Health

‘All in Her Head’: A Doctor Reckons With Sexism in Women’s Health Care
Health

‘All in Her Head’: A Doctor Reckons With Sexism in Women’s Health Care

Six years ago, Dr. Elizabeth Comen, a breast cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan, held the hand of a patient who was hours from death.As Dr. Comen leaned in for a final goodbye, she pressed her cheek to her patient’s damp face. “Then she said it,” Dr. Comen recalled.“‘I’m so sorry for sweating on you.’”In her two decades as a physician, Dr. Comen has found that women are constantly apologizing to her: for sweating, for asking follow-up questions, for failing to detect their own cancers sooner.“Women apologize for being sick or seeking care or advocating for themselves,” she said during an interview in her office: “‘I’m so sorry, but I’m in pain. I’m so sorry, this looks disgusting.’”These experiences in the exam room are part of what drove Dr. Comen to write...
Cat’s Meows Are So Misunderstood
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Cat’s Meows Are So Misunderstood

What is the meaning of a cat’s meow that grows louder and louder? Or your pet’s sudden flip from softly purring as you stroke its back to biting your hand?It turns out these misunderstood moments with your cat may be more common than not. A new study by French researchers, published last month in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, found that people were significantly worse at reading the cues of an unhappy cat (nearly one third got it wrong) than those of a contented cat (closer to 10 percent).The study also suggested that a cat’s meows and other vocalizations are greatly misinterpreted and that people should consider both vocal and visual cues to try to determine what’s going on with their pets.The researchers drew these findings from the answers of 630 online participants; res...
A Fading Weapon in the HIV Fight: Condoms
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A Fading Weapon in the HIV Fight: Condoms

Feb. 27, 2024Gay and bisexual men are using condoms less than ever, and the decline has been particularly steep among those who are young or Hispanic, according to a new study. The worrisome trend points to an urgent need for better prevention strategies as the nation struggles to beat the H.I.V. epidemic, researchers said.Over the past decade, prevention medication known as PrEP has helped fuel a moderate drop in H.I.V. rates. And yet, despite persistent public health campaigns promoting the drugs, they have not been adopted in substantial numbers by Black and Hispanic men who are gay or bisexual.The use of condoms, which prevent H.I.V. as well as other sexually transmitted infections, has been declining across the board in recent years, not just among gay men, contributing to a rise in s...
Drug Drastically Reduces Children’s Reactions to Traces of Food Allergens
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Drug Drastically Reduces Children’s Reactions to Traces of Food Allergens

A drug that has been used for decades to treat allergic asthma and hives significantly reduced the risk of life-threatening reactions in children with severe food allergies who were exposed to trace amounts of peanuts, cashews, milk and eggs, researchers reported on Sunday.The drug, Xolair, has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for adults and children over age 1 with food allergies. It is the first treatment that drastically cuts the risk of serious reactions — like anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that causes the body to go into shock — after accidental exposures to various food allergens.The results of the researchers’ study on children and adolescents, presented at the annual conference of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in...
Severe Frostbite Gets a Treatment That May Prevent Amputation
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Severe Frostbite Gets a Treatment That May Prevent Amputation

The first time Dr. Peter Hackett saw a patient with frostbite, the man died from his wounds. It was in Chicago in 1971, and the man had gotten drunk and passed out in the snow, his fingers so frozen that gangrene eventually set in.Dr. Hackett later worked at Mount Everest Basecamp, on Denali, Alaska, and now in Colorado, becoming expert in treating cold-weather injury. The experience was often the same: There was not much to do about frostbite, except rewarm the patient, give aspirin, amputate in severe cases and, more often, wait and accept that six months later the patient’s body might “auto-amputate” by naturally shedding a dead finger or toe.His mentor in Anchorage used to say, “Frostbite January, Amputation July,” remembered Dr. Hackett, clinical professor at the Altitude Research Cen...
Hydeia Broadbent, H.I.V. and AIDS Activist, Dies at 39
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Hydeia Broadbent, H.I.V. and AIDS Activist, Dies at 39

