Latest Morning Briefing Stories

MRIs For Women With Dense Breast Tissue Caught More Cancer But Also Resulted In A Lot Of False Alarms

KHN Morning Briefing

About half of women over 40 have dense breasts and about 10% have very dense ones. That raises their risk of developing cancer and makes it harder to spot on mammograms if they do. But, like in other sectors of health care, the dilemma remains about whether the extra screening is worth the false alarms it brings. In other women’s health news: postpartum care, depression, asthma during pregnancy, and violence against girls.

Memories Can Drive The Desire To Drink But They Can Also Be Tweaked To Help Curb Those Urges With Ketamine’s Help

KHN Morning Briefing

Memories and environmental cues can trigger a relapse in someone struggling with alcoholism. Researchers have started playing with the idea of tinkering those memories and cues to prevent that very thing from happening. In other public health news: Eastern equine encephalitis cases, gene editing, psychological growth, caregiving, probiotics, and more.

More E. Coli Illnesses Linked To Romaine While Health Experts, Farmers Look For Ways To Prevent Contamination

KHN Morning Briefing

On Tuesday, the CDC reported 67 people in 19 states have been sickened. “It’s heartbreaking and frustrating,” said Dan Sutton, a lettuce grower in San Luis Obispo, Calif. “We will have to change how we farm leafy greens.” Ahead of Thanksgiving, news focuses on eating disorders, allergies, being “hangry,” exercising, and fresh food vending machines, as well.

Veteran Health Care ‘Whenever, Wherever They Need It’: Use Of Telemedicine Spikes 17%

KHN Morning Briefing

Veterans Affairs has rolled out a telemedicine app, offers services online and in rural areas is opening telehealth clinics at VFWs. State restrictions were dropped for the VA, allowing VA physicians and nurses to administer care to veterans via telemedicine across state borders, regardless of state licensing. Other news on veterans is on treatment for toxic exposures and a tragic discovery.

Americans’ Life Expectancy Drops For Third Year In Row, Signaling There’s ‘Something Terribly Wrong’ Going On

KHN Morning Briefing

Researchers say the grim new reality isn’t just limited to rural deaths of despair, but rather the numbers reflect that many different people living in all areas of the U.S. are struggling. “We need to look at root causes,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, the author’s lead study. “Something changed in the 1980s, which is when the growth in our life expectancy began to slow down compared to other wealthy nations.”

Trump Signs Order Creating Task Force To Comb Chronic Violence Against Native American Women

KHN Morning Briefing

On some reservations, federal studies show women are killed at a rate over 10 times the national average. “We will leverage every resource we have to bring safety to our tribal communities, and we will not waver in this mission,” President Donald Trump said. “We’re taking this very seriously.” The new task force will be overseen by Attorney General William Barr and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Mark Your Calendars: Supreme Court Sets Date For First Major Abortion Case With New Conservative Justices On Bench

KHN Morning Briefing

Arguments will be heard March 4. The Louisiana case deals with abortion providers having admitting privileges in hospitals, but it stands as a larger bellwether to how restrictive the Supreme Court — which has two new conservatives — will lean in this era of fierce battles of abortion rights. A similar case was ruled as unconstitutional before the new justices on the bench.

Increasingly Bitter Personal Rivalry Between Azar And Verma Threatens To Derail Administration’s Health Goals

KHN Morning Briefing

Politico reports on the escalating feud between HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma and the disruptions people close to the situation say it has caused. Privately, Azar’s and Verma’s camps are pointing the finger at one another, and disclosures about Verma’s use of highly paid consultants to raise her personal profile exacerbated the tensions.

‘Trying To Reduce Anxiety’: Instagram Explores Ways To Take Away Likes, Improve Mental Health

KHN Morning Briefing

By removing users ability to see how many likes their followers got but allowing them to see likes on their own posts, might make social media less stressful. But marketing agencies say the change would not be beneficial for businesses looking to market through high-profile users. Other news on mental health comes from California, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Illinois.