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06/14/12

  09:29:53 am, by MedBen5   , 189 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

Low Supplement Doses Of Vitamin D, Calcium More Risk Than Reward

Taking low doses of vitamin D and calcium supplements do little to prevent broken bones in postmenopausal women, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Reuters reports that the government-backed panel determined that while daily doses lower than 400 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium contribute only minimally to bone health, they do carry a slightly increased risk of side effects, such as kidney stones.

Note, however, that the recommendation applies specifically to low doses of supplements, and only to postmenopausal women. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men and women get at least 600 IU of vitamin D and at least 1,000 mg of calcium every day, depending on age and sex. The thinking, apparently, is that the benefits of larger doses outweigh the potential risks.

“We know vitamin D is very important for the body and it’s important for everyone to eat a healthy diet that includes vitamin D and calcium,” said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a member of the panel and a professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

USA Today features a Q&A with endocrinologist Bess Dawson-Hughes regarding the USPSTF recommendations.

06/12/12

  05:02:42 pm, by MedBen5   , 189 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

A Healthy Benefits Package Offers A Competitive Edge

A new survey finds that employees who are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits package are nine times more likely to stick with their employer, compared to those workers who are dissatisfied with their package.

According to Employee Benefit News, the 2012 Aflac WorkForces report also says that when workers were asked what their current employer could do to keep them in their jobs, 49% responded, “improve my benefits package.” And more than 75% of respondents believe they’d be at least somewhat likely to take a job with lower pay if the benefits offered were an improvement on their current package.

This report demonstrates the power of a robust benefits program – and health benefits play a particularly crucial role in retaining employees as well as attracting new ones. That’s why when MedBen works with employers to develop a group health plan, we consider its appeal to current and prospective team members alike.

To get the best talent, it pays to have a competitive edge. To learn how MedBen can help give you that advantage, we invite you to call Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brian Fargus at 888-627-8683.

  12:55:11 pm, by MedBen5   , 304 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Whatever The Supreme Court Ruling Is, Political Fallout Awaits

For nearly three months, Washington has held its collective breath as the Obama administration, legislators and lobbyists await the Supreme Court’s verdict on the future of health care reform law. Politico recently examined the three main scenarios the President faces when the decision is finally made known:

Chaos: Mandate struck down, other parts preserved
“Many SCOTUS watchers think one of the most likely scenarios is that the court will toss out the individual mandate and keep the rest of the law. That would leave a lot of the popular pieces alone, like covering pre-existing conditions, eliminating the ‘donut hole’ gap for senior prescription benefits and letting young adults stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 […]

“One small problem: It’s lousy policy, one that Democrats say is a recipe for political confusion and flawed policy that virtually guarantees that the popular stuff in the law won’t work.”

Clarity: The whole law goes down
“It may seem paradoxical but losing the entire law is probably a more palatable political alternative for the White House than killing it in agonizing pieces […]

“[The] threat that [the pre-existing conditions provision and other] protections would disappear would likely become a major part of Obama’s case against [Mitt] Romney and the Republicans.”

Miracle: Law is upheld
“The notion that Chief Justice John Roberts will suddenly discover his inner Earl Warren isn’t outside the realm of possibility. It’s more likely swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy could join court liberals in upholding the law, despite his pointed, almost hostile questioning of government lawyers […]

“It’s still a net political loser for Democrats, especially in blue-collar battlegrounds such as Ohio, Democrats say. The Obama team’s failure to sell the bill for the past two years simply can’t be overcome by one miraculous day at the high court.”

  11:58:42 am, by MedBen5   , 227 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Even Late In Life, Quitting Smoking Reduces Death Risk

The fact that non-smokers typically live longer that smokers hardly qualifies as news. And it’s fairly well-established that kicking the habit improves life expectancy. But a new study has confirmed that quitting even late in life reduces the risk of early death.

According to HealthDay News, researchers reviewed data from from 17 studies from seven countries (Australia, China, England, Japan, France, Spain and the United States) published between 1987 and 2011. People in the study were followed for between three and 50 years.

