Archive for the 'Health' Category

Racism’s chronic stress likely contributes to health disparities

Monday, November 13th, 2017

NPR Health News: You, Me And Them: Experiencing Discrimination In America. “Scientists Start To Tease Out The Subtler Ways Racism Hurts Health.”

“Both studies investigated the impacts of specific, dramatic events — and the results were consistent.

“You could time exactly when it happened,” says Geronimus. “We could measure before and after.”

But she views such events as merely slivers of insight into patterns that may quietly be happening on a much larger scale among many populations. Patterns that are harder to tease out and measure — like the effects of centuries of racism against black Americans, or a persistent series of incidents involving police brutality against minorities.

Maybe, Geronimus says, the cascade of stress that such events initiate sets the stage for health disparities in a generation of children — before they even enter the world.”

Erhöhte Ruthenium-Werte – kein Unfall in einem Kernkraftwerk

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

Deutsche Welle: Französischer Bericht über Nuklear-Vorfall: Erhöhte Radioaktivität kam aus Russland oder Kasachstan. “Ende September hatten Wetterstationen in Westeuropa erhöhte Werte von radioaktivem Ruthenium-106 gemessen. Pariser Experten glauben nun eine Erklärung gefunden zu haben.”

Bericht vom 09.10.2017: Was ist Ruthenium-106? “Seit Tagen werden in Europa winzige Mengen Radioaktivität in der Luft gemessen. Das Ruthenium-106 soll irgendwo aus dem Ural stammen. Einen Atomunfall schließen Experten aus. Es soll harmlos sein. Und sonst?”

Näheres zu Ruthenium und der Immission im September/Oktober bei Wikipedia.


Die Zeit: Ruthenium: Leicht erhöhte Radioaktivität aus dem Ural. “Rätselhaft, aber wohl harmlos. Seit Tagen werden in Europa winzige Mengen Radioaktivität gemessen. Strahlenexperten vermuten, dass das Ruthenium-106 aus dem Ural kommt.” Meldung vom 08.10.2017.

“Von den Partikeln gehe keine Gefahr aus. Ihre Konzentration in der Luft sei sehr gering. “Selbst bei konstanter Einatmung über den Zeitraum von einer Woche ergibt sich daraus eine Dosis, die niedriger ist als die, die durch die natürliche Umgebungsstrahlung in einer Stunde aufgenommen wird”, heißt es in einer Mitteilung des Umweltministeriums. Die gemessene Dosis ist 100.000 mal kleiner als jene, ab der Maßnahmen zum Schutz der Bevölkerung notwendig seien.”

Defeating Shingles

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

The New York Times: No Excuses, People: Get the New Shingles Vaccine.

“Dr. William Schaffner, preventive disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said, “This vaccine has spectacular initial protection rates in every age group. The immune system of a 70- or 80-year-old responds as if the person were only 25 or 30.”

“This really looks to be a breakthrough in vaccinating older adults,” agreed Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, a physician and researcher at the National Institutes of Health.

What’s causing the enthusiasm: Shingrix, which the pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline intends to begin shipping this month. Large international trials have shown that the vaccine prevents more than 90 percent of shingles cases, even at older ages.”

Link via MetaFilter.

I will keep an eye on when this vaccine will be available here in Germany for sure.

Hier in Deutschland bzw. in der EU ist Shingrix noch nicht zugelassen, aber die Zulassung wurde bereits im November 2016 bei der EMA beantragt und wird für 2018 erwartet. (Quelle: Robert Koch Institut)

“Mothers die too often because women’s health isn’t valued in the US”

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Vox: California decided it was tired of women bleeding to death in childbirth. “The maternal mortality rate in the state is a third of the American average. Here’s why.” By Julia Belluz, Jun 29, 2017.

“[T]here’s been a decline in access to contraception and abortion in many parts of the US, leading to more unplanned, unwanted — and, in some cases, more dangerous — pregnancies.

The opioid epidemic certainly hasn’t made births safer for moms, and health care access remains poor for low-income and minority women, who have among the worst maternal health outcomes.”


“Large employers in California, including Disney and Apple, as well as insurance payers have recognized that making births safer saves them money. They’ve supported CMQCC by helping pressure hospitals to follow the steps to protect women in the workforce – and avoid incurring unnecessary costs that drive up insurance premiums.”

Emphases mine.

ProPublica and NPR: The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth. By Nina Martin, ProPublica, and Renee Montagne, NPR, May 12, 2017.

“The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and 60 percent are preventable. The death of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse, in the hospital where she worked illustrates a profound disparity: The health care system focuses on babies but often ignores their mothers.”

ProPublica: Lost Mothers. “An estimated 700 to 900 women in the U.S. died from pregnancy-related causes in 2016. We have identified 134 of them so far.” By Nina Martin, ProPublica, Emma Cillekens and Alessandra Freitas, special to ProPublica, July 17, 2017.

Links via MetaFilter.

“I was appalled by the number of people affected by lead contamination in water.”

Friday, October 20th, 2017

NPR the two-way: Troubled By Flint Water Crisis, 11-Year-Old Girl Invents Lead-Detecting Device.

“Gitanjali Rao, 11, says she was appalled by the drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich. — so she designed a device to test for lead faster. She was named “America’s Top Young Scientist” on Tuesday at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn.”