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Health Line

Patients struggle to pay medical bills

As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, health is becoming a luxury rather than a priority for many Americans.
According to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit healthcare research team, about one in three Americans faced difficulties meeting medical payments last year.

The poll also revealed that nearly half of the Americans surveyed claimed that a family member was postponing or not undergoing medical treatment that they needed.
In the midst of a deep recession, with daily expenses, monthly bills, and college fees bleeding finances dry, health problems seem to have become a less urgent expense.
While some health concerns could wait, others could lead to more serious consequences if left untreated.

Source: The New York Times

Coffee addicts more likely to hallucinate

Research conducted in the UK has shown that students who drink large amounts of coffee daily are more likely to “see things” or “hear voices” than those who do not.

The study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, tested 200 students and found out that those who drank seven cups of coffee in a day were thrice as likely to see visions than those who drank just one cup. Stress causes the body to release cortisol, a hormone associated with hallucinations. Excessive caffeine intake produces cortisol in larger quantities, leading to delusional behavior. However, academics insist that minor hallucination is not a sign of mental illness, and therefore does not deem coffee injurious to health.

Source: BBC News

FDA says peanut butter unsafe

The FDA discourages people from consuming cookies, ice-cream, and other foodstuff that contains peanut butter and peanut paste due to possible salmonella contamination.

Salmonella poisoning causes diarrhea, fever, and cramps. It is the most common cause of food poisoning in the United States.
According to federal health officials, over 470 people in 43 states have been affected, including six deaths that could have been caused by the contamination.

Officials are monitoring major peanut butter producers and distributors around the country for further information.

Source: washingtonpost.com

UPMC sues former employee

UPMC filed a lawsuit against former employee and security official Michael R. Tantlinger over confidential patient safety data that could influence the investigation into the death of 89-year-old Rose Lee Diggs, who died on the roof of UPMC Monterfiore last month.
The hospital has accused Tantlinger of stealing the documents and thus violating the employee confidentiality agreement.
The documents could work against UPMC since they describe in detail how Tantlinger warned the hospital several months ago regarding safety problems with doors that led to the roof.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette