A report from the March of Dimes says that more than 2.2 million US women of childbearing age live in maternity care deserts -- areas with no hospitals offering obstetric care, no birth centers and no obstetric care providers -- and another 4.8 million live in counties with limited access to maternity care. The report was based on county-level data for 2017 and 2018 from the Area Health Resources Files, and it found that about 35% of US counties are maternity care deserts.
Children whose mothers used marijuana during pregnancy were more likely to experience externalizing disorders such as lashing out at others or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as well as internalizing disorders such as anxiety and depression, researchers reported in JAMA Psychiatry. The findings, based on data involving youths born to almost 10,000 mothers in the US, also showed that those exposed to prenatal marijuana were more likely to have problems sleeping well and socializing with others and had a higher risk of developing mental health problems such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or schizophrenia.
Research on breast milk and SARS-CoV-2 finds more evidence surfacing that shows breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic is safe for babies. "We're certainly seeing very, very few babies who are infected. It's almost certainly safe to breastfeed," said Dr. Jim Thornton, an obstetrician and professor at the University of Nottingham in the UK.
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The US is reporting an average of more than 43,000 new COVID-19 cases per day and at least 22 states are seeing increases in newly reported infections. CDC Director Robert Redfield told a Senate panel this week that over 90% of the US population is still susceptible to COVID-19, which has already infected about 6.9 million and killed more than 200,000 people across the US.
CDC Director Robert Redfield said during a Senate committee hearing that a COVID-19 vaccination program inoculating 350 million Americans could take several months to complete. About 700 million vaccine doses are expected to be available by next spring, and a program distributing the vaccine could take until July, Redfield estimated.
A study in PLOS Medicine showed Black and Hispanic people were more than two times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than white people, even after accounting for type of residence, site of care and underlying health conditions. The research, based on health records from over 5.8 million Veterans Affairs patients, did not find any difference in 30-day mortality among the groups.
A study in the journal Cancer found that Black women with breast cancer, especially those receiving radiation treatment, had a higher likelihood of experiencing delayed and prolonged treatments, compared with whites, and the association between socioeconomic status and prolonged treatment was greater among Black women. Researchers also found that among women with barriers to care, radiation and surgery correlated with 22% increased odds of treatment delays, compared with a 1.6% higher prolonged treatment risk with chemotherapy and surgery, while financial and transportation issues were associated with 15% and 25% higher odds, respectively, of prolonged treatment among those undergoing radiation and surgery.
Researchers found that adults who had fewer than four hours or over 10 hours of daily sleep had elevated cognitive decline levels and faster cognitive decline, compared with those who slept for seven to nine hours daily. The findings in JAMA Network Open were based on data from two studies, which involved a total of 20,065 individuals ages 48 to 75 who were followed for around eight years.
A study in JAMA Oncology showed that individuals with advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer who drank a cup of coffee daily had 11% and 5% higher overall and progression-free survival rates, respectively, compared with those without daily coffee intake. The findings also correlated at least four cups of daily coffee intake to 36% and 22% better overall survival and progression-free survival rates, respectively.
Researchers studied over 3.5 million singleton children born from 1995 to 2015, 1.44% of which had autism spectrum disorder, and found that 4.7% were born preterm and that the relative risk for ASD rose by each week of gestational ages from 40 weeks to 24 weeks and from 40 weeks to 44 weeks. The findings in PLOS Medicine also showed that the relative risks for ASD were estimated at 2.31 in children born in weeks 22 to 31, 1.35 in those born in weeks 32 to 36 and 1.37 in those born in weeks 43 to 44, compared with children born in weeks 37 to 42.