U.S. health benefits recommendations coming October 7

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key recommendation for medical coverage standards under President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul will be released on October 7, according to the organization preparing the report. The Department of Health and Human Services has asked the influential Institute of Medicine, an independent agency in Washington, to recommend how HHS should determine the basic health benefits for millions of Americans who will qualify for coverage sold through insurance exchanges beginning in 2014.

Middle-aged women happier with moderate exercise

(Reuters) - Middle-aged women encouraged to exercise at moderate intensity were much happier and more likely to continue working out than peers who exercised more intensely, according to a study. Researchers led by Steriani Elavsky of Penn State University in Pennsylvania recruited 255 women between 40 and 60 years old to do either moderate or vigorous exercise, then followed the volunteers to monitor their reactions.

Smoking still high in U.S. mining, food service

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Cigarette smoking remains stubbornly high among workers in the mining, food services and construction industries despite dramatic overall declines in the United States in recent decades, a federal study released Thursday showed. Thirty percent of workers in mining, hotel/motel and food services smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which analyzed data from 2004-2010.

Diabetes again linked to colon cancer risk: study

(Reuters) - People with diabetes have a somewhat increased risk of colon cancer, an international study said -- but the reasons for the connection, and what should be done about it, remain unclear. Researchers headed by Hiroki Yuhara, at the University of California, Berkeley, combined the results of 14 international studies and found that, overall, people with diabetes were 38 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer than those who were diabetes-free.

Fish oil pills don't improve kids' braininess

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Despite some evidence that taking fish oil pills during pregnancy can help children's brain development, a new study suggests that the supplements make no difference in measures of intellect when the kids are six years old. The findings support the results of an earlier Norwegian study that also found no differences in IQ among seven-year-olds whose mothers did or did not take fish oil supplements while pregnant and breastfeeding.

Delaware mulls ban on so-called bath salts

(Reuters) - Delaware is moving to ban so-called bath salts, powerful stimulants that can mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD or methamphetamine, officials said on Thursday. The state's Controlled Substances Advisory Committee planned an emergency meeting on Friday to consider an immediate ban on the substances, which typically can be bought at tobacco shops and gas stations, and online, authorities said.

Records of 4.9 mln stolen from car in Texas data breach

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A massive data breach, in which the personal and medical records of millions of military patients and their families were compromised, happened when the records were stolen out of a data contractor's car in San Antonio, officials told Reuters on Thursday. The information for some 4.6 million active and retired military personnel, as well as their families, was on back up-tapes from an electronic health care record used to capture and preserve patient data from 1992 through September 7 of this year, according to Science Applications International Corp (SAIC).

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