Health News Roundup

Long-covid patients of color feel unheard, and more in this week’s roundup

To get these headlines delivered to your inbox every week, sign up for our weekly health news roundup.

Long-covid patients of color are tired of being sick and neglected
Akilah Johnson, The Washington Post, May 29
Jeanine Hays has had a wide variety of ailments since getting a mild covid infection at the start of the pandemic. The 45-year-old has been forced to learn how to live with long covid, the symptoms of which were often dismissed by medical providers. That is especially true for patients of color according to clinicians and public health researchers. Linda Sprague Martinez, head of the Health Disparities at UConn Health, has studied the impact of long covid on Black and Latino communities in Massachusetts. “They were going to the doctor and sometimes weren’t being taken seriously,” she said.

After George Floyd’s death, many declared racism a public health crisis. How much changed?
N’dea Yancey-Bragg and Krystal Nurse, USA Today, May 25
In 2020, many communities declared racism a public health crisis in response to protests over George Floyd’s murder, and as the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted people of color. By 2022, more than 300 local and state officials had acknowledged the crisis. “Progress is steady but slow. But I think that’s to be expected when we’re talking about making major shifts in policy and an impact,” said Dawn Hunter, a public health lawyer based in Florida. An analysis of the declarations found that they varied greatly in what they pledged to do. The proposed actions fell into four categories: data and accountability, policies and programs, community engagement and funding.

Grocery market to launch in a CT city neighborhood. There is a need it hopes to fill
Kenneth R. Gosselin, The Hartford Courant, May 27
A new food shopping alternative in one of Hartford’s most impoverished neighborhoods hopes to offer a unique approach to bringing fresh, healthy groceries to the area. The Grocery on Broad will sell fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and ingredients to make meals at discounted prices based on individual and family income. The discounts can also be combined with other low-income subsidies such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The hope is for the model to be expanded to other neighborhoods where it is also challenging to find and buy nutritious foods.

NIH-funded clinical trials often miss racial, gender diversity enrollment goals, report finds
John Wilkerson, STAT News, May 29
A new study found that clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health often enroll fewer Black patients and other underrepresented racial groups than planned. Though researchers who apply for NIH funding are required to explain how they plan to enroll patients who are representative of the population that would be affected by what is being studied, those goals were often not met. Clinical trials also missed targets for female participants more often than they did for male participants.

New obesity drugs are seemingly everywhere. Black Americans feel left out
Anissa Durham, STAT News, May 29
GLP-1 drugs, such as Ozempic, are transforming the treatment of diabetes and obesity. However, many Black Americans worry they are being left behind. Black adults have among the highest rates of diabetes and obesity, but studies have found that they are less likely to be prescribed GLP-1 drugs. Medical experts said they have seen disparities in how Hispanic and Black patients are treated when trying to access the drugs. Access largely depends on insurance status, the ability to pay out-of-pocket costs, and whether a pharmacy has it in stock.