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AP Exclusive: Poor health and high expectations for Medicaid

People on Medicaid are more prone to smoke, struggle with depression and obesity, or rate their own health as fair or poor. But that’s not the whole story. A new study suggests that low-income Medicaid recipients are also invested in their health, with 4 out of 5 saying they have a personal doctor, 3 out of 5 saying they eat healthy, and nearly half saying they exercise frequently. Experts say the analysis for The Associated Press by the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index indicates that Medicaid could gain by putting more emphasis…

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Bitcoin surges above $13,000 to new high

Bitcoin has surged above $ 13,000 (£9,710; €11,020) to a new record high despite warnings the digital currency’s rapid rise could be a dangerous bubble. The coin has seen its value double in the last month in a volatile journey. Its latest milestone came after Bitcoin surged by another $ 1,000 in value in less than 24 hours. Spread betting firm CMC Markets said the rise had all the symptoms of a bubble market, warning “there is no way to know when the bubble will burst”. What’s behind the Bitcoin…

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Teenage brains 'not wired for high stakes'

Brain immaturity during adolescence could explain why some teenagers fail to respond to incentives such as cash rewards. Adults are good at putting maximum mental effort into the things that matter most. But, brain circuits are still developing in teenagers, making it harder for them to tackle meeting their goals, say US psychologists. Attempts to improve student grades with money have had mixed success. The research, published in the journal, Nature Communications, shows that brain connectivity continues to develop throughout adolescence, affecting teenagers’ ability to perform when the stakes are…

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Scarlet fever cases hit 50-year high in England

Scarlet fever hit its highest level in England for 50 years, with more than 17,000 cases reported in 2016 – research in the Lancet shows. The disease has been on the rise since 2014, but experts have so far failed to find a reason for the recent increase. Doctors are urging the public to be aware of symptoms, which include a rosy rash, and seek help from their GP. Data for 2017 suggests the rate may be falling, but experts remain cautious, saying it is “too early to tell”. The…

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More than 103 million Americans will have high blood pressure under new guidelines

The American Heart Association has changed the definition of hypertension for the first time in 14 years, moving the number from the old standard of 140/90 to the newly revised 130/80. The change is outlined in the American Heart Association 2017 Hypertension Practice Guidelines, an extensive report by experts without relevant ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The changes are expected to drastically impact adult Americans: revising the hypertension threshold downward will increase the percent of U.S. adults living with high blood pressure from 32 percent to 46 percent — nearly…

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Half of US adults have high blood pressure in new guidelines

New medical guidelines lower the threshold for high blood pressure, adding 30 million Americans to those who have the condition. That means now nearly half of U.S. adults have it. High pressure has long meant a top reading of at least 140 or a bottom one of 90. That drops to 130 over 80 in advice announced Monday by major heart groups. The change results in an additional 14 percent of U.S. adults with high pressure, but doctors say only 2 percent of these newly added people need medication. The…

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