Friday, April 8, 2022 | Kaiser Health News


Life expectancy in the United States falls further to 76.6 years

A clear sign of public health failure, American life expectancy has fallen for the second year in a row. In other news: opioids, food safety, mental health and a better way to measure BMI.

NPR: US life expectancy drops in 2021, after sharp drop in 2020

Despite the availability of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines, so many people died in the second year of the pandemic in the United States that the country’s life expectancy fell for the second year in a row last year. according to a new analysis. Analysis of provisional government statistics found that life expectancy in the United States fell by just under six months in 2021, adding to a dramatic drop in life expectancy that occurred in 2020. Experts in public health had hoped that vaccines would prevent another decline the following year. “The finding that we had a horrific loss of life in 2021 that actually lowered life expectancy compared to 2020 is very concerning,” says Dr Steven Woolf, professor of population health and science. Health Equity at Virginia Commonwealth University, who help conduct the analysis. “It speaks of a significant loss of life in 2021.” (Stein, 4/7)

CNN: US life expectancy continues historic decline with further decline in 2021, study finds

Changes in life expectancy amid the Covid-19 pandemic have widened an existing gap between the United States and other high-income countries, according to the new report. Among a set of 19 peer countries, life expectancy fell only a third of that in the United States in 2020 (decline of 0.6 years on average) and rebounded in 2021, with an average increase of about 0.3 years. Life expectancy in the United States has fallen from 78.9 years in 2019 to 76.6 years in 2021 – now more than five years less than the peer country average. (McPhillips, 4/7)

In the mental health news —

American Homefront Project: Veterans are at higher risk for eating disorders. The pressure of military life can be a cause

Navy veteran Chandler Rand has suffered from various eating disorders since childhood. She said she is healthy now, but describes her recovery as an ongoing process. She still has to struggle with negative thoughts about her body image and weight. “It’s like walking a tightrope, that’s what it means to me day to day,” Rand said. In 2016, Rand was a Marine. She was successfully treated for anorexia as a teenager, but after boot camp she started binging on food and became bulimic. “I don’t think I saw that as part of my eating disorder at the time,” Rand said. “I think I just saw it as part of being a good Marine.” (D’Iorio, 4/8)

Fox News: TikTok acts on children’s brains like a ‘candy store’ shortening their attention span: report

The way kids consume social media, especially on TikTok, likely negatively affects their attention spans, according to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal. “It is difficult to observe the growing trends in media consumption of all types, multimedia multitasking and ADHD rates. [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] in young people and not conclude that there is a decrease in their attention span,” said Dr. Carl Marci, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. While the link between ADHD and screen time is debatable, new research suggests the type of short, fast-paced videos kids consume today are partly responsible for why they have trouble participating in longer-term activities. (Sudhakar, 4/7)

Cincinnati Enquirer: Student Survey COVID-19 Mental Health Issues, Drops in Drug Use

Prevention First’s student survey of 26,260 students in grades seven through 12 in Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties shows that more than half of them (53.3%) report having high stress levels. One in 10 people report having suicidal thoughts. And 60% find it difficult to get out of a bad mood. Additionally: 38.8% said they felt nervous or anxious all or most of the time. Just over 24% said they felt depressed, sad or hopeless most of the time and 29.2% said they wanted to be alone all the time. There is also an indication that the children surveyed need more adults they trust, apart from their parents, to help them with their moods. (Demio, 4/7)

Bloomberg: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella warns of impact of all those late-night emails

Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella has warned that employee wellbeing could suffer from an ever-expanding workday that often extends late into the night. Nadella, whose company studied the impact of remote work on collaboration in an effort to improve its Teams software, cited Microsoft research showing that around a third of white-collar workers have a “third peak” of late night productivity based on keyboard activity. . Productivity typically spikes before and after lunch, but this third spike illustrates how remote working has broken down the already blurred lines between our work and home lives. Nadella, speaking at the Wharton Future of Work Conference on Thursday, said managers need to set clear standards and expectations for workers so they don’t have to respond to emails late at night. (Boyle, 4/7)

