In case you missed it: OnCentral summarized the eight preventive services the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most insurance companies to provide to women as of yesterday, along with a rundown of who is and who's not yet eligible.
And while the ACA's large expansion of coverage will bring care to millions of folks who've lacked access in the past, the question about exactly who will provide that care remains: The Los Angeles Times reports that by 2020, the U.S. faces an estimated shortage of 40,000 primary care doctors. There's no way to fix that in a short amount of time, but stores like CVS, Target and Wal-Mart are looking to cash in on the influx with their walk-in, in-store clinics, where people can get routine ailments checked out such as ear infections.
You're less likely to get care if you don't think you need it, though, and a new study says a lot of Americans are in that very mindset: HealthDay reports that Americans routinely underestimate their weight. Researchers said that, on average, American adults gained weight in 2008 – if you ask them, though, they'd most likely tell you they'd lost some.
Do you spend a lot of time tanning? Here's another reason not to: A new study, according to HealthDay, confirms that the most common form of skin cancer should be viewed as a chronic disease, meaning that once people have a single occurrence, they are at risk of getting another. And another study, HealthDay says, found that cancer survival rates go down with depression, causing some experts to call for mental health screenings to become a component of standard care.
Those news items are particularly sobering when viewed in light of new findings on the science behind the disease: CBSNews reports that three new studies seem to indicate that cancer comes back even after a tumor has been eradicated because tumors contain their own pool of stem cells that multiply and continue to fuel the cancer, causing regrowth. That means scientists have to find ways to kill those cells, on top of dealing with the rest of the tumor.
Don't have paid sick days? Tell your boss that a new study suggests employees who do are healthier than those who don't. HealthDay reports folks with paid sick days are 28 percent less likely to suffer nonfatal work-related injuries. Employees without this benefit, said the authors, tend to feel pressured to work through their sickness, which puts them at greater risk for injury or exacerbating their illness. The authors concluded that more research is needed to better understand how paid sick leave could benefit people's health.
Finally, here's an argument for thinking positive if there ever was one: New research appearing in PLoS ONE says some young people's expectations that they won't live long, healthy lives may actually foreshadow that outcome. The authors reported that teens who expected to die before 35 predicted substance abuse and suicide attempts later in life, and up to a tripling of mortality rates in young adulthood.
Photo by Stephen Rees via Flickr Creative Commons.