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Health News Results - 321

America's waistline keeps widening.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 16 states now have at least 35% of their residents who are obese, a number that's nearly doubled since 2018.

The CDC's 2020 Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps now show that Delaware, Iowa, Ohio and Texas have joined Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,...

With the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, fewer Americans are uninsured and more are getting their blood pressure and blood sugar under control, a new study finds.

The gains are especially strong among Black and Hispanic patients, according to Boston University researchers.

"Our results suggest that over the longer-run, expanding Medicaid eligibility may improve key chronic di...

The decades-long U.S. opioid epidemic could be hitting Black people harder than white folks as the crisis enters a new phase.

Opioid overdose death rates among Black Americans jumped nearly 40% from 2018 to 2019 in four states hammered by the epidemic, researchers found.

Fatal ODs among all other races and ethnicities remained about the same during that time.

This represents a...

Black Americans and Mexican Americans typically develop type 2 diabetes up to seven years earlier than their white counterparts, a new study finds.

In all, more than 25% of adults in the two groups reported being diagnosed with diabetes before age 40, and 20% didn't know they had the disease.

Researchers said the findings highlight the need to address economic and social conditions ...

Malignant brain tumor rates are declining among U.S. adults, but patients still have a low chance of survival, a new study finds.

The researchers also found that rates of noncancerous tumors are on the rise, likely due to increased awareness and improvements in diagnosis.

"Although the molecular understanding of how brain cancers differ from each other is advancing rapidly, we conti...

All births are not created equal, new U.S. research reveals: Differences in the quality of hospital care contribute to a higher chance of complications among Black and Hispanic newborns compared to white and Asian infants.

The analysis of more than 480,000 live births at term (at least 37 weeks' gestation) in New York City from 2010 through 2014 found that the overall rate of unexpected ...

Racial and ethnic minorities in the United States are severely underrepresented in clinical trials testing cutting-edge treatments for pancreatic cancer, researchers say.

"There are a ton of obstacles to get these patients into clinical trials," said senior author Dr. Jose Trevino, chairman of surgical oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. "But this is how we're...

In a paradoxical finding, new research reveals that more Americans of color have access to health insurance now than they did 20 years ago, but their perceptions of their health status have not improved at all.

The study, published Aug. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, paints a sobering picture.

In the bit of good news, researchers found that bet...

Black American liver transplant recipients have a lower survival rate than Hispanic or white patients, and a new study suggests that alcohol-related liver disease and insurance coverage are key reasons.

"Our findings are a huge wake-up call that physicians and other health care professionals need to do better in delivering equitable care," said study leader Dr. Brian Lee, a liver transpla...

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) reduced the ranks of uninsured Americans, but a recent study shows that many U.S. states did little to close racial gaps in health coverage.

Researchers found that in the two years after the ACA came into force, some U.S. states showed large reductions in the number of Black, Hispanic and low-income residents who were uninsured.

Other states, however, s...

There are many factors that affect your longevity after experiencing a heart attack. And now, new research finds that your neighborhood could play a key role in your long-term survival.

The researchers found that patients in poorer neighborhoods had a lower chance of survival over five years, and that Black patients in those neighborhoods had a lower chance than white patients.

"Thi...

Could reducing racial disparities in health care be as simple as lowering the age at which Americans qualify for Medicare?

Yes, claims a new study that suggests lowering eligibility from age 65 to age 60 could go a long way toward addressing inequities in health insurance, access to care and self-reported health decline.

Racial and ethnic disparities in insurance coverage fall by mo...

White men are more likely to a receive correct and timely diagnosis of heart failure in their primary care doctor's office compared to other types of patients, new research shows.

The serious and common heart ailment is too often missed in women, Blacks and poorer people when they see their health care provider for a regular appointment, the Stanford University researchers said.

T...

Unlocking a clue to why Black women might be more susceptible to COVID-19, a new study shows that low levels of vitamin D may increase their risk of infection.

That doesn't mean that people should rely on vitamin D supplements to protect themselves against COVID-19, however, because vaccines are the only proven protection against the disease.

For the study, researchers assessed vita...

Black men in the United States have higher rates of prostate cancer than white men, yet they were far less likely to have surgery for their cancer during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from a Pennsylvania urologic database to compare prostate removal (prostatectomy) rates among Black and white patients who had untreated prostate cance...

Young people aren't immune from severe COVID-19, and a new study warns that some are more at risk than others.

Folks under 45 have more than triple the risk for severe COVID-19 if they have cancer or heart disease, or blood, neurologic or endocrine disorders, according to Mayo Clinic researchers.

"One of the surprising findings was that almost every single chronic condition category...

Bullying remains a threat to American teens, and a new study reveals which kids may be at highest risk.

