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Health News Results - 218

With all of the fear, grief and isolation the pandemic has brought, it would stand to reason that there would be a big jump in the number of Americans seeking treatment for anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

But that doesn't seem to be the case, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, the percentage of adults who had re...

People who live in disadvantaged parts of the United States are nearly twice as likely to die young from heart disease as folks in the wealthiest locales, a new study reports.

In other words, your zip code can tell you as much or more about your heart health risk as your genetic code, said senior researcher Dr. Khurram Nasir, chief of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at Houston Meth...

Equal access to the most effective drugs helps eliminate the survival disparity between Black and white lung cancer patients in the United States, a new study shows.

In general, Black lung cancer patients are more likely to die than white patients, but these findings suggest that barriers to care are the main cause of racial disparities in lung cancer survival rates, the researchers said....

It is an excruciating statistic: One in every four COVID-19 deaths in the United States leaves a child without a parent or other caregiver, researchers report.

The analysis of data shows that from April 2020 to July 2021, more than 120,000 children under the age of 18 lost a primary caregiver (a parent or grandparent who provided housing, basic needs and care), and about 22,000 lost a sec...

Black Americans have been persistently hard-hit with heart disease risk factors for the past 20 years — and social issues like unemployment and low income account for a good deal of it, a new study finds.

Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the No. 1 killer of Americans, and it's well-known that it exacts a disproportionate toll on Black Americans.

...

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has hit minority groups in the United States hard, with significantly more deaths among Black and Hispanic Americans compared with white and Asian Americans, a new study finds.

According to the report, these disparities highlight the need to address ongoing inequities influencing health and longevity in the United States.

What's more, "focusing on CO...

Black kids and Hispanic kids with cancer fare worse than their white counterparts, a large, nationwide study finds.

"This study suggests that improving health insurance coverage and access to care for children, especially those with low [socioeconomic status], may reduce racial/ethnic survival disparities," Jingxuan Zhao, an associate scientist at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, a...

Hispanic people in the United States have lower cancer rates than white people, but they are much more likely to develop certain preventable cancers.

"The good news is that overall cancer rates are lower in Hispanic people, but we are seeing very high rates of infectious disease-related cancers, many of which are potentially avoidable," said study author Kimberly Miller, a scientist at th...

As many as 18 million Americans can't afford their prescribed medications, a new nationwide poll finds.

That's 7% of the adult population in the United States. But when it comes to households making less than $24,000 per year, the percentage jumps to 19%, the West Health/Gallup poll revealed.

Here are the key findings:

  • The inability to pay for a prescription is twice as h...

Liver cancer is on the rise in rural America, but on a downswing in cities, new research shows.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer and the fastest-growing cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It's rising at an annual rate of nearly 6% in rural areas, approaching rates seen in cities, the study authors found.

"Considering that one in five A...

America's waistline keeps widening.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 16 states now have at least 35% of their residents who are obese, a number that's nearly doubled since 2018.

The CDC's 2020 Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps now show that Delaware, Iowa, Ohio and Texas have joined Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,...

Getting prior authorizations to see a specialist, dealing with errors on medical bills and even scheduling appointments can be a big hassle.

That's clear to anyone who has spent time on the phone handling issues with insurance companies or doctors' offices.

For some patients, in fact, it's a hurdle that's caused them to delay or even forgo needed medical care.

"It is the thi...

The decades-long U.S. opioid epidemic could be hitting Black people harder than white folks as the crisis enters a new phase.

Opioid overdose death rates among Black Americans jumped nearly 40% from 2018 to 2019 in four states hammered by the epidemic, researchers found.

Fatal ODs among all other races and ethnicities remained about the same during that time.

This represents a...

Black Americans and Mexican Americans typically develop type 2 diabetes up to seven years earlier than their white counterparts, a new study finds.

In all, more than 25% of adults in the two groups reported being diagnosed with diabetes before age 40, and 20% didn't know they had the disease.

Researchers said the findings highlight the need to address economic and social conditions ...

COVID-19 care is likely to get more expensive for Americans with the expiration of insurers' temporary waivers on costs associated with treating the illness.

Earlier in the pandemic, patients didn't have their normal co-payments or deductibles for emergency room visits or hospital stays for COVID-19, and most tests were also free, The New York Times reported.

As the pandemi...

Having a special needs child can mean medical emergencies and doctors' visits where parents have to take time off from work, and now a new study shows that can bring a bit financial hit to a family.

Researchers analyzed U.S. government data from more than 14,000 families in that situation and found they lost an average of $18,000 a year in household income in 2016-2017.

"We found a ...

All births are not created equal, new U.S. research reveals: Differences in the quality of hospital care contribute to a higher chance of complications among Black and Hispanic newborns compared to white and Asian infants.

The analysis of more than 480,000 live births at term (at least 37 weeks' gestation) in New York City from 2010 through 2014 found that the overall rate of unexpected ...

