A summary of important health news from the past week.
Preteens need only two rounds of HPV vaccine, CDC says
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that people who receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine prior to age 15 only need two doses, not three. HPV affects individuals who are sexually active and can result in many cancers. Those who start the vaccine at ages 15 through 26 still require three doses.
Women now drink nearly as much alcohol as men, study finds
A new study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open Journal has found that women are catching up to men in alcohol intake in recent generations. In the past, men were drinking twice as much as women, but today men are only 1.1 times more likely to drink than females. More research is needed to figure out the reasons behind this change, but some research suggests that this may be due to the change in traditional gender roles.
Study Finds Significant Differences In Plans Sold On Or Off The Exchanges
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation led an analysis of 2016 insurance plans sold outside the exchange by brokers or insurers and found significant differences in coverage, costs, and coverage details. Off-exchange plans tended to have better coverage, including out-of-network coverage, tha users find useful.
Fatal Measles Complication Killed Patients Years Later
Doctors are now discovering that a deadly complication called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), that is caused by a measles viral infection, is far more common than they previously thought. SSPE occurs as a result of latent measles virus that remains in the brain. SSPE is deadly and symptoms include seizures, fever and coma. This new information reaffirms the importance of the MMR vaccine.
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