Health News Roundup

How addressing housing can target asthma and more in this week’s health news roundup


Connecticut looks at tackling housing issues to treat asthma
Nicole Leonard, WNPR, May 28
Asthma affects about 12 percent of children and 10 percent of adults in Connecticut, and rates are higher in urban areas. State officials estimate that this condition accounts for nearly $100 million a year in emergency room and hospitalization costs. Experts say prescribing treatment for the symptoms of asthma is no longer enough; health workers need to help families address the underlying issues that cause or exacerbate the condition. There are efforts underway in Connecticut to design more services to address the role housing and environmental issues play in health conditions, including asthma.


Aggressive uterine cancers rising, particularly for black women
Eileen Drage O’Reilly, Axios, May 24
Women aged 30-70 — particularly black women — have been getting aggressive and deadly types of uterine cancer at higher rates in recent years, according to new research published by the National Cancer Institute. Certain rarer types of uterine cancer have been rising more rapidly than others, with non-Hispanic black women having the lowest survival rates — and scientists don’t know why.

Half of HIV patients are women. Most research subjects are men.
Apoorva Mandavilli, The New York Times, May 28
Women and men respond differently to HIV infection, but women are far less likely to be included in clinical trials of treatments and potential cures. Among the barriers: Women with HIV tend to be isolated, and may not advocate for themselves. They may need help with child care or transportation, or be more comfortable with female doctors — accommodations few trials offer. For women of color, there is an additional hurdle: mistrust resulting from a long history of exploitation by medical researchers.


A secret to better health care
Robert E. Rubin and Kenneth L. Davis, The New York Times, May 27
Health care is at the center of the national policy conversation, but for all the talk about how to increase access and reduce costs, we’re missing a critical piece of the puzzle: the inverse relationship between health care costs and spending on social programs. One reason the United States spends more on health care than any other nation is that we spend far less on social services like food stamps, free school lunches and public housing. Yet there are promising examples that show the multidimensional benefits of social spending.