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Vaccines save thousands of lives in the United States every year, but many adults remain unvaccinated. Low rates of vaccine uptake lead to costs to individuals and society in terms of deaths and disabilities, which are avoidable, and they create economic losses from doctor visits, hospitalizations, and lost income. To identify the magnitude of this problem, we calculated the current economic burden that is attributable to vaccine-preventable diseases among US adults.

It’s estimated the total remaining economic burden at approximately $9 billion (plausibility range: $4.7–$15.2 billion) in a single year, 2015, from vaccine-preventable diseases related to ten vaccines recommended for adults ages nineteen and older. Unvaccinated individuals are responsible for almost 80 percent, or $7.1 billion, of the financial burden. These results not only indicate the potential economic benefit of increasing adult immunization uptake but also highlight the value of vaccines. Policies should focus on minimizing the negative externalities or spillover effects from the choice not to be vaccinated, while preserving patient autonomy.

New findings from mouse models reveal that the type of immune response that helps maintain healthy metabolism in fatty tissues, called type 2 immunity, also drives obesity-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The work, led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, shows that the inflammatory environment in the fatty liver is more complex than previously thought. These insights may inform the development of new NAFLD treatments as well as immune-altering therapies for obesity and related health issues in people with NAFLD.

NAFLD affects an estimated 64 million people in the United States. Over time, it can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), eventually leading to liver damage and scarring. NAFLD is a leading indication for liver transplantation.

In a new study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, researchers found a higher than expected prevalence of cancer at baseline screening in individuals with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), a rare inherited disorder that leads to a higher risk of developing certain cancers. The research demonstrates the feasibility of a new, comprehensive cancer screening protocol for this high-risk population.

The study was led by Sharon A. Savage, M.D., of NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), and was published with a companion meta-analysis on August 3, 2017, in JAMA Oncology.

100% Preventive Care Options

There are several features of indemnity dental insurance plans for individuals that make these plans different from many other types of dental coverage: Insurance providers will pay up to 100% of preventative dental care. Although they are becoming increasingly rare, indemnity dental insurance plans are also still available and provide the freedom to choose the dentist of your choice at a higher out-of-pocket expense. In indemnity dental insurance plans, the insured has to pay all the costs for services directly and then submit a claim for reimbursement once a deductible has been met.

Indemnity Dental Insurance – Traditional Fee-for-Service Plan

Indemnity dental insurance is another plan where the plan pays the dentist on a traditional fee-for-service basis. Indemnity dental insurance is an insurance package where the policyholder can choose his or her own dentist and the insurance provider will be the one to pay that designated dentist your fees or, usually, around half of them. This indemnity dental insurance plan allows you to select any licensed dentist for service. An indemnity dental insurance plan is often called a traditional dental coverage plan or a fee for service plan. You will need to pay a deductible on your indemnity dental insurance.

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When you think winter holidays, do you envision cookies, pies and high-fat treats? Bulging waistlines and scale-tipping weight gain? Maybe it’s time to rethink what brings joy and happiness to you, your friends and family. Last December, NIH News in Health suggested over a dozen healthy holiday gifts. Here are a few more budget-friendly possibilities to help keep your loved ones active and healthy. Good food is one of life’s great pleasures, and it doesn’t have to be bad for you.

Several kitchen gadgets—like juicers, slow cookers, rice cookers or vegetable steamers—can help you prepare nutritious low-fat foods. You can also encourage loved ones to prepare tasty, healthy dishes by giving them a low-cost cookbook from NIH (see the “Wise Choices” box). Popsicle molds in whimsical shapes can encourage healthful snacking for kids. Fill them with pureed fruit or 100% fruit juice.

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For many millions of Americans, diabetes is a lifelong burden. But it does not have to be a lifelong barrier to better health. This National Diabetes Month, the National Institutes of Health encourages people with diabetes and those who care for them to find the support they need, and for all people to gain understanding and offer support to those with this challenging disease.

Investigators at the National Institutes of Health and international colleagues have discovered a genetic cause and potential treatment strategy for a rare immune disorder called CHAPLE disease. Children with the condition can experience severe gastrointestinal distress and deep vein blood clots. No effective treatments are available to ameliorate or prevent these life-threatening symptoms.

