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October 31, 2023 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.


Science and Technology

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


Medicare Advantage is growing fast, and that's bad for rural hospitals (NPR) 

Medicare Advantage insurers are private companies that contract with the federal government to provide Medicare benefits to seniors in place of traditional Medicare. The plans have become dubious payers for many large and small hospitals, which report that the insurers are often slow to pay or don't pay. Private plans now cover more than half of those eligible for Medicare. And while enrollment is highest in metropolitan areas, it has increased fourfold in rural areas since 2010. Meanwhile, more than 150 rural hospitals have closed since 2010.

Harassment and burnout up among health workers CDC says  (KPBS)

Health care workers are experiencing a mental health crisis, according to a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week…The report notes the number of health care workers reporting harassment at work doubled from 2018 to 2022. Nearly half of those surveyed said burnout happened "often or very often", up from 32% in 2018. More health workers are considering leaving, with 44% — up from 33% in 2021 — planning to look for a new job.

San Diego County links 9 cases of salmonella to 'raw' milk products from Fresno  (KPBS)

According to the county Health and Human Services Agency, the cases began in late September with products from Raw Farm LLC.

Does long COVID brain fog start in the gut?  (NPR)

New research reveals an intriguing connection between low levels of the chemical serotonin and the brain fog seen in some long COVID patients. The findings point the way to one possible treatment.

The FDA moves to ban chemical hair straighteners containing formaldehyde  (NPR)

NPR's Ayesha Rascoe asks researcher Kimberly Bertrand about hair relaxers containing formaldehyde and moves by the FDA to ban them.

More than one serving of red meat a day may drive up the risk of Type 2 diabetes  (NPR)

Researchers tracked the eating habits of more than 200,000 people enrolled in long-term health studies for up to 36 years and found that those who regularly consumed a lot of red meat — more than a serving per day — had a significantly higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Science and Technology

Biden executive order imposes new rules for AI. Here's what they are. (ABC News)

President Joe Biden issued a wide-ranging executive order on Monday that aims to safeguard against threats posed by artificial intelligence, ensuring that bad actors do not use the technology to develop devastating weapons or mount supercharged cyberattacks.

Carbon emissions threaten 1.5C climate threshold sooner than thought - report (BBC)

Human fossil fuel emissions are threatening a key climate threshold more quickly than previously thought, a new report says.





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