Thursday, February 22

Health

Will the Super Bowl Affect Fans’ Political Views? Bet on It.
Health

Will the Super Bowl Affect Fans’ Political Views? Bet on It.

Damian R. Murray, a psychologist at Tulane University, studies how various social circumstances and life events affect people’s political views. For instance, he found recently, becoming a parent makes a person grow more socially conservative. On the eve of the Super Bowl, he sat down for an interview with The New York Times to discuss another recent study, which examined how the political perspectives of sports fans can be altered by their teams’ wins and losses.This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.What inspired this work?These games are so emotionally potent, and people are so emotionally invested. The question is: What might be the downstream, real-world implications for things that have nothing to do with the sporting event itself? Are there consequences for poli...
H.I.V. Groups Warn of Privacy Risks in How C.D.C. Tracks Virus Samples
Health

H.I.V. Groups Warn of Privacy Risks in How C.D.C. Tracks Virus Samples

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday revised its guidelines for tracking the genetic signatures of viruses collected from people newly diagnosed with H.I.V., a controversial practice used by state and local health departments to curb infections.The updated policy encouraged health officials to be more transparent with their communities about the tracking, one of many changes sought by H.I.V. advocacy organizations concerned about how so-called molecular surveillance could violate patients’ privacy and civil rights.But the agency stopped short of adopting more significant changes that some advocates had pushed for, such as allowing health agencies to opt out in states where people can be prosecuted for transmitting H.I.V.“We’re in a period in which health data is increas...
J&J, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb CEOs Will Testify at Senate Hearing on Drug Prices
Health

J&J, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb CEOs Will Testify at Senate Hearing on Drug Prices

The chief executives of three major pharmaceutical companies are set to appear in front of the Senate health committee on Thursday to defend how much they charge for drugs in the United States, drawing them further into a confrontation with lawmakers and the Biden administration over the cost of some of the most widely used prescription medications.The three executives scheduled to testify — Joaquin Duato of Johnson & Johnson, Robert M. Davis of Merck and Christopher Boerner of Bristol Myers Squibb — are expected to clash with the health committee’s chairman, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who has made reining in drug prices a signature cause of his late-career years in Congress.Mr. Sanders plans to focus the hearing on why drug prices are higher in the United States...
Many Transgender Americans Face Stigma and Financial Hardship, Survey Finds
Health

Many Transgender Americans Face Stigma and Financial Hardship, Survey Finds

Transgender and nonbinary Americans experience stark rates of unemployment and harassment, according to the largest survey of their life experiences to date. The data reflect a longstanding pattern of discrimination at a time when states across the country have passed laws restricting their health care, bathroom access and participation in sports.The findings come from the U.S. Transgender Survey, which many researchers and policymakers have relied on since a version of it debuted in 2011. The National Center for Transgender Equality, an advocacy group, carried out the latest iteration of the survey in late 2022, garnering responses from more than 92,000 transgender and nonbinary Americans, age 16 and up, from every state in the country.The group released a preliminary analysis of response...
Cancer Diagnosis Like King Charles’s Is Not Unheard-Of
Health

Cancer Diagnosis Like King Charles’s Is Not Unheard-Of

A patient checks into the hospital for a routine procedure to treat an enlarged prostate. And, unexpectedly, a test done in the hospital — perhaps a blood test or an X-ray or an examination of the urethra and the bladder — finds a cancer.Apparently, something like that happened to King Charles III. When the British monarch was treated for an enlarged prostate in January, doctors found a cancer that the palace said is not prostate cancer. Charles started treatment Monday. The palace did not disclose what had led to the king’s diagnosis.While some prostate specialists like Dr. Peter Albertsen at the University of Connecticut called such situations “pretty rare,” other doctors said they were not unheard of.Dr. Otis Brawley, an oncologist at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, said a ma...
6 Reasons That It’s Hard to Get Your Wegovy and Other Weight-Loss Prescriptions
Health

6 Reasons That It’s Hard to Get Your Wegovy and Other Weight-Loss Prescriptions

About 3.8 million people in the United States — four times the number two years ago — are now taking the most popular weight-loss drugs, according to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, an industry data provider.Some of these prescriptions are for diabetes. The medicines are Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy (the same drug sold under different brand names), and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro and Zepbound (also the same drug).Pent-up demand is even higher, because many people who want the drugs cannot find or afford them. Without insurance coverage, people have to pay out of their own pockets. If they obtain a coupon offering a discount from Eli Lilly, people with commercial insurance pay $550 a month for Zepbound. For those who are commercially insured, a coupon from Novo Nordisk for Wegovy ...
When a Spouse Goes to the Nursing Home
Health

When a Spouse Goes to the Nursing Home

Even as the signals of approaching dementia became impossible to ignore, Joseph Drolet dreaded the prospect of moving his partner into a long-term care facility.Mr. Drolet, 79, and his beloved Rebecca, 71, both retired lawyers and prosecutors in Atlanta, had been a couple for 33 years, though they retained separate homes. In 2019, she began getting lost while driving, mishandling her finances and struggling with the television remote. The diagnosis — Alzheimer’s disease — came in 2021.Over time, Mr. Drolet moved Rebecca (whose surname he asked to withhold to protect her privacy) into his home. But serving as her round-the-clock caregiver, as she needed help with every daily task, became exhausting and untenable. Rebecca began wandering their neighborhood and “getting dressed in the middle ...
Heat and Wildfire Smoke Are Even More Harmful When Combined, a Study Says
Health

Heat and Wildfire Smoke Are Even More Harmful When Combined, a Study Says

Background: Global warming is intensifying both threats.As humans warm the planet, both heat waves and wildfires are becoming more severe and longer-lasting in the American West. That also means they are more likely to overlap. Researchers have estimated that two-thirds of California’s land area experienced broiling heat and heavy wildfire smoke concurrently at some point during the state’s record fire year of 2020.Both hazards are harmful to health on their own: Heat stress increases cardiac strain, and inhaling wildfire smoke can aggravate lung conditions. The new study, led by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, looked at the health effects when the two threats appeared in tandem.On exceptionally hot and smoky days, staying ...
U.S. Makes Initial Offers in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations
Health

U.S. Makes Initial Offers in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations

Why It Matters: The price offers kick off negotiations.The medicines selected for negotiations are taken by millions of Americans to treat conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The administration identified them in August, beginning a lengthy process intended to result in an agreed-upon price that would take effect in 2026, assuming the negotiation program survives legal challenges.The initial round of price offers is a key step in the negotiation process. Each drugmaker has until early March to accept the offer or propose a counteroffer to the government. A series of negotiation sessions could follow, with the process set to conclude by August.Health policy experts said the announcement of the initial round of offers amounted to a kind of starting gun, giving the Biden admin...
The Stanley Cup Lead Scare Is Not Something to Worry About, Experts Say
Health

The Stanley Cup Lead Scare Is Not Something to Worry About, Experts Say

You might have heard of the Stanley tumbler, the hip, trendy water bottle that has people camping outside stores or getting into fights to get their hands on one.They’ve become a fashion accessory, especially since Stanley has made use of influencer culture to target women and make sales of its tumblers skyrocket. The reach of the bottles has been amplified by social media users.But social media giveth and social media taketh away. In recent weeks, several widely shared posts on TikTok, Instagram, Reddit and X have amplified concerns Stanley cups may contain lead, with one X user calling it “The Leadening.” YouTubers have also jumped into the fray. One TikTok video on the topic was viewed nearly seven million times.Some Stanley owners, hoping to check the claims, started to use home lead-t...