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Health News Results - 280

Drop in Life Expectancy From COVID Much Worse for Black, Hispanic Americans

THURSDAY, June 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- 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 almos...

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

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered the largest decline in U.S. life expectancy since World War II, a new study finds.

Between 2018 and 2020, overall life expectancy in the United States fell by 1.87 years.

But there were significant racial differences. Life expectancy fell 1.36 years among whites, 3.25 years among Blacks and 3.88 years among Hispanics, researchers say.

The decre...

Why Do So Many Kids Never Get Swimming Lessons?

Cost and lack of time are among the reasons parents don't enroll their kids in swimming lessons, a new survey finds.

"Swimming is one of the most important life-saving skills that children and adults should master. Whether for fun or for exercise, swimming will serve them well for the rest of their lives, and it's never too early to start learning," said Dr. Matthew Davis, chair of medici...

Sickle Cell Plagues Many Black Americans, But There's Hope for Better Treatments

It's been more than six months since Brandy Compton last landed in a hospital emergency room.

That's an amazing medical achievement, brought about by scientific breakthroughs that have been unfortunately overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, experts say.

Compton, 31, was born with sickle cell disease, a genetic condition that primarily affects people of African descent.

T...

Hospitals: One Reason COVID Is More Lethal for Black Americans

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. Da...

Fast-Food Companies Spending More on Ads Aimed at Youth

The U.S. fast-food industry has boosted spending on ads targeting kids, especially Black and Hispanic youth, new research shows.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on ad spending and TV ad exposure for 274 fast-food restaurants and found that annual spending hit $5 billion in 2019, up more than $400 million between 2012 and 2019.

"Fast-food consumption by children and teen...

Race Doesn't Affect Risk for Genes That Raise Breast Cancer Risk

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...

Most Editors at Leading Medical Journals Are White, Study Finds

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...

Teasing People About Weight Can Help Bring on Eating Disorders

What can make a young person vulnerable to eating disorders? Teasing them about any extra pounds they may carry, researchers say.

"Our findings add to the growing evidence that weight-based mistreatment is not helpful and is often harmful to the health of young people," said study leader Laura Hooper, a PhD student at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, in Minneapolis.<...

A Real Headache: Racism Plays Role in Migraine Care

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...

Healthy Levels of Vitamin D May Boost Breast Cancer Outcomes

Breast cancer patients who have adequate levels of vitamin D - the "sunshine vitamin" - at the time of their diagnosis have better long-term outcomes, a new study finds.

Combined with the results of prior research, the new findings suggest "an ongoing benefit for patients who maintain sufficient levels [of vitamin D] through and beyond breast cancer treatment," said study lead author Son...

People of Color Have Twice the Risk of Dying After Brain Injury, Study Finds

The risk of death after a traumatic brain injury is twice as high among people of color as it is among whites, a new study finds.

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) researchers reviewed outcomes among more than 6,300 traumatic brain injury patients treated at the university's hospital between 2006 and 2017.

The overall death rate was 9.9%, but it was 14.6% among patients who ...

Breast Cancer's Spread Is More Likely in Black Women, Study Finds

After a diagnosis of breast cancer, Black women face a greater risk of having the disease spread to distant sites in the body - a disparity that is not readily explained, researchers say.

It's known that in the United States, Black women have the highest death rates from breast cancer of any racial or ethnic group.

Compared with white women, Black women are 40% more likely to die of...

After Editor-in-Chief's Resignation, JAMA Journals Outline Steps to Address Racism

Reacting to recent controversy, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced Thursday a series of steps it will take to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the medical society and its network of 12 influential journals.

Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), is stepping down at the end of June, forced out ov...

Average COVID Hospital Bill for U.S. Seniors Nearly $22,000

The cost of COVID-19 hospitalizations averaged nearly $22,000 for older Americans in 2020 - and much more for those who became critically ill, a new government study finds.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the cost of COVID-19 care to the Medicare program, which covers Americans aged 65 and up.

On average, the investigators found, the prog...

JAMA Journals' Editor-in-Chief Steps Down After Deputy's Racism Comments

Because of controversial statements about racism made by a staff member, the editor-in-chief of JAMA and JAMA Network will step down on June 30, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced Tuesday.

