From Opioids to Obamacare: The Top Health Stories of 2017

It was challenging to apart politics from many of a tip health stories of 2017.

The many apparent competence be a several attempts by Republican leaders in Washington, D.C. to dissolution a Affordable Care Act.

However, politics was also deeply engrained in a conflict over rising remedy drug prices.

In addition, there were a actions taken by a Trump administration to cut teen pregnancy impediment programs, as good as shorten entrance to termination services.

Many of these decisions had a bigger impact on a health of people in farming regions than they did on residents in civic areas.

Medical pot continued to make news as did antibiotic resistance.

The party courtesy also constructed a share of health controversies.

The Netflix uncover “13 Reasons Why” sparked discuss over a depiction of teen suicide.

Another Netflix show, “To a Bone,” brought on explanation about anorexia.

The film “The Big Sick,” introduced many film-goers to a condition famous as adult-onset Still’s disease.

However, a health emanate that maybe garnered a many courtesy and had a biggest impact was a United States’ hardcore obsession to remedy opioids.

The widespread deepens

opiod drug

We entered a year meaningful 33,000 Americans had died from opioid overdoses in 2015.

Predictions are that a fee was even aloft in 2016.

Half of these deaths were from remedy opioids.

As 2017 changed along, we schooled that a widespread wasn’t cramped to adults.

In an Aug report, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that nonetheless drug use among comparison teenagers had decreased, a array of drug overdose deaths in this age organisation had increased.

And a bulk of those deaths were from opioids.

About a same time, we schooled a number of people underneath a age of 21 who are diagnosed with an opioid obsession in puncture bedrooms is on a rise.

During a summer, it was also reported that a number of babies innate with opioid-related conditions has left adult dramatically.

In fact, a problem has turn so critical that some hospitals are bringing in volunteers to hug these infants to assistance wean them from their drug dependency.

The predicament is even attack dogs.

Veterinarians reported that pets and military animals are being unprotected to opioids.

There were other signs a widespread is worsening, too.

Health officials pronounced rejected syringes used to inject opioids were littering streets, parks, and beaches.

A secondary courtesy has even started to bang amid a crisis.

Companies have sprung adult to supply medical professionals with drugs to palliate a symptoms of drug obsession or even to retreat opioid overdoses.

The several reasons for a rising widespread also done news in 2017.

Among them was a report that remedy pain killers given to patients after critical and even teenager medicine was assisting expostulate opioid use.

Another report expelled this summer resolved that people with basin and mood disorders accounted for half of all opioid prescriptions in a country.

Solutions to a widespread were batted about all by 2017.

One was limiting opioid prescriptions to 7 days.

Another was a monthly shot to assistance people by withdrawal from their addiction.

There were even suggestions of regulating a herbal drug kratom to assistance with opioid withdrawal.

Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens even started stocking Narcan, a nasal mist used to retreat opioid overdoses.

The augmenting use of Narcan also triggered a discuss in some communities about either medical professionals and law coercion officers should try to save people who are overdosing.

State and sovereign lawmakers also got into a act.

They due all from tying opioid prescriptions to removing some-more people into conversing to questioning a curative industry.

During a summer, sovereign authorities announced a crackdown on doctors illegally prescribing opioids. In addition, a renouned painkiller Opana ER was removed during a ask of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In October, President Donald Trump announced a “public health emergency” to understanding with a opioid crisis.

However, a stipulation fell brief of a “national emergency” that some drug abuse groups felt he should have declared.

Finally, in late November, a White House stated that presidential confidant Kellyanne Conway would coordinate a administration’s efforts to relieve a opioid epidemic.

It was a pierce met by some regard from experts and some oppressive critique from opponents.

As bustling as lawmakers were with a opioid crisis, a lot of domestic collateral and appetite was also spent on a nation’s medical system.

Repealing Obamacare


The attempts by Republican leaders to dissolution a Affordable Care Act (ACA) lasted via 2017.

It began in Jan with President Trump, even before his inauguration, urging Congress to dissolution Obamacare “quickly.”

As a year neared an end, enrollees scrambled to pointer adult for ACA skeleton before a condensed December 15 deadline.

The following week, Congress authorized a taxation cut check that enclosed a dissolution of a essential ACA sold charge requirement.

In between, there was copiousness of action.

In late January, a Trump administration pulled all promotion and outreach during a final week of enrollment for ACA plans.

That was usually one of a array of ways critics pronounced a White House was perplexing to sabotage a ACA system.

Other measures enclosed a sold charge dissolution and a shorter enrollment period, as good as Trump melancholy to finish sovereign word subsidies for low-income households and ignoring some of a supplies in ACA law.

In a spring, a House of Representatives pulled behind a check that would have repealed many of Obamacare’s provisions. That magnitude had been met with harsh critique from many health organizations.

In May, a House did finally approve a plan to dissolution Obamacare.

However, several skeleton by a Senate to pull brazen their chronicle failed.

A final version, a Cassidy-Graham bill, wasn’t voted on before a Sep 30 deadline.

