Cystic Fibrosis Patients Survive Longer in Canada

Cystic Fibrosis in Canada“Fundamental differences” between the U.S. and Canadian health care systems may account for “startling” new research showing that Americans with cystic fibrosis live nearly a decade less than their counterparts to the north. The median age of survival in Canada is nearly 51 years compared with about 41 years for U.S. patients. “Access to lung transplants and health insurance may play a role in the survival gap,” according to an Associated Press article in Tuesday’s U.S. News & World Report. Only 6.5 percent of U.S. patients receive life-prolonging lung transplants, compared with 10.3 percent of Canadian patients, AP reported. U.S. patients with private insurance had a similar life span as patients in Canada, which has universal health coverage. But Americans on Medicaid or without insurance had a significantly lower median life span.

For Providers, ‘March Madness’ is Taking On New Meaning

March Madness VasectomiesWhen planning a milestone event — such as a surgery to prevent oneself from having kids — there are many important questions to address. For a growing group of men, one of them is, ‘Can I get this procedure to coincide with my favorite sporting event?’ According to Athena Health, men are scheduling their vasectomies around the NCAA Tournament, or March Madness, at an increasing rate. If they’re already going to be sitting on the couch recovering from surgery, why not sync that with the television coverage of one of the most anticipated national college basketball tournaments of the year? Physicians have had a hunch this was the case in recent years, and researchers recently confirmed it. Neurologists in Athena’s network performed 30 percent more vasectomies during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament than they did during an average week, with many of the procedures timed to allow for weekend recoveries. Providers have caught on to the trend and are even promoting special offers for vasectomies during this week.

Miami-based Company Launches .health Domain

.health domain nameAs consumers look to get more involved in their care, and seek out information online, a Miami-based company is launching a .health top-level domain to create credible sources of health information, the Miami Herald reports. The goal is to become the go-to web address for brands, organizations and individuals in the health industry, according to the report. Adopters of .health will have to follow terms and policies developed by an advisory board to ensure that domain users are a source of reliable information. Registrations for the health industry open in July and open to the public in December.

Stem Cell Shots Leave 1 Woman Blind, 2 Others Almost

Stem Cell Shot Causes BlindnessA 72-year-old woman went completely blind and two other women, ages 78 and 88, lost much of their eyesight after receiving an unproven treatment in which stem cells were injected into their eyes, The New England Journal of Medicine reported Wednesday. The women had macular degeneration and paid $5,000 each for the injections at a private clinic in Florida. “The cases expose gaps in the ability of government health agencies to protect consumers from unproven treatments offered by entrepreneurs who promote the supposed healing power of stem cells,” according to The New York Times.