Risk assessments help companies promote better employee health | Strategies to ease the transition to retirement | Exercise may prolong cancer survival, study finds
January 11, 2019
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief
Wellness Programs & Trends
Risk assessments help companies promote better employee health
Companies can promote better employee health by offering health risk assessments and resources, such as health coaches, to help workers control their risks, writes PinnacleCare Chief Medical Officer Miles Varn. Companies should develop a strategy to ensure employees know what benefits and resources are available and should help workers plan financially to cover their care costs.
Employee Benefit News (free registration) (1/8) 
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Strategies to ease the transition to retirement
Findings from a recent study indicate only 25% of employers are effectively timing the retirement needs of their staff, writes columnist Lee Barney. Small-business owners can overcome these challenges by offering financial well-being programs to staff approaching retirement, accepting flexible schedules and allowing workers to take a phased retirement.
PlanAdviser online (1/7) 
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Exercise may prolong cancer survival, study finds
People with early- to late-stage cancers who exercised three or four times a week prior to and after their diagnosis had a 40% reduced mortality risk compared with those who didn't exercise, and even people who only exercised after diagnosis or only once or twice weekly also had a lower risk of death, researchers reported in the journal Cancer Causes & Control. The findings also showed the strongest association between exercise and reduced mortality risk among those with bladder, breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, ovarian, prostate and skin cancer.
HealthDay News (1/10) 
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Health News & Research
CDC: Overdose deaths increase more than 260% among women
Mortality rates from drug overdoses among women ages 30 to 64 increased more than 260% from 1999 to 2017, the CDC reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Deaths from overdoses of antidepressants, cocaine, heroin, prescription opioids, synthetic opioids and benzodiazepines all increased.
CNN (1/10) 
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US total fertility rate hits 40-year low
A study in the CDC's National Vital Statistics Reports showed that the overall fertility rate in the US was 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women, the lowest since 1978 and 16% lower than the level the population needs to replace itself. Researchers found that no state had a fertility rate above the replacement level for whites, while fertility rates exceeding replacement levels among Hispanics and blacks were found in 29 states and 12 states, respectively.
United Press International (1/10),  Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (1/10) 
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Healthier fast-food options for children are increasing
A study in the American Journal of Public Health showed that the percentage of children's fast-food meal bundles, with fruits and vegetables as options, rose from less than 25% in 2004 to around 80% in 2015, and the number of bundles with healthier optional drinks increased from around 50% to about 80% during the same period. The findings, based on data involving 20 fast-food chains, also showed that 30% of chains had meal bundles with the healthier options as a default in 2015.
Reuters (1/9) 
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Home improvement plus counseling could enable seniors to age in place
Home improvement plus counseling could enable seniors to age in place
Seniors who participated in a program that combined home improvements and specialized counseling from a nurse and occupational therapist said the program made their lives easier, helped them take care of themselves and helped them gain confidence in managing daily activities, researchers reported in JAMA Internal Medicine. The program's goal is to help prevent injuries and heart attacks and to help seniors stay in their homes longer and stay out of hospitals and nursing homes, said researcher Sarah Szanton.
Reuters (1/8) 
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Schools & Community
Mich. hospital opens micro-grocery store
Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich., opened Bronson Market at its downtown campus, a micro-grocery store that offers healthy foods, often locally sourced, for employees, patients and visitors. The area is considered a food desert and the market is seen as a way to help people who are seeking fresh, local foods.
MLive (Michigan) (1/9) 
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Ala. schools post lunchroom photos, nutrition info on social media
Schools in Tuscaloosa County, Ala., use Facebook and Twitter to post photos of lunchroom activity and how food is prepared, along with nutrition information. "The main thing that I want parents to know is Tuscaloosa County Schools, we truly want to encourage healthy eating habits and that we are molding our program around the health of your kids," said Childhood Nutrition Director Donette Worthy.
WBRC-TV (Birmingham, Ala.) (1/10) 
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Wellness Industry Developments
Small Markets. Individual challenges. Big impact.
What are the key issues facing the Individual and Small Group markets? How can you make an impact? Find out during AHIP's National Conference on the Individual and Small Group Markets, March 14 and 15 in D.C. You'll meet policymakers, government officials, and other champions for quality, affordable health care. Register today and save. Early registration rates end Feb. 7.
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Grow your career with AHIP's LTCP professional designation
Enhance your professional expertise and better-serve your members by earning your Long-Term Care Professional designation. Upon successful completion of your course work, you'll earn an impressive credential that shows you've developed a deeper understanding of how long-term care insurance is planned, managed, and marketed. Learn about AHIP's LTCP courses and your options for earning this career-driving designation.
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Confronting the growing health impact of loneliness
There is growing consensus that America is facing a loneliness epidemic -- a looming public health threat. About 1 in 11 Americans age 50 and older lacks a spouse, partner, or living child. And research shows people who are lonely and isolated are more likely to have health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and immune system problems. Learn how AHIP members are addressing loneliness.
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