Great Health News

Great Health News: 10 Things You Haven’t Heard

Turn to the News, and you’ll probably get either bad news or politics. Meanwhile, health and medical efforts continue to advance and succeed. Here are 10 great health news announcements that you may have missed. So read on, because according to number 10 on our list–it may actually be good for your health to get some good news.

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1. Cancer Death Rate Down 25% in U.S.

Cancer Death Rate Down 25% in U.S.

The American Cancer Society announced that the rate of cancer deaths is down 25% from its peak in 1991. This new statistic translates to 2.1 million lives saved from 1991 to 2014. Scientists attribute the improving survival rates to advance screening. For instance, the decline in colorectal cancer cases is a result of colonoscopy screenings. Likewise, breast cancer screening catches tumors earlier for more effective eradication. Lower tobacco usage has lessened the instances of lung cancer. This great health news, as reported in ‘Cancer Statistics, 2017’ is cause for hope.

2. Dementia Rates Dropping in the US

Dementia Rates Dropping in the U.S.

This is great health news for those with a history of dementia in their families. It now seems that family history does not mean higher risk. Dementia risk lowers with rising educational levels and better heart health. Recently, rates of dementia in people over 65 fell 24%. This is according to a study at the University of Michigan on rates from 2000 to 2012. Equating to 1 million fewer dementia patients, this is significant for an aging population.

3. Ebola Vaccine Saving Lives

Ebola Vaccine

In 2014, the terrifying Ebola Virus spread worldwide and claimed 11,000 lives. The outbreak spurred unparalleled economic and political drive. The public outcry resulted in research for an effective Ebola vaccine. A possible antidote, rVSV-ZEBOV became the focus of testing. Created by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the U.S. Army, there was no urgency for clinical trials until the outbreak. The vaccine proved itself to be safe and effective. While not yet approved by regulatory agencies, a stockpile of rVSV-ZEBOV is ready and waiting. Should it be required, doctors now have 300,000 doses available to combat another outbreak.

4. Measles Eradicated from the Americas

Measles Eradicated from the Americas

In 2016, public-health officials announced that measles had been eradicated from the Americas. Looking to other parts of the world, it remains one of the leading causes of death in children. So, this is a remarkable achievement. The announcement followed an intensive 22-year study of 55 countries and territories throughout North, Central, and South America. Today, roughly one billion people, 13.5% of the word population, are measles-free. WHO officials praised the public health organizations involved. They proclaimed strict vaccination programs, good communications, and public commitment, as keys.

5. Affordable Care Act Successes

Affordable Care Act Successes

Twenty million uninsured Americans gained health insurance coverage due to the controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The gains are due to many provisions within the ACA. Notably, young people can now remain on their parent’s policies until the age of 26. This raised the number of uninsured young people by six million. The Health Insurance Marketplace has made it easier for people to find coverage. Medicaid expansion has made policies more affordable. A vital provision of the ACA is coverage of pre-existing health conditions. This is a historic reduction in the uninsured rate in the United States.

6. Teen Birth Rate at an All-time Low

Teen Birth Rate at an All-time Low

The rate of teenage births has reached an all-time low point. Over the last decade, the teen birth rate has dropped over 40%. Every state saw different drops in teen birth rates. For example, North Dakota’s rate dropped 13% while Arizona saw a drop of 48%. Teen birth rates have been dropping for the last two decades. Access to birth control and sex education are the main causes for the improvement.

7. Obesity on the Decline

Obesity is on the Decline

Obesity rates in four states have declined. These are the first declines in obesity rates over the past ten years. Most states’ obesity rates remained stable. Yet, improvements occurred for New York, Ohio, Minnesota, and Montana. While this is great health news, a lot of work remains. Obesity is one the biggest threats to health in the U.S. and it has grown to epidemic proportions. High blood pressure, cholesterol problems, and diabetes are all related to being overweight. Obesity rates in every state are still above 20%, with many above 30%. Today, 38% of adults remain obese, double the rate of 1980.

8. HIV Rates Declining

HIV Rates Declining

Rates of HIV diagnosis in the United States declined between 2002 and 2011. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, which weakens a person’s immune system. About 1.1 million people in the U.S. have HIV. Based on a CDC study of all 50 states, the diagnosis rate declined to 16.1 per 100,000 people. Representing a 33% decrease in HIV diagnosis rates, women 35-44 had the most marked improvements. Noted were declines in high-risk intravenous drug users. Additionally, rates declined in those who engaged only in heterosexual contact. Male to male contact diagnosis rates, however, remained unchanged.

9. Great Health News about Chocolate

Chocolate is Good for You

Cocoa is a long-standing folk medicine. According to a recent analysis of 21 clinical studies by Harvard University researchers, cocoa consumption has significant health benefits. Cocoa can help lower blood pressure levels. It also improves cholesterol numbers and helps with blood vessel health. The study notes that cocoa’s polyphenolic flavonoids can help prevent heart disease. These antioxidants lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased HDL (good) cholesterol. And, the cocoa link to lowered risk factors for diabetes was noted in the study. Sugar-free, dark chocolate is good for your health, and that’s great health news!

10. Happy People Live Longer

Happy People Live Longer

University College London recently researched aging and the state of a person’s mind. Their study of 10,000 people suggests that future poor health can by predicted by happiness — or, at least, a lack of it. The research team reported that the effects were considerable and did not depend on wealth, age, or gender. The study tracked the psychological well-being of people aged 50 to 100 over a period of nine years. They concluded that people who enjoy life are three times more likely to live longer. So get out there and enjoy yourself. It’s good for you in more ways than one!