KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Despite Notable Silence From White House, Anti-Vaccine Advocates Keep Hopes High

The CDC continues to promote immunizations just as it did under the Obama administration, but vaccine skeptics still feel emboldened by having the new president in the White House. In other public health news: a diet soda link to dementia risk; anxiety in students; a rare tick-borne disease; dietary supplements; and Henrietta Lacks' cells.

Morning Consult: Despite Campaign Rhetoric, Trump Mostly Silent On Vaccine Policy
On the campaign trail, President Donald Trump met with prominent vaccine skeptics and ranted about the debunked theory that vaccines cause autism. But as the administration approaches its 100-day mark, the White House has given few indications about the direction of its vaccine policy. That vacuum has left experts drawing their own conclusions, fueling the hopes of vaccine skeptics and the fears of advocates. (Reid, 4/20)

CNN: Diet Sodas May Be Tied To Stroke, Dementia Risk
Gulping down an artificially sweetened beverage not only may be associated with health risks for your body, but also possibly your brain, a new study suggests. Artificially sweetened drinks, such as diet sodas, were tied to a higher risk of stroke and dementia in the study, which published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke on Thursday. (Howard, 4/20)

Columbus Dispatch: US Students More Anxious Than Global Average In Survey
U.S. teens rank around average for life satisfaction and academic achievement, according to a new international survey. But students in this country, more than their foreign counterparts, feel compelled to compete and are anxious about schoolwork and testing. A larger-than-average percentage of American students also feel like outsiders at school. (Gilchrist, 4/21)

The Washington Post: A Rare Tick-Borne Disease Infected A Baby, The First Case In A New State
It started with fever and vomiting. Then the 5-month-old baby developed facial twitching, stiffening of his right arm and seizures. The family rushed him to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Clinicians there performed tests, including a brain MRI that showed clear signs of a serious infection. The testing showed that the baby didn’t have meningitis, an infection in the tissues surrounding the brain. But he did have an unusual pattern of inflammation in the very deep parts of his brain. (Sun, 4/20)

Los Angeles Times: Venture Capitalists Look Beyond Tech To The Dietary Supplements Market
How do you stay sharp and fit despite fatigue and age? By consuming substances extracted from blueberries, flowers and algae, say the makers of a new group of unregulated and unproven health pills. Trusting natural chemicals to solve inevitable ailments is familiar to anyone who has visited a GNC store or contributed to the $30 billion spent annually in the U.S. on dietary supplements. (Dave, 4/21)

The Baltimore Sun: HBO Movie On Henrietta Lacks Puts Spotlight On Johns Hopkins 
As a movie starring Oprah Winfrey about Henrietta Lacks and her groundbreaking cells hits television screens Saturday, one major character in her story has remained muted. Johns Hopkins Medicine, whose doctors took Lacks' cells without her consent during a diagnostic procedure in 1951, has kept a low profile amid the fanfare surrounding the HBO movie, based on the bestselling book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot. (McDaniels, 4/20)

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