KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

How Cracking The Code Behind The Body’s Internal Clock Could Help Prevent Poor Health

Scientists are working to understand how the body's clock affects disease, heart attacks, obesity and more health problems. In other public health news: breast cancer, health care marketing, flu shots, heart disease, and more.

The Washington Post: Time Sleuths Think Our Body Clock Could Help Crack The Code About Chronic Disease
Commute. Work. Commute. Sleep. Commute. Work. Commute. Sleep. If you think your daily grind’s killing you, you may be right, according to an article by Leslie Kaufman in the September/­October issue of Popular Science. Kaufman examines the work of chronobiologists — scientists who add the element of time to their research on topics such as the neurons that help awaken the human brain and the metabolic processes that occur after a midnight snack. (Blakemore, 10/8)

The New York Times: Researchers Predict A Quarter-Million New Cases Of Breast Cancer In The U.S.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women except for skin cancers. Researchers at the American Cancer Society estimate that there will be 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women in the United States in 2017. Some 40,610 women will die from the disease. In addition, there will be 63,410 cases this year of carcinoma in situ, abnormal cells that may be an early form of cancer. (Bakalar, 10/6)

NPR: Positive Hospital Marketing Campaigns Have A Painful Downside
Lori Wallace is sitting on a couch with her 11-year-old son and his new pet snake. It's burrowing under his armpit, as if it were afraid. But Wallace says it's not. "If he was terrified, he would be balled up," Wallace says. "See, that is why they are called ball pythons. When they are scared, they turn into a little ball. "Wallace is dying of breast cancer, but a stranger couldn't tell. (Harnett, 10/8)

The New York Times: Is There Any Reason Not To Get A Flu Shot?
Health officials urge all Americans 6 months and older to get an annual flu shot — except for those who have ever had a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction to an influenza vaccine or vaccine component. Individuals who have had severe allergic reactions to a flu vaccine “should not get the vaccine again,” said Dr. Lisa Grohskopf, a medical officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Rabin, 10/6)

The Washington Post: Heart Problems Can Harm Even Dedicated Exercisers
Jason Lathrop was training for a solo backpacking trip in 2015 when he started to feel a creaking sensation in his knees during morning runs near his home in Portland, Ore. Expecting to learn that he’d torn his meniscus or strained a ligament, he went to his doctor, who told him his knees were just fine. Instead, he learned, he had a heart murmur. Six weeks later, the 43-year-old father of two was undergoing open-heart surgery to repair a faulty mitral valve. (Sohn, 10/7)

Reuters: Older Adults May Confide Suicidal Thoughts Especially If They Have Chronic Health Problems Or Depression
More than 1 in 5 older adults who commit suicide disclose their intention to kill themselves before taking their own lives, a study suggests. Overall, 23 percent of suicide victims age 50 or older shared suicidal thoughts with another person in the month before their death, the study found. Disclosure rates were higher among the elderly and more common when people had chronic health problems or suffered from depression. (Rapaport, 10/7)

Dallas Morning News: Mental Health Support Can Help Students Making Tough Transition To College
On Twitter, hundreds of thousands of people are #TalkingAboutIt. The popular hashtag is all over the social media platform, denoting tweets on experiences and concerns about mental health conditions. Its goal is to demystify mental illness, promote open conversation and encourage people to seek support. But for many, it can be hard to have those same conversations offline. People often find it tough to communicate what they’re going through or to get the help they need. Similarly,  it can be difficult for people to figure out the best way to support loved ones. (Salazar, 10/7)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.