Hydeia Broadbent, who was born with H.I.V. and as a child became a leading voice in raising awareness about the virus and AIDS, died on Tuesday at her home in Las Vegas. She was 39.Her father, Loren Broadbent, confirmed the death. He did not cite the cause.Ms. Broadbent was 6 years old when she began telling of her struggle with H.I.V. on television, aiming to educate the public amid an epidemic that produced panic and stigma. Even when new treatments dramatically improved the long-term outcomes for people with H.I.V., she stressed that there was no cure and that infection was a life sentence, and she urged people to prevent its spread.In 1992, when she was 7, Ms. Broadbent was interviewed on Nickelodeon in a special program featuring Magic Johnson, the basketball star, who, after his own ...
Some Pregnant Women and Infants Received the Wrong R.S.V. Shots
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Some Pregnant Women and Infants Received the Wrong R.S.V. Shots

This winter, for the first time ever, there were two vaccines available to ward off respiratory syncytial virus, which is particularly dangerous to older adults and infants. Only one of them — Abrysvo, made by Pfizer — was approved for pregnant women, and neither was for young children.The distinction apparently slipped by some clinicians and pharmacists.At least 128 pregnant women were mistakenly given the alternative vaccine — Arexvy, by GSK — and at least 25 children under age 2 received a vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned. Dr. Sarah Long, professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine and an adviser to the agency, said she was “blindsided” by the reports. “It is very upsetting that this should happen,” she said.Arexvy has not been ...
How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health
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How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health

It started with mild anxiety.Emily, who asked to be identified only by her first name because she was discussing her mental health, had just moved to New York City after graduate school, to start a marketing job at a big law firm.She knew it was normal to feel a little on edge. But she wasn’t prepared for what came next: chronic insomnia.Operating on only three or four hours of sleep, it didn’t take long for her anxiety to ramp up: At 25, she was “freaking nervous all the time. A wreck.”When a lawyer at her firm yelled at her one day, she experienced the first of many panic attacks. At a doctor’s suggestion, she tried taking a sleeping pill, in the hopes that it might “reset” her sleep cycle and improve her mood. It didn’t work.Americans are chronically sleep deprived: one-third of adults ...
75 Hard Has a Cultish Following. Is It Worth All the Effort?
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75 Hard Has a Cultish Following. Is It Worth All the Effort?

Two 45-minute daily workouts. One gallon of water. 10 pages of a nonfiction book. A diet. No “cheat meals” or alcohol. For 75 days.And if you mess up, you have to start from the beginning.Sound like a lot? It’s supposed to be. The program, called 75 Hard, is meant to build mental toughness. Some say that rigidity is what makes it great, and others say that makes it problematic.Since it was created in 2019, 75 Hard has developed somewhat of a cult following, with practitioners posting daily progress pictures and videos that sometimes rack up millions of views on TikTok and Instagram. One of Reddit’s biggest subreddits, with over 44,000 members, is dedicated to the program.But is it beneficial, and are the changes sustainable? Psychologists say that while the program can have mental-health b...
Did You Go Through Fertility Treatment?
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Did You Go Through Fertility Treatment?

As women have begun having babies later in life, the number of patients going through in vitro fertilization treatment has increased significantly.The medical treatment can be life-changing, but it also comes at a price, as some couples go deeply into debt to pay for medical care that health insurance does not always cover. Some research has questioned the effectiveness of newer aspects of fertility treatment, like genetic screenings, and some patients have filed lawsuits claiming that faulty chemicals destroyed their embryos. Private equity companies, seeing the industry’s rapid growth, have been buying up some of the country’s largest fertility clinics.The New York Times is looking to hear from readers who can share their recent experiences with in vitro fertilization treatment. Hearing ...