Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
One alcoholic drink per day significantly increases the risk of developing breast cancer, a new study concluded. Investigators conducted an expansive review of research on the effects of diet, nutrition, and physical activity on disease. According to The Washington Post, the report found that consuming the equivalent of 1 small glass of beer, wine, or other alcohol per day­­—–approximately 10 g of alcohol––is linked to a 5% increased risk of cancer in pre-menopausal women and a 9% risk for post-menopausal women. A standard beverage contains 14 grams of alcohol, the Post reported.
New data shows that the number of uninsured Americans has significantly dropped in recent years, according to The New York Times. The National Center for Health Statistics found that there were 28.6 million Americans in 2016, a figure that dropped from more than 48 million in 2010. There were 12.4% of adults aged 18 to 24 years who were uninsured, 69.2% were covered by private plans, and 20% had public coverage, the NY Times reported. Among individuals under 18 years, 5.1% were uninsured, 43% had public insurance, and 53.8% had private plans. Of the individuals covered by private insurance in 2016, 11.6 million purchased their plans through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace or state-based exchanges by the Affordable Care Act, according to the NY Times.
Scientists have identified 52 genes linked to intelligence in nearly 80,000 individuals, a significant advancement in the study of mental ability. The authors noted that the genes do not determine intelligence, and that their combined influence is miniscule, suggesting that thousands more are likely involved, The New York Times reported. However, the findings could allow scientists to conduct new experiments into the biological basis of reasoning and problem solving. Furthermore, it could help investigators determine the best interventions for children with learning problems.