HealthWhere refugees settle matters for their health Where refugees settle can affect their long-term risk of type 2 diabetes. Muhammed Muheisen/AP [email protected] Experts have long observed that people who live in poor areas face higher risks of future health problems. But because researchers cannot go around randomly placing families in different neighborhoods and studying what happens, they have struggled to tease apart whether neighborhoods themselves play causative roles in future health problems, or if the factors that drive people to live in poor neighborhoods are the root of the health issues.A policy in place in Sweden during the 1980s and 1990s created something of a natural, randomized experiment.A similar natural experiment occurred when a US program offered some people in low-income public housing vouchers through a lottery to move to better neighborhoods. In that case, researchers found that people who received the vouchers had lower rates of obesity and diabetes down the road than those who stayed.But one limitation was that families had to elect to enroll in the lottery. The refugees in Sweden — who were fleeing conflicts such as the Iran-Iraq War — did not choose to partake in the dispersal policy.The Swedish government, concerned about the influx of people settling in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and other cities, divided the refugees throughout the country, based only on education, language, and family size.For their analysis, Hamad’s team — led by her husband, health policy expert Justin White of the University of California, San Francisco, along with colleagues at Stanford and in Sweden — studied health data from more than 61,000 refugees who arrived in Sweden as adults between 1987 and 1991, when the dispersal policy was most strictly implemented. They chose to examine type 2 diabetes because of how where you live can contribute to it: Is healthy food available? Is the area walkable? Are good jobs available?Poring over the data, the team discovered that people placed in the more deprived neighborhoods had a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people placed in the more affluent neighborhoods. (The researchers divided neighborhoods into three levels of deprivation based on poverty and unemployment, education, and social welfare participation.) About the Author Reprints As a girl, Dr. Rita Hamad and her family fled Lebanon’s civil war and found a home in the United States. Three decades later, her research is offering a glimpse into the long-term health impacts of such a migration.And while the research’s focus is on the 1980s and 1990s, it’s a period that echoes what is happening today: conflict driving people from their homes on a mass scale, and the countries where they are heading struggling with the economic, cultural, and political ramifications.The study, published Wednesday in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, throws another question into that mix: How will the specific places the thousands of refugees settle affect their well-being years down the road? And it could influence broader conversations, including those in the United States, about how where we live shapes our future.advertisement Related: In the worst neighborhoods, 7.9 percent of refugees had the disease, compared to 7.2 percent in the moderately deprived neighborhoods. In the best neighborhoods, only 5.8 percent of refugees had the disease — a rate on par with the national average. And where people were settled initially had an impact on their health even if they moved within a few years of arriving in Sweden, the researchers found.“It helps build the story that there might actually be something about the composition of the neighborhood that does matter,” said Kathleen Cagney, a sociologist who directs the University of Chicago’s Population Research Center and who was not involved with the study.The study’s results could also inform efforts to reduce the type 2 diabetes rates in the United States, said Briana Mezuk, an epidemiologist at Virginia Commonwealth University. If the government’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, for example, proves to be more effective in some areas than others, then specific neighborhood differences could be in part responsible.“When we go to refine diabetes prevention programs, [the study is] going to be very important for us to look to,” Mezuk said.The study’s findings come as the number of people displaced around the world reaches levels never before recorded. According to the United Nations, more than 1 million refugees and migrants headed to Europe by sea in 2015 alone.Of course, the exact difference in risk experienced by the people included in the study might not apply to other settings. Sweden, for example, has a famously strong safety net that could have even improved the health of arriving refugees overall.And it’s possible that the Swedish dispersal policy, which ended in the mid-1990s, actually lowered the overall prevalence of type 2 diabetes. If refugees had chosen where to settle, Hamad noted, they might have largely congregated in lower-income areas because of affordability and the presence of refugees there already.The research team started work on the project two years ago, before the refugee crisis exploded across Europe and the world. That meant Hamad did not reflect on a personal connection to the research until more recently.Her father had studied at the University of Texas at Austin, so her family headed to that city when they left the Middle East. But, she said, “if we had decided to go to Europe for some reason, we could have been subject to this type of policy.” Related: Deportation raids draw protest for harming immigrants’ mental health Tags community healthdiabetesimmigration Diabetes rose fourfold over last 25 years, WHO says Andrew Joseph @DrewQJoseph By Andrew Joseph April 27, 2016 Reprints General Assignment Reporter Andrew covers a range of topics, from addiction to public health to genetics. Hamad and her colleagues specifically looked at refugees who went to Sweden and found that they were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if they landed in poorer neighborhoods.“We did not intend for this to be informing the refugee crisis in Europe,” said Hamad, a family medicine doctor and PhD student at Stanford University. “But it does suggest that when people wind up in highly deprived neighborhoods straight off the bat … that we are going to see the effects of that years later.”advertisement
Health What is it? STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images 23andMe’s lesson for Silicon Valley: ‘Put aside the skepticism, and engage’ Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Log In | Learn More In the end, the secret sauce behind Thursday’s milestone announcement by the Food and Drug Administration to permit 23andMe to market genetic tests for diseases directly to consumers was hard-earned trust.Now the company will be able to include information on the genetic predisposition for 10 important conditions or diseases — including Parkinson’s and late-onset Alzheimer’s — from a single saliva test that costs $199. The move comes four years after FDA banned 23andMe from selling such data, forcing it back to the drawing board. With exceptions for some tests, such as the genetic marker for breast cancer that often leads to surgical intervention, the agency intends to let the company offer similar tests without premarket review — a landmark for the genetic testing industry as a whole. Tags diagnosticsgeneticspolicySTAT+ GET STARTED By Charles Piller April 10, 2017 Reprints What’s included?
