KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Massive Data-Gathering Project Strives To Be Inclusive Where So Many Studies Have Failed In Past

The National Institutes of Health's wide-sweeping data-gathering project, called "All Of Us," has set a goal of ensuring that more than half of the participants come from communities that are historically underrepresented in biomedical research. In other public health news: brain science, diabetes-related amputations, kidney disease and more.

Stat: To Advance Precision Medicine, NIH Turns To Long-Mistreated Communities
The National Institutes of Health would like six vials of your blood, please.Its scientists would like to take a urine sample, measure your waistline, and have access to your electronic health records and data from the wearable sensor on your wrist. And if you don’t mind sharing, could they have your Social Security number? It is a big ask, the NIH knows, and of an equally big group — the agency eventually hopes to enroll over 1 million participants in the next step of what four researchers referred to in a 2003 paper as “a revolution in biological research.” (Facher, 9/22)

Stat: Zapping The Brain For Stroke Rehab: Pivotal Clinical Trial Begins
Despite being forced by Hurricane Irma to close its outpatient facilities for several days, the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is expected to forge ahead this month with a pivotal clinical trial testing whether an electrical implant can rewire the brains of stroke patients so they can use their arms and hands again. (Begley, 9/22)

Los Angeles Times: UC Irvine To Debut Brain Research Center With Advanced MRI Machine
UC Irvine’s Campus Center for Neuroimaging will have a grand opening next month for its new research center that aims to make breakthroughs in human brain research. The centerpiece of the center — dubbed FIBRE, or Facility for Imaging & Brain Research — is a $3-million Siemens Prisma 3T magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, machine noted for its technology that collects higher-quality images in a shorter time. It came to UCI with help from Siemens and the National Institutes of Health. (Zint, 9/21)

inewsource: Diabetes-Related Amputations Increase In California — And San Diego
Clinicians are amputating more toes, legs, ankles and feet of patients with diabetes in California — and San Diego County in particular — in a “shocking” trend that has mystified diabetes experts here and across the country. Though they often prolong lives, diabetes-related amputations deprive patients of independence, increase the need for social services and add to disability and medical costs.Explore the rate of amputations in California.Statewide, lower-limb amputations increased by more than 31 percent from 2010 to 2016 when adjusted for population change. In San Diego County, the increase was more than twice that: 66.4 percent. (Clark, 9/20)

The New York Times: Air Pollution Tied To Kidney Disease
Add a new potential ill to the list of problems linked to air pollution: kidney disease. Previous studies have linked high levels of the fine particulate matter known as PM 2.5 to cardiovascular disease and stroke. A new analysis, in The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, followed 2,482,737 veterans for an average of eight and a half years. The Department of Veterans Affairs database includes information on glomerular filtration rate, or G.F.R., a measure of kidney function. (Bakalar, 9/21)

The Washington Post: She Chose To Die So She Could Give Birth. Now Her Newborn Is Dead, Too.
The headaches began in March. The couple didn’t think much of them — until Carrie DeKlyen began vomiting. An initial scan showed a mass in her brain. More tests showed that it was a form of cancer, possibly lymphoma, but treatable. But a pathology exam revealed a more grim diagnosis. The 37-year-old mother of five from Wyoming, Mich., had glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. If lucky, she could live for five more years. (Phillips and du Lac, 9/21)

California Healthline: FDA Approves Scope With Disposable Part Aimed At Reducing Superbug Infections
Seeking to prevent superbug outbreaks, federal health officials said they have approved the first gastrointestinal medical scope with a disposable cap for use in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration said that the design of the new duodenoscope by Japanese device maker Pentax should make it easier to remove dangerous bacteria that can become trapped inside these reusable instruments. (Terhune, 9/22)

NPR: Pee In The Pool Can Cause Breathing And Eye Irritation
Water parks can be fun, but they also can pose unexpected health risks – in this case, eye and respiratory problems. And that shower you never take before you get in the pool plays a role. In July 2015, patrons at an indoor water park resort in Ohio started to complain about eye and respiratory problems. Local health officials surveyed patrons and water park employees, who reported issues like eye burning, nose irritation, difficulty breathing and vomiting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention then stepped in to investigate. (Jochem, 9/21)

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