The burning discuss over Obamacare also brought out proposals from Democrats on how to cgange a nation’s medical system.

One of them was universal health coverage, an suspicion upheld by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, among others.

A identical “Medicaid for All” offer was also touted by some Democratic leaders.

Other White House actions

Trump administration

Obamacare wasn’t a usually module upheld by Democrats that was targeted by a Trump administration and other Republican leaders.

In late January, dual womanlike Republican legislators introduced a check to take divided a $500 million a year a sovereign supervision provides to Planned Parenthood.

The appropriation represents about 40 percent of a organization’s annual doing budget.

The defunding magnitude was partial of several medical bills in a House and Senate, yet those bills never done it out of Congress.

However, Congress did vote in late March to concede states to repudiate sovereign supports to Planned Parenthood chapters.

The discuss stirred Healthline to publish a story on what would occur if a 650 Planned Parenthood health centers opposite a republic were to unexpected close.

The White House didn’t stop there.

In July, it was reported that a Trump administration had quietly cut $213 million from teen pregnancy impediment programs. The reductions in extend income influenced some-more than 80 institutions opposite a nation.

Abortion opponents took identical movement during a state level.

Unable to outlaw abortion, they pushed for state laws that make a medical procession some-more challenging to obtain.

Among a laws were ones upheld by several states that need a “waiting period” for women seeking an abortion.

The Trump administration’s policies to shorten immigration were also criticized by health professionals.

Among other things, they pronounced undocumented immigrants competence confirm not to find medical services given of a fear of being arrested.

They had similar concerns about a attempts to dissolution or shorten a supposed Dream Act that protects a children of bootleg immigrants from deportation.

The decisions involving medical also took a fee in farming areas.

Early in a year, CDC officials released a investigate that resolved people critical in farming areas face a aloft risk of failing from a 5 heading causes of genocide in a United States.

Other researchers remarkable that obesity, smoking, and ethanol use were all bigger problems in farming areas than in civic regions.

These health problems, experts said, were exacerbated by a miss of entrance to medical services in farming towns.

Among a issues was a fact that rural hospitals are shutting during an shocking rate.

All these health issues confronting a republic — and a discuss surrounding them — stirred Harvard University to tell an essay in Jun on how a country’s prominence and stress could lead to low and long-lasting health problems.

The editor of Vanity Fair repository went as distant as to give a acronym PTSD new meaning. He labeled it as President Trump Stress Disorder.

As a year wound down, members of psychology-related organizations began to discuss either a pell-mell inlet of a Trump presidency should lead to routine changes in their profession.

In particular, they wondered if their long-standing anathema on publicly deliberating a obvious person’s mental state yet a personal hearing should be carried so President Trump’s mental health could be evaluated.

Prescription drug prices

drug prices

Prescription drug prices were an emanate of regard for a White House, as good as a array of state leaders.

The year began with Trump vituperation opposite curative companies, observant they were “getting divided with murder.”

In his initial weeks in office, a boss met with courtesy executives and outlined a devise to revoke drug prices.

The initiatives enclosed negotiating Medicare drug costs, permitting some-more drugs to be alien from other countries, and speeding adult a drug capitulation process.

None of those measures have come to delight nonetheless and a discuss over pharmaceuticals raged on during 2017.

During a summer, consumer advocates bemoaned a fact that prescription drug prices continued to arise notwithstanding all a bad broadside for curative companies.

It was also suggested that pharmacies competence be charging business some-more for remedy drugs if they used their health insurance.

Lawsuits opposite CVS and Walgreens were filed, accusing a companies for supposed “clawbacks” that lifted prices for consumers regulating insurance.

The revelations spurred Sen. Sanders to pull two proposals to revoke a cost of remedy drugs.

One would put cost controls on drugs where taxpayer income was used to assistance account investigate and development.

The second would make it easier to import drugs from other countries, including Canada.

Amid all of these, tellurian health officials announced there aren’t adequate new antibiotics in a investigate pipeline.

They pronounced a new drugs were indispensable to tackle antibiotic-resistant microbes… another emanate that dominated health news in 2017.

Antibiotic resistance

antibiotic resistance

The regard over germ and other microorganisms apropos some-more resistant to antibiotics has been rising for years.

2017 was no different.

In January, researchers from 3 institutions published a investigate saying that germ famous as CREs were swelling some-more quick than formerly thought.

That explanation led some health experts to assume what our universe would be like if we didn’t have any effective antibiotics.

In March, a World Health Organization (WHO) put out an urgent notice, inventory 12 “priority pathogens” they pronounced had turn drug resistant and were melancholy tellurian health opposite a globe.

WHO officials urged curative companies to put new drugs on a quick lane to conflict these lethal bacteria.

During a summer, WHO officials expelled another report, saying that cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea were on a arise worldwide.

The boost in drug-resistant microbes led several institutions to offer adult intensity solutions.

A investigate group in London announced it was probable to use “brute force” to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The researchers pronounced they had unclosed a approach for antibiotics to “force open” a close that resistant microbes form to keep drugs from destroying them.