As expected, smokers 60 and over had a much higher risk of death – 83% – from cancer, heart disease and all other causes compared to nonsmokers in the same age group. But former smokers 60 and over reduced the risk to 34% higher than of those who never smoked.

“In my experience, individuals who have smoked for several decades are less interested in quitting and are less likely to be encouraged to quit by their health-care providers,” said Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y. She hopes the findings “may provide incentive for older smokers to quit and encourage providers to target this group of smokers for cessation efforts,” Folan said.

By the way, if you’re one of those people who are trying to quit: Another new study suggests that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help.

06/11/12

  11:07:47 am, by MedBen5   , 242 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

How's Wellness Working Across The Pond?

German wellness programs have, for the most part, been around longer than their American equivalents. So to get some idea of the long-term prospects here, the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund turned its gaze to Europe. And the results are encouraging, MedCity News reports:

“In Germany, public insurers offer members bonuses for participating in health screening, promotion and checkup programs. Participants are rewarded for achieving goals, such as receiving an influenza vaccination, meeting body mass index targets, or exercising in a gym for a certain number of times per week, similar to how U.S. plans are structured.

“The researchers examined the results from a wellness program run by one of Germany’s largest insurers and found that participants in the program had ’significantly’ lower costs than those who didn’t participate. The average difference between the two groups was $251 per year, but that number drops to $143 when wellness program costs are factored in.”

Here in America, private wellness programs are also finding ways to promote healthier lifestyles while reducing health care costs. And at MedBen, we believe wellness begins by putting the family doctor first.

MedBen Worksite Wellness emphasizes physician office testing, which keeps the primary care provider involved and eliminates the logistical headaches and potential redundancy of on-site screenings. Plus, employers get greater productivity at a lower cost.

For addtional information about starting a wellness program for your business, contact MedBen Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brian Fargus at 888-627-8683.

  10:28:51 am, by MedBen5   , 150 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Wellness

Be Careful Of Negative Interactions With OTC Drugs

When you pick up a prescription medication from your local pharmacy, you also receive a reminder from the pharmacist – written, verbal or both – of potential negative interactions with food, beverages and other drugs. But when you buy over-the-counter drugs, it’s easier to overlook the warnings.

The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests how to reduce the risk of adverse effects from OTC drugs (via HealthDay News):

  • Read the drug label carefully and only take the medication as recommended by your doctor or as instructed on the label.
  • Never take a medication with alcohol.
  • Never mix the medication with food or drink, unless your doctor says it’s ok.
    Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions.
  • Be mindful of any drug reactions you’ve had before, and read the label on the current drug to look for any ingredient to which you’re sensitive.
  • Don’t take any OTC medication along with vitamins.
  10:08:23 am, by MedBen5   , 176 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Coffee May Slow Onset of Alzheimer's, Study Suggests

Not only does coffee provide a much-needed “get-it-in-gear” on a Monday morning, it may offer long-term benefits to your brain power as well. According to a new study, drinking three cups of coffee a day could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease among older adults who are already showing signs of memory problems.

WebMD reports that the study found that people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer’s disease two to four years later than their counterparts with lower caffeine levels.

“Continue to drink coffee,” says researcher Chuanhai Cao, PhD, a Tampa, Florida neuroscientist. “There is no reason to stop if you are experiencing memory problems.”

Exactly how coffee helps delay the development of Alzheimer’s is not known, but Cao theorizes that caffeine inhibits the production of beta-amyloid, a protein that accumulates in the brains of people who have Alzheimer’s disease.

The study included 124 people aged 65 to 88 who had mild cognitive impairment, which is the medical term for mild memory loss. About 15% of people with MCI develop full-blown Alzheimer’s disease each year.

  09:08:58 am, by MedBen5   , 205 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Keeping Kids On Health Plan Popular With Parents, Survey Finds

Even though the Affordable Care Act has met with a mixed response from the public, certain aspects of the law have proven popular – perhaps none more so than the provision allowing parents to keep children on their health care plan until they reach age 26. The Los Angeles Times reports that in the 18 months after the law was passed, as many as 6.6 million young adults stayed on or where added to their parents’ plans.

