The Last Of The Uninsured; Prescriptions For Dummies; Tracking Runners' Breasts

A just-released research brief found that "non-elderly adults" age 19-64 are the last holdouts with no health insurance in Massachusetts. The report by the State Health Access Reform Evaluation, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and The Urban Institute, found that 4.1 percent of Massachusetts residents were uninsured in 2008 — the lowest among all states and well below the national average. (State health authorities have said that number is now down to about 3 percent).

So who still lacks insurance? According to the report the uninsured tend to be:

--Male, young, and single
--Racial/ethnic minorities and non-citizens Unable to speak English well or very well
--Living in a household in which there was no adult able to speak English well or very well

News from NPR this morning that the FDA plans to simplify prescription drug inserts so they can actually be of some use to patients. This problem isn't new. According to reporter April Fulton, the FDA has been trying to fix this since the 1960s. But things have only gotten worse. A University of Florida study recently found that:

...while 94 percent of patients are getting written information with their prescriptions, only 75 percent of them are getting information that's considered useful.

And I don't know about anyone else out there, but I wore two running bras this morning after reading Gretchen Reynolds, writing for The New York Times Well blog on the first study to examine how breast jiggle impacts running:

What the researchers found was that breast sway did, in fact, have a significant effect on the women’s running. When the runners were braless, their strides changed; they landed more heavily, with more of the impact force moving through the inside of their feet.

The bottom line: "Jiggle may make running both more difficult and injurious than it needs to be."

This program aired on August 18, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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