Longer Looks: Dr. Death; The Artificial Pancreas; And ‘Election Anxiety’
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
Lee Passmore can’t feel his feet. His right leg is as stiff as his pressed blue jeans, and when he walks, he appears to use his hips to heave it forward. He also vibrates—his chest shakes, his right hand jitters. But Passmore is one of the lucky ones. He’ll tell you as much. He’s alive. (Matt Goodman, 10/26)
We Finally Have An “Artificial Pancreas” For Diabetes. But It's A Letdown.
You'd think that a new device called the "artificial pancreas" would be a godsend for someone like [Melinda Wedding]. Designed to make insulin delivery less of a hassle by automating it, the MiniMed 670G by Medtronic was called "revolutionary" and a game changer after the Food and Drug Administration approved it in September. But families like the Weddings say the device, slated to hit the market in spring 2017, has been incredibly overhyped. (Julia Belluz, 10/25)
The New York Times:
Talking To Your Therapist About Election Anxiety
The American Psychological Association says that 52 percent of American adults are coping with high levels of stress brought on by the election, according to national Harris Poll survey data released last week. Therapists around the country said in interviews that patients are coming to appointments citing their fears, anger and anxiety about the election. Both poll data and anecdotal reports show that the high levels of election anxiety are affecting both Republicans and Democrats equally. (Lesley Alderman, 10/20)
Will Winter Kill Zika?
Okay, good news first: Mosquito season in the United States is basically over—even in warmer regions, like Florida and areas along the Gulf Coast. “The risk of mosquito transmission of viruses goes way down by the end of October,” says Peter Hotez, a pediatrician and the dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College. (Adrienne LaFrance, 10/20)
America’s View Of "Health” Is Very Narrow. The Debates Proved It.
America has an astonishingly narrow view of "health" — and that was reflected in the rhetoric from this season’s presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. When the topic of health was broached, which was rare, the focus was mostly on health care — access to doctors, hospitals, and medicines to treat people when they’re sick. There was very little discussion of public health, the goods and regulations that give us clean air and water, safe roads, and mosquito control. Unlike health care providers, public health officials work on preventing illness and injury. They devise plans to prepare for those increasingly frequent pandemic threats, like Ebola and Zika, and regulate tobacco use to give us smoke-free environments. (Julia Belluz, 10/20)
The Huffington Post:
How Our New Relationship With Cuba Will Improve Americans’ Health
When Dr. C. William Keck sat down to write an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, imploring Congress to end the United States’ Cuba embargo so that Cuban and American researchers could better collaborate, he had no idea that the U.S. Treasury Department’s lift of sanctions was just days away. The embargo isn’t completely gone, but many goods and regulations are now available to Americans. While news of the loosened sanctions has focused on trade policy and travel souvenir rules, Keck sees a clear win for public health and medical research: The government lifted sanctions on joint health research, Cuba pharmaceuticals that earn FDA approval and bank accounts for authorized health-related business, effective October 17. (Erin Schumaker, 10/25)