March 2012

Gender bias persists in cost of insurance

Women still pay more than men for the same health insurance coverage, according to new research and data from online brokers.  This is one reason women should be monitoring the US Supreme Court’s hearings on the recent Affordable Care Act (ACA) taking place in the nation’s Capitol.  The major point of contention under discussion is whether the mandate that all people must have insurance is constitutional. If the entire ACA is stuck down (verses only the mandate section) the prohibition of gender rating may be at risk.

Sjogren’s syndrome more common in women

If your eyes and mouth feel as dry as a desert, there are many possible causes, such as bad air quality and certain medications. But if you have long-lasting, uncomfortable dryness in your eyes and mouth, along with fatigue or pain and swelling in some of your joints, you may have a condition called Sjögren’s syndrome.

Sjögren’s (pronounced SHOW-grins) syndrome affects as many as 4 million people nationwide. Men and women of all ages can develop the condition, but it most often shows up in women in their 50s and 60s. The disorder is 9 times more common in women than in men.

International Women’s Day- time to salute a hero!

Last week Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the longest serving US Congresswoman!   She was elected to the US House of Representative in 1976 and, 10 years later, became the first woman elected to the Senate who stood on her own merit and not put in office because she was the spouse or daughter of a previous senator.

FDA warns of mercury in skin cream

Consumers should avoid skin lighteners, “anti-aging” creams, and other cosmetics that may contain toxic levels of mercury, the FDA advised in an alert issued recently.    Products that list “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” among their ingredients — or that don’t list ingredients in English, or at all — should not be used, the FDA warned.

White rice may not be a healthy option


Eating more white rice may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, especially for Asian populations, Qi Sun, PhD, of Harvard and colleagues reported in the British Medical Journal.  Patients who ate the greatest amounts of the grain had a 27% greater risk of developing the disease than those who ate the least, and the relative risk was higher among Asian patients.

Institute Director Teresa Woodruff receives alumni merit award

Since 1932, the Northwestern Alumnae Association  has honored alumni who have distinguished themselves as outstanding professional and personal achievers in their fields and who have loyally dedicated their time and service to their alma mater. This year’s award recipients have earned acclaim in business, engineering, journalism, the arts, law, athletics, medicine and health care. Among this year’s winners is Teresa K. Woodruff, the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, and professor of Molecular Biosciences at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Woodruff received a Ph.D. from Weinberg in 1989.

Hospitals can make you sick! Here are tips to reduce medical errors.

Medical errors can occur anywhere in the health care system: In hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, pharmacies, and patients’ homes. Errors can involve medicines, surgery, diagnosis, equipment, or lab reports. They can happen during even the most routine tasks, such as when a hospital patient on a salt-free diet is given a high-salt meal. One in seven Medicare patients in hospitals experience a medical error.