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Health Highlights: June 19, 2018

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Nearly Half of American Diabetics Forgo Care Due to Cost: Survey

Nearly half (45 percent) of Americans with diabetes sometimes do without care because they can't afford it, a new survey reveals.

It also found that more than 4 in 10 diabetics said they had more than $1,000 in out-of-pocket costs in the past year for diabetes complications, and another third spent between $100 to $500, CBS News reported.

Many diabetics also have indirect costs such as missing work because of the illness, according to the online poll conducted in 2017 by UpWell Heath, which offers healthcare services for people with chronic conditions.

In related news, the rapidly rising cost of the diabetes medication insulin has doctors and lawmakers calling for increased oversight to protect patients, CBS News reported.

The average price of the lifesaving drug nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Last week, the American Medical Association called on federal officials to protect diabetics from price gouging on insulin products, CBS News reported.

"It is shocking and unconscionable" that patients are struggling to get a basic medicine like insulin, AMA board member William McDade said in a statement.

There is no generic version of insulin and three companies -- Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk -- control 99 percent of the market, CBS News reported.


Governors Condemn Trump Stance on Insurance Benefits for Pre-Existing Conditions

A Trump administration move that could reduce access to health insurance benefits for people with pre-existing conditions is being slammed by a bipartisan group of governors.

Recently, the Justice Department said it will no longer defend the section of the Affordable Care Act related to pre-existing conditions.

On Tuesday, the governors of Alaska, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Montana, Washington and Maryland issued a joint statement condemning the Trump administration's decision, the Associated Press reported.

They said it would harm families, create uncertainty in insurance markets and is contrary to American values.


U.S. Veterans' Suicide Rate Twice That of Civilians: Study

U.S. veterans are two times more likely than civilians to commit suicide, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs study released Monday.

It said that veterans make up 8 percent of the U.S. population, but account for 14 percent of all suicides, NBC News reported.

As in the general population, deaths among veterans are on the rise.

"After adjusting for differences in age, the rate of suicide in 2015 was 2.1 times higher among veterans compared with nonveteran adults," according to the study. Data from 2015 was the latest complete set available, NBC News reported.

Compared to civilians of the same gender, suicide rates were two times higher among female veterans and 1.3 times higher among male veterans.

"In 2015, an average of 20.6 active-duty service members, nonactivated Guard or Reserve members, and other veterans died by suicide each day," the study said.

There has been an overall rise in suicide in the U.S., and experts say it could be due to a combination of factors, including poor access to mental health care, increased disconnection with others, money problems and relationship difficulties, NBC News reported.


Disney's 'Incredibles 2' Could Pose Risk to People With Epilepsy

The new animated movie "Incredibles 2" has scene with flashing lights that could pose a risk to people with "who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or other photosensitivities," Disney warns in an advisory sent to theaters.

The memo asks theaters showing the movie to flag customers to the scene, USA Today reported.

After the film opened Friday, there were social media posts from some theatergoers that the movie could cause seizures in people with epilepsy, migraines or chronic illness.

The Epilepsy Foundation issued a statement about those concerns, USA Today reported. "(We) appreciate the efforts some theaters have already made to post warning signs for people waiting to see the movie," the statement said.

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Posted: June 2018

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