Daily Rounds: Circumcision Benefits Trump Risks; Help For Dual Eligibles; Exercise For Smoker's Jitters: Double-Edged Gene Research

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Benefits Of Circumcision Are Said To Outweigh Risks (The New York Times) — "The American Academy of Pediatrics has shifted its stance on infant male circumcision, announcing on Monday that new research, including studies in Africa suggesting that the procedure may protect heterosexual men against H.I.V., indicated that the health benefits outweighed the risks. But the academy stopped short of recommending routine circumcision for all baby boys, saying the decision remains a family matter."

State SIgns On To Health Program For Disabled Adults (The Boston Gloe) — "Massachusetts...became the first state to sign on to a program that will change the way it pays for the complex and costly health care of up to 110,000 adults with disabilities. At least 25 other states are considering the program, created under the federal Affordable Care Act. But disability advocates and policy analysts have expressed concern that the program is being rolled out too quickly. The program affects people aged 21 to 64 who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, often referred to as “dual eligibles.” The parallel plans can be confusing for patients and hinder communication between doctors and hospitals. The new program will enroll those patients with state-contracted insurers that will oversee all of a patient’s medical, mental health, and long-term care benefits."

Exercise May Temporarily Ease Cigarette Cravings: Study (Reuters) — "Smokers who are trying to cut down or quit might want to take a jog the next time a cigarette craving overcomes them, according to a British study. Researchers, whose findings appeared in the journal Addiction, combined the data from 19 previous clinical trials and found that a bout of exercise generally helped hopeful quitters reduce their nicotine cravings - though whether that translated into a greater chance of quitting was unclear. "Certainly, exercise seems to have temporary benefits, and as such can be strongly recommended," said Adrian Taylor, a professor of exercise and health psychology at the University of Exeter in Britain, who led the study."

Genes Now Tell Doctors Secrets They Can't Utter (The New York Times) — "One of the first cases came a decade ago, just as the new age of genetics was beginning. A young woman with a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer enrolled in a study trying to find cancer genes that, when mutated, greatly increase the risk of breast cancer. But the woman, terrified by her family history, also intended to have her breasts removed prophylactically. Her consent form said she would not be contacted by the researchers. Consent forms are typically written this way because the purpose of such studies is not to provide medical care but to gain new insights. The researchers are not the patients’ doctors. But in this case, the researchers happened to know about the woman’s plan, and they also knew that their study indicated that she did not have her family’s breast cancer gene. They were horrified."

This program aired on August 27, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.