Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs.
Pediatrics: Food Insecurity And Child Health
Food insecurity is an important public health problem facing children in the United States. Although a number of previous studies suggest that food insecurity has negative impacts on health, these studies have not dealt thoroughly with issues of selection bias. We use propensity scoring techniques to approximate the causal effects of food insecurity on children’s health and health care use outcomes. (Thomas et al, 10/1)
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation: Pre-Existing Condition Prevalence For Individuals And Families
The impending decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Texas v. Azar case raises the prospect that insurers will once again be able to return to using people’s health status in determining their eligibility and premiums for health insurance, at least for coverage obtained from the non-group, or individual insurance, market. In the case, the plaintiff states’ Attorneys General and the Trump Administration are arguing that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutionally structured and should be invalidated in its entirety. This would include overturning provisions that guarantee that people with pre-existing health conditions cannot be denied coverage or charged higher premiums due to their health status. (Claxton et al, 10/4)
The New York Times: Statins May Affect Your Bone Health
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may have an added benefit, or risk, depending on the dose. New research suggests that a low dose of statins may protect against osteoporosis, but that high doses may increase the risk for the bone-damaging condition. Austrian researchers searched a database of patients hospitalized over two years and found 353,502 who used statins. Of these, 11,701 had a diagnosis of osteoporosis. (Bakalar, 10/8)
The New York Times: Hypertension In Pregnancy May Portend Cardiovascular Ills In Mothers
High blood pressure during pregnancy increases a mother’s risk for future cardiovascular disease and death, a new study has found. Hypertension in pregnancy, or pre-eclampsia, affects between 3 percent and 10 percent of pregnant women in the United States. Left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening complications in both mothers and infants. (Bakalar, 10/7)
JAMA Internal Medicine: Effect On Treatment Adherence Of Distributing Essential Medicines At No Charge: The CLEAN Meds Randomized Clinical Trial
this randomized clinical trial of 786 primary care patients, free distribution of essential medicines vs usual access resulted in greater adherence to treatment with medicines (absolute risk difference, 11.6%). Control of type 1 and 2 diabetes was not significantly improved by free distribution of essential medicines (hemoglobin A1c, −0.38%), systolic blood pressure was reduced (−7.2 mm Hg), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were not affected (−2.3 mg/dL). (Persaud et al, 10/7)
Urban Institute: Segregated From The Start
Children’s first learning experiences set the tone for the rest of their lives, in school and beyond. That’s why early childhood education (ECE)—which enrolls nearly half of infants and toddlers and three-quarters of preschoolers—has become a focus for public investment designed to promote educational equity and give children a strong start. But little attention has been paid to the racial and ethnic composition of early childhood programs, even though the roots of racial and ethnic bias form during children’s earliest years. In addition to experiences in the home and in the community, early childhood education is a key place for addressing—or exacerbating—issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. (10/1)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.