Bosses and co-workers have to support the idea, but due to multiple financial factors young families face, including the high costs of child care, parents are learning that toting junior to the office can be very rewarding. Public health news is on transgender treatments, sex-linked cancers, rare diseases, aging population boom, weight loss drug danger, measles, STDs screenings, clock switching, coffee habits, chronic fatigue, gene-editing technology and air pollution, as well.
Stateline: You Can Bring Your Baby To Work (But Wouldn’t You Rather Be At Home?)
The United States is the only industrialized country in the world without a paid family leave policy, according to a 2018 study in the journal Milbank Quarterly. The District of Columbia and a handful of states have paid leave policies, however. But not Vermont. Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, vetoed a paid family leave bill late last month that would have allowed new parents the chance to develop family bonds at home for 12 weeks while still receiving a paycheck. The Vermont House fell just short of overriding the governor’s veto this month, voting 99-51 to override, one away from the 100 needed. (Povich, 2/14)
Reuters: Trans Patients May Struggle To Access Breast Cancer Screening
At a time when a growing number of transgender Americans are getting gender-affirming treatments to make their bodies match their identity, breast imaging centers may not be changing to meet their needs. Approximately 1.4 million U.S. adults identify as transgender today, double the number a decade ago, researchers note in the Journal of Breast Imaging. And while it’s still not clear how gender-affirming treatments like hormones or surgery might impact breast health, most doctors agree that transgender people have unique screening needs. (2/13)
Reuters: High Lifetime Number Of Sexual Partners Linked To Increased Cancer Risk
People who have had 10 or more sexual partners during their lifetime may have increased odds of being diagnosed with cancer, a new study suggests. Women, in particular, had nearly twice the risk when they had 10 or more past partners compared to when they had one or none, researchers report in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health. (2/13)
CNN: A Rare Disease Among Children Is Discovered In A 66-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Tumor
A rare disease that still affects humans today has been found in the fossilized remains of a duck-billed dinosaur that roamed the Earth at least 66 million years ago. Researchers at Tel Aviv University noticed unusual cavities in two tail segments of the hadrosaur, which were unearthed at the Dinosaur Provincial Park in southern Alberta, Canada. They compared the vertebrae with the skeletons of two humans who were known to have a benign tumor called LCH (Langerhans cell histiocytosis), a rare and sometimes painful disease that affects children, mainly boys. (Hunt, 2/14)
The Associated Press: By 2060, A Quarter Of U.S. Residents Will Be Over Age 65
By 2060, almost a quarter of all U.S. residents will be over age 65, and life expectancy will reach an all-time high of 85 years, according to new reports the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday. The growth in life expectancy in the U.S. over the next four decades is expected to be slower than it was in the four previous decades. (2/13)
The Associated Press: Weight Loss Drug Belviq Pulled From Market Over Cancer Risk
The maker of a weight loss drug pulled it from the market Thursday at the request of federal regulators, who said it posed a slight increased risk of cancer. Japan’s Eisai Inc. said it was voluntarily withdrawing the drug, Belviq. However, the company said in a statement that it disagreed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s interpretation of new data on the drug’s safety and still believes Belviq’s benefit outweighs the risk. (Johnson, 2/13)
Stat: Weight-Loss Drug To Be Pulled From Market Over Concerns Of Cancer Risk
The Japanese drug maker Eisai on Thursday said it would withdraw the weight-loss drug Belviq from the U.S. market after the Food and Drug Administration expressed concerns about an increased occurrence of cancer reported in people who used the product. The agency recommended that people using Belviq to lose weight should stop taking the medicine immediately, although the FDA is not recommending special cancer screening for people who have used the drug. (Feuerstein, 2/13)
PBS NewsHour: How Vaccine Hesitancy Is Contributing To Deadly Measles Resurgence
As health care officials around the world struggle to respond to novel coronavirus, another deadly — and far more contagious — disease is on the rise, fueled in large part by insufficient immunization. In some countries, military conflict diminishes access to vaccines. But in other parts of the world, misinformation and vaccine hesitancy allow the disease to flourish. (Sreenivasan and Norris, 2/13)
New Orleans Times-Picayune: Federal Guidelines Don’t Recommend STD Testing For Straight Men. Check It Is Screening Them Anyway.
As rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) continue to skyrocket in the United States, with Louisiana ranking high among them, one group is notably absent from federal recommendations for yearly testing — straight men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country’s leading public health institute, suggests annual STD screening only for sexually active women, pregnant women, gay and bisexual men, and people who use needles. (Poche, 2/13)
Kaiser Health News: Changing Clocks Is Bad For Your Health, But Which Time To Choose?
Changing over to daylight saving time — a major annoyance for many people — may be on its way out as lawmakers cite public health as a prime reason to ditch the twice-yearly clock-resetting ritual. The time change, especially in the spring, has been blamed for increases in heart attacks and traffic accidents as people adjust to a temporary sleep deficit. But as legislatures across the country consider bills to end the clock shift, a big question looms ahead of this year’s March 8 change: Which is better, summer hours or standard time? (Hammill, 2/14)
The New York Times: Is Coffee Good For You?
We’ve come a long way from the cans of Folgers that filled our grandparents’ cupboards, with our oat milk lattes, cold brews and Frappuccinos. Some of us are still very utilitarian about the drink while others perform elaborate rituals. The fourth most popular beverage in the country, coffee is steeped into our culture. Just the right amount can improve our mood; too much may make us feel anxious and jittery. (MacKeen, 2/13)
Chicago Tribune: Chronic Fatigue Goes Undiagnosed For Latino, Black Children
According to a January study from DePaul University, most children living with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) have not been diagnosed. Together with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, researchers screened more than 10,000 children in the Chicagoland area aged 5-17 for chronic fatigue syndrome. Ultimately, the study found the prevalence of chronic fatigue among children to be 75 in 10,000, and less than 5% of chronically fatigued children were previously diagnosed. The study also showed children of African American and Latinx descent were twice as likely to be living with undiagnosed ME. (Rockett, 2/13)
Philadelphia Inquirer: Penn Study Suggests Editing Human Genes To Fight Cancer Is Safe. But Does It Work?
Three patients with advanced cancer suffered no serious side effects from being treated at the University of Pennsylvania in the first U.S. clinical study of cells edited with CRISPR, the gene-editing technology. But neither did they benefit, according to results published last week in Science. One patient with a bone marrow cancer called multiple myeloma has died and another has progressed. A patient with sarcoma, a soft-tissue cancer, also progressed. (McCullough, 2/12)
Reuters: Air Pollution May Aggravate Nasal Suffering With Colds And Seasonal Allergies
People who get rhinitis – an inflamed or congested nose – from colds or allergies may feel much worse if they’re exposed to high levels of air pollution, a recent study suggests. Rhinitis usually involves some combination of congestion, sneezing, nasal irritation and sometimes a reduced sense of smell, and it affects up to half of the world’s population, the study team writes in Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. (2/13)
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