Health Highlights: Oct. 10, 2014

No Increase in Basic Medicare Premium Next Year Potentially Dangerous Stimulant in Many Diet Supplements: Study

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

No Increase in Basic Medicare Premium Next Year

The premium for Medicare "Part B" will remain $104.90 a month in 2015, the federal government says.

Officials said it's the third consecutive year that the basic monthly premium paid by most older Americans has stayed the same, the Associated Press reported.

Also unchanged are the Medicare premiums for higher-income beneficiaries, including single people with incomes of more than $85,000 a year and married couples with incomes over $170,000 a year.

Medicare's hospital deductible will rise to $1,260 in 2015, a $44 increase over this year. Many Medicare beneficiaries have extra insurance to cover those costs, the AP reported.

Enrollment in Medicare is rising as baby boomers retire, but there has been little increase in costs-per-beneficiary over the past four years due to spending cuts and low inflation in health care.


Potentially Dangerous Stimulant in Many Diet Supplements: Study

A potentially dangerous stimulant called "AMP Citrate" or DMBA is common in diet supplements, a new study warns.

Researchers tested 14 weight loss, workout and brain enhancement supplements and found that 12 contained DMBA. It's chemically similar to DMAA, which is banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, CBS News reported.

The makers of the products claim that DMBA is derived from tea, but there is no evidence that the stimulant has even been extracted from a plant, and DMBA has never been studied in humans, according to the authors of the paper in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis.

DMBA is "similar to amphetamines, which have cardiac and neuropsychiatric effects, and it is a cousin to a stimulant called DMAA that was pulled from the market in 2012 for having 86 adverse events recorded that include heart attack, stroke, seizure and death," according to CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

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