What’s Behind Rise Of STDS Among Young People?: Epidemic Alarms Health Officials As Prevention Funding Drops
CDC officials say they're not sure why younger people who are having less sex are acquiring more STDS, but a new bill moving through the House to increase spending on STD prevention could help. Public health news is on CBD, pros and cons of genetic tests, limiting sports time for teens, childhood obesity, insecticides, getting young kids hooked on sugar, smart aging, and dementia, as well.
The Wall Street Journal:
Public-Health Puzzle: Young People Having Less Sex, Contracting More STDs
It sounds contradictory: Young people, we’re told, are having less sex than older generations did at the same age. But they’re also contracting more sexually transmitted diseases than any other group, and the rates of infection are accelerating at an alarming pace. Last year, combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia reached an all-time high with half the reported infections occurring in adolescents and young adults ages 15 to 24. (McGinty, 10/18)
CBD May Be Natural, But Is It Safe?
Hemp cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis extract largely unknown a few years ago, has become so popular that some Americans take a spoonful every day. People are vaping CBD, drinking CBD-infused coffee and snacking on CBD-infused chocolates in the hopes of easing their aches, pains and anxiety. But the health benefits of cannabidiol are unclear, and many products hitting the market haven’t been made in clean, permitted facilities or tested for toxic pesticides, heavy metals and bacteria, according to state officials, hemp businesses and news reports. (Quinton, 10/19)
Genetic Tests For Psychiatric Drugs Now Covered By Some Insurers
As a teenager, Katie Gruman was prescribed one mental health drug after another. None seemed to help her manage symptoms of anxiety and bipolar disorder, so she self-medicated with alcohol and illicit drugs. It would take five years, and trying more than 15 different medications, before she found meds that actually helped. (Dangor, 10/17)
Competitor Accuses 23andMe Of 'False Negatives' In Cancer-Gene Testing
When 23andMe received government permission in 2017 to sell health-related genetic testing, it came with several conditions, including that the company tell customers that its brand of testing can miss disease-causing variants. Now, in a study presented on Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, a competitor has analyzed the likelihood of such “false negatives,” concluding that in some ethnic groups the chance that 23andMe’s tests will miss a cancer-causing DNA variant is 100%. 23andMe pushed back hard on that conclusion from DNA testing company Invitae (NVTA). “It is patently wrong to state that 23andMe delivers ‘false negatives’ for variants that it does not test nor claim to test for,” said a company spokesman. “This is a false and misleading characterization of 23andMe’s test.” (Begley, 10/17)
The New York Times:
Parents Should Limit Sports Participation For Children, Trainers Say
Too many children are risking injuries, even lifelong health problems, because they practice too intensively in a single sport, and parents should set limits on their participation, according to a leading organization of athletic trainers. New recommendations issued by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association urge parents to ensure that children and adolescents postpone specializing in one sport for as long as possible, that they take at least two days off each week for rest and that they not play a single sport for more than eight months a year. (Rabin, 10/17)
Childhood Obesity Is Rising 'Shockingly Fast' — Even In Poor Countries
High rates of childhood obesity are a problem in a rising number of low- and middle-income countries, according to a new global assessment of child malnutrition by UNICEF. It's the agency's most comprehensive nutrition report in two decades. The report paints a complex, dire picture of the state of children's health. (McDonnell, 10/17)
The New York Times:
A Nazi Version Of DDT Was Forgotten. Could It Help Fight Malaria?
What if, after the Allies won World War II, world health officials had employed a Nazi version of DDT against mosquitoes that transmit malaria? Could that persistent disease, which still infects more than 200 million people a year and kills 400,000 of them, have been wiped off the planet? That is one of the musings of chemists at New York University who came across an insecticide that had been developed by German scientists during World War II in the course of conducting abstract research on another topic. (Chang, 10/17)
The Washington Post:
How The Baby Food Industry Hooks Low-Income Toddlers On Sugar, Salt And Fat
Leading health organizations recently released their first consensus recommendations about what young children should be drinking: only breast milk or, if necessary, infant formula until a baby is six months old, with water introduced around then, and plain cow’s milk at around their first birthday. That’s it. No juice, no flavored or plant-based milks, no caffeinated beverages or sodas. The good news is parents of infants seem to be on the right track — breastfeeding is on the rise. But once children get into the toddler zone, it’s pandemonium. (Reiley, 10/17)
The New York Times:
You’re Only As Old As You Feel
Not long ago, Stephanie Heller, a New Jersey realtor, was leaving her gym after a workout when she noticed a woman in the parking lot struggling to bend down. “I don’t know if she dropped something and had to pick it up, or if her shoe was untied,” Ms. Heller said, but she eagerly bounded over to help. The woman blamed old age for her incapacity, explaining that she was 70. But Ms. Heller was 71. (Laber-Warren, 10/17)
The New York Times:
Can Personality Affect Dementia Risk?
Your personality in high school may help predict your risk of dementia decades later. Researchers reached this conclusion using a 150-item personality inventory given to a national sample of teenagers in 1960. The survey assessed character traits — sociability, calmness, empathy, maturity, conscientiousness, self-confidence and others — using scores ranging from low to high. For their study, in JAMA Psychiatry, scientists linked the scores of 82,232 of the test-takers to Medicare data on diagnoses of dementia from 2011 to 2013. (Bakalar, 10/17)