San Francisco Chronicle: Could California mandate a four-day work week? State bill pushes for change

As the pandemic and telecommuting upend where millions of Californians do their jobs, state lawmakers are considering whether to change when we work as well. A bill passed by the state legislature, AB2932, would change the definition of a work week from the current 40 hours to 32 hours for businesses with more than 500 employees, and would require overtime pay to work employees more than four full days per week. (Di Feliciantonio, 4/7)

In other public health news –

The Washington Post: Some ‘raised without antibiotics’ beef tests positive for antibiotics in study

A new study published in Science magazine has identified antibiotics in some beef cattle under a USDA-approved antibiotic-free labeling program recognized as the gold standard for restaurants and grocery stores nationwide. The study tested some 699 cows at an abattoir that processes cattle “raised without antibiotics”. Most cattle in the study tested negative for antibiotics. However, 10% of the cattle came from batches where one of the sampled cows had tested positive for antibiotics, the researchers found. Additionally, the study found that an additional 5% of cattle came from batches with multiple positive antibiotic tests. (Reiley, 4/7)

USA Today: ‘Dirty Dozen’ List Shows Highest Pesticide Levels in Fruits and Vegetables

What are the dirtiest fruits and vegetables at the grocery store? Strawberries, spinach and kale, according to a new report. On Thursday, the nonprofit advocacy organization Environmental Working Group released its annual “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists using data from the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. The Washington, DC group found that more than 90% of samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines and grapes tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides. Kale, collard greens and mustard, hot peppers and bell peppers contained the most pesticides. A single sample of kale, collard greens and mustard contained up to 21 different pesticides. (Martin, 4/7)

Press Association: Height-to-height ratio can guide you to better health, says NHS Watchdog

People should ensure their waist circumference is less than half their height to avoid health problems, an NHS watchdog has said. For the first time, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says adults with a body mass index (BMI) below 35 should measure their own height-to-height ratio as part of broader plans to tackle obesity. A BMI of 18 to 25 is considered a healthy weight, 25 to 30 is overweight, and over 30 is obese. Nice said that by using a height-to-height ratio, coupled with BMI, people can determine if they carry excess fat around their waist, which is known to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. high blood pressure and heart disease. . (Kirby, 4/8)

On the opioid crisis —

USA Today: ‘Magic mushrooms’ linked to lower risk of opioid addiction: study

A ‘mushroom craze’ may be getting even wilder after a new study suggests a psychedelic drug found in certain mushrooms may have addiction-protective effects. Harvard University researchers found that opioid use disorders were 30% less likely in people who used psilocybin compared to those who had never used it, the study found. published Thursday in Scientific Reports. Psilocybin is a compound found naturally in certain types of mushrooms that are consumed for their hallucinogenic effects, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (Rodriguez, 4/7)

Billings Gazette: Soldiers in Montana have already intercepted more fentanyl this year than in 2021

The Montana Highway Patrol has already intercepted more fentanyl this year than last, according to a press release issued Thursday by the state Department of Justice. As of mid-March, soldiers had seized 12,079 fentanyl tablets, three times the 2021 total of 3,800 tablets, the statement said. Arrests for fentanyl had already been on the rise since 2020, rising from just one that year to 17 in 2021. MHP also said the amount of methamphetamine so far seized this year — 33.3 pounds — puts the state on edge. on track to surpass last year’s 49.1 pounds. (4/7)

North Carolina Health News: Tension over best ways to spend opioid settlement money

The first payments from a $26 billion settlement in a multi-state opioid lawsuit are expected to arrive in states later this spring, and in North Carolina there are already disagreements over which groups are most qualified to receive the money. Over the course of 18 years, North Carolina will receive $750 million in opioid settlement funds from the deal struck with drug companies for their alleged roles in fueling the opioid epidemic. Most of the money will be sent to county governments in North Carolina to help people and communities affected by the overdose crisis. (Knopf, 4/7)


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