Reporting on health and quality of life in South LA

Hip replacements and how less salt could save lives: In health news today

salt shaker

Michael May/Flickr Creative Commons

Cutting our salt consumption, said researchers, could mean preventing up to 500,000 early deaths.

In today's health news:

Your food probably doesn't need more salt – and in fact, it'd be good if you stopped adding so much. That's according to the American Heart Association, which the Los Angeles Times says published a study that says a steady reduction in the salt we consume could save around 500,000 people from dying early over the course of a decade. If our salt consumption drops 40 percent, added researchers, we could see up to 850,000 lives saved.

A report that examined where federal funding for breast cancer research goes found that too little– about 10 percent – is funneled toward finding environmental causes of the disease and potential preventive measures. The New York Times explains that environmental factors include alcohol consumption, exercise habits, exposures to certain chemicals and socioeconomic status.

When diabetics in underserved communities have health providers that go beyond office visits, that can mean good things for their health. A study appearing in the journal Diabetes Care found that when community health workers visited patients' homes and workplaces and supplemented the primary care they were already receiving, those patients experienced a significant improvement in blood sugar levels.

Women who experience high blood pressure during pregnancy may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease, kidney disease or diabetes later in their lives, says a new study in the journal Circulation.

HealthDay reports on a new study which found that heart attack or chest pain patients who have to wait for hours in the emergency room before being treated may be at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An overcrowded E.R. "will increase the stress of an already traumatic event," said the study's author, which could worsen a patient's general prognosis and trigger PTSD.

How much does a hip replacement cost? A new study appearing in JAMA Internal Medicine says that's hard to say – only 16 percent of a group of randomly-selected hospitals were able to provide a complete bundled price. As far as price range, the hip replacement procedure, from start to finish, began at $11,100 and went as high as $125,798.

Your eating habits could affect your sleeping habits, reports HealthDay, citing new research that shows folks who eat a wide variety of foods are the most well-rested.

Kids who drink underage seem to have their preferences, suggests a new report in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Close to 30 percent reported drinking Bud Light over the previous month; 17 percent reported drinking Smirnoff and nearly 15 percent reported drinking Budweiser.

And finally: When parents play favorites, that's not good, says a new study – and the adverse effects go beyond just the child. ABCNews.com says "differential parenting" can affect the entire family – which surprised researchers – and can have "lasting effects in adolescent and adulthood."

Photo by Michael May via Flickr Creative Commons.

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