That number, found in the survey by the health care research foundation Commonwealth Fund, is far higher than earlier estimates. Prior surveys by the federal government indicated the provision reversed years of declining coverage for young adults.

The Commonwealth Fund did note that the 6.6 million figure is somewhat inflated, as some of the young adults who joined or remained on their parents’ health plan may have been otherwise insured on plans that were more costly or less comprehensive. But President Karen Davis said that the law has nonetheless had a positive impact on young adults and their families.

If the Supreme Court should strike down the health care reform law, the childen-up-to-age-26 rule would go down with it. But its popularity suggests that the provision could ultimately survive in some form.

06/08/12

  04:15:05 pm, by MedBen5   , 291 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News

MedBen Names Nydegger Vice President and Controller

Ed Nydegger

Ed Nydegger was recently promoted to the position of Vice President by the Board of Directors of Medical Benefits Mutual Life Insurance Co. ("MedBen"), according to Doug Freeman, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the health benefits management company.

At their regular meeting on May 17, the Board of Directors of MedBen voted to name Nydegger Vice President and Controller. In his new role, he will manage accounting operations, treasury and payroll administration.

Nydegger, who has been with MedBen since 2010, previously served as the company’s Director of Accounting.

Freeman said, “Ed brought an impressive background in finance to MedBen, and in his relatively short time here, he has made impactful changes to our accounting processes that benefit both our clients and our employees.”

Among the projects Nydegger has overseen was an update to the methods MedBen uses to monitor bank deposits and cash disbursements, affording greater speed when transferring funds without sacrificing accuracy. Freeman said that the procedural change better protects the safety of clients’ money, because “MedBen tracks it at every point in the process, from bank transfer to claims payment.”

Nydegger also implemented a banking security matrix that consolidates and reorganizes internal and external banking procedures. “This allows only designated MedBen employees access to specific client funds,” Freeman said. He also noted that the matrix enables MedBen to add and remove users as needed without disrupting service or jeopardizing security.

A veteran of the United States Air Force, Nydegger holds a Master of Business Administration from Capital University and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Ohio State University.

Ed is active in his community as a Boy Scout troop leader and soccer referee. He resides with his wife. Lori. and their two children in Hilliard, Ohio.

  01:20:33 pm, by MedBen5   , 197 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

House Passes Bill Ending FSA Restrictions, Medical Device Tax

The House of Representatives has passed legislation that would end the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule for flexible spending account users. Additionally, the bill would allow FSA and health savings account participants to once again use their funds to purchase over-the-counter medications without a prescription.

According to BenefitsPro, the measure gives employers the option of allowing employees to withdraw taxable money – up to $500 – that remains in their FSAs at the end of the plan year or at the end of a grace period.

The legislation, which passed by a 270-146 vote, would also repeal a tax on medical device makers – one expected to raise $29 billion in the next decade, the Associated Press reports.

To make up for the potential shortfall, Republican House members included a provision to raise $44 billion by removing limits on money the government could collect in overpayments from lower-earning people who will get insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. The idea has met with opposition from Democrats.

Whether the Senate takes up the measure is still in doubt, but unlikely at this point given the Democratic majority. Moreover, President Obama had previously said he would veto the bill if it reached his desk.

  12:30:43 pm, by MedBen5   , 187 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Don't Leave Common Sense At Home When Eating Out

Dining out this weekend? Well, enjoy your meal and be sure to tip appropriately. Oh, and while we’re on the subject… if you want to keep your weight in check, don’t leave healthy eating habits at home.

All too often, going to a restaurant can lead to ordering portions much larger than you would eat if you made the meal yourself. Of course, the restaurant itself may be equally culpable, as even a so-called “regular” entrée may contain enough food for two or even three people.