Dr. Howard Bauchner, JAMA's chief since 2011, has been on administrative leave due to a JAMA podcast and tweet about structural racism in medicine that...

Do You Live in a U.S. Opioid OD Hotspot?

The United States has more than two dozen regional hotspots for opioid overdose deaths, according to researchers who also found a link between fatal overdoses and mental distress.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee have the highest percentage of opioid overdose deaths, but researchers identified 25 regional overdose clusters nationwide.

The findings h...

Out-of-Pocket Costs Delay Cancer Follow-Up Care, Even for the Insured

About 1 in 10 U.S. cancer survivors delays follow-up care because they can't afford associated medical bills, even if they're insured.

That's the conclusion from an analysis of data from more than 5,400 survivors of various cancers. Most were insured, college-educated and had annual incomes above the national average. Their average age was 67, and most were female and white.

Up to 1...

Moderate Use of Hair Relaxers Won't Raise Black Women's Cancer Risk: Study

Moderate use of hair relaxers doesn't increase a Black woman's risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.

"While there is biologic plausibility that exposure to some components contained in hair relaxers might increase breast cancer risk, the evidence from epidemiologic studies to date continues to be inconsistent," said lead author Kimberly Bertrand, an epidemiologist and assistant...

When Cardiac Deaths Rose During Pandemic, Minorities Suffered Most

During the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, heart disease and stroke deaths rose in the United States, but a new study shows the increases were much larger in minority groups.

Researchers compared monthly cause-of-death data for March to April 2020 to the same period in 2019. They found that heart disease deaths rose about 19% among Black people, Hispanic folks and Asian individu...

Is Your Child at Risk for Asthma?

Family history, race and sex are among the factors that increase a child's risk of asthma, a new study shows.

"These findings help us to better understand what groups of children are most susceptible to asthma early in life," said study co-author Christine Cole Johnson, chair of public health sciences at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

"We can now use this information to develo...

Sleep Apnea Raises Odds for Severe COVID-19

People suffering from severe obstructive sleep apnea are at a greater risk of catching COVID-19, a new study finds.

But researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California also found that the longer patients used a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask while sleeping, the more their COVID-19 risk dropped.

For the study, a team led by pulmonologist Dr. Dennis Hwang collect...

Asthma Attacks Plummeted During Pandemic

Call it a silver lining of the pandemic: Asthma attacks fell sharply among Black and Hispanic Americans in the months after the coronavirus first surfaced.

The study included nearly 1,200 participants who provided information about their asthma through monthly online, phone or mail questionnaires for 15 months between the first half of 2019 and first half of 2020.

The researchers f...

Fear of Losing Health Insurance Keeps 1 in 6 U.S. Workers in Their Jobs

Many American workers remain in jobs they'd rather leave -- simply because they don't want to lose their health insurance, a new Gallup poll reveals.

That's the situation for 16% of respondents in a nationwide poll of more than 3,800 adults conducted March 15-21.

The fear is strongest among Black workers. Pollsters found they are more likely to keep an unwanted job at 21% than Hispa...

Heart Risk Factors Show Up Earlier in U.S. Black Women

Young Black American women have high rates of lifestyle-related risk factors for heart disease, a new study indicates.

The findings show the need to help them adopt healthy eating and physical activity habits, as well as make it easier for them to access health care, the researchers said.

"Young people should be the healthiest members of our population, with normal body weight and n...

Race, Neighborhood Affects How Long You'll Live After Heart Attack

The risk of dying within five years of a heart attack is notably higher among poor Americans than their wealthier peers, but race also plays a role, a new study reveals.

While Black residents of poor neighborhoods appear to face a higher risk of death than their counterparts in wealthier ZIP codes, poor Black patients are also more likely to die after a heart attack than poor white patien...

When Black Americans Encounter Police Violence, High Anxiety Often Follows

A new survey confirms what many young Black Americans already know: They are vulnerable to anxiety disorders, particularly during contact with the police or in anticipation of police contact.

"I think it's important, given what's going on in society," said survey author Robert Motley, Race and Opportunity Lab Manager at Washington University in St. Louis.

