It is no secret by now that the Trump administration is systematically enacting policies to ban abortion and limit access to contraception. Medical experts have indicated their concern all along, saying these policies are likely to backfire, increasing unplanned pregnancies and abortions overall.
Legal challenges to Trump administration policies are now coming from many quarters. Mississippi and Louisiana have pending legislation to ban abortion after 15 weeks. Both laws will now go to Federal court to be tested. Meanwhile, New Jersey is suing the Federal government against the exemption which permits corporations to purchase insurance without contraception coverage if they object to it on “moral” grounds. Since when can a corporation have morality ? People, owners, and board members can have morality or the lack of it.
The Federal Courts are going to have a big role in determining how much of this Trump era law stands. For example, a federal judge in Washington struck down the decision by the HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) to withhold funds for the teen pregnancy prevention program. The judge called the cancellation of funds “capricious”. HHS actions have been struck down by federal courts four times to date.
A survey of various health care groups has shown the 95% have strongly criticized the Trump administrations efforts to weaken the ACA (Affordable Care Act). The American College of Physicians has published a paper calling for recognition and addressing of the discrimination against women in health care. Health care disparities include those pertaining to reproduction, family and medical leave, domestic and sexual abuse and inclusion in clinical trials.
Elsewhere in the world, Ireland has voted to repeal the countries ban on abortion. The popular vote passed by a margin of 2 to 1. To put things in perspective in this historically Catholic country, divorce was only legalized in 1995. Gay marriage has also been ratified in Ireland, and an openly gay man has served as Prime Minister.
We all know that genes influence our physical health. But they also influence our mental health. They are a number of genes which are associated with the development of Schizophrenia. However, even if they are present, the odds of actually developing schizophrenia are low. New research has indicated that pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia increase the risk of schizophrenia in susceptible individuals, as can smoking. This is all thought to take place via epigenetics and the placenta. More research is needed.
A new study indicates what we have often observed; that those women who introduce a bottle in the hospital are much more likely to give up breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is recommended as the sole food source for babies for six months.
The Nurses Health Study has produced data about nutrition and healing loss. Turns out those who had a diet most closely resembling a Mediterranean or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet were 30% less likely to experience moderate or severe hearing loss later in life.
You will hear all kinds of unscientific reasons from patients about why they will not get a certain vaccine. We all know vaccines stimulate the immune systems and we all know they can make you feel a bit flu like in the process- no fun. New research has now proven that HPV ( human papilloma virus) vaccine does not cause increased autoimmune activity in girls. This confirms two prior large cohort studies. Despite all this, there is still a lot of push back against vaccines. It is hard for a caregiver to persist when a patient or a parent declines a needed vaccine. However new research indicates that physician persistent leads to 94% of children being vaccinated against HPV.
Many times I hear talk to the affect that obesity alone is not a problem. There must be other factors such as diabetes or hypertension for obesity to be a threat to health. FALSE.. Newer date now tells us that having obesity ALONE makes you 39% more likely to have heart disease.
We have been finding a lot of vitamin deficiency up here in the North Country. This has been true in pregnancy. We have undertaken supplementation regimens with the input of Endocrinology and are tailoring better maintenance regimens for both diet and supplements. New research has now show some good news : that those who take vitamin D in pregnancy are 28 % less likely to have low birth weight babies or stillbirth.
In other vitamin D related news, new research also indicated that women with sufficient levels of vitamin D are 10% more like to get pregnant after a miscarriage, and 15% more likely to have a live birth after a miscarriage.
Folic acid is also important in pregnancy and is known to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. New research indicates that poorer women rarely takeout before it during pregnancy. This is something that should have a really easy fix.
Stay tuned for more news from the fascinating world of Obstetrics and Gynecology, here, next week on Medical Monday.