Forunately, many restaurants now offer “half-sized” or smaller serving options. And if you scan the menu, you can typically find some healthier fare that satisfies your appetite without expanding your waistline.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers these suggestions for weight-conscious diners (via HealthDay):

  • Skip the entree and order an appetizer and a salad for your meal.
  • Stick to a smaller serving, such as a cup of soup or a child-size portion.
  • Eat half of your meal at the restaurant and take half home to enjoy later.
  • Share each course with someone else, or just split an entrée.

06/07/12

  05:36:06 pm, by MedBen5   , 277 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

With Court Decision Looming, Health Care Reform Is A Hot Topic

The ruling from the Supreme Court on the fate of health care reform law may be only weeks or even days away, so it shouldn’t come a surprise that the number of stories on the topic has increased of late: Here’s a sampling:

USA Today: “According to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, 41% think the high court should completely overturn the law Obama signed in 2010.

“An additional 27% say the justices should strike down only the law’s key feature: The individual mandate, the requirement that nearly all Americans buy some form of health insurance […] The poll also shows 24% support upholding the health care law in its entirety.”

The Wall Street Journal Health Blog: “Around three quarters of [employers who offer health benefits to workers responding] to the May questionnaire from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans said they were taking a “we’ll know when we know” approach to the ruling, or have had only “general discussions” about what it might mean.

“Just 14% of the 1,027 American employers who responded said they’d had “organized discussions” about the possible outcomes of the decision. Six percent said they had or were developing specific plans for how to respond to whatever they thought the likely decision would be, while 9% had or were developing plans for each possible outcome.”

The Hill: “The Health and Human Services Department has missed nearly half of its legal deadlines while implementing President Obama’s healthcare law, according to an analysis by the American Action Forum.

“HHS has faced 42 statutory deadlines in the roughly two years since the Affordable Care Act became law — and it missed 20 of them, according to the AAF’s count.”

  04:53:07 pm, by MedBen5   , 189 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Before A Colonoscopy, Don't Be Shy About Asking Questions

Bringing up the subject of colon cancer screenings may provoke reactions of disgust, anxiety and questionable humor in equal measure. But there’s no getting around that it’s an important procedure and should not be taken lightly.

Key to a successful screening is finding a skilled physician with a good record of detecting polyps. “The biggest problem with colonoscopy is that it’s operator dependent,” says Dr, Douglas Rex, director of endoscopy at Indiana University Hospital.

The NPR Health Blog advises prospective patients to ask their doctor two questions before getting a colonoscopy:

  1. What is your polyp detection rate? A skilled physician should have a polyp detection rate of about 25% for men and 20% for women, says Dr. Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colorectal cancers for the American Cancer Society. Those figures correspond to the percentages of men and women over 50 who have polyps.
  2. How long do you take removing the scope after reaching the beginning of the colon? The “colonoscopy withdrawal time” should ideally take at least six minutes – a length of time associated with higher detection rates. Ten minutes is optimal, according to an analysis published last year.

06/06/12

  04:29:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 216 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

IRS Releases Health FSA Contribution Limit Guidelines

The Internal Revenue Service has given businesses that offer health flexible spending accounts a bit of breathing room before they must begin enforcing an annual $2,500 maximum salary reduction contribution.

Last week, the IRS offered an implementation timeline through Notice 2012-40, which states that the “taxable year” refers to the plan’s “plan year". That means any health FSAs with plan years beginning prior to January 1, 2013 will not be affected by the rule until next year.

More good news: Plans will have until the end of the calendar year 2014 to amend their plans with the $2,500 limit. And if the plan offers a grace period, unused employee contributions to the health FSA for plan years beginning in 2012 or later that are carried over into the grace period for that plan year will not count against the $2,500 limit for the subsequent plan year.

The IRS notes that the $2,500 limit only applies to salary reductions (including cashable credits); it does not apply to employer contributions that can’t be cashed out or received in the form of taxable benefits.

One final item of interest: The notice solicits comments on whether to modify (or even eliminate) the health FSA “use-it-or-lose-it” requirement.

