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Sulfur regulations on coal power plants could improve air quality, study says

Sulfur regulations on coal power plants could improve air quality, study says

Science
Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Texas residents who live downwind of a coal plant still face harmful health outcomes, according to Rice University. That's largely because those plants remain uncleaned. Researchers at Rice say that while air quality in Texas has improved with attention paid to ozone, the state's residents would benefit even more from requirements on sulfur. Cleaning up or replacing coal-fired power plants that lack sulfur pollution controls could help Texans breathe cleaner, healthier air, according to a study by researchers at Rice University published this month in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association. That's because many of those plants remain uncleaned. "Texas has more unscrubbed coal plants than anywhere in the country and it's causing a substantial amount of air ...
Study: Wraparound services reduce health costs, improve outcomes

Study: Wraparound services reduce health costs, improve outcomes

Health
Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Providing nonmedical services in conjunction with primary care -- known as wraparound services -- resulted in a reduction in the number of hospitalizations and emergency room visits, according to a study of one system. Researchers studied the effects of a large urban safety-net health provider that also included on-site dietetics and social work: Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis. The findings were published in the October issue of the journal Health Affairs. Providers have been turning to nonmedical services to improve patient outcomes and reduce overall healthcare spending as "U.S. reimbursement policies are increasingly holding providers financially accountable for patients' health," said the authors, who were affiliated with the health provider as well as Indiana Univers...
Ofgem orders energy firms to improve complaints handling

Ofgem orders energy firms to improve complaints handling

Business
Energy regulator Ofgem has ordered 11 of the UK's biggest suppliers to improve how they deal with complaints.The regulator said it had "compliance cases" open against four companies over customer dissatisfaction with how they handled complaints.It has also asked another seven to improve their procedures.However, the chief executive of industry body Energy UK said suppliers' overall performance in dealing with consumers' problems was improving.Lawrence Slade pointed to Ofgem's own figures which showed that the number of complaints received by suppliers had nearly halved since 2014. However, when the regulator last carried out its complaint handling survey in 2016 only two firms were singled out for their performance. Following its latest survey, Ofgem has ...
Rapid heart imaging system may improve care in developing nations

Rapid heart imaging system may improve care in developing nations

Health
Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A rapid imaging system could improve heart healthcare in developing nations because of reduced costs and easier availability, according to a study in Peru. Researchers determined the new system, which uses contrast dye to measure cardiac structure, function and scarring, was effective at a fraction of the costs and time required for the traditional imaging system. The findings were published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association. In Peru, 16 percent of the population has cardiovascular disease, researchers say, but screening people there for heart conditions can be difficult. The Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging system, also called cardiac MRIs, are often not available for people in Peru and other developing nations. The method provides detailed inf...
To improve children's diets, conserve forests

To improve children's diets, conserve forests

Science
Aug. 17 (UPI) -- According to new research, children who live closer to forests are more likely to eat healthier, more nutritious foods. The findings are the latest to link forest conservation to human health. Several studies have linked proximity forests, trees and green space with positive human health and behavior outcomes. "The data show that forests aren't just correlated with improvements in people's diets," Ranaivo Rasolofoson, a scientist at the University of Vermont, said in a news release. "We show that forests cause these improvements." In developing countries, some argue trees must make way for farms and gardens to boost nutrition. But the latests findings, published this week in the journal Science Advances, suggest the opposite. Many children in developing countries consume...