, used for the shortest amount of time in the smallest dose possible.
Black Women and HPV – In reading about a study (small, more work is needed) that showed sustained HPV virus in black women as compared to white, I learned a new thing about HPV and cervical cancer. The body can clear itself of the virus in some amount of time. The study compared clearance at two years. It is when the body does not clear it out that the risk for cervical cancer increases. Black women maintain the virus in their system longer than white women. This difference may be an indicator of who needs pap smears more often and perhaps who is in greater need of the vaccine.
Burger King and Food – The fast food company is updating its menu to appeal to adults and to try to catch up to Wendy’s and McDonald’s in “ratings.” The company says it will add “healthier choices” which they refer to as salads, chicken and wraps. Just remember, it's not the name the determines the healthiness but the content. Also – “healthy” can mean different things to people. For me, a food is healthy if it is low in calories and high in nutrients. I doubt BK has anything to offer me.
Health Insurance and Health Status – More companies are tying insurance premium, deductibles and co pays to an employee’s health status. The health status is often determined by a health risk appraisal (HRA). For instance, being overweight and smoking are risks that would be identified in a HRA. Having conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes that are not controlled might put a person in the higher premium category. A person who follows physician advice and improves their health measures could see a reduction in premiums. Though not perfect (risks discrimination), I am in support of these efforts.