Health News Roundup

Asthma disparities persist in CT, and more in this week’s roundup

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Asthma disparities persist due to range of environmental factors
Cris Villalonga-Vivoni, Record-Journal, May 12
Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in the U.S., yet it disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic people – including children. For 18 year-old Aracelis Santos Torres of Meriden, having asthma that put her in the emergency room as a young child made her more vigilant of her environment and its potential impact on her breathing.

‘We’re failing to make progress’: Studies show ongoing toll of premature Black deaths
Usha Lee McFarling, STAT, May 16
In the last two decades, Black Americans have suffered 1.63 million excess deaths and lost more than 80 million years of life compared to white Americans, according to a new analysis that is the first comprehensive attempt to quantify the impact of health disparities by tallying years of potential life lost. The analysis found the brunt of excess deaths was due to the loss of infants and older Americans, and that a leading cause of excess mortality, in addition to heart disease and cancer, was infant mortality.

A Yale hospital program aims to pay $1,000 to victims of violent crimes to promote healing
Sujata Srinivasan, Connecticut Public, May 12
A first-of-its-kind hospital-based pilot project aims to give money to people who’ve been injured by violence to help them in their recovery. One hundred victims, mostly young men recovering from gunshot wounds, will receive $1,000 each. The program will be evaluated to determine its impact on violence intervention. In the U.S., violence is a leading cause of disability and death among teenagers and young adults.

Black patients far less likely to receive key opioid addiction medication, study finds
Lev Facher, STAT, May 10
A new study revealed that white patients in need of addiction care received medication treatment at more than twice the rate of Black patients. The authors cited the racial segregation of health care, discrepant incarceration rates, disproportionate enrollment in Medicaid, and increases in fentanyl in urban areas as among factors contributing to the racial disparity in access to addiction care.

Health care in rural Connecticut faces key challenges, officials say
Katy Golvala, The Connecticut Mirror, May 15
For residents living in rural Connecticut, getting health care isn’t always easy. State officials, health care leaders, and advocates gathered in eastern Connecticut recently to discuss issues of transportation, staffing, and revenue that cause barriers to accessing health care. While some of these issues are similar to challenges faced in Connecticut’s urban areas, there may be differences in the approach to solutions based on the geographic areas.