In June, scientists announced they had given a boost to vancomycin.

That’s an antibiotic that’s been around given a late 1950s — to that microorganisms keep apropos resistant.

Researchers pronounced this new chronicle of vancomycin could infer to some-more successful than prior versions.

Other researchers were perplexing a opposite tact to kick behind drug resistance.

Scientists published a news in a BMJ in that they pronounced patients shouldn’t take their “full course” of antibiotics if it wasn’t necessary.

They pronounced a idea that patients finish all their antibiotics was assisting fuel a arise in drug-resistant bacteria.

Other health experts were propelling people to provide certain ailments, generally those involving pain, with substances other than antibiotics.

Those enclosed drugs that in a new past were illegal.

Marijuana on a move


As 2017 unfolded, some-more than half of U.S. states had authorized ratified marijuana for medicinal use.

Another 8 and a District of Columbia had authorized cannabis for recreational use.

This, notwithstanding a fact that a drug is still bootleg underneath sovereign law.

Throughout a year, a discuss continued over how profitable and protected pot unequivocally is.

The contention was kicked off in Jan when a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine expelled a news with 100 conclusions about pot use.

The commentary ranged from a health advantages of cannabis in treating pain and illnesses, to a risks of diseases and mental disorders.

The following month, a American Academy of Pediatrics weighed in.

The classification expelled a news that warned that pot use can be damaging to children and immature adults given their smarts are still developing.

A few months later, another news was released, this one saying that children unprotected to pot in a womb can knowledge prophesy problems.

Warnings were expelled for adults, too.

In one study, researchers pronounced that heating adult pot concentrates could furnish cancer-causing chemicals.

Another study suggested that medical pot laws were enlivening a injustice of a drug among adults.

A New Jersey integrate went as distant as to contend that pot use had caused a genocide of their 22-year-old son. However, many experts pronounced cannabis use alone can’t kill you.

On a other side of a debate, there was no necessity of studies touting a advantages of cannabis.

One report resolved that pot can assistance children with seizures, as good as cancer nausea.

Another stated that marijuana-based medicine can revoke epilepsy symptoms.

Other experts pronounced pot can be used to treat ongoing pain and assistance palliate a opioid epidemic.

Researchers in another investigate resolved that marijuana can assistance we nap while other researchers settled that group and women who frequently use cannabis have sex some-more often.

Whatever a research, there were copiousness of people who believed that pot had distant some-more advantages than disadvantages.

In October, Healthline took a demeanour during because so many cancer patients are now regulating marijuana.

We also suggested because so many senior adults are regulating pot for pain and other age-related ailments.

And in December, a WHO expelled a news where they settled that medical marijuana’s categorical partial isn’t addictive or dangerous.

As many in a spotlight as pot was, it wasn’t a usually thing that was lighting adult a health world.

Smoking vs. vaping

smoking vs. vaping

Smoking rates have been disappearing for years in a United States.

However, that didn’t forestall cigarettes from being a critical topic, generally with a arise of vaping and e-cigarettes.

The year began with a annual news on a State of Tobacco Control from a American Lung Association.

The news highlighted anti-smoking laws, including states that have lifted a smallest age to buy tobacco to 21.

Taxes on cigarettes were also mentioned.

On Apr 1, California’s cigarette taxation augmenting significantly. Experts told Healthline afterwards that aloft taxes on tobacco products do indeed revoke smoking.

The following month, a investigate was expelled that resolved “social smokers” have a same cardiovascular health risks as unchanging smokers.

A few months after that, a FDA announced it was looking into a probability that obscure nicotine in cigarettes could assistance people quit smoking.

Big Tobacco even seemed to be removing into a anti-smoking act.

In September, Phillip Morris International announced it was pledging $80 million a year over a subsequent 12 years to set adult a substructure to assistance revoke smoking rates.

But there was process to what competence seem like stupidity here.

Healthline reported that tobacco companies, including RJ Reynolds, have seen a scratch on a wall for normal cigarettes.

So, they’re investing heavily in choice smoking products, including “heat-not-burn” tobacco and, of course, e-cigarettes.

During 2017, a discuss continued over a reserve of a new vaping products.

One study in Sep resolved it’s easier for smokers to quit if they switch to e-cigarettes before giving adult their habit.

At a same time, a American Lung Association pronounced it was endangered e-cigarettes could turn a “gateway” to smoking unchanging cigarettes, generally for teenagers and immature adults.

In addition, researchers in Europe released several studies that they pronounced showed that vaping e-cigarettes wasn’t healthy.

One investigate resolved that e-cigarettes with nicotine can means stiffening in a arteries, that can lead to cardiovascular health problems.

Whatever a science, normal ways of smoking seem to be losing preference with younger folks.

In December, a national study suggested that vaping and pot use were some-more common among U.S. teenagers than cigarette smoking.

The cloud that seemed to hang over all a discuss over smoking and vaping was either these habits can boost