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the middle of the week. Congratulations on making it this far and remember, there are only a few more days until the weekend arrives. So keep plugging away. After all, what are the alternatives? While you ponder the possibilities, we invite you to join us for a delightful cup of stimulation. Our flavor today is mocha nut fudge. Remember that no prescription is required. Meanwhile, here is the latest menu of tidbits to help you on your way. Have a wonderful day and please do stay in touch …Novartis recently discovered a drug it sells for rare inflammatory disorders could be used to treat a more common ailment, but there’s a problem: the $16,000-per-dose price tag, The Wall Street Journal says. Sold as Ilaris, a recent clinical trial suggests it can reduce the risk of serious complications in heart attack patients. But if it wins regulatory approval, Novartis would have to drastically cut its price to make it competitive with other cardiovascular drugs. By Ed Silverman July 12, 2017 Reprints Ed Silverman Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. About the Author Reprints [email protected] @Pharmalot What’s included? Log In | Learn More Pharmalittle: Novartis faces dilemma with a drug; PDUFA going nowhere fast? STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. GET STARTED Tags pharmaceuticalspolicySTAT+ Pharmalot Alex Hogan/STAT What is it?
Glaxo loses bid for a new trial in an unusual Paxil suicide case What is it? STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. By Ed Silverman Sept. 18, 2017 Reprints In a setback for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a federal judge upheld a $3 million verdict in a closely watched trial that involved a highly contentious issue — whether consumers can successfully sue a brand-name drug maker if they suffered harm after taking a pill made by a generic rival.The verdict was issued last spring in a lawsuit that was brought by Wendy Dolin, the widow of an attorney who committed suicide after taking a generic version of Glaxo’s Paxil antidepressant. The federal court jury decided the drug maker failed to properly warn about the risk of its medicine. On Monday, a Glaxo spokeswoman wrote us that the company plans to appeal the decision. What’s included? Log In | Learn More Tags legalpharmaceuticalsSTAT+ The case involved a generic version of Paxil. Joe Raedle/Getty Images About the Author Reprints GET STARTED @Pharmalot Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Ed Silverman [email protected] Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Pharmalot
[email protected] Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. The quickest way to erase pain is to give patients an opioid. But a rise in prescriptions has fueled a national epidemic of fatal overdoses, with a large share of the deaths occurring in low-income communities.Under intense pressure to combat the problem, states across the country are expanding their Medicaid programs to cover alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga. The effort could increase non-opioid options for low-income patients suffering from pain. But it also opens states to criticism from skeptics who say taxpayers are being forced to fund unproven treatments based on political expediency instead of sound science. Log In | Learn More Unlock this article — plus daily intelligence on Capitol Hill and the life sciences industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED @caseymross By Casey Ross Jan. 17, 2018 Reprints Casey Ross Politics STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Tags Medicaidopioidspatientspolicy Joe Raedle/Getty Images About the Author Reprints GET STARTED What is it? What’s included? National Technology Correspondent Casey covers the use of artificial intelligence in medicine and its underlying questions of safety, fairness, and privacy. He is the co-author of the newsletter STAT Health Tech. As the opioid crisis grows, states are opening Medicaid to alternative medicine