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Morning Rounds

Black patients are being left out of clinical trials amid wave of new cancer therapies

Black patients aren’t getting early access to experimental cancer drugs that could improve or extend their lives, according to a new analysis from ProPublica. While African-Americans make up 13.4 percent of the U.S. population, the analysis found that fewer than 5 percent of study participants were black in clinical trials for 24 of the 31 cancer drugs approved since 2015. And while the lack of black participants stands out in ProPublica’s analysis, there appear to be gaps in participation of other minority groups as well. ProPublica’s Caroline Chen and Riley Wong have more in a story published on STAT — read here.

Tuberculosis is still seen as a massive global health failure

The number of new tuberculosis infections and TB-related deaths fell slightly in 2017, the WHO reports. But the fact that an estimated 10 million people were infected with TB — and 1.6 million people died from infections that could have been prevented or cured — is still seen as massive global health failure. “Governments continue to tackle the world’s deadliest infectious disease with lethal mediocrity,” said Sharonann Lynch, HIV & TB policy advisor for Doctors Without Borders’ Access Campaign. Lynch said countries need to test and treat more people, noting that 40 percent of people with TB aren't diagnosed.

The report will be ammunition for advocates hoping next week’s high-level meeting on tuberculosis — held in conjunction with the U.N. General Assembly — will galvanize countries to take more aggressive action. 

One in seven U.S. adults has diabetes3c3c03eb-ead2-4257-b1a7-8430ed411081.png

An estimated 4 percent of adults in the U.S. don’t know that they have type 2 diabetes, according to new data just released by the CDC. Here’s a look at the numbers:

  • Between 2013 and 2016, 14 percent of U.S. adults had any kind of diabetes. Of those, 9.7 percent had been diagnosed and 4.3 percent hadn’t.

  • Diabetes grew more common with age. Just over 3 percent of adults ages 20 to 39 had diabetes, compared to 16 percent of adults ages 40 to 59 and 28 percent of adults age 60 and older.   

  • The prevalence of diabetes was higher among men, 16 percent of whom had diabetes. Just over 12 percent of women had diabetes.

FDA launches new anti-vaping push targeted at teens

Hot on the heels of a crackdown on e-cig sales to minors, the FDA is launching a new educational campaign targeted toward teens. The initiative, dubbed "The Real Cost," will use online ads and posters in schools to reach the nearly 10.7 million young people ages 12 to 17 who the FDA says have tried e-cigs or are open to doing so. “Even as we consider the potential benefits of innovative tobacco products and the role that some such products may play in reducing harm to current adult smokers, the FDA won’t tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

Burnout is common among medical residents

Nearly half of all resident physicians in the U.S. experience at least one major symptom of burnout, such as emotional exhaustion, according to new research. Researchers followed nearly 3,600 participants from their fourth year in medical school to their second year of residency and found burnout rates were even higher in some specialties, including neurology, general surgery, and emergency medicine. That’s cause for concern: Not only can burnout take a significant toll on physicians themselves, but it could also contribute to errors in patient care, the authors say. The good news from the study: The majority of residents are still satisfied with their career choice.

Medicaid expansion tied to fewer financial troubles

New research finds that Medicaid expansion in Michigan was tied to significant improvements in financial well-being among people newly covered under the program. Researchers looked at credit reports and health care use among new Medicaid enrollees and found that enrollment was associated with fewer unpaid bills, including medical bills. It was also tied to fewer instances of spending over a credit card limit, evictions, and bankruptcies. The group that saw the biggest gains: people with greater medical needs, such as those with chronic illness.

What to read around the web today

  • To help Alzheimer's patients, a care center recreates the 1950s. Wall Street Journal
  • The salt industry is secretly backing plans for a salt health study in prisons. Buzzfeed
  • In unlikely alliance, PhRMA sides with landlords in Calif. referendum on rent control. STAT
  • From Syria to Southern California: Refugees seek care for wounds of war. Kaiser Health News
  • Facing criticism, CVS may modify its new cost-effectiveness program for covering some drugs. STAT Plus

Thanks for reading! More tomorrow,


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Wednesday, September 19, 2018


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