Historically, psychiatrists didn’t consider medical diseases traumatic events, but parents of sick children can often have PTSD symptoms such as reliving the experience, avoiding reminders of the event or condition, feeling numb or detached from others, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and being constantly on the lookout for danger. In other public health news: a depression treatment, genetic testing, heart health, women’s safety and healthy diets.
The Wall Street Journal: For Parents Of Ill Children, A Growing Recognition Of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder in combat soldiers is receiving greater attention and wider societal recognition. Now doctors and researchers are trying to do the same for a group that has similar symptoms: parents of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Shelly Miller of Bridgetown, Ohio, has a teenage son named Dylan who can’t walk or talk due to a rare genetic disorder. One day more than five years ago, after her husband picked him up at a summer camp, Dylan suddenly began vomiting and seizing. They raced to the emergency room, where doctors told them Dylan had suffered a concussion; the parents didn’t know how it had happened. (Marcus, 2/19)
Stat: Psychiatrists Await Esketamine With Anticipation — And Hesitation
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide in the coming weeks whether to approve esketamine, which would become the first major depression treatment to hit the market in decades. The psychiatry field is buzzing with excitement — and hesitation. Esketamine — developed by Johnson & Johnson and delivered as a nasal spray — would be used in combination with oral antidepressants in patients with depression that haven’t responded to other drugs. Many experts have lauded esketamine as an important option for patients in dire need of new treatments — particularly because it could work faster than existing antidepressants. (Thielking, 2/20)
CNN: New Recommendations Say Not All Women Need Genetic Testing For Cancer. Critics Say It Could Cost Lives
Primary care providers should screen women for personal, family and/or ethnic history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer to decide who should undergo genetic counseling for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended Tuesday. The mutations increase a woman’s cancer risk. The draft guidance, which is open to a month of public comment, is likely to stir a simmering medical debate over how widely genetic testing should be used to screen women for the BRCA mutations. (Scutti, 2/19)
The New York Times: How Many Push-Ups Can You Do? It May Be A Good Predictor Of Heart Health
Could push-ups foretell the future and the state of a person’s heart? A new study in JAMA Network Open hints that this might be the case. It finds that men who can breeze through 40 push-ups in a single exercise session are substantially less likely to experience a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem in subsequent years than men who can complete 10 or fewer. The results suggest that push-up ability might be a simple, reliable and D.I.Y.-in-your-living-room method of assessing heart health, while at the same time helpfully strengthening the triceps and pectorals. (Reynolds, 2/20)
Kaiser Health News: ‘These Women’s Lives Mattered’: Nurse Builds Database Of Women Murdered By Men
In February 2017, a school nurse in this Dallas suburb began counting women murdered by men. Seated at her desk, beside shelves of cookbooks, novels and books on violence against women, Dawn Wilcox, 54, scours the internet for news stories of women killed by men in the U.S. For dozens of hours each week, she digs through online news reports and obituaries to tell the stories of women killed by lovers, strangers, fathers, sons and stepbrothers, neighbors and tenants. (Schreyer, 2/20)
Boston Globe: How To Eat Healthier In The Workplace
According to a recent study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, approximately 25 percent of adults are chowing down about 1,300 calories weekly on beverages, meals, and snacks that they purchase or get free at work. The researchers of this study found that coffee, soft drinks, sandwiches, pizza, cookies, brownies, salad, french fries, and potato chips top the list. (Blake, 2/19)
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