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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Morning Rounds by Megan Thielking

Good morning, everyone! Welcome to Morning Rounds. For more STAT stories, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

Transgender identity shouldn't be classified as a mental illness, study says

Transgender identity is currently classified as a mental disorder by the WHO, but a new study finds that doesn’t need to be the case. Psychiatrists interviewed 250 transgender people in Mexico City and found that gender incongruence itself didn’t seem to be behind distress or other symptoms of mental illness. Rather, they found, experiences of social rejection and violence were stronger predictors of whether a transgender person experienced mental illness. One catch: 80 percent of the participants were transgender women who were male at birth, so it’s possible the research didn’t fully capture the experience of transgender men. The study — which is currently being replicated in a handful of countries around the world — was published in Lancet Psychiatry.

Bill Clinton calls out Hillary's work in health care

Bill Clinton spent his primetime speech running the parts of Hillary Clinton's resume that many Americans might not be familiar with — including some of her work in health care. He pointed to her work expanding primary care in rural Arkansas during their days in Little Rock. "It was a big deal then, highly controversial and very important," the former president said in his 45-minute speech. He also recast her biggest health care failure: the 1990s health care reform push. Despite the very public defeat for a major bill, he said, "Hillary immediately went to work on solving the problems the bill sought to address one by one." Bill singled out the Children's Health Insurance Program, which Clinton heavily advocated for as First Lady and now covers more than 8 million children.

What stomach squeezing says about the gut microbiome

Where the magic happens. (Courtesy Raghuveer Parthasarathy)
Researchers studying the stomachs of zebrafish have stumbled upon an interesting discovery: The way the stomach squeezes plays a part in how gut bacteria interact with one another. To understand how the physical environment of the gut itself impacts the microbiome, scientists used 3-D microscopy to map how bacterial populations in the guts of the fish changed as the stomach shifted around. 

"The functions in the gut really are changing the interactions between the bugs," University of Oregon's Judith Eisen, paper co-author, told me. "So you can't look at the bugs in the test tube and predict how they're going to act in a fish, or a mouse, or a person." 

sponsor content by cvs health

Addressing the impact of chronic disease by rethinking patient care and delivery 

Half of American adults have at least one chronic condition. As Americans assume more financial responsibility for their care, there is increasing consumer demand for low-cost and convenient care settings to address patients’ needs. To meet this demand, CVS Health is leading development of, as well as partnering to provide, more alternative sites of care, such as MinuteClinic locations, in-home infusion care and telehealth options through mobile devices and MinuteClinic.

Inside STAT: Brazil residents battle with polluted water every day 

Lianne Milton for STAT
Water pollution is a part of daily life for many in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Untreated sewage plants are common in crowded urban slums, causing everything from vomiting and diarrhea to skin disease among residents. Hepatitis A is frequently contracted from the polluted waters. Rio's Olympic committee promised that the polluted Guanabara Bay — which will host the sailing competition — would be 80 percent clean in time for the games, but locals say it's nowhere close. STAT's Melissa Bailey reports on the situation from Brazil — read here

Who visits the ER most often for brain injury  

Kids under the age of 15 visit the emergency room for traumatic brain injury more often than any other age group, according to new data out from the CDC this morning. It’s the first national survey of its kind on how often patients present with TBI in ERs and hospitals in the US. The most common cause of brain injury: Falls. About 17 percent of people who presented in the ER with TBI had experienced an accidental strike or hit from another person or object — like what you’d see in some sports — making it the second most common cause of TBI that brings people to the ER.

Naturopath conference gets underway with focus on consumers

There’s a major naturopath conference kicking off this morning, and this year, the practitioners are setting side a specific day just for interacting directly with consumers. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is hosting a day just for consumers on Saturday that includes “family fun” as well as access to samples of an abundance of natural products and expert info from naturopathic doctors. The convention’s sponsors include vitamin companies, who’ve been bankrolling efforts to help get naturopaths licensed on the state level.

Americans split on gene editing to prevent disease

Adults in the US are split on whether they’d want to see gene editing used to prevent diseases in newborn children, finds a new poll from Pew Research Center. About 48 percent of people said they’d be OK with the use of genetic engineering to prevent disease, while 50 percent said they wouldn’t be. But a majority — 70 percent — said they’re worried human enhancement technology will become available to the public before it is fully tested or understood.

What to read around the web today

  • As opioid epidemic surges, medical schools must change to keep pace. NPR
  • How queer scientists are shaping their future. Wired
  • Questioning the way a Google-backed health insurer wants to disrupt the industry. Vox 
  • After a brain bleed, I picked through scattered memories for years. Washington Post

More reads from STAT

Thanks for reading! More tomorrow,

Megan

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