National Health News:
U.N. aborts plan to evacuate patients from Aleppo, blames all parties
The United Nations has abandoned plans to evacuate patients from besieged rebel-held east Aleppo which it had hoped to accomplish during a three day lull in fighting last week, blaming all parties to the conflict for obstructing efforts. "The evacuations were obstructed by various factors, including delays in receiving the necessary approvals from local authorities in eastern Aleppo, conditions placed by non-state armed groups and the government of Syria's objection to allowing medical and other relief supplies into the eastern part of the city," U.N. Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien said in a statement on Monday. "I am outraged that the fate of vulnerable civilians – sick and injured people, children and the elderly, all in need of critical and life-saving support – rests mercilessly in the hands of parties who have consistently and unashamedly failed to put them above narrow political and military interests," he said.
Obama health plan hit by double-digit premium hikes
WASHINGTON (AP) — Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama's health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That's sure to stoke another "Obamacare" controversy days before a presidential election.
Air pollution can affect blood pressure: study
Long-term exposure to urban air pollution incrementally increases the risk of high blood pressure, according to a study released Tuesday of more than 41,000 European city-dwellers. Constant noise pollution -- especially traffic -- also boosts the likelihood of hypertension, researchers reported in the European Heart Journal. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for premature illness and death.