The tools exist, experts say, they just have to be put into action. In other public health news: racial disparities in health care quality, child abuse, appendicitis, shingles, c-sections, tuberculosis and more.
Stat: The End Of HIV Transmission In The U.S.: A Once-Thinkable Goal Is Up For Discussion
A mere decade ago, 45,000 Americans a year were contracting HIV. Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started collecting data on HIV-related deaths just over 30 years ago, more than half a million of those people have died from AIDS. And yet, today, the struggle against HIV may be undergoing a sea change.U.S. health officials and HIV experts are beginning to talk about a future in which transmission in the United States could be halted. And that future, they say, could come not within a generation, but in the span of just a few years. (Branswell, 9/26)
US News & World Report: The Burden Of Race On Community Health In America
A decade and a half ago, a landmark study explored how racial and ethnic minorities face disparities in health care quality, even after accounting for socioeconomic differences. Such trends have persisted for decades, with deadly effects: Another study using 2002 data found there were 229 excess deaths daily that could be avoided by closing the mortality gap between blacks and whites. That’s like a Boeing 767 with all black passengers crashing every day, as David Williams of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health points out. (McPhillips, 9/25)
ProPublica: The Child Abuse Contrarian
In the past seven years, [Michael] Holick said, he has consulted or testified as an expert witness in more than 300 child-abuse cases throughout the U.S. as well as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Canada. In almost every case, he has made the same finding: instead of blaming any injuries on abuse, he has diagnosed the child with a rare genetic disorder, Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a condition that affects the connective tissues of the skin, bones and joints. (Armstrong, 9/26)
The New York Times: Appendicitis? Antibiotics May Be All You Need
Antibiotics may be a good option for many cases of appendicitis. Several randomized trials have shown that treating appendicitis with antibiotics rather than surgery may be safe and effective, but the long-term effects of avoiding an appendectomy have been unclear. (Bakalar, 9/25)
The New York Times: Shingles Vaccine Shortages Result From High Demand
Shingrix, the vaccine approved last year to prevent shingles, has proved so popular that its maker, GlaxoSmithKline, has not been able to produce it quickly enough to keep up with the demand. The vaccine is recommended for most people over 50. But many are having trouble getting it. The company says there are no manufacturing problems — it just didn’t expect so many consumers to want the vaccine. (Grady, 9/25)
WBUR: Tiny Boy Awaiting Delivery At South Shore Hospital Tests Project Aimed At Reducing C-Sections
Those avoidable C-sections are the focus of the Team Birth Project, designed by Shah with input from roughly 50 doctors, nurses, midwives, doulas, public health and consumer advocates who focus on childbirth. …And this team has to perform at its best during an unpredictable event: labor. Shah says doctors and nurses generally agree about when a mom is in active labor, when a mom can have a vaginal delivery and when she needs a C-section. (Bebinger, 9/25)
The New York Times: Are We Wired To Sit?
Are we born to be physically lazy? A sophisticated if disconcerting new neurological study suggests that we probably are. It finds that even when people know that exercise is desirable and plan to work out, certain electrical signals within their brains may be nudging them toward being sedentary. The study’s authors hope, though, that learning how our minds may undermine our exercise intentions could give us renewed motivation to move. (Reynolds, 9/26)
The Associated Press: Governments To Discuss Tackling Tuberculosis At UN Summit
Governments from around the world will gather Wednesday to discuss the persistent scourge of tuberculosis, which last year claimed more lives than any other communicable disease. About 1.3 million people worldwide died of TB in 2017. A further 300,000 people with both HIV and TB died in last year, according to World Health Organization figures released this month. (Jordans, 9/25)
MPR: Health Officials Working To Make Flu Shot More Effective
With influenza season right around the corner, public health officials and manufacturers continue working to improve the effectiveness of the flu shot. Last year’s shot was only 36 percent effective according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (Hallberg, 9/25)
The Associated Press: What’s Yogurt? Industry Wants Greater Liberty To Use Term
If low-fat yogurt is blended with fatty ingredients like coconut or chocolate, is it still low-fat? Is it even yogurt? The U.S. government has rules about what can be called “yogurt,” and the dairy industry says it’s not clear what the answers are. Now it’s hopeful it will finally get to use the term with greater liberty, with the Trump administration in the process of updating the yogurt definition. (Choi, 9/25)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.