Dental care should be a required part of Medicaid coverage for adults in every state, the American Dental Association and nearly 130 other organizations urge in a letter to Congress.

The groups called on lawmakers to support and advance a bill called the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act.

"Poor oral health hurts more than our mouths," the

  • Robert Preidt
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  • August 20, 2021
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  • Full Page
  • Racial and ethnic minorities in the United States are severely underrepresented in clinical trials testing cutting-edge treatments for pancreatic cancer, researchers say.

    "There are a ton of obstacles to get these patients into clinical trials," said senior author Dr. Jose Trevino, chairman of surgical oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. "But this is how we're...

    In a paradoxical finding, new research reveals that more Americans of color have access to health insurance now than they did 20 years ago, but their perceptions of their health status have not improved at all.

    The study, published Aug. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, paints a sobering picture.

    In the bit of good news, researchers found that bet...

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) reduced the ranks of uninsured Americans, but a recent study shows that many U.S. states did little to close racial gaps in health coverage.

    Researchers found that in the two years after the ACA came into force, some U.S. states showed large reductions in the number of Black, Hispanic and low-income residents who were uninsured.

    Other states, however, s...

    There are many factors that affect your longevity after experiencing a heart attack. And now, new research finds that your neighborhood could play a key role in your long-term survival.

    The researchers found that patients in poorer neighborhoods had a lower chance of survival over five years, and that Black patients in those neighborhoods had a lower chance than white patients.

    "Thi...

    Women are less likely than men to get the most effective treatment for a serious type of stroke, new research shows.

    Emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) is a type of ischemic stroke caused when blockages in large blood vessels cut off significant blood flow to the brain.

    The most effective treatment to prevent long-term disabilities from this type of stroke is a minimally invasiv...

    Death rates from Alzheimer's disease are particularly high in the rural United States, a preliminary study finds, highlighting a need for health care resources in traditionally under-served areas.

    Researchers discovered that over the past two decades, rural areas in the Southeast have seen the highest death rates from Alzheimer's, at 274 per 100,000 people. That's about twice the rate as ...

    Could reducing racial disparities in health care be as simple as lowering the age at which Americans qualify for Medicare?

    Yes, claims a new study that suggests lowering eligibility from age 65 to age 60 could go a long way toward addressing inequities in health insurance, access to care and self-reported health decline.

    Racial and ethnic disparities in insurance coverage fall by mo...

    Black men in the United States have higher rates of prostate cancer than white men, yet they were far less likely to have surgery for their cancer during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study finds.

    Researchers analyzed data from a Pennsylvania urologic database to compare prostate removal (prostatectomy) rates among Black and white patients who had untreated prostate cance...

    People of color are consistently less likely to see medical specialists than white patients are, a new U.S. study finds, highlighting yet another disparity in the nation's health care system.

    Researchers found that compared with their white counterparts, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans had significantly fewer visits to doctors of various specialties -- ranging from...

    Black Americans admitted for inpatient hospital care are far more likely than white patients to experience safety-related health complications -- even when both are treated in the same facility, a new report warns.

    And having good insurance didn't appear to bridge racial differences in patient safety, investigators found: Even when Black patients had coverage similar to their white peers,...

    The coronavirus pandemic has left plenty of Americans saddled with medical bills they can't pay, a new survey reveals.

    More than 50% of those who were infected with COVID-19 or who lost income due to the pandemic are now struggling with medical debt, according to researchers from The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates a high-performing health care system.

    "T...

    Teens and young adults with cancer who live in rural areas or far from the hospital where they were diagnosed are more likely to have advanced cancer and more likely to die, new research shows.

    "A number of studies have indicated that place of residence can influence cancer survival; however, few studies have specifically focused on geographic factors and outcomes in adolescents and young...

    Language barriers and distrust of the health care system are among the reasons why many Black and Hispanic Americans are reluctant to get COVID-19 vaccines, a new study finds.

    The two groups -- which have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic -- have followed safety precautions such as mask use and testing, but are hesitant about getting vaccinated.

    To find out why, Rutge...

    Opioid addiction treatment has become more widely available to Medicaid recipients under the Affordable Care Act, but Black patients are much less likely than white patients to get that treatment, a new study finds.

    "Opioid use disorder can be treated, just like any other disease, but treatment is most successful when the patient has regular, unimpeded access to trained clinicians who can...

    Millions of American adults haven't seen a dentist in at least a year, a new U.S. government health survey reveals.

    In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic made dental visits difficult, a third of adults under 65 hadn't had a dental exam or cleaning in the past 12 months, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    And the problem was worse in ...

    Mental health problems and thoughts of suicide are common among U.S. coal miners with black lung disease, a new study finds.

    Black lung is a progressive illness caused by inhaling toxic coal and rock dust in coal mines. There are few treatment options.