MedBen clients with questions regarding these guidelines are welcome to contact Director of Administrative Services Sharon A. Mills at (800) 423-3151, Ext. 438.

  04:01:35 pm, by MedBen5   , 214 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

Risks Of Daily Aspirin For Heart Disease May Outweigh Benefits

Remember that study we wrote about last week that said taking aspirin reduces your odds of developing skin cancer? Well, because researchers like nothing more than to make other researchers look bad (no, just kidding), a new study suggests that unless you’re at high risk for cardiovascular disease, that taking an aspirin every day probably isn’t a good idea.

According to HealthDay, researchers determined that daily low-dose aspirin (300 milligrams or less) use may significantly increase the chance of major gastrointestinal or cerebral bleeding. Therefore, any benefits of benefit of low-dose aspirin in preventing heart disease could be offset by that risk.

“Aspirin is not effective in protecting a person from a first cardiac event – a heart attack or stroke,” said study author Dr. Antonio Nicolucci, head of the department of clinical pharmacology at nonprofit biomedical research organization Consorzio Mario Negri Sud in Santa Maria Imbaro, Italy. “In addition, taking aspirin has significant risks, and thus shouldn’t be part of primary prevention unless you’re at moderate to high risk of heart disease.”

It’s noteworthy that the study found an association an association between daily aspirin use and bleeding, but did not prove cause and effect. In either case, if you do take aspirin every day, it’s best to let your doctor know about it.

  01:25:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 193 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Hospital Safety Score Website A Tough Grader

Hospital Safety Score

The non-profit Leapfrog Group has introduced a website that grades hospitals using a system that all us former school kids are familiar with: A’s through F’s.

According to NPR, Hospitalsafetyscore.org offers single letter grades for 2,651 U.S. hospitals, based on 26 different measures collected by Leapfrog or Medicare. Leapfrog gave 729 hospitals an A grade, 679 hospitals a B and 1,111 hospitals a C. Another 132 hospitals were scored “Grade Pending,” Leapfrog’s euphemism for below a C.

Leah Binder, Leapfrog’s executive director, says the group will wait six months before introducing D’s and F’s, so as not too seem too harsh.

In determining its score, the group looks at numerous factors, including structural measures (ICU physician staffing, computerized prescriber order entry), safe practice measures, (leadership structures, teamwork training), and patient safety indicators (death from serious treatable complications after surgery, accidental cuts or tears from medical treatment), to mention just a handful.

The American Hospital Association disputed Leapfrog’s ratings, saying in a statement that it “has supported several good quality measures but many of the measures Leapfrog uses to grade hospitals are flawed, and they do not accurately portray a picture of the safety efforts made by hospitals.”

06/05/12

  03:37:35 pm, by MedBen5   , 266 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Health Plan Management

Get To Know Your Prescription Drugs

If you’ve never used a particular prescription medication, it’s a good idea to get to know it better before taking it. To that end, you should have your physician or pharmacist break the ice a bit.

At KevinMD.com, pharmacist Carlene Oleksyn suggests five questions to ask about your prescription, which we summarize below:

  1. What is this medication for? When someone doesn’t know what a medication is for, there is little motivation to take it correctly or even at all.
  2. What will happen if I don’t take this medication? There are many prescriptions that are unnecessary or could be avoided with ”watchful waiting” and there are some prescriptions that can be deadly if you do not take them exactly as prescribed.
  3. When can I expect this medication to work for me? Knowing what to expect is essential. Someone being treated for clinical depression needs to know that the medication they are getting may not start to work for 2 to 6 weeks.
  4. What do I do if I have a problem with this medication? Find out what some of the common problems or side effects of your medication are and what you can do about them if they happen.
  5. Can I take this medication with all my other medications? Mention all drugs that you’re taking, including non-prescription medications, vitamins and herbal products.

MedBen clients using Pharmacy Data Management (PDMI) as their PBM can also take advantage of RxEOB, a useful resource to research medications as well as search for equivalent, lower-cost drugs. Just go into MedBen Access and click on your name under “My Rx Claims".

