HEALTH

Plugging up ear care

BY DSN STAFF

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. —Cirrus Healthcare Products recently announced the launch of Tinnitex, one of the first ear care products designed to help relieve tinnitus, otherwise known as ringing in the ears. The new product is scheduled to ship in the first half of 2011.

According to the Journal of Clinical Nursing, more than 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. Today’s remedies include eardrops and nutritional supplements. Employing infusion technology, Cirrus has developed the Tinnitex earplug so that it delivers ingredients that help relieve ringing in the ears transdermally. The soft silicone earplugs are infused with aloe vera, vitamin B12, zinc and ginkgo biloba. The product should be a welcome addition to the company’s EarPlanes, which generated $2.5 million in sales for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 5 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI Group data. Overall, sales of ear care products were up 7.6% to $44.4 million for the same period.

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Diabetes prevalence among Americans may increase to 33%, CDC study finds

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA The rate of diabetes among Americans is on an upswing and likely will reach epic proportions by 2050, costing the government millions.

 

Anew study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in Population Health Metrics found that annual diagnosed diabetes incidence (new cases) will increase from about eight cases per 1,000 people in 2008 to about 15 in 2050. The authors also projected that — assuming low incidence and relatively high diabetes mortality — total diabetes prevalence (diagnosed and undiagnosed cases) is projected to increase from 14% in 2010 to 21% of the U.S. adult population by 2050, but noted that  if recent increases in diabetes incidence continue and diabetes mortality is relatively low, prevalence will increase to 33% by 2050.

 

In 2007, diabetes cost the United States in excess of $174 billion. With the increased prevalence of diabetes in the country, the CDC suggested that the projected loss in quality of life and the projected costs of providing health care could be significant, as the healthcare costs of a person with diagnosed diabetes are approximately 2.3 times higher than nondiabetics, the authors noted.

"These are alarming numbers that show how critical it is to change the course of Type 2 diabetes," said Ann Albright, director of CDC’s division of diabetes translation. "Successful programs to improve lifestyle choices on healthy eating and physical activity must be made more widely available, because the stakes are too high and the personal toll too devastating to fail."

The authors also noted that intervention can reduce, but not eliminate, increases in diabetes prevalence.

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AP poll finds Americans evenly divided on impact, benefits of health-reform law

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON Seven months after President Obama signed the massive health-reform bill into law, Americans remain deeply divided over the controversial overhaul and its potential benefits, a new poll from the Associated Press and the GfK Group revealed.

 

In a mid-October survey of 1,501 adults, AP-Gfk found the nation evenly split over whether the law should be overturned or made even stronger. But also significant is the fact that only 15% of Americans would leave the health-reform law — thus far the key legislative accomplishment of the Obama administration — as it currently stands.

 

 

Among the 846 poll respondents who said they likely would vote in the November congressional elections, 37% said the law should be completely repealed, according to AP. Not surprisingly, opposition among Tea Party supporters was strongest, with more than 70% of respondents who describe themselves as Tea Party enthusiasts saying they would scrap health reform.

 

 

Despite the opposition, 36% of those polled had a very different view, telling surveyors “they want to revise the law so it does more to change the healthcare system,” the news service reported Friday. That means “Tea Party enthusiasm for repeal has failed to catch on with other groups,” according to AP, “which may be a problem for Republicans vowing to strike down Obama’s signature accomplishment if they gain control of Congress in the Nov. 2 elections.”

 

 

Among the top concerns about the new law expressed by survey respondents: a requirement that most Americans carry some type of public or private health insurance, beginning in 2014. Some told researchers the law does little to address rising health spending.

 

Older Americans also expressed concern over the plan to help fund the health overhaul in part by cutting spending for Medicare. Some poll respondents also asserted the need for a public-health plan option to compete with private insurers and to help hold down costs, a plan that was eliminated from the original bill before its passage in Congress.

 

Support for health reform is strongest among women and younger voters, according to AP.

 

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