It's a mixed week in OB/GYN news, as always.
A Swedish study indicates that women who are overweight or obese at the time of the first pregnancy are more likely to develop diabetes in the next decade or two of their life. The risk of increase is six times baseline.
The eighth circuit court of appeal in St. Louis Missouri has taken the position that forcing employers to cover the cost of contraception through their insurance “ violates the groups religious freedoms".
In other news in the war on contraception, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that cutting off funds from Planned Parenthood for one year could "reduce healthcare access for about 390,000 people" and at least through the Planned Parenthood budget with sales tax payers about $235 million. They hasten to indicate that defunding the organization could result in"several thousand unplanned births that would drive up government costs elsewhere such as in the Medicaid budget which pays for 45% of all births in this country.
The Census Bureau reports that the percentage of people without health insurance dropped in 2014 to 10.4 % down from 13.3 % the year before.
In the department of general women's health the following finding is rather striking. When comparing the cost of institutional care for male Alzheimer's patients versus women's Alzheimer's patients the following is noted. The cost of caring for women with Alzheimer's is six times greater then for a man with the same diagnosis. This is because when man has Alzheimer’s, female family members put much more time and energy into their care, saving them from expensive institutionalization. The reverse is not true when male family members take care of women with Alzheimer’s.
In other gender gap news, the Journal of the American medical Association reports that the gender gap in academic medicine is alive and well. Despite the fact that half of all medical school graduates are and have been women for sometime, Men are 15 percent more likely to have the rank of full professor. It also shows that women generally do produce less reach her research than men, But that this may be due to lack of mentorship, institutional support, and most importantly research funding through research grants. According to the same study, men received over twice as much research funding from their employers for equipment and labs. Women researchers are also less likely to receive NIH grants than there male colleagues.
For some good news this week we will have to turn to the field of vaccines. The CDC or Centers for Disease Control found that about 90% of children under the age of three were vaccinated against the common disease entities in the years between 1994 and 2013. What did this do for us? The CDC estimates that this will have prevented 732,000 early deaths in United States alone.
Finally, also in the good news department, the flu vaccine may be more effective this year according to the CDC or Centers for Disease Control. It is estimated that it will be nearly 3 times as effective as last year’s preparation. Remember that even if the vaccine doesn't prevent flu entirely, it will decrease the severity of flu which is very important in children and other vulnerable populations.
Stay tuned for more news from the world of OB/GYN next week in Medical Monday.