Mon November 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

Controversial Cholesterol Drug Redeemed By Global Clinical Test

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 7:16 am

Fresh data show that Vytorin, a combination pill for cholesterol, cuts the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Getty Images Getty Images

The wheels of drug research grind slowly, but they can grind exceedingly fine.

Merck said Monday that its cholesterol drug Vytorin was vindicated by a nine-year-long clinical study that aimed to find out if adding a drug that blocked the absorption of cholesterol to a statin, long the gold standard for cholesterol care, would help patients at a high risk of heart attack and stroke.

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Mon November 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

What's In His Kiss? 80 Million Bacteria

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 7:55 am

Katherine Streeter for NPR

If your partner's kiss is on your lips, his microbes are, too.

A passionate kiss that lasts more than 10 seconds transfers about 80 million bacteria, researchers say. The evidence, published Sunday in the journal Microbiome, comes from 21 couples, ages 17 to 45, who made out for science. (Tough gig.)

Each couple had their mouths swabbed and spit to measure the bacteria in their mouths. Even before kissing, the couples had similar mouth bacteria.

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Mon November 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

The Power Of Suggestion Could Trigger Asthma — Or Treat It

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 2:41 pm

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Lots of things can trigger an asthma attack, but one of the most common causes is odor — anything from the heavy scent of perfume to a household cleaner.

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Sat November 15, 2014
Shots - Health News

They Paid How Much? How Negotiated Deals Hide Health Care's Cost

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 11:43 am

Sal Morales found an Obamacare health plan this year that costs him $145 per month — versus the $560 he'd been paying.
Courtesy of The Miami Herald

As Americans begin shopping again for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act on Saturday, they'll be wrestling with premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs and other vague and confusing insurance-speak.

Believe it or not, that's the easy part compared with figuring out what health care actually costs.

Sal Morales of Miami bought insurance in March during the ACA's first enrollment period on the website.

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Fri November 14, 2014
Shots - Health News Head Says Site Is Tested And 'Ready To Go'

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 4:40 pm

The second open enrollment period for buying health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act starts Saturday.
Don Ryan AP

It's being challenged in the Supreme Court. Members of the new Republican Congress want to repeal it. But Obamacare will get a second chance on Saturday, when enrollment opens again in the government-sponsored health exchanges.

The Obama administration is expecting over 3 million new enrollees and almost 6 million return customers. And while the system faces some challenges, the government says it's up to the task.

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