Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Attempts To Slow Aging By Taking Popular Diabetes Drug Might Be A Roadblock To Healthy Living, Research Finds

KHN Morning Briefing

A new study on metformin provides researchers with reason to think more cautiously about its use for healthy people looking for ways to reduce inflammation and other changes that can take place during aging. Certain benefits of aerobic exercise, a key to healthy aging, were halted when the Type-2 diabetes drug was prescribed with exercise in a controlled study. More public health news reports are on lower obesity rates for children on WIC, a potential new deadly flu, liquid cancer screenings, a crackdown on support animals, marijuana and pregnancy, another carcinogen detected in blood pressure pills, and why your doctors notes on you matter, as well.

Looking For New Answers To Aging Well: What Bats In Belfries, Marmosets In Mountains Might Tell

KHN Morning Briefing

While animals have long been studied in medical research, a new wave of researchers is looking for different answers. “The goal isn’t to increase the number of 120-year-olds who are living in nursing homes. We want more 80- and 90-year-olds who are living independently,” says Corinna Ross, a primatologist at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. More aging news reports on grip strength, defining “old” and the power of laughter.

The Anatomy Of A Pandemic: A Look Back On The H1N1 Outbreak Ten Years Later

KHN Morning Briefing

A Stat reporter delves into what it was like to be at the starting point of a pandemic. It’s not quite the Hollywood version replete with bio-hazard suits and swoon-worthy scientists. In other public health news: the Dengue fever, a potential Alzheimer’s breakthrough, asthma treatments, vaping, musical pitch, HIV, hand sanitizer, and more.

‘Tainted Gene Pools For Kids’: More Parents Discover Sperm Donor Wasn’t The One They Carefully Selected

KHN Morning Briefing

While no one is keeping an exact count on how often the mix up takes place, more people are reporting their donor had a medical history they never would have chosen. Health officials question if better regulation of an industry that supports thousands of artificial inseminations a year is necessary. Public health news focuses on sleep’s healing powers, parents’ social media photos, online monitoring, antibiotic prescriptions, new NAS code of conduct, mothers’ health, animal studies and nurses’ PTSD.

Senators Release Names Of Nearly 400 Nursing Homes With ‘Persistent Record Of Poor Care’ That Are Not Publicly Identified

KHN Morning Briefing

The list was provided by CMS and released by Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey. The 400 facilities have similar problems to a small list released by the government, but these were withheld from the public. “We’ve got to make sure any family member or any potential resident of a nursing home can get this information, not only ahead of time but on an ongoing basis,” Casey, a Democrat, and Toomey, a Republican, said in their report.

A Startling Number Of Episiotomies Are Still Being Done Despite Guidance That They Do More Harm Than Good

KHN Morning Briefing

The procedure involves a doctor making an incision at the vaginal opening during labor. Despite established guidance of more than a decade that they should only be performed in emergencies, a USA Today analysis of hospital billing data finds dozens of hospitals in eight states with episiotomy rates of 20% or higher — and some nearly double that. In other public health news: gene-editing, vaccines, LGBTQ seniors, face mites, and more.

Hurricane Maria Devastated ‘Monkey Island.’ Can The Surviving Primates Help Teach Us About Trauma?

KHN Morning Briefing

Like humans, the rhesus macaques that live on Puerto Rico’s “Monkey Island” possess advanced problem-solving skills and opposable thumbs and have been known to use tools, and they have complex emotional and social lives. As scientists wonder how something like Hurricane Maria impacts a community longterm, some turn to the monkeys to help better understand. In other public health news: the HIV epidemic, cancer, doctors and TV shows, scientific labs, heart health, and exercise.