Health News Roundup

Earlier breast cancer screening may benefit Black women, and more in this week’s roundup

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Earlier breast cancer screening would narrow mortality gap for Black women, U.S. study finds
Deena Beasley, Reuters, Oct. 18
Racial disparities in breast cancer survival could be cut by more than half if Black women received mammograms starting at age 40, according to a new study.

The flu proves more deadly for children of color than for white youths, study says
Catherine Roberts, The Washington Post, Oct. 11
As flu season nears, recent research has revealed that there are racial disparities in flu deaths, with the greatest disparities among children under 5. Similar to the COVID-19 pandemic, differences in flu vaccination rates and factors such as diabetes or asthma contribute to these racial and ethnic disparities.

Debt after death: The painful blow of Medicaid estate recovery
Sarah True, U.S. News, Oct. 14
A policy set in 1993 mandated states to attempt to recover long-term care costs from Medicaid beneficiaries 55 and older after death. Oftentimes buried in paperwork, this information can escape notice or comprehension. The practice of pursuing estate claims can have a crushing effect on low-income individuals and communities of color.

A racial disparity in schizophrenia diagnoses in nursing homes
Robert Gebeloff, The New York Times, Oct. 15
Diagnoses for schizophrenia have skyrocketed in the last decade due in part to a loophole in regulations related to antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes. A new study revealed that the impact of this has been more severe on Black nursing home residents, who face higher health risks of being misdiagnosed as schizophrenic.

COVID and cancer: A dangerous combination, especially for people of color
Laurie McGinley, The Washington Post, Oct. 11
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed many cancer diagnoses and treatments, which will likely result in an increase in cancer deaths in the coming years. The impact has already begun to disproportionately affect communities of color, especially as COVID-19 remains a serious threat in many parts of the country.