Race-based bullying takes a heavy toll on teens, the research found, but minority kids who are picked on for other reasons -- whether gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability or immigration status -- suffer a double whammy.

Victims' physical and mental health suffer a...

People of color are consistently less likely to see medical specialists than white patients are, a new U.S. study finds, highlighting yet another disparity in the nation's health care system.

Researchers found that compared with their white counterparts, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans had significantly fewer visits to doctors of various specialties -- ranging from...

If you thought the air was cleaner at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, you weren't imagining it. But clean skies were less evident in poorer areas of the United States, a new study finds.

COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns reduced overall levels of nitrogen dioxide air pollution in many U.S. cities. However, levels remained higher in poorer, minority neighborhoods than in richer, whi...

Black Americans admitted for inpatient hospital care are far more likely than white patients to experience safety-related health complications -- even when both are treated in the same facility, a new report warns.

And having good insurance didn't appear to bridge racial differences in patient safety, investigators found: Even when Black patients had coverage similar to their white peers,...

Exactly how deadly has the coronavirus pandemic been in the United States? New research confirms it has had a big hand in slashing life expectancy by a year and a half.

That's the lowest level of life expectancy since 2003 and the largest one-year decline since World War II, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

"This was a very serious event. I...

The U.S. medical field is less dominated by white men than it used to be, but there are still few Black and Hispanic doctors, dentists and pharmacists, a new study finds.

The study, which looked at trends over the past 20 years, found that white men no longer make up the majority of physicians and surgeons in the United States.

By 2019, they accounted for about 44% of those position...

A noninvasive method of screening for endometrial cancer often fails to detect signs of it in Black women, a new study says.

The findings raise questions about the use of transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) to determine the need for a biopsy in these patients, according to the authors.

"Black women have an over 90% higher [death] rate after diagnosis of endometrial cancer when compared w...

The coronavirus pandemic has left plenty of Americans saddled with medical bills they can't pay, a new survey reveals.

More than 50% of those who were infected with COVID-19 or who lost income due to the pandemic are now struggling with medical debt, according to researchers from The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates a high-performing health care system.

"T...

Language barriers and distrust of the health care system are among the reasons why many Black and Hispanic Americans are reluctant to get COVID-19 vaccines, a new study finds.

The two groups -- which have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic -- have followed safety precautions such as mask use and testing, but are hesitant about getting vaccinated.

To find out why, Rutge...

Extreme heat strikes poor and minority neighborhoods in U.S. cities harder than those that are wealthier and mainly white, a new study finds.

"The distribution of excess urban heat varies within cities, and as a result, communities do not share a city's extreme heat burden equally," said study co-author Jennifer Burney. She's chair of global climate policy and research at the University o...

Opioid addiction treatment has become more widely available to Medicaid recipients under the Affordable Care Act, but Black patients are much less likely than white patients to get that treatment, a new study finds.

"Opioid use disorder can be treated, just like any other disease, but treatment is most successful when the patient has regular, unimpeded access to trained clinicians who can...

Black churches could prove crucial in improving COVID-19 vaccination rates among Black Americans, a new study suggests.

The COVID-19 death rate among Black Americans is three times higher than among white Americans, and health officials had hoped that vaccines would narrow that gap.

However, Black communities are disproportionately affected by barriers to vaccination, such as limite...

A major U.S. hospital system had a strong rebound in most cancer screening tests after a steep drop-off in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows.

The findings are based on an analysis of data from the Boston-based Mass General Brigham system. Depending on the type of test, between March and June of 2020, the number of cancer screenings dropped off between 65% a...

Millions of American adults haven't seen a dentist in at least a year, a new U.S. government health survey reveals.

In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic made dental visits difficult, a third of adults under 65 hadn't had a dental exam or cleaning in the past 12 months, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And the problem was worse in ...

California plans to approve reparations of up to $25,000 to some of the thousands of people who were sterilized decades ago by the state's government.

California will be the third state -- after Virginia and North Carolina -- to compensate victims of the so-called eugenics movement that peaked in the 1930s, the Associated Press reported. Supporters of the movement believed it was...

Due to language barriers, 25 million Spanish speakers receive about a third less health care than other Americans, a large study of U.S. adults shows.

The analysis of federal survey data from more than 120,000 adults revealed that total use of health care (as measured by spending) was 35% to 42% lower among those whose primary language is Spanish compared to English speakers.

"Too f...

While multiple sclerosis can cause a wide swath of symptoms and challenges for anyone diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, a new study finds that race may play a role in disease severity.

Researchers discovered that Black individuals with MS may be more severely affected by the disease, but also that this added impact persisted even when differences in income were considered. The same w...

Most cancer patients have a good immune response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, new research shows.

Two of the three approved vaccines in the United States -- Pfizer and Moderna -- are mRNA vaccines.

