Health News Roundup

CT’s colorectal cancer screening disparities, and more in this week’s roundup

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Targeting disparities in colorectal cancer screening
Elizabeth Heubeck, Connecticut Health I-Team, Aug. 17
Screening methods such as colonoscopies significantly reduce the risk of death from colon cancer, yet fewer than 80% of age-eligible Connecticut residents are up to date on them. Black and Hispanic residents lag behind their white age-eligible counterparts, and fewer than 50% of the uninsured among the state’s residents are up to date on these life-saving screenings. But health care and advocacy organizations are working to close these disparities.

Vaccination rates among youths in Connecticut cities are dramatically lower than their suburban peers
Amanda Blanco, The Hartford Courant, Aug. 15
Fewer than half of kids ages 12-15 in Connecticut are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus — and statewide estimates mask stark disparities. A number of Connecticut’s wealthiest towns have COVID-19 vaccination rates above 70% for the 12-17 age group, while fewer than 30% of kids that age are fully vaccinated in Waterbury, Hartford, and Bridgeport, and less than one-third in New Haven. Racial disparities are also clear.

Racial inequities persist in health care despite expanded insurance
Roni Caryn Rabin, The New York Times, Aug. 17
The new issue of the journal JAMA offers studies on disparities in the utilization of health care services and in overall health spending. Together, the findings paint a portrait of a nation still plagued by medical haves and have-nots whose ability to benefit from scientific advances varies by race and ethnicity, despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act greatly expanded insurance.

Studies show white people still dominate health care spending in US, despite efforts to even out disparities 
Virginia Langmaid, CNN, Aug. 17
Two new studies show white people dominate health care spending in the U.S., despite decades of efforts to equalize health care access. White people spent an estimated $8,941 per person on health care in 2016 — around double of the estimated per-person spending of Hispanic and Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander individuals. Per-person spending for Black people was closer to that of white people, but significantly lower for outpatient care and higher for inpatient and emergency department care, indicating a potential lack of access to preventive care, the researchers wrote.

Delta has changed the pandemic endgame 
Ed Yong, The Atlantic, Aug. 12
Cases of COVID-19 are rising fast. Vaccine uptake has plateaued. The pandemic will be over one day — but the way there is different now.