"And I think it helps us to...

Most Top U.S. Surgeons Are White and That's Not Changing

White people continue to dominate top surgery positions at U.S. universities, while the number of Black and Hispanic surgeons remains flat, a new study finds.

"There are a lot of talented surgeons of different races, ethnicities and genders who do wonderful work and are being underrecognized or not recognized at all. And that's contributed to a lot of frustration," study co-author Dr. Jos...

Who's Most Likely to Join a Clinical Trial?

Cancer patients most likely to sign up for clinical trials during their treatment include people of color, those with higher incomes and those who are younger, a new study finds.

"This study informs our understanding of who is participating in cancer clinical trials," said study author Dr. Lincoln Sheets, an assistant research professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, in...

1 in 3 Neighborhoods in Major U.S. Cities Is a 'Pharmacy Desert'

One-third of neighborhoods in the 30 largest U.S. cities are "pharmacy deserts," and this is much more common in Black and Hispanic communities, a new study finds.

What's a 'pharmacy desert'? In general, in a neighborhood where most residents have cars, the study labeled it a pharmacy desert if the average distance to the nearest pharmacy was 1 mile or more. That distance was reduced to ...

COVID Anxieties Still High for Americans: Poll

Americans' anxiety and concerns about COVID-19 remain high a year into the pandemic, and mental health effects of the health crisis are on the rise, a new survey shows.

Hispanic (73%) and Black Americans (76%) are more anxious about COVID-19 than white people (59%), according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults. It was conducted March 26 to Apr...

Why U.S. Hispanics Got COVID at Higher Rates: Their Jobs

Workplace exposure to the new coronavirus is a major reason for Hispanic Americans' disproportionately high COVID-19 death rate, a new study claims.

In 2020, Hispanics accounted for 19% of the U.S. population but nearly 41% of COVID-19 deaths, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.

An analysis of federal government data revealed that far higher percentag...

FDA Poised to Ban Menthol Cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes, a move that the agency has tried before and one that public health experts and civil rights groups have pushed for years.

Menthol cigarettes have been marketed aggressively to Black Americans for decades: About 85% of Black smokers use menthol brands, the FDA said, and research shows menthol cigarettes...

One Reason It's Hotter in Poorer Neighborhoods: Fewer Trees

Poor neighborhoods in the United States have fewer trees and are hotter than richer neighborhoods, new research shows.

In the study, the researchers assessed tree cover in the 100 largest urban areas of the country.

In nine out of 10 communities, there was less tree cover in low-income areas than in high-income areas. On average, low-income neighborhoods had about 15% less tree cove...

When Cancer Strikes Those Under 40, Race Matters

Young Black and Hispanic cancer patients face poorer survival odds than their white counterparts, even from some cancers that are highly curable, a new study finds.

It's well known that the United States has long-standing racial disparities in cancer survival.

The researchers said the new findings bolster evidence that those disparities are not confined to older adults, who account...

Less Social Distancing in Areas With More Trump Supporters: Study

Politics matter when it comes to Americans' health: A new study shows that lower-income Republicans are less likely to socially distance than others.

The data -- from more than 15 million cellphone users in more than 3,000 U.S. counties between March 2020 and January 2021 -- also found that Black and Hispanic Americans were also less likely to maintain physical distance.

The findin...

How 'Bleeding' Stroke Affects Brain May Depend on Your Race

Black and Hispanic survivors of a bleeding stroke are more likely than white survivors to have changes in small blood vessels in the brain that increase the risk of another bleeding stroke, researchers say.

'Bleeding' strokes, also called hemorrhagic stroke, comprise about 13% of all strokes. They occur when an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures.

"While Black and Hispanic bleedin...

Little Progress in Boosting Numbers of Black American Doctors

The percentage of U.S. doctors who are Black has barely risen in the past 120 years, and there's still a wide pay gap between white and Black physicians, a new study finds.

The analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data from 1900 to 2018 included about 150,000 physicians, with about 3,300 Black male physicians and 1,600 Black female physicians.

The study "findings demonstrate how slow prog...

