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The researchers argue that the evidence used to approve the product — called Abilify MyCite — was not only weak, but failed to demonstrate the technology improves adherence, a key point if the goal is to improve health outcomes. In other public health news: neuron research, seasickness, surgery, scooter safety, broken heart syndrome, and more.
The spat is over a study that claimed adult vaping was “associated with” a doubled risk of heart attack. Brad Rodu, a University of Louisville professor, says that when he obtained the federal data, he found the majority of the 38 patients in the study who had heart attacks had them before they started vaping. In other news, Juul has hired a prominent researcher known for his work on nicotine and the adolescent brain.
Several unpublished studies getting attention at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this week point to new research on people who have gone on to develop Alzheimer’s after having seizures. News on the disease also looks at how exercise might help and potential links to infections.
Around the country, cities are mobilizing outreach teams, armed with supplies of water, to check on residents living on the streets or in housing without air conditioning. “We are treating this as the emergency it is,” said Josh Kruger, communications director for the Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services. In the District of Columbia, where the heat index is supposed to reach 115 this weekend, the mayor has declared a state of emergency and is keeping shelters open round the clock so people can try to cool off.
After the release of new data about just where the billions of pain pills went to during the start of the opioid crisis, media outlets take a look at the places that were hardest hit. “There’s not a lot to do,” said Dennis Boggs, 45, a chef at Burger King in a small Virginia town. That’s his explanation for the drug use. “It gives them something to do around here.” Meanwhile, rare criminal charges are brought against an Ohio opioid distributor.
It used to be in popular culture that abortion was always portrayed as an agonizing decision that led to serious mental health complications for the women if they opted for the procedure. Now, even as the abortion wars heat up in state Legislatures, on the screen, it’s being toned down. “You’re definitely seeing more of the matter-of-fact ‘I am pregnant, I don’t want to be, I’m going to have an abortion,’” said Gretchen Sisson, a sociologist at University of California, San Francisco.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) raised concerns about the cost of the fund, which has been thrust into the national spotlight after comedian Jon Stewart lambasted House lawmakers for the delays in shoring up the payments.
Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, assured lawmakers at the hearing that the “vast majority” of families who are detained at the border are being kept together. Lawmakers used the hearing to criticize the agency, which has come under fire for the conditions in which the detainees have been held as well as allegations of a toxic culture that’s supported by high-ranking officials.
In making the ruling on chlorpyrifos, the EPA said in a statement that the data supporting objections to the use of the pesticide was “not sufficiently valid, complete or reliable.” The agency said “there is good reason” to continue allowing farmers to use chlorpyrifos, “given the importance of this matter and the fact that critical questions remained regarding the significance of the data addressing neurodevelopmental effects.”
Presidential hopefuls Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden would take separate paths on how to address health care, with Sanders going for an overhaul approach and Biden favoring building on what exists. The two philosophies have come to divide a crowded pack of Democrats as the election season starts kicking into gear, and in the past few days Sanders and Biden have been publicly swiping at each other over the issue. Meanwhile, governors are particularly worried about candidates’ rhetoric about getting rid of private insurers.
Media outlets report on news from California, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.
Lawyers for the families are set to argue that the U.S. government intended to inflict emotional distress on them. They plan to make that assertion under a law that allows individuals to sue the U.S. government for negligence and misconduct. “The government clearly intended to inflict emotional distress,” said Erik Walsh, a lawyer with the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Arnold & Porter. News on the border crisis also looks at: how an asylum ban could worsen overcrowding; many teens in Florida released to families; and an agent’s alleged harassment of a mother, as well.
To fight isolation, a health problem that a former surgeon general said can be as debilitating as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, several groups are working to create in-person connections. A group started by one former lonely heart in San Francisco invites strangers to talk over tea and has caught on in more than a dozen other cities. Public health news also focuses on: higher rates of memory loss reported among LGBTQ Americans; winners and fairness issues; sleep-tracking devices; drugs that bring on memory loss in older adults; Netflix’s decision to re-edit “13 Reasons Why”; critics of “Neuralink’; coping with the heat wave; a new way to diagnose pancreatic cancer; why STI’s are more common; mosquitoes; ticks in unsightly places; and more.
Interviews with staffers suggest there were managerial problems beneath Dr. Leana Wen’s tenure. But the former chief’s departure also highlights an organization at a philosophical crossroads. Where Wen wanted to treat abortion less as a war and more as a health care issue, other leaders in the organization see an aggressive leader as necessary in this time of crisis. Meanwhile, cracks are appearing in the anti-abortion movement, as well, even as members rack up victories.
But, experts warn, the overdose death rate is still about seven times higher than it was a generation ago. And overdose deaths from synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, are still trending up.
Previously undisclosed data–obtained by The Washington Post and HD Media, publisher of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia–on the distribution of painkillers during the epidemic cements drug companies as the target for blame. The numbers reveal “clear heinous, criminal distribution that has visibly contributed, if not caused, the crisis our country is facing with opioid use disorder,” the anti-drug group Shatterproof said in a statement. The drug companies are facing thousands of lawsuits over the issue. News on the epidemic comes out of New York, Tennessee, Arizona and Kansas, as well.
Although the guidance shifts costs to insurers, the companies have actually been pushing for the flexibility to begin providing coverage for those treatments, such as glucose or blood-pressure monitors, because people who don’t get ongoing treatment for a disease can have their condition worsen, leaving insurers paying even more for their care.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the lawmaker isn’t seeking to block the bill–which was thrust into the spotlight following a congressional appearance from comedian Jon Stewart–but that he wants to add a provision to pay for it. Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee had earlier placed a procedural hold on a floor vote for the bill.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
Research is being performed to see if children can learn to identify emotions and interact with people by using technology. Other advances like Alexa could also help, researchers claim, adding that rigorous testing needs to take place. Public health news also looks at: simple ways to avoid heat wave deaths; Elon Musk’s experiments for paralyzed patients; the link behind fewer children’s deaths and universal background checks; a new way to manage menstrual cycles; Latin America’s TV ad redo to fight obesity in children; paying people to stop smoking; links between early puberty and migraines in girls; benefits of going barefoot; and more.