An Algorithm Could Pinpoint Those Most At Risk Of HIV And Have Doctors Steer Them Toward PrEP
The scientists have successfully created the tool, but ethical questions remain over such a sensitive topic. A calculator that says a patient is at risk “doesn’t mitigate the fact that providers are often uncomfortable and clumsy talking about sex,” said Damon L. Jacobs, a marriage and family counselor. In other public health news: vaping, menopause and women's sex lives, anorexia, fitness trackers, eye infections and more.
The New York Times:
Would You Want A Computer To Judge Your Risk Of H.I.V. Infection?
A few years ago, researchers at Harvard and Kaiser Permanente Northern California had an inspired idea: Perhaps they could use the wealth of personal data in electronic health records to identify patients at high risk of getting infected with H.I.V. Doctors could use an algorithm to pinpoint these patients and then steer them to a daily pill to prevent infection, a strategy known as PrEP. (Kolata, 7/30)
Some Juul 'Vape Juice' Found To Contain Ingredients That Might Inflame Airways
Scientists don't know much yet about the long-term effects of "vape juice," the liquid used in e-cigarettes and vaporizers. But researchers analyzing the liquid and the vapor produced when it's heated say some kinds of e-liquids are reacting to form irritating chemicals called acetals while they're sitting on shelves. More than 3 million young people, as well as some adults, use e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of them could be inhaling these compounds regularly. And that could be irritating or even damaging to their lungs, Yale and Duke university researchers suggest. (Neilson, 7/30)
The New York Times:
Why A Woman’s Sex Life Declines After Menopause (Hint: Sometimes It’s Her Partner)
For many women, sex after menopause is not as satisfying as it used to be. But is menopause entirely to blame? New research suggests that the hormonal changes that come with menopause are only part of the reason a woman’s sex life declines with age. It’s true that many women experience symptoms after menopause, including vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and loss of desire — all of which can affect the frequency and pleasure of sex. (Parker-Pope, 7/30)
The Wall Street Journal:
A New Genetic Explanation For Anorexia
Some of the genetic factors linked to anorexia nervosa are also associated with metabolism, suggesting that there may be a biological explanation for why patients with the eating disorder lose weight so rapidly and struggle to keep weight on. The new discovery was part of the largest genome-wide association study of the disease ever done. The study, published July 15 in the journal Nature Genetics, found eight genetic regions linked to anorexia. (Reddy, 7/29)
Kaiser Health News:
In The Battle Of The Fitness Trackers, The Most Steps Might Not Win
When Sonia Anderson got her first Fitbit step tracker, her poor pooch, Bronx, had no idea of all the steps that were coming. The device — which counts every step Anderson takes and displays those steps on an app — was a Christmas gift from her daughters two years ago. At the time, Bronx, a Yorkshire terrier, was younger and could still manage the additional walks up and down the trails along the sprawling apartment complex in Alexandria, Va., where Anderson lives. Anderson was on a mission to clock 10,000 steps a day. (Horovitz, 7/30)
The Washington Post:
Rare Eye Infection, Vision Loss Result From Wearing Contacts While Showering
A woman’s habit of keeping her contact lenses in while swimming and showering had serious consequences: She developed a rare eye infection that left her legally blind in one eye, according to a new report of the case. The 41-year-old woman, who lives in the United Kingdom, went to the eye doctor after experiencing blurry vision, eye pain and sensitivity to light in her left eye for two months, according to the report, which was published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine. (Rettner, 7/30)
Is CBD The Miracle Drug It’s Made Out To Be?
CBD is a molecule found in cannabis. It is similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but doesn’t produce a high. The claims about this drug are promising: It reduces anxiety, it relieves insomnia and pain, and it can help with ailments like Crohn’s disease and fibromyalgia. These promises could be true, but the science isn’t there yet. (Lillie and Davis, 7/29)
The Washington Post:
Your Gym Is Teeming With Invisible Members: Germs. Here’s How To Avoid Them.
After swimming one day at the Chelsea Recreation Center in New York, Allison Goldstein noticed that the walls in the shower were starting to buckle inward. “It looked like a giant air bubble was pushing out of the wall,” the Jersey City resident said. “Over time, the section where the wall met the ceiling started to peel back, and lo and behold, there was some delicious-looking brown and black sludge back there.” (Douglas, 7/29)