High-Profile Police Brutality Cases Harm Black Americans' Mental Health: Study

As America awaits a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, new research finds that such high-profile police killings of Black people may take a big mental health toll on psyches across the country.

Researchers found that, on average, Black Americans reported an increase in "poor mental health days" during weeks where more than one deadly racial incident was in the news.

Those incidents...

Common MS Meds Might Be Less Effective in Black Patients

Black people experience more severe courses of multiple sclerosis (MS), and now new research suggests that drugs commonly used to treat this disease may not work as well or for as long in these folks.

"I was amazed," said study researcher Dr. Gregg Silverman, a professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York City. In a study of two drugs, "there was a dramatic and significant diff...

L.A.'s Oil Wells Could Be Harming Citizens' Health

The respiratory health risks among people who live near oil wells in Los Angeles are similar to the risks from daily exposure to secondhand smoke or living near a freeway, researchers say.

In a new study, they also found that people of color are disproportionately affected by respiratory problems such as wheezing and reduced lung function associated with living near the oil wells.

"...

4 in 10 Transgender Women Have HIV: CDC

Four in 10 transgender women have HIV, which shows the urgent need to offer them more prevention and treatment services, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

In interviews with more than 1,600 transgender women in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle in 2019 and early 2020, researchers found that 42...

AHA News: The Link Between Structural Racism, High Blood Pressure and Black People's Health

High blood pressure. Structural racism.

What do they have in common?

Researchers say they are two of the biggest factors responsible for the gap in poor heart and brain health between Black and white adults in the United States. And they are inextricably linked.

Studies show high blood pressure, also called hypertension, affects Black adults - particularly women - earlier and ...

COVID Plus 'Bleeding' Stroke Doubles a Patient's Death Risk

'Bleeding' stroke patients with COVID-19 are more than twice as likely to die as those without COVID-19, new research shows.

For the study, a research team from the University of Utah analyzed data from 568 hospitals in the United States. They compared a control group of more than 23,300 patients without COVID-19 who suffered a bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke to 771 COVID-19 patients who ha...

Black Women Are Dying of COVID at Much Higher Rates Than White Men

COVID-19 death rates are significantly higher among Black American women than among white men, according to a new study, suggesting that race is a factor in survival differences between men and women.

Researchers analyzed COVID death rates in Michigan and Georgia, the only states reporting data by age, race and sex.

"This analysis complicates the simple narrative that men are dying ...

Canada's Menthol Cigarette Ban Boosted Quit Rates: Would the Same Happen in U.S.?

Could banning menthol cigarettes be key to lowering smoking rates overall?

New research suggests it's possible, after finding that a ban on menthol cigarettes in Canada was linked to a large increase in the number of smokers who quit.

The impact of the menthol ban in Canada suggests that a similar ban in the United States would have even greater benefits since menthol cigarettes are...

Jail Dims Hopes for Recovery for Young People With Mental Illness

Being jailed puts teens with untreated psychiatric disorders at increased risk for long-term mental health struggles, researchers say.

"These are not necessarily bad kids, but they have many strikes against them," said study lead author Linda Teplin. "Physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect are common. These experiences can precipitate depression. Incarceration should be the last resort....

Public Lost Trust in CDC During COVID Crisis: Poll

Americans' trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, an opinion poll finds.

Researchers polled more than 2,000 Americans in May 2020 and questioned most again five months later. Respondents were asked to rate their trust of the CDC, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on a low-to-h...

Black Americans Often Face Discrimination in Health Care

Black Americans are much more likely to report discrimination or unfair judgment when seeking health care than whites or Hispanics, researchers report.

"Discrimination and unfair judgment in a health care setting can result in serious ramifications to health and have cumulative adverse effects on people's lives," said study author Dulce Gonzalez, a research associate at the Urban Institut...

COVID Drove 23% Spike in U.S. Deaths In 2020

COVID-19 was the major cause of a nearly 23% increase in U.S. deaths during the last 10 months of 2020.

Researchers noted that the rate of excess deaths in the United States -- those above the number that would be expected based on averages from the previous five years -- tends to be consistent at about 1% to 2% a year.

But between March 1, 2020 and Jan. 2, 2021, excess deaths rose ...