Life Expectancy In U.S. Drops For First Time In Decades, Report Finds

One of the fundamental ways scientists measure the well-being of a nation is tracking the rate at which its citizens die and how long they can be expected to live.So the news out of the federal government Thursday is disturbing: The overall U.S. death rate has increased for the first time in a decade, according to an analysis of the latest data. And that led to a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993, particularly among people younger than 65."This is a big deal," says...
Read More

One of the fundamental ways scientists measure the well-being of a nation is tracking the rate at which its citizens die and how long they can be expected to live.

So the news out of the federal government Thursday is disturbing: The overall U.S. death rate has increased for the first time in a decade, according to an analysis of the latest data. And that led to a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993, particularly among people younger than 65.

Fighting Opioid Abuse In Indian Country

Dec 7, 2016
Pew Charitable Trusts

AUBURN, Washington — When Misty Jones looks back on her drug-using years, she sees a pattern. Since she was 18, she’s been having babies, using drugs, losing custody of her babies, and trying to quit drugs so she can get them back.

Medicaid Coverage For Addiction Treatment Varies Dramatically

Dec 6, 2016
Dave Winer/via Flickr

When Ashley Hurteau, 32, was arrested in 2015, she faced a list of charges for crimes she committed to finance a drug craving she had struggled with for more than a decade.

“I wasn’t using it to get high,” she said. “I was using it to survive.”

Homeless, uninsured and addicted to heroin, Hurteau, a New Hampshire resident, had tried and failed to get help. Services came at a price she couldn’t afford.

If you're curious about what people really think about some of the hottest of hot-button food controversies, the Pew Research Center has just the thing for you: a survey of attitudes toward genetic modification, organic food and the importance of eating healthfully.

The survey results are published in a 99-page report that can keep you occupied for days. But if you're pressed for time, here are some of the most interesting highlights that caught our eye.

Derek Midgley/via Flickr

This week - President-elect Trump's pick to run Medicare and Medicaid helped shape health policy in Indiana - is it a harbinger of what's to come? ... Quit smoking when you're older and it still might reduce your chances of getting sick. ... The price of one drug jumped 5,241 percent in 5 years, and its rise isn't the only one.  ... These and more ...

BAYLOR SCOTT & WHITE RESEARCH INSTITUTE

According to the World Health Organization, tuberculosis now kills more people worldwide than HIV/AIDS, and cases of the disease have increased in Texas. In 2015, there were more than 1,300 cases of tuberculosis reported in the state.

Courtesy of Seema Verma

President-elect Donald Trump has picked Seema Verma, a healthcare consultant who has helped shape health policy in Indiana, for a key role in the federal government. Verma will head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the part of the Department of Health and Human Services that includes Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  

It's Never Too Late To Quit Smoking, Even In Your 60s

Nov 30, 2016

Older people who smoke may think there's no reason to give up the habit. After all, hasn't the damage to their bodies already been done?

But it turns out there's a benefit to quitting even later in life. Research published Wednesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that older adults who quit smoking in their 60s had a lower chance of dying in the years that followed than contemporaries who kept smoking.

Costs Of Widely Prescribed Drugs Jumped 5,241 Percent In Recent Years

Nov 29, 2016
Coburn Dukehart/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Jess Franz-Christensen did not realize the seriousness of her son’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis until staff in the doctor’s office offered to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

Her next shock: The cost of Jack’s medicines.

Getting the flu while pregnant doesn't appear to increase the child's risk of being diagnosed with autism later on, a study finds, and neither does getting a flu shot while pregnant.

Pages

Subscribe to the Side Effects newsletter.

Weekly rundowns of the nation's public health news plus special series' and events from Side Effects.