In the study, researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, describe a newly understood mechanism for CHAPLE disease, or CD55 deficiency with hyperactivation of complement, angiopathic thrombosis, and protein-losing enteropathy. The research report was published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine. CHAPLE disease is a form of primary intestinal lymphangiectasia (PIL), or Waldmann’s disease, first described in 1961 by Thomas A. Waldmann, M.D., an NIH Distinguished Investigator at the National Cancer Institute, at NIH.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria are resistant to multiple antibiotics and commonly cause skin infections that can lead to more serious or life-threatening infection in other parts of the body. In new findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that two common, inexpensive antimicrobials can help patients heal from MRSA skin abscesses. The findings suggest that current treatment options for MRSA still have a role, even as scientists continue to search for new antimicrobial products. The research was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Fever blisters are fluid-filled blisters that commonly occur on the lips. They also can occur on the gums and roof of the mouth, however that is rare. Fever blisters can usually be painful. Pain may also precede the appearance of the lesion by a few days. The blisters rupture within hours, then crust over. Fever blister last about seven to ten days.

An international team of researchers has identified genomic mutations for Carey-Fineman-Ziter (CFZS) syndrome, a very rare congenital myopathy (inherited muscle disorder) characterized by facial weakness, a small or retracted chin, a cleft palate and curvature of the spine (scoliosis), among other symptoms. The researchers determined that CFZS is caused by mutations in the gene MYMK that encodes for the protein myomaker. This protein is necessary for the fusion of muscle cells (myoblasts) into muscle fibers (myotubes) during the development of an embryo and the regeneration of muscle cells after injury. The study was published July 6, 2017, in Nature Communications.

A National Institutes of Health-funded study led by a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University has shown that an influenza vaccine can produce robust immune responses and be administered safely with an experimental patch of dissolving microneedles. The method is an alternative to needle-and-syringe immunization; with further development, it could eliminate the discomfort of an injection as well as the inconvenience and expense of visiting a flu clinic.

“This bandage-strip sized patch of painless and dissolvable needles can transform how we get vaccinated,” said Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D., director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), which funded the study. “A particularly attractive feature is that this vaccination patch could be delivered in the mail and self-administered. In addition, this technology holds promise for delivering other vaccines in the future.”

Drug use can have a negative impact on dental health as well as overall health. Patterns of oral health pathology attributed to methamphetamine users, for example, include rampant tooth decay, accelerated tooth wear, unexplained advanced gum disease, missing multiple teeth, and overall detrimental dental effects that are rapid and severe. These patients also often seek cosmetic dental treatment, such as veneers and whitening, which give dentists another opportunity to discuss suspected substance misuse, provide referrals for treatment, and encourage cessation of drug misuse.

Using a larger dataset than for any previous human movement study, National Institutes of Health-funded researchers at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, have tracked physical activity by population for more than 100 countries. Their research follows on a recent estimate that more than 5 million people die each year from causes associated with inactivity.

The large-scale study of daily step data from anonymous smartphone users dials in on how countries, genders, and community types fare in terms of physical activity and what results may mean for intervention efforts around physical activity and obesity. The study was published July 10, 2017, in the advance online edition of Nature.

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There are many factors that can increase risk for hyperthermia, including:

* Dehydration

* Alcohol use

* Reduced sweating caused by medications such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers and certain heart and blood pressure drugs

* High blood pressure or other health conditions that require changes in diet. People on salt-restricted diets may be at increased risk; however, salt pills should not be used without first consulting a doctor.

* Use of multiple medications. It is important, however, to continue to take prescribed medication and discuss possible problems with a physician.

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Scientists have demonstrated how an investigational drug works against a rare, fatal genetic disease, Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC1). They found that a closely related compound will activate an enzyme, AMPK, triggering a cellular “recycling” system that helps reduce elevated cholesterol and other accumulated fats in the brains and livers of NPC1 patients, which are hallmarks associated with severe neurological problems. The research was led by scientists at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues.

The work could lead to a new generation of potential therapies for NPC1 and other similar disorders, as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The scientists reported their findings online on July 17, 2017 in the journal Autophagy.

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