Health Headlines Weekend Edition: Harvard Says Employee Healthcare Costs Too Much

Plus: NYC Marathon cancelled, optimism can increase life span, and more headlines.

Harvard says employee healthcare costs are too high and that they “can not continue with the status quo.” Benefit costs at Harvard were $476 million for the year that ended June 30, which is double what they were a decade ago. Health care accounted for the largest portion. Richard Doherty, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, says that rising health care expenses are a critical issue for many schools. []

The New York City Marathon was cancelled today, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The race was supposed to start Sunday in Staten Island, where at least 19 people are dead. Lower Manhattan is still without power. In a tweet, Anderson Cooper suggested sending the Porta-Potties and supplies to Staten Island. We agree. []

Being optimistic in middle-age increases life span by 7.5 years, according to a survey by Yale University. Doing everyday things like expressing gratitude, having long-term friendships, being social, and being randomly kind made people happier, and increased their longevity. [Prevention]

Radiation might be a new Alzheimer’s treatment, according to research from Beaumont Research Institute. Scientists used radiation on mice and found a reduction in Beta-amyloid plaque by 50 to 80 percent following a radiation treatment. The study indicates that radiation could one day be the new treatment for Alzheimer’s. [Beaumont Research Institute]

Drying laundry in your home might be a health risk, says a new study from the Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit in Glasgow. There was an association between drying laundry and mold spores and that poses a risk to people with asthma, hay fever, and allergies. The study says that drying laundry indoors adds too much moisture to homes. [BBC News]