Opinion writers weigh in on these health care issues and others.
Los Angeles Times: There’s A Loneliness Crisis On College Campuses
According to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, the increase in utilization rates for counseling centers across the country over the last five years has greatly outpaced the increase in student enrollment, and as a result, schools have trouble hiring enough mental health counselors to keep up with growing demand. The most recent Healthy Minds Survey, an annual report on mental health on college and university campuses, found that one-third of undergraduate students in the United States wrestle with some kind of mental health issue, while more than 10% struggle with thoughts of suicide. The Cooperative Institutional Research Program’s large annual survey of college freshmen has noted a marked and steady downward trend in the self-reported emotional health of students along with a large uptick in self-reported feelings of being overwhelmed. (Varun Soni, 7/14)
The Hill: The Link Between Sugary Drinks, Cancer And Poor Neighborhoods
As I leave the lakefront downtown Chicago neighborhood where I work and head toward my home in a predominately black neighborhood, the commercial food landscape changes drastically. In my community, “red juice drink” replaces bottled water supplemented with electrolytes at the checkout lines. That is why a large study reporting that sugar sweetened beverage intake increases the chance of developing certain cancers caught my attention. Even if you rightly approach findings from observational studies of nutrition and disease with some skepticism, the body of evidence pointing to health harms from dietary habits, still gives pause. (Mercedes Carnethon, 7/13)
The New York Times: You Call It Starvation. I Call It Biohacking.
The run happened — or didn’t — maybe five days into the raw-diet experiment. I had formed a sort of fitness pact with a friend to forgo cooked food, and after days of nothing but salads, almonds, sashimi and black coffee, my body felt taut and ready for action. (Thomas Stackpole, 7/11)
Stat: Compounding Pharmacies Need Stricter Federal Oversight
Millions of Americans use compounded drugs created by a pharmacist or physician who combines, mixes, or changes a drug’s ingredients to meet individuals’ needs. They trust the 7,500 or so compounding pharmacies that do this work.That trust is sometimes misplaced. In 2012, for example, contaminated steroid painkillers mass-produced by the now-defunct New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., killed more than 100 people and sickened more than 750 others in 20 states. Barry Cadden, the center’s president, and Glenn Chin, a pharmacist, were sentenced to prison for their roles in the tainted-drug scandal. (Andrew L. Yarrow, 7/15)
The New York Times: Democrats Shouldn’t Be So Certain About Abortion
President Trump’s best chance for re-election lies in getting Democrats to approach complicated, tender issues with a tone-deaf, incoherent stridency that approaches his own. Unfortunately, he may be well on his way to doing just that. According to some progressives, Democrats need to learn from Mr. Trump’s style of politics and name enemies, draw harder lines and callously stoke the animosities that roil Americans’ lives for partisan advantage. (Michael Wear, 7/13)
The Hill: There Needs To Be A Shift In The Culture Of Medicine
Since the implementation of the 80-hour physician residency training work week in 2003 by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the medical community has debated whether or not this was going to impact patient care and mortality. A new observational study in the British Medical Journal, demonstrated no difference in patient mortality, admission, readmissions or costs for internal medicine physicians who trained under these new regulations. (Sameena Rahman and Erin Paquette, 7/13)
The Washington Post: Black Lung Disease Cases Grow, While Federal Program’s Financing Suffers
Like the miners who work underground in dark and dangerous conditions, black lung disease is, for many, largely out of sight, out of mind. But for folks such as Gary Hairston, who spent more than 27 years in the mines around his Beckley, W.Va., home, the ailment is ever-present. He lives with it. Many have died of it. (Joe Davidson, 7/14)
Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky Opioid Crisis: Response Program For Business To Aid Employers
Kentucky employers have a growing awareness of the devastating impact the opioid epidemic is having on our state. They know that this epidemic is more than a public health issue. It is also a serious workforce issue that must be addressed — with employers playing a key role — if they are going to meet their challenges of finding and retaining workers. As Jonathan Copley, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kentucky, puts it: “As business leaders, we cannot sit idle in the face of this epidemic. We must be an active part of the solution to recover our citizens and our workforce.” (Beth Davisson, 7/11)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.