Generation That Equated Loud Music With Defiance Now Paying The Price With Hearing Loss
Biotech companies want to be the ones to reap the profits of those bad decisions. In other public health news: colonoscopies, genome sequencing, lead, E. coli, standing desks, and more.
Baby Boomers Destroyed Their Hearing. Biotech Is Trying To Fix It
Baby boomers grew up with music blasting from dorm room turntables, car stereos, and arenas where the sound of a band at full throttle could rival the roar of a jet engine. Volume became an act of generational defiance. As rocker Ted Nugent put it: “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.” Turns out, it was too loud. Millions of boomers are now grappling with hearing loss — some of it caused by turning the volume to 11 — prompting companies to develop treatments that improve upon the expensive and often limited-value hearing aids and surgical implants that have been around for decades. (Weisman, 1/11)
Colonoscopy? How About A Blood Test?
Nobody likes getting a colonoscopy. For the people who catch colon cancer early thanks to that bowel camera, the standard screening—every 5 to 10 years from age 50 to 75—proves invaluable. For the 993 people in 1,000 who don’t test positive following a colonoscopy, the pain (and for the uninsured, the expense) can be enough to make them skip the next one. People who’ve shirked their exams often number among the 50,000 Americans who die from colon cancer each year. “More non-invasive ways of screening are needed,” says Matthew Kalady, co-director of the colorectal cancer program at the Cleveland Clinic. “If you could pick up colon cancer early and noninvasively with a simple blood test, that would be just fantastic.” (Tullis, 1/11)
Genome Sequencing Turns Up New Drivers Of Drug Resistance In Malaria
Hundreds of thousands of people die from malaria every year — and as drug-resistant strains of the parasite grow more common, there’s an urgent need for new treatment options. New research, published Thursday in Science, points to potential targets for those novel treatments. Researchers analyzed 262 Plasmodium falciparum parasites, which cause malaria. (Thielking, 1/11)
Lead Tests For 'Millions Of Kids’ May Be Wrong?
There's a chance that tests given to millions of kids since 2014 to detect lead poisoning didn't work properly, delivering falsely low results to an unknown number of American families. As many as 7 million tests performed on children over the course of the three years could have been wrong, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The manufacturer of the tests in question, however, is confident the number is millions lower. (Blackmore, 1/11)
The New York Times:
Deadly E. Coli Outbreak Tied To Leafy Greens Likely Over, C.D.C. Says
A pair of fatal E. coli outbreaks linked to leafy greens in the United States and Canada appear to be over, health experts said on Wednesday. American officials said that the outbreak in the United States was most likely caused by “leafy greens,” and their counterparts in Canada specifically identified romaine lettuce as the source of the infections there. (Chokshi, 1/11)
Many Workers Already Have A Standing Desk Called Their Job
The standing desk is having a moment among office workers, but not everyone needs to stand more at work. A study published Thursday in the latest issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report finds that many U.S. workers are already active on the job. Researchers analyzed the 2015 National Health Interview Survey — the most recent data available — and found that two-thirds of employed adults reported frequent standing at work. (Wilhelm, 1/11)
Los Angeles Times:
Nature Boosts Your Mental Health, And You Don't Even Have To Leave The City To Reap The Benefits
Good news, urbanites! New research suggests that you don't have to leave the city to reap some of the benefits of being in nature. Simply listening to the chirping of birds, glimpsing the sky and even noticing a scrawny city tree can boost your mental well-being, according to a report published Tuesday in the journal Bioscience. (Netburn, 1/11)