Prehypertension in Young Adults May Lead to Heart Problems
Young adults with even slightly above-normal blood pressure may be more likely to have heart problems later, a new study suggests. The study focused on nearly 2,500 men and women. They were 18 to 30 years old when the study began. Researchers kept track of them for 25 years. They took a closer look at people's health 7 times during those years. The check-ups included blood pressure readings. Near the end of the study, people also had heart imaging tests. Some people had slightly above-normal blood pressure (120/80 to 139/89) when they were still under age 30. This level is not high enough to be considered high blood pressure. It is known as prehypertension. But researcher found that people with above-normal blood pressure were more likely to have signs of heart disease in middle age. In particular, they were more likely to have problems with the left ventricle of the heart.
New HPV Vaccine Protects Kids as Well as Women
A new human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine appears to produce immunity just as well in girls and boys as it does in young women, a new study finds. The study focused on a new version of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, made by Merck. The new version targets 9 different strains of the virus. The old version targets 4 strains that cause about 70% of cases of cervical cancer. The new version expands this coverage to about 90% and also can help prevent some cancers of the vagina, vulva and anus. Previous research found that the new vaccine is highly effective in preventing disease in young women, ages 16 to 26. The new study included 3,066 people. Besides young women, there were also boys and girls, ages 9 to 15. They were given 3 doses of the new HPV vaccine. One month later, about 99% of all 3 groups had signs of protection against all 9 strains of the virus.
House-Call Pilot Saves Medicare $25 Million
For the care of some frail, elderly patients, house calls save money. That's the conclusion Medicare officials have reached after the first year of a pilot program. The program, launched 3 years ago, covered 8,400 patients at 17 primary-care practices across the country. They were all frail or homebound and had multiple chronic (long-term) illnesses. The program provided regular home visits from a doctor or nurse practitioner. If needed, they could do an X-ray or EKG. They could test for infections. They could also check to make sure people were taking their pills and eating healthy foods. This program cost more than regular primary care visits. But it prevented so many hospital trips that it saved Medicare $25 million in the first year, officials said. The average was more than $3,000 for each patient. Nine of the 17 practices recorded savings and met goals for quality of care.