Dec 29 2011

Public Health News Roundup: December 29

One In Five Families Had Trouble Paying Medical Bills Last Year

A report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds that more than one in five Americans were in families reporting problems paying medical bills in 2010. The study, conducted by the Center for Studying Health System Change, also found that about 5 percent of all people in families with medical bill problems ultimately filed for bankruptcy. Read more on access to health care.

Children in Low-Income Households Miss Vital Opportunities for Play Time

A new report published in Pediatrics finds that although play time is critical for emotional and social development, children in low-income households often miss out on play opportunities. The report authors say lack of safe places to play, budget cuts to physical education programs at public schools and parents with too little time and resources are among the key reasons for the lack of play. Read more on the importance of play time for health and what one group is doing about it.

Obese People May Be More Prone to Falls

A new study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society finds that balance problems may pose a fall risk for people who are obese. Read more on obesity.

Some Australian Cases of H1N1 Were Resistant to Tamiflu This Past Flu Season

A letter written by World Health Organization researchers in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reports that some cases of H1N1 during the most recent winter flu season in Australia were resistant to Tamiflu, a drug used to treat flu cases, but did respond to Relenza, another influenza drug. Flu season is typically in high gear in the U.S. during January and February, and many sites still have flu shots available. Get more flu news.

Tags: Access to Health Care, Education, Flu, News roundups, Obesity, Pediatrics, Public and Community Health, Safety, School Health