Trending News Today: Smokers More Likely to Develop Atrial Fibrillation

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

A new analysis has found that current smokers are at a higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation than nonsmokers, Reuters reported. According to the article, researchers analyzed data from 29 studies of atrial fibrillation rates in more than a half-million current, former, and never-smokers in Europe, North America, Australia, and Japan. Compared with individuals who had never smoked, current smokers had a 32% increased risk of atrial fibrillation, while former smokers had a 9% higher risk, the article reported.

A recent study shows that some bacteria have begun adjusting to alcohol-based sanitizers, NPR reported. According to the article, the researchers compared 139 types of bacteria over a 19-year period and found that the bacteria evolved to tolerate alcohol better as time passed. Bacteria collected after 2009 were 10 times more tolerant than pre-2004 bacteria, the article reported. Although the bacteria are not yet resistant to the alcohol, the researchers have found that they are becoming more tolerant of it and were able survive for longer periods of time after being doused with alcohol.

In a statement, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association warned that the Trump administration’s proposal to expand short-term health care plans could harm patients, The Hill reported. According to the article, the association’s vice president, Justine Handelman, warned that the proposal could harm consumers who don’t know the risks of lower-coverage plans. On Wednesday, the Trump administration finalized rules expanding non-Obamacare health insurance plans and expanding the short-term health plans so that they can last up to a year, the article reported.

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