  01:06:59 pm, by MedBen5   , 294 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

If Health Care Reform Goes Down, Will It Rise Again?

Of all the great unknowns regarding the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the health care reform law, among the greatest is: if the Affordable Care Act is struck down entirely, what happens to the provisions already in effect?

In one sense, there is already an answer to that question. If the law is thrown out, the rules that allow young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and make prescription drugs for seniors more affordable – to name just two – get thrown out with it. But will lawmakers really permit that to happen? The Boston Globe recently sought opinion on the issue.

House Republicans have long promised to “repeal and replace” the ACA. But health economist Gail Wilensky speculated on what type of replacement would occur: “Is it a replacement that will substantially extend coverage for people who have been uninsured? At the moment it’s a little hard to see that happening.”

John McDonough, director of Harvard University’s Center for Public Health Leadership, believes despite public indifference to the law, taking away popular provision would result in a backlash: “It’s a standard rule of politics that people value losses more than hypothetical gains. If the court were to strike down significant parts of the law that are already in place, there could quite possibly be a potent public reaction against what is being taken away from people.”

Drew Altman, chief executive of the Kaiser Family Foundation, doesn’t see further action if the ACA is overturned: “It’s become such an ideological hot potato, it’s hard to imagine Republicans and Democrats in a polarized Congress agreeing on health reform legislation for the foreseeable future, which would leave us at the mercy of the states doing what they can.”

  12:13:15 pm, by MedBen5   , 228 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

Family Doctor Says Primary Care Is "Undervalued"

On the KevinMD.com blog, family physician Mark Ryan goes to bat for his fellow primary caregivers:

Physician Compensation In 2011

“[M]y intent is to note how undervalued primary care services are in our current system of healthcare delivery and payment. Primary care physicians — the physicians who provide comprehensive care, who provide preventive care, who coordinate care – are paid less than all other medical specialists. Radiology and anesthesiology make nearly twice what primary care doctors do; dermatology and anesthesiology make nearly 175% of the average primary care physician.

“This is not to say that these medical specialists do not have important roles in providing medical care; however, should a physician who views x-rays and imaging studies be valued at twice the level of the physicians who keep our children well, who monitor their development and intervene if necessary, and who ensure children are fully vaccinated? Should a physician who deals with skin problems be paid at nearly twice the level of a physician who can deal with many of the same skin problems…while also addressing patients’ diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, and mental illness?

“[…] We have previously noted the importance of primary care to a high-functioning, efficient, and effective healthcare system. Despite the key role primary care should be playing, however, the chart above shows that primary care is not valued at a commensurate level.”

Read the rest at KevinMD.com.

  11:31:56 am, by MedBen5   , 287 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Smart Strategies To Avoid A Heart Attack

Most people have it in their power to avoid a heart attack. But while deaths from coronary heart disease have dropped dramatically in the past decades, cardiovascular disease still remains the leading killer of both men and women.

The Wall Street Journal recently published “The Guide to Beating a Heart Attack", which offers sone useful advice to keep your cardiovascular system running smoothly. Here’s a summary – you can read the entire piece at WSJ.com.

  • The Basics. Know your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers: For most people, optimal LDL, or bad cholesterol, is under 100; HDL, or good cholesterol, is over 60; and blood pressure is less than 120/80. Also, quit smoking: Within just one year, it reduces your heart-attack risk by 50%.
  • A 10-Minute Workout. If you can’t find 30 minutes a day for exercise, remember that every little bit helps. A brisk 10-minute walk a day results in a nearly 50% reduction compared with people who get hardly any exercise.
  • Keep Moving. “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of a heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic. So get up from your desk every 30 minutes or even work at your computer while standing up.
  • Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Research has linked emotional health to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. In contrast, depression, anger and hostility have a deleterious effect.
  • Eat Your Veggies. Amparo Villablanca, a cardiologist at University of California, Davis, advises patients to “not put mud in your engines. You have to get people to think of their bodies as a finely tuned machine.”
  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain and increase your risk of diabetes.

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