    "Although coal mining is on the decline, the rates of black lung in Southwest Virginia continue to increase. Coal miners in Central ...

    Due to language barriers, 25 million Spanish speakers receive about a third less health care than other Americans, a large study of U.S. adults shows.

    The analysis of federal survey data from more than 120,000 adults revealed that total use of health care (as measured by spending) was 35% to 42% lower among those whose primary language is Spanish compared to English speakers.

    "Too f...

    Since the advent of AIDS, major advancements in treating HIV infection has turned what used to be a death sentence into a manageable chronic condition.

    But new research warns that many people living with HIV/AIDS still face a dramatically higher risk for suicide.

    The finding came from a review of 40 studies that involved a total of roughly 185,000 adults with HIV or AIDS (PLWHA -- P...

    While multiple sclerosis can cause a wide swath of symptoms and challenges for anyone diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, a new study finds that race may play a role in disease severity.

    Researchers discovered that Black individuals with MS may be more severely affected by the disease, but also that this added impact persisted even when differences in income were considered. The same w...

    Racial disparities in breast cancer survival have narrowed in recent years, but Black women with the disease still have double the death rate of white women.

    That's according to a study that tracked breast cancer trends in Florida between 1990 and 2015. Overall, deaths from the disease declined among Black, Hispanic and white women alike -- with the improvement being greater among minorit...

    Many women in the United States aren't screened for cervical cancer because they can't afford it, a new study finds.

    Screening helps reduce cervical cancer cases and deaths, but disparities in screening rates exist based on income, insurance status, race and ethnicity.

    "Low-income women need greater access to insurance coverage options, Medicaid eligibility, or free screening progra...

    The notion of parents picking out genetically perfect babies may seem like science fiction, but bioethicists warn in a new report that some companies have already started to offer couples going through in vitro fertilization (IVF) the means to pick better embryos through polygenic scoring.

    Polygenic scores are a "weighted average of the contributions of all of the genes we have informatio...

    Breast and cervical cancer screenings dropped sharply among low-income minority women during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

    That could lead to delayed cancer diagnoses, health consequences and an increase in existing disparities, the agency warned.

    The new findings "reinforce the need to safely maintain routine health care services d...

    Hospitalized patients with diabetes who hadn't been taking their medication had more severe cases of COVID-19, a new study shows.

    "Our results highlight the importance of assessing, monitoring and controlling blood glucose [sugar] in hospitalized COVID-19 patients from the start," said study author Sudip Bajpeyi, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Texas at El Paso. H...

    Black Americans with cirrhosis -- late-stage liver disease -- are much less likely to receive a liver transplant and more likely to die than white patients, new research reveals.

    For the study, researchers at Northwestern Medicine analyzed data from all cirrhosis patients, regardless of transplant eligibility, at seven large liver centers in Chicago.

    Compared to white patients...

    The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a significant blow to life expectancy in the United States, researchers say.

    Overall, American life expectancy dropped by just over one year in 2020. But researchers found the pandemic hit minority groups even harder, shaving more than three years off the life expectancy of Hispanic people and almost two years off that of Black people.

    The numbers "give y...

    Many Americans who stand to benefit most from a kidney transplant may be missing a key window of opportunity, a new study finds.

    The study focused on kidney failure patients who would be expected to live many years after receiving a kidney transplant. That generally includes relatively younger people without other major medical conditions.

    In 2014, the U.S. kidney allocation system ...

    Black COVID-19 patients in the United States are more likely to die than white patients, but there would be 10% fewer deaths among Black patients if they could get the same level of hospital care as white people, according to new research.

    "Our study reveals that Black patients have worse outcomes largely because they tend to go to worse-performing hospitals," said study co-author Dr. Dav...

    Having a baby is expensive. The cost of diapers, a crib, a car seat and all the other infant necessities can really add up, and now a new study shows that having a child comes with its own hefty hospital price tag for many U.S. families.

    About one in six families in the Michigan Medicine study spent more than $5,000 to have a baby. For privately insured families whose babies required time...

    Rates of breast cancer-related genetic mutations in Black and white women are the same, according to a new study that contradicts previous research.

    It found that about 5% of both groups of women have a genetic mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer.

    "The findings challenge past, smaller studies that found Black women face a greater genetic risk and the suggestion th...

    The vast majority of editors at leading medical journals are white - with few of those influential spots going to Black or Hispanic professionals, a new study finds.

    The study comes on the heels of a controversy that prompted the resignation of the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    It all started in February when Dr. Ed Livingston, a JA...

    The color of your skin may very well determine how your headache gets treated, a new study warns.

    The same percentage of white, Black and Hispanic Americans - about 15% - suffer from severe headaches and/or migraines, the investigators noted.

    But the current analysis, conducted by 16 headache disorder experts, found that Black men are far less likely to receive headache treatment; t...