Trending News Today: Sedentary Behavior Increases Mortality Risk

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Medicare’s top 20 most expensive prescription drugs in 2015 were ranked by their cost above the program’s catastrophic coverage threshold by The New York Times. Once a beneficiary has spent a certain amount of their own money, $4859 this year, the program’s catastrophic protection begins. The beneficiary will pay only 5%, while their insurer pays 15% and taxpayers pay 80%, the Times reported. Since catastrophic spending is a huge chunk of total costs that continues to grow, it threatens to make Medicare’s prescription plan financially unsustainable.

A recent study found that specialized brain training may be a powerful strategy in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the Los Angeles Times reported. The results come from a 10-year study that compared the effects of 3 different forms of brain training. Participants were divided into a classroom-based course that aimed to boost memory, a classroom-based course designed to sharpen reasoning skills, or computerized training that looked to increase the speed of the brain processing cues in a person’s field of vision. The results of the study showed that 14% of participants in the control group experienced significant cognitive decline or dementia, compared with 11.4% in the memory-strategies group, 11.7% in the reasoning-strategies group, and 10.5% in the speed-of-processing group.

Being sedentary for more than 10 hours a day was linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular disease-related deaths, reported The Washington Post. Previously, it was unclear of how much sedentary time should be avoided to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, but the findings indicate that more than 10 hours of sedentary time was associated with an 8% increased risk of heart disease. But, researchers did find that individuals who are sedentary in moderation are unlikely to develop heart disease.