U.S. News & World Report: Asthma researchers were puzzled to find that the condition is extremely rare in Amish communities, where children are exposed to more dust and allergens than children in typical American communities. A new study dives into this phenomenon and the results suggest some unconventional ways to prevent asthma.
New York Times: Implanting human stem cells into animal embryos is an ethically complicated scenario that sounds right out of science fiction. But the National Institutes of Health plans to lift its ban on these experiments in the not-too-distant future. Do the benefits outweigh the costs?
Reuters: The framing of gun violence as a public health issue is becoming less and less controversial. According to a recent survey, most Americans think it’s OK for doctors to talk with patients about guns: 30 percent said it should be saved for specific situations, while 23 percent said the conversation is appropriate any time.
STAT News reports new medical schools are launching across the country to address a projected physician shortage. They’re promising innovative curriculums that let aspiring doctors spend time on research, working in community health settings, and following the same patients for months — but they face big obstacles. Last fall, Notes discussed an innovative semester within the Boston Combined Residency Program that has a similar focus.
NPR reports that companies like Theranos and WellFX continue to stir things up n the world of patient-initiated lab tests. While doctors warn of over-testing and false positives, others feel individuals deserve to make their own decisions about certain screenings. Vector covered the controversy over “consumerizing medicine” last winter.
You may already know that antibiotics are widely over prescribed in the United States. But the problem is worse than you might think, according to a study discussed this week in the Washington Post. Earlier this month, Notes shared news about ResistanceOpen, a project of the HealthMap team at Boston Children’s that is mapping pockets of antibiotic resistance across the country.
Learn more about how HealthMap is putting big data to work for the greater good.
Racism, not race, contributes to health disparities.
STAT reports medical school curricula traditionally leave little room for nuanced discussions about the impact of race and racism on health, physicians and sociologists say. That mind-set can lead to misdiagnoses, such as treating sickle cell anemia as a largely “black” disease.
Reuters reports that on a study that shows parents have a poor understanding of how much sleep children need. One in four parents thought children need less sleep than is recommended, while one in five thought children need more sleep than what experts advise. Boston Children’s Judith Owens, MD, provided insight on the study noting that children can suffer health issues if parents don’t have a good understanding of sleep problems.
Are expensive treatment centers preying on vulnerable families?
The New York Times reports the advertising and the profusion of for-profit eating disorder centers, which typically cost $1,000 a day but can run much higher, is raising concerns among some eating disorders experts, who worry that some programs may be taking advantage of vulnerable patients and their families. Boston Children’s Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, provides insight.