CBS Local — There’s been plenty of progress in the medical world this year, and as a result we now know that more Americans than ever have high blood pressure, but also that coffee everyday is actually good for you.
Here’s a look back at the year in health.
The opioid crisis has dominated much of the health news cycle. President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency earlier this year. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for people under 50 in the United States.
New Guidelines for High Blood Pressure
The American Heart Association revised its guidelines for high blood pressure. The new threshold is 130 over 80, replacing 140 over 90. This means that nearly half of adults in the US have hypertension.
A game-changer came through in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. The FDA green lighted Ocrevus, the first drug approved to treat a severe form of MS. The FDA also approved the first gene therapy for leukemia. “CAR-T” removes a patient’s T-cells then modifies them in the lab to destroy cancer cells. And a team of doctors in the US and South Korea repaired a faulty gene in a human embryo for the first time. The controversial process of gene editing could help prevent thousands of genetic disorders.
New Cancer Diagnoses
The American Cancer Society reported a sharp rise in colorectal cancers in millennials and Gen X-ers. Poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity may be to blame for the increase. Also, the number of people having strokes is dropping in the US, except among women, who may have difficulty spotting the warning signs including fatigue and muscle weakness.
Pediatric Medical News
Doctors in Dallas celebrated the birth of the first baby in the US born to a mother who had a uterus transplant. The boy was delivered in a scheduled c-section. There are also new national pediatric guidelines aimed at reducing peanut allergies. It’s recommend that most children start eating foods that contain peanuts when they are infants, rather than previous suggestions of waiting until the child is close to a year old.
Go Ahead, Drink That Second Cup Of Coffee, Or Wine.
Two major studies suggest drinking coffee — caffeinated or decaf — will help you live longer. Researchers said the antioxidants found in coffee may offer protective benefits. Another study showed light to moderate drinking also offers big health benefits. One theory is that alcohol may improve good cholesterol and lower inflammation.