Trending News Today: Poll Reveals Highest Uninsured Rate Since 2014

Top news of the day across the health care landscape.

A new study suggests that higher blood pressure in individuals under age 40 may be associated with reduced brain volume, with the same effect seen even among those within a blood pressure range considered to be normal, The New York Times, reported. According to the article, the analysis included 423 adults between 19 and 40 years of age who had their blood pressure measured and underwent MRI examinations of the brain. Higher blood pressure readings were directly correlated with lower gray matter volume in the brain, and even a systolic reading of between 120 and 140 was associated with reduced brain volumes, the article reported.

A new Gallup survey released Wednesday revealed the amount of Americans without health insurance has reached its highest point since 2014, The Hill reported. According to the article, the uninsured rate was 13.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with the record-low rate of 10.9 seen in 2016. Gallup said the results represent approximately 7 million Americans losing or dropping insurance between 2016 and 2018, the article noted.

A recent study indicates that including drug prices in direct-to-consumer TV ads may deter consumers from high-priced medications, The American Journal of Managed Care reported. According to the article, the study recruited 580 participants who were randomly assigned to view of 1 of 5 ads for a fictitious diabetes prescription drug. Ads for the low-priced drug did not alter the participants’ thinking or behavior, but participants who watched ads for the high-priced drug were significantly less likely to ask their physician or insurer about the medication, research the treatment online, or take the drug, the article reported.