Health insurance was a better predictor of survival from health attacks and strokes than race, according to Johns Hopkins researchers who looked at health outcomes in Maryland hospitals.

Specifically, those who did not have coverage were more likely to die in the hospital, even after accounting for race and socioeconomic factors, according to the researchers.

"African Americans living in poor, urban neighborhoods bear a high burden of illnesses and early death, from cardiovascular disease in particular," said Derek Ng, lead author of the study. "Our findings suggested that a lack of health insurance, or being underinsured, is a major cause of insufficient treatment and subsequent premature death."

The study, published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, looked at 13,000 patients from three Maryland hospitals treating patients of all income levels. Those who were uninsured had a 31 percent higher risk of early death after a heart attack and a 50 percent higher risk after atherosclerosis than those with private insurance.


What the cool people are wearing

ViewSPORT ($25 and up, Rather than be embarrassed by sweat, embrace it with these shirts that display hidden messages when you soak through them (either with perspiration or water). Phrases such as "I Am a Beast," "Earn It" and "Be Elite" are admittedly cheesy, but the big reveal is incentive to work harder. Also available in cute kid styles.

Sheex (starting at $159 for a set, Athletes wear wicking fabrics when they work out, so why not sleep on them, too? A better night's rest can translate to a better game the next day. That's the concept behind the "world's first performance bed sheets," created by a pair of women's basketball coaches in 2007. They are available nationally at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

SweatHawg ($20, Oregon cyclist John Rahm couldn't keep sweat from dripping into his glasses -- until last September, when he sewed an absorbent piece of felt to a do-rag and placed his creation inside his helmet. Look out for a headband version soon.

Washington Post