Researchers assessed 131 cancer patients and found that 94% developed antibodies to the new coronavirus three to four weeks after their second dose of a mRNA vaccine.

Patients' median...

Racial disparities in breast cancer survival have narrowed in recent years, but Black women with the disease still have double the death rate of white women.

That's according to a study that tracked breast cancer trends in Florida between 1990 and 2015. Overall, deaths from the disease declined among Black, Hispanic and white women alike -- with the improvement being greater among minorit...

Breast and cervical cancer screenings dropped sharply among low-income minority women during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

That could lead to delayed cancer diagnoses, health consequences and an increase in existing disparities, the agency warned.

The new findings "reinforce the need to safely maintain routine health care services d...

A gene variant may be driving high rates of unnecessary bone marrow biopsies in Black Americans, researchers say.

The variant is responsible for lower white blood cell levels in some healthy Black people, the investigators said.

"We've essentially created this racial health disparity by not fully considering how genetic variation affects white blood cell levels," said study co-autho...

Despite being particularly susceptible to severe COVID-19, many U.S. teen and young adult cancer survivors are wary of vaccination, a new study finds.

Cancer survivors often have weakened immune systems and are more likely to develop severe respiratory infections. That puts them at greater risk from COVID, so it's strongly recommended that they get vaccinated.

In the new study, rese...

Black American military veterans with aggressive prostate cancer who would benefit from surgery or radiation are less likely to get those treatments than men of other races, despite equal access to health care, a new study finds.

"Despite great strides in prostate cancer care over the past few decades, racial disparities in care persist, and there remains a lot to be done to better unders...

Most Americans with dementia are undiagnosed, which shows how important it is to screen and assess seniors for the disease, researchers say.

Their new analysis of data from a nationwide survey of about 6 million Americans aged 65 and older revealed that 91% of people with cognitive impairment consistent with dementia did not have a formal medical diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disea...

Black Americans with cirrhosis -- late-stage liver disease -- are much less likely to receive a liver transplant and more likely to die than white patients, new research reveals.

For the study, researchers at Northwestern Medicine analyzed data from all cirrhosis patients, regardless of transplant eligibility, at seven large liver centers in Chicago.

Compared to white patients...

The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a significant blow to life expectancy in the United States, researchers say.

Overall, American life expectancy dropped by just over one year in 2020. But researchers found the pandemic hit minority groups even harder, shaving more than three years off the life expectancy of Hispanic people and almost two years off that of Black people.

The numbers "give y...

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered the largest decline in U.S. life expectancy since World War II, a new study finds.

Between 2018 and 2020, overall life expectancy in the United States fell by 1.87 years.

But there were significant racial differences. Life expectancy fell 1.36 years among whites, 3.25 years among Blacks and 3.88 years among Hispanics, researchers say.

The decre...

Cost and lack of time are among the reasons parents don't enroll their kids in swimming lessons, a new survey finds.

"Swimming is one of the most important life-saving skills that children and adults should master. Whether for fun or for exercise, swimming will serve them well for the rest of their lives, and it's never too early to start learning," said Dr. Matthew Davis, chair of medici...

It's been more than six months since Brandy Compton last landed in a hospital emergency room.

That's an amazing medical achievement, brought about by scientific breakthroughs that have been unfortunately overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, experts say.

Compton, 31, was born with sickle cell disease, a genetic condition that primarily affects people of African descent.

T...

Black COVID-19 patients in the United States are more likely to die than white patients, but there would be 10% fewer deaths among Black patients if they could get the same level of hospital care as white people, according to new research.

"Our study reveals that Black patients have worse outcomes largely because they tend to go to worse-performing hospitals," said study co-author Dr. Dav...

The U.S. fast-food industry has boosted spending on ads targeting kids, especially Black and Hispanic youth, new research shows.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on ad spending and TV ad exposure for 274 fast-food restaurants and found that annual spending hit $5 billion in 2019, up more than $400 million between 2012 and 2019.

"Fast-food consumption by children and teen...

Rates of breast cancer-related genetic mutations in Black and white women are the same, according to a new study that contradicts previous research.

It found that about 5% of both groups of women have a genetic mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer.

"The findings challenge past, smaller studies that found Black women face a greater genetic risk and the suggestion th...

The vast majority of editors at leading medical journals are white - with few of those influential spots going to Black or Hispanic professionals, a new study finds.

The study comes on the heels of a controversy that prompted the resignation of the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

It all started in February when Dr. Ed Livingston, a JA...

What can make a young person vulnerable to eating disorders? Teasing them about any extra pounds they may carry, researchers say.

"Our findings add to the growing evidence that weight-based mistreatment is not helpful and is often harmful to the health of young people," said study leader Laura Hooper, a PhD student at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, in Minneapolis.<...