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Health News Results - 348

Neurologists' Group Issues Guidance to Families on Controversial Alzheimer's Drug

Neurologists must make sure Alzheimer's patients and their families understand that the controversial drug aducanumab does not restore mental function, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) said in new position statement that includes ethical guidelines.

"Aducanumab is not a cure for Alzheimer's disease, yet since it has been approved by the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration], patients...

Across America, Black People Have Worse Health Outcomes

Race-based gaps in health care and health outcomes persist in every region of the United States, a new state-by-state report card shows.

Racial and ethnic disparities woven throughout America and its system of health care mean that people of color are more likely to die younger from preventable illnesses than white people, according to a racial equity scorecard developed by The Commonweal...

Lung Cancer Survival Continues to Improve, But Not for All

Lung cancer survival rates in the United States continue to rise, but certain racial groups are still hit hard by the disease, the American Lung Association reports.

Its fourth annual "State of Lung Cancer" report shows that the average five-year survival rate increased from 14.5% to nearly 24%, but it remains at 20% for people of color overall, and 18% for Black Americans.

"The rep...

U.S. Sees Decline in Sepsis Deaths, But Some Americans More Vulnerable

While deaths from sepsis have dropped in the United States since 2000, older Americans remain particularly susceptible to the life-threatening bacterial infection, new government data shows.

Sepsis strikes roughly 2 million people each year and is the cause of one in three hospital deaths in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"S...

Hospitalizations for Spikes in Blood Pressure Are on the Rise

Despite a nationwide effort to control blood pressure, the number of seniors hospitalized for a sudden, sharp rise in blood pressure surged over the last two decades in the United States.

The largest increase was among Black Americans, with the highest rates in the South, new research shows.

The aim of the study was to "evaluate whether we have made any progress in the last 20 years...

Black Men Less Likely to Get Follow-Up MRI When Test Suggests Prostate Cancer

Black, Hispanic and Asian men in the United States are less likely than white men to receive a follow-up MRI after a screening suggests prostate cancer, a new study finds.

"We can't say definitively if the reason Black, Hispanic, and Asian men did not receive this particular test is that physicians did not refer them for it, or if the patients opted themselves out of further testing," sai...

Why Are Young Black Americans Becoming Less Heart-Healthy?

Young, Black Americans are experiencing significant spikes in obesity, type 2 diabetes and smoking, all risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

Between 2007 and 2017 -- before the COVID-19 pandemic and the concerns it has created -- hospitalized Black Americans aged 18 to 44 had sharp increases in these risks. They were also having higher rates of health complications and poor hospital...

Nearly 3 in 10 U.S. Adults Say They Have a Disability

A growing number of American adults say they have a physical or mental disability, a new study finds.

Of more than 400,000 adults who responded to a 2019 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, 27% reported a disability. That's a 1% increase since 2016, and represents about 67 million Americans, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University who analyzed the data.

Despite Stress of Pandemic, U.S. Suicide Rate Dropped in 2020

Despite the anxieties and tumult of the COVID-19 pandemic, overall suicide rates in the United States fell by about 3% between 2019 and 2020.

But during the same time frame, suicides increased among people aged 10 to 34. They also rose among Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Hispanic males, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Too Little Vitamin D Could Raise Colon Cancer Risk in Black Women

Black American women with low levels of vitamin D have higher odds of developing colon cancer, according to a new research that echoes previous findings in white women.

Researchers used a vitamin D prediction model for nearly 50,000 participants in the Black Women's Health Study and concluded that those with predicted levels in the bottom 25% had an estimated 40% higher risk of colon canc...

Even a $25 Cash Card Can Motivate Some to Get Vaccinated

Can offering small cash cards, say for $25, be the difference between someone choosing to get their COVID-19 vaccine or waiting?

Yes, according to a study in North Carolina that offered $25 cash cards to people who got vaccines last spring at sites in four participating counties.

About 9% of those surveyed after getting their vaccines said that they would not have come to get vacci...

When Cancer Strikes, Who's at Higher Risk for Suicide?

U.S. cancer patients in poor and rural areas are more likely to die by suicide than those in affluent, urban areas, a new study finds.

"People who have received a cancer diagnosis are faced with a number of challenges, such as accessing reliable and affordable care, that can add to existing anxiety or depression associated with their illness," said lead author Ryan Suk. "But those who liv...

Lyme Disease Often Spotted at Later Stage in Black Patients

The tell-tale sign of Lyme disease is its bulls-eye rash, but that might be harder to spot in Black people, who are often diagnosed with more advanced disease than white people are, new research suggests.

The first sign of Lyme disease looks different on darker skin, and these differences are not usually reflected in images found in medical textbooks, explained study author Dr. Dan Ly. He...

Access to Top Drugs Makes the Difference for Black Lung Cancer Patients

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....

Why Skin Cancer Checks Are Even More Important for Hispanic People

When Hispanic people get a skin cancer diagnosis, their tumors are about 17% larger than those of white people, researchers say.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), skin cancer is often diagnosed at a more advanced stage in people with black and brown skin, leading to worse results. This makes it especially important to know the signs of skin cancer.

"Patients ...

Over 140,000 U.S. Children Have Lost a Caregiver to COVID-19

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 Still at Higher Risk for Heart Trouble

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.

...

Medical Mistrust Fuels Vaccine Hesitancy Among Hispanics

Misinformation and medical mistrust are major drivers of vaccine hesitancy among U.S. Hispanics, new research shows.

The researchers also found that protecting other family members is an important factor in convincing Hispanics to get vaccinated.

The small study included 22 Hispanic mothers in Oregon and 24 of their children who were in grades 9 to 12. At the time of the study, Hisp...

Minorities Bore the Brunt of U.S. COVID Deaths: Study

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...

Racial Disparities Persist With Childhood Cancers

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...

Over Half of Police Killings Aren't Reported, Blacks Most Likely Victims

While high-profile cases like the 2020 killing of George Floyd have cast a harsh spotlight on police violence in the United States, researchers say deaths attributable to it have been underreported for at least 40 years.

That's the key finding in a new study published Sept. 30 in The Lancet.

For the study, a team from the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Se...

Black Parents Most Hesitant About COVID Vaccines for Kids: Poll

In a survey of parents in metro Chicago, nearly half of Black parents (48%) said they were reluctant to have their kids vaccinated against COVID-19, researchers say.

That's significantly higher than the 33% of Hispanic parents and 26% of white parents who expressed vaccine hesitancy, the findings showed.

"As vaccines are becoming available to younger children, and with continued spi...

AHA News: How Black Women Can Take Control of Their Blood Pressure

Black women with high blood pressure may benefit from classes where they learn and practice skills to manage the condition, a small study finds.

In the United States, nearly 58% of Black women have high blood pressure compared to about 41% of white and Hispanic women, according to American Heart Association statistics. For Black women, death rates from high blood pressure-related causes a...

Cancer in Hispanics: Good News and Bad

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...

Neighborhood Gun Violence Means Worse Mental Health for Kids

Living within a few blocks of a shooting increases the risk that a child will end up visiting the emergency department for mental health-related problems, researchers say.

The new study found significant increases in mental health-related ER visits in the two weeks after a neighborhood shooting, especially among kids who lived closest to it and those exposed to multiple shootings.

"...

Common Form of Liver Cancer on the Rise in Rural America

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...

Drug Might Stop Heart Trouble Linked to Sickle Cell Anemia

Treating sickle cell anemia with the drug hydroxyurea may also reverse related heart abnormalities, a new study suggests.

Heart issues are common among people with sickle cell disease. Among them are enlargement of the heart and an impaired ability to relax heart muscles, a condition called diastolic dysfunction that can lead to heart disease and heart failure and death. Long-term treatme...

In 16 States, 35% or More Residents Now Obese: CDC

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,...

Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion Helped Americans' Blood Pressure

With the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, fewer Americans are uninsured and more are getting their blood pressure and blood sugar under control, a new study finds.

The gains are especially strong among Black and Hispanic patients, according to Boston University researchers.

"Our results suggest that over the longer-run, expanding Medicaid eligibility may improve key chronic di...

Fatal Opioid ODs Keep Rising in Black Americans

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, Mexican Americans Develop Diabetes Earlier in Life

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 ...

Fewer American Adults Are Getting Malignant Brain Tumors

Malignant brain tumor rates are declining among U.S. adults, but patients still have a low chance of survival, a new study finds.

The researchers also found that rates of noncancerous tumors are on the rise, likely due to increased awareness and improvements in diagnosis.

"Although the molecular understanding of how brain cancers differ from each other is advancing rapidly, we conti...

Why Do Black, Hispanic Newborns Face Higher Health Risks?

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 c...

Far Too Few People of Color in U.S. Pancreatic Cancer Trials

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...

Race-Based Disparities in Americans' Health Haven't Improved: Study

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...

Need a New Liver? Your Survival Odds May Depend on Race

Black American liver transplant recipients have a lower survival rate than Hispanic or white patients, and a new study suggests that alcohol-related liver disease and insurance coverage are key reasons.

"Our findings are a huge wake-up call that physicians and other health care professionals need to do better in delivering equitable care," said study leader Dr. Brian Lee, a liver transpla...

Did Obamacare Expand Access to Insurance for Minorities? In Some U.S. States, Hardly at All

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...

Where You Live Could Predict Your Survival After Heart Attack

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...

Lowering Medicare Age Could Help Close Racial Gaps in Health Care: Study

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...

Primary Care Doctors Often Miss Heart Failure in Women, Black Patients

White men are more likely to a receive correct and timely diagnosis of heart failure in their primary care doctor's office compared to other types of patients, new research shows.

The serious and common heart ailment is too often missed in women, Blacks and poorer people when they see their health care provider for a regular appointment, the Stanford University researchers said.

T...

Vitamin D May Lower Black Women's Odds for COVID-19

Unlocking a clue to why Black women might be more susceptible to COVID-19, a new study shows that low levels of vitamin D may increase their risk of infection.

That doesn't mean that people should rely on vitamin D supplements to protect themselves against COVID-19, however, because vaccines are the only proven protection against the disease.

For the study, researchers assessed vita...

Many Black Men Missed Out on Prostate Cancer Care During Pandemic

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...

Severe COVID for People Under 45: Who's Most at Risk?

Young people aren't immune from severe COVID-19, and a new study warns that some are more at risk than others.

Folks under 45 have more than triple the risk for severe COVID-19 if they have cancer or heart disease, or blood, neurologic or endocrine disorders, according to Mayo Clinic researchers.

"One of the surprising findings was that almost every single chronic condition category...

Who's Most Likely to Get Bullied at School?

Bullying remains a threat to American teens, and a new study reveals which kids may be at highest risk.

Race-based bullying takes a heavy toll on teens, the research found, but minority kids who are picked on for other reasons -- whether gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability or immigration status -- suffer a double whammy.

Victims' physical and mental health suffer a...

Patients of Color Less Likely to Get Specialist Care Than White Patients

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...

Lockdowns Cut Air Pollution, But Poorer Neighborhoods Benefited Less

If you thought the air was cleaner at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, you weren't imagining it. But clean skies were less evident in poorer areas of the United States, a new study finds.

COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns reduced overall levels of nitrogen dioxide air pollution in many U.S. cities. However, levels remained higher in poorer, minority neighborhoods than in richer, whi...

Even at Same Hospital, Black Patients Face More Complications Than Whites

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,...

COVID Drove Biggest Drop in U.S. Life Expectancy Since World War II

Exactly how deadly has the coronavirus pandemic been in the United States? New research confirms it has had a big hand in slashing life expectancy by a year and a half.

That's the lowest level of life expectancy since 2003 and the largest one-year decline since World War II, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

"This was a very serious event. I...

White Men's Grip on U.S. Health Care May Be Slipping

The U.S. medical field is less dominated by white men than it used to be, but there are still few Black and Hispanic doctors, dentists and pharmacists, a new study finds.

The study, which looked at trends over the past 20 years, found that white men no longer make up the majority of physicians and surgeons in the United States.

By 2019, they accounted for about 44% of those position...

Screening Often Misses Endometrial Cancer in Black Women

A noninvasive method of screening for endometrial cancer often fails to detect signs of it in Black women, a new study says.

The findings raise questions about the use of transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) to determine the need for a biopsy in these patients, according to the authors.

"Black women have an over 90% higher [death] rate after diagnosis of endometrial cancer when compared w...