Health

Federal Scientists Recommend Easing Restrictions on Marijuana
Health

Federal Scientists Recommend Easing Restrictions on Marijuana

Marijuana is neither as risky nor as prone to abuse as other tightly controlled substances and has potential medical benefits, and therefore should be removed from the nation’s most restrictive category of drugs, federal scientists have concluded.The recommendations are contained in a 250-page scientific review provided to Matthew Zorn, a Texas lawyer who sued Health and Human Services officials for its release and published it online on Friday night. An H.H.S. official confirmed the authenticity of the document.The records shed light for the first time on the thinking of federal health officials who are pondering a momentous change. The agencies involved have not publicly commented on their debates over what amounts to a reconsideration of marijuana at the federal level.Since 1970, mariju...
Researchers Scramble to Keep Dog Aging Project Alive
Health

Researchers Scramble to Keep Dog Aging Project Alive

In late 2019, scientists began searching for 10,000 Americans willing to enroll their pets in an ambitious new study of health and longevity in dogs. The researchers planned to track the dogs over the course of their lives, collecting detailed information about their bodies, lifestyles and home environments. Over time, the scientists hoped to identify the biological and environmental factors that kept some dogs healthy in their golden years — and uncover insights about aging that could help both dogs and humans lead longer, healthier lives.Today, the Dog Aging Project has enrolled 47,000 canines and counting, and the data are starting to stream in. The scientists say that they are just getting started.“We think of the Dog Aging Project as a forever project, so recruitment is ongoing,” said...
New Year’s Resolutions for Dealing With Anxiety
Health

New Year’s Resolutions for Dealing With Anxiety

The start of the new year often brings lofty ambitions.It’s 2024 — time to exercise and eat better, says a nagging voice, somewhere deep in your brain. What about learning to knit?It’s enough to make anyone feel anxious.For those who already struggle with anxiety, these heightened expectations can be even more distressing. Especially because research suggests that many of us don’t complete our New Year’s resolutions.So we asked several psychologists for resolutions specifically tailored to people with anxious tendencies. And we broke them down into bite-size steps so you can notch your successes along the way.But don’t feel pressure to tackle these tips just because it’s January.“It’s OK to take stock of your life at any moment and say, ‘Hey, what can I do differently?’” said Regine Galant...
F.D.A. to Issue First Approval for Mass Drug Imports to States from Canada
Health

F.D.A. to Issue First Approval for Mass Drug Imports to States from Canada

The Food and Drug Administration has allowed Florida to import millions of dollars worth of medications from Canada at far lower prices than in the United States, overriding fierce decades-long objections from the pharmaceutical industry.The approval, issued in a letter to Florida Friday, is a major policy shift for the United States, and supporters hope it will be a significant step forward in the long and largely unsuccessful effort to rein in drug prices. Individuals in the United States are allowed to buy directly from Canadian pharmacies, but states have long wanted to be able to purchase medicines in bulk for their Medicaid programs, government clinics and prisons from Canadian wholesalers.Florida has estimated that it could save up to $150 million in its first year of the program, i...
The Income Gap Jeopardizing Retirement for Millions
Health

The Income Gap Jeopardizing Retirement for Millions

Monique Louvigny, an event coordinator in the San Francisco Bay Area, economizes where she can. She drives a 10-year-old Prius, brings a thermos of coffee to work instead of patronizing a place with baristas, and takes advantage of a drive-through food pantry once a month.Laid off at 57, “I kind of reinvented myself,” she said. She rebuilt her career as a freelancer, overseeing receptions and conventions for many companies and institutions, including the local de Young and Legion of Honor art museums.But her income fell to less than $30,000 last year. “It’s erratic,” she said. “In January, I have 12 days of work.” In the summer, she might have only three or four.Ms. Louvigny, 64, feels fortunate on two fronts. For health insurance, she has qualified for Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid prog...
Paxlovid Cuts Covid Death Risk. But Those Who Need It Are Not Taking It.
Health

Paxlovid Cuts Covid Death Risk. But Those Who Need It Are Not Taking It.

As Covid rises again, killing about 1,500 Americans each week, medical researchers are trying to understand why so few people are taking Paxlovid, a medicine that is stunningly effective in preventing severe illness and death from the disease.A study of a million high-risk people with Covid found that only about 15 percent who were eligible for the drug took it. If instead half of the eligible patients in the United States had gotten Paxlovid during the time period of the research, 48,000 deaths could have been prevented, the authors of the study, conducted by the National Institutes of Health, concluded.It’s not because people don’t know about the drug — most do — but the reluctance seems to come from doctors worried about interactions with other drugs and people wary of a possible reboun...
More Women Who Are Not Pregnant Are Ordering Abortion Pills Just in Case
Health

More Women Who Are Not Pregnant Are Ordering Abortion Pills Just in Case

Behind the NumbersData from September 2021 through April 2023 showed 48,404 advance provision requests and 147,112 requests from women seeking to terminate existing pregnancies. (Women in both categories completed telehealth consultations and Aid Access evaluated their medical information before prescribing pills.)Advance provision requesters were more likely than those already pregnant to be 30 or older, white and childless, and to live in urban neighborhoods with lower poverty rates than the national average. That might be partly because Aid Access offers free or reduced-price services to pregnant patients who need financial assistance, while advance provision requesters were expected to pay the full $110 cost, Dr. Aiken said.And because few organizations offer advance provision, women f...
La variante JN.1 ya domina en EE. UU.
Health

La variante JN.1 ya domina en EE. UU.

Hasta donde saben los expertos, la JN.1 no parece causar enfermedad grave en la mayoría de las personas, aunque hasta un caso leve puede hacerte sentir “bastante mal durante tres o cuatro días”, señaló Schaffner. Los síntomas de una infección por JN.1 son similares a los que causaban las variantes anteriores de covid, pues incluyen tos, fiebre, dolor de cuerpo y fatiga.Para protegerte contra la infección y enfermedad grave, los expertos siguen recomendando el uso de mascarillas, mejorar la ventilación en interiores siempre que sea posible, quedarse en casa si se está enfermo y pomerse la vacuna más reciente contra la covid.Las investigaciones preliminares muestran que las vacunas actualizadas contra la COVID-19 lanzadas en septiembre producen anticuerpos efectivos contra la JN.1, que tiene...
Ohio Governor Blocks Bill Banning Transition Care for Minors
Health

Ohio Governor Blocks Bill Banning Transition Care for Minors

BackgroundLawmakers passed the measure earlier in December. Those in favor of the bill argued that parents are pressured by doctors to sign off on transition care treatments for their children. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Gary Click, said parents are “being manipulated by the physicians.’’In addition to banning transition care for minors, the bill says medical professionals who provide the care could lose their licenses and be sued. It also prohibits transgender girls and women from playing on high school and college sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.On Friday, Mr. DeWine said that if the bill were to become law, “Ohio would be saying that the state, that the government, knows better what is medically best for a child than the two people who love that child the...
Covid Variant JN.1 Now Accounts for Nearly Half of U.S. Cases
Health

Covid Variant JN.1 Now Accounts for Nearly Half of U.S. Cases

As the holiday season winds down and Covid-19 cases start to pick up, a variant called JN.1 has now become the most common strain of the virus spreading across the United States.JN.1, which emerged from the variant BA.2.86 and was first detected in the United States in September, accounted for 44 percent of Covid cases nationwide by mid-December, up from about 7 percent in late November, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To some extent, this jump is to be expected. “Variants take some time to get going,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Then they speed up, they spread widely, and just when they’re doing that, after several months, a new variant crops up.”JN.1’s momentum this month sug...