Health Care Is New Front for Transgender Rights Under Trump
5/3/2018 11:13:55 AM

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar   WASHINGTON—Military service. Bathroom use. Job bias. And now, health care. The Trump administration is coming under fire for rewriting a federal rule that bars discrimination in health care based on “gender identity.” Critics say it's another attempt to undercut acceptance for transgender people. The Health and Human Services Department rule dates to the Obama administration, a time when LGBT people gained political and social recognition. But a federal judge in Texas said the rule went too far by concluding that...

CDC Chief Asks for, and Gets, Cut to His Record $375K Pay
5/3/2018 11:10:31 AM

By Mike Stobbe   NEW YORK (AP)—Government officials say the new head of the top U.S. public health agency has asked for—and will receive—a cut to his record-setting pay. Officials are not yet saying what Dr. Robert Redfield Jr.'s new salary is. The 66-year-old HIV researcher was picked in March to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His annual compensation was set at $375,000. That sum was at least $150,000 more than any previous CDC director had received. It also was well above the compensation of other top federal health...

Science Says: Amount of Straws, Plastic Pollution Is Huge
4/26/2018 2:21:21 PM

By Seth Borenstein   WASHINGTON—Cities and nations are looking at banning plastic straws and stirrers in hopes of addressing the world's plastic pollution problem. The problem is so large, though, that scientists say that's not nearly enough. Australian scientists Denise Hardesty and Chris Wilcox estimate, using trash collected on U.S. coastlines during cleanups over five years, that there are nearly 7.5 million plastic straws lying around America's shorelines. They figure that means 437 million to 8.3 billion plastic straws are on the entire world's...

New Data: Americans Filling Far Fewer Opioid Prescriptions
4/26/2018 2:20:34 PM

The number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year, showing their biggest drop in 25 years and continuing a decline amid increasing legal restrictions and public awareness of the dangers of addiction, new data show. Health data firm IQVIA's Institute for Human Data Science released a report Thursday showing an 8.9 percent average drop nationwide in the number of prescriptions for opioids filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies. All 50 states and the District of Columbia had declines of more than 5 percent. Declines topped 10 percent...

Mental Health and Guns an Issue After Waffle House Attack
4/26/2018 2:17:39 PM

By Sheila Burke   NASHVILLE, Tenn—Without knowing who he was or what he might do, police briefly had Travis Reinking in their sights days before the deadly assault on a Waffle House restaurant. Alerted to the theft of a BMW from a car dealer last week, officers decided against a risky police chase, knowing the car had a GPS device and could soon be located. Sure enough, the car was recovered the same day, outside Reinking's apartment. But police didn't figure out who stole it until Sunday, after the Waffle House attack. By then, police say, the...

Covered California Offers Special Enrollment Opportunity for Those Who Missed Chance for Health Insurance Last Winter
4/19/2018 9:57:48 PM

Covered California’s annual open-enrollment period may be over, but if you are still uninsured, you may be able to get financial assistance to help you purchase the health coverage you need. That was the case for Josefina Meneses of Compton, who lost her insurance when her husband Mario Alberto lost his job—just six months after she was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer. While open enrollment was over, the Meneses signed up for Covered California during its special-enrollment period in spring of 2017 and kept the coverage needed to treat the tumor on...

Mission Possible: Celebrating Women’s Strength and Persistence
4/19/2018 9:56:04 PM

By Pattie Tucker BSN, MPH, DrPH The National Women’s History Project is celebrating this year’s National Women’s History Month with the theme, Nevertheless, She Persisted. This year’s theme reminds me of countless diverse American women who persisted and made great contributions to our nation’s history. First, there is Graciela Gil Olivarez, who was born during the 1930s and raised in a segregated community in Arizona. As a young adult, Olivarez developed a strong confidence in her abilities to learn. Years later a philanthropist asked Olivarez to...

Former First Lady Barbara Bush in Failing Health
4/19/2018 9:51:07 PM

By Michael Graczyk HOUSTON—Former first lady Barbara Bush is in “failing health” and won't seek additional medical treatment, a Bush family spokesman said Sunday. “Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care,” spokesman Jim McGrath said in a news release. McGrath did not elaborate as to the nature of Bush's health problems. She has been treated for decades for Graves' disease,...

Getting Kids to a Good Weight by 13 May Help Avoid Diabetes
4/12/2018 8:29:33 PM

By Marilynn Marchione There may be a critical window for overweight kids to get to a healthy level. Those who shed their extra pounds by age 13 had the same risk of developing diabetes in adulthood as others who had never weighed too much, a large study of Danish men found. Diabetes can develop when the body can't properly use insulin to turn food into energy. Being overweight at any age raises the chances of the most common form, Type 2. But it's not known whether or how much that risk is reduced if people lose weight, and when. “This study seems to suggest that...

Healthcare practitioners need to ensure beneficence, justice and respect for all.
4/12/2018 8:28:23 PM

Study: Blacks and Whites Differ in Their Willingness to Participate in Health Research Studies Racial and ethnic minorities, especially Africa-Americans are significantly less likely to participate in health-related research than whites, says a new study from Ball State University. This impedes the testing, development, implementation, and evaluation of various clinical and community based disease prevention and health promotion interventions, said said Jagdish Khubchandani, a community health education professor in Ball State's College of Health and author of the study...