Long-standing beliefs about the ill-effects of mild to moderate obesity have been called into question by recent epidemiological studies and by critical review of older studies. A review of these studies reveals that the effects of obesity on health and longevity is more complex than we had realized. An attempt is made to throw light on this relationship by reviewing the large number of laboratory studies on nutrition, aging and obesity. The first series of such studies showed that restriction of food intake, beginning early in life, greatly increased longevity.
Contributions made by or for current enrollees to Medicare will cover less than a third of the costs of their expected lifetime benefits, on average. This subsidy is of concern for two reasons. First, because the subsidy is provided regardless of income, some transfers are effectively made to Medicare enrollees from needier groups in the non-Medicare population. Second, as the ratio of Medicare beneficiaries to the working-age population increases in future years, the current generosity of the program may be difficult to maintain.
This paper reports national and state findings on the generosity or actuarial value of U.S. employer-based plans and adjusted premiums in 2002. The basis for our calculations is simulated bill paying for a large standardized population. After adjusting for the quality of benefits, we find from regression analysis that adjusted premiums are 18 percent higher in the nation's smallest firms than in firms with 1,000 or more workers. They are 25 percent higher in indemnity plans and 18 percent higher in preferred provider organizations than in health maintenance organizations.
The effect of psychosocial intervention on time of survival of 86 patients with metastatic breast cancer was studied prospectively. The 1 year intervention consisted of weekly supportive group therapy with self-hypnosis for pain. Both the treatment (n = 50) and control groups (n = 36) had routine oncological care. At 10 year follow-up, only 3 of the patients were alive, and death records were obtained for the other 83.