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Health Beats: March 10, 2010

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Beats this week:

1) A study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that a $1 increase in the cost of soda (one liter) translated into significant health benefits, including 2.34 pounds in decreased weight and improvement in the risk of heart disease. This study was released just as New York begins a final push for a soda tax.

2) Did you know that today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It is a day to recognize the special risks HIV/AIDS poses for women and girls, and to raise awareness of the disease’s increasing impact on them. In 2007, more than a quarter of HIV those diagnosed with HIV were women.

3) President Obama has continued his push to pass health care reform in the upcoming weeks, keeping to his commitment of March 18. Congress, however, seems to be on a different page than the President, with many contentious issues, such as abortion, still left unresolved.

4) Today in Springfield, Governor Pat Quinn gave a speech on the current state budget crisis and his proposed FY11 budget. In sum, Quinn plans to use five strategies to ease the fiscal crisis: cutting spending, strategic borrowing, maximizing federal assistance, new jobs and increasing revenues. His speech included a plea for a 1% increase in income taxes in order to fund education at the current levels.

5) Researchers have discovered that the HIV virus can hide in bone marrow cells and eventually turn into blood cells. This research explains why patients need to follow strict medication adherence, even if the virus is absent from their blood cells. Eventually, researchers believe that this finding will allow them to develop better medications to treat the disease in the blood and other parts of the body, including bone marrow.