Wednesday January 16, 2019

Sleep For Less Than 6 Hours Increases Health Risk: Study

The research also showed that people who had short or disrupted sleep were also more likely to have metabolic syndrome.

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Less than 6 hours of sleep linked to hardened arteries Pixabay

Sleeping less than six hours or waking up several times in the night is associated with an increased risk of asymptomatic atherosclerosis, which silently hardens and narrows arteries, warns a study.

“Failure to get enough sleep and restlessness during the night should be considered risk factors for blocking or narrowing of the arteries,” said study author Fernando Dominguez of the Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Madrid.

The study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2018 in Munich, Germany, involved nearly 4,000 healthy middle-aged adults who wore a waist band activity monitor for seven days to record sleep quality and quantity.

They were divided into five groups according to the proportion of fragmented sleep, and four groups designating average hours slept a night – less than six (very short), six to seven (short), seven to eight (the reference), and more than eight (long).

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Atherosclerosis, the narrowing of arteries. Flickr

Atherosclerosis, the narrowing of arteries due to plaque build-up on the artery walls, was assessed in leg and neck arteries using three-dimensional ultrasound.

The average age of participants was 46 years and 63 per cent were men.

The researchers found that those in the highest quintile of fragmented sleep were more likely to have multiple sections of arteries with atherosclerosis compared to those in the lowest quintile.

“Studies are needed to find out if sleeping well and long enough can prevent or reverse this effect on the arteries,” Dominguez said.

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The average age of participants was 46 years and 63 per cent were men.
Pixabay

“In the meantime, it seems sensible to take steps to get a good night’s sleep — such as having a physically active lifestyle and avoiding coffee and fatty foods before bedtime,” Dominguez added.

Also Read: There’s No Healthy Level for Consuming Alcohol, Lancet Study Confirms

The research also showed that people who had short or disrupted sleep were also more likely to have metabolic syndrome, which refers to the combination of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, and depicts an unhealthy lifestyle. (IANS)

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What to Do About Medicare If You Are Still Working in 2019

If you do plan to work after you reach retirement age, here’s what you should know about your Medicare coverage.

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If you don’t have Medicare, your group plan isn’t obligated to pay anything toward your medical expenses.

These days, more seniors are continuing to work well past 65, the age of Medicare eligibility. With longer life expectancies and jobs that are less physically demanding today, you might even be planning to work well in your 70’s. If you do plan to work after you reach retirement age, here’s what you should know about your Medicare coverage.

Do I have to sign up for Medicare?

The answer depends on the size of your employer. There are laws in place prohibiting larger employers (those with at least 20 employees) from offering older employees different health benefits than those they offer everyone else. In other words, it’s your choice, not your employer’s, whether to continue with your employer coverage or enroll in Medicare.

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There are highly qualified healthcare professionals and they will be trained in a specific aspect of that procedure. Flickr

If you work for a small employer with fewer than 20 employees, the employer decides whether to discontinue your group health coverage once you become eligible for Medicare. If your company’s policy is to make Medicare the primary insurer for employees age 65 and over, you must enroll in both parts of Original Medicare or face several unpleasant and costly consequences.

First, even if your employer allows you to stay on the group health plan after age 65, your group plan becomes the secondary insurer. That means that it will only pay after Medicare, the primary insurer, pays its share. If you don’t have Medicare, your group plan isn’t obligated to pay anything toward your medical expenses.

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These days, more seniors are continuing to work well past 65, the age of Medicare eligibility.

Second, if you don’t enroll in Medicare, and your group plan is secondary, you technically do not have health insurance for purposes of Medicare’s late enrollment penalty. In other words, when you do enroll in Medicare, you’ll pay a penalty based on the number of months you went without insurance coverage when you could have enrolled in Medicare—and you’ll pay that penalty for as long as you have coverage.

If you work for a larger employer and you have the choice between Medicare and your group plan, it’s a good idea to compare premiums, deductibles, and coverage, and determine which option makes most sense financially. Most people, however, do decide to keep their Part A as soon as they become eligible, since most people qualify for premium-free Part A.

What about Part D coverage for prescription drugs?

Although Part D is considered optional, the law requires you to have “creditable” prescription drug coverage if you choose to forgo Part D. If you don’t, and you go without prescription drug coverage for 63 or more consecutive days, you’ll pay a late enrollment penalty with your Part D premium.

Medicare
It’s your choice, not your employer’s, whether to continue with your employer coverage or enroll in Medicare.

Most employer plans have coverage that is equal to or better than Part D, which is considered “creditable” for purposes of the law. Your insurance company is required to send you a letter letting you know whether your coverage satisfies Medicare’s requirements. If it doesn’t, you should enroll in Part D as soon as you become eligible. If it does, be sure to keep proof of creditable coverage in a safe place in case you are hit with a late enrollment penalty when you do enroll.

Also Read- President Ram Nath Kovind Urges To Achieve The Perfect Balance For Public Health

What if I want a Medicare Supplement Plan?

If you do delay Medicare enrollment because you are still working after age 65, you will still have guaranteed issue rights for Medigap when your employer coverage ends.

Note that if you use COBRA to continue your employer coverage after you leave your job, it does not count as insurance coverage from active employment for the purposes of avoiding late enrollment penalties with Medicare. COBRA also doesn’t protect your guaranteed issue rights for Medigap. Your open enrollment period for Medigap begins on the date you leave your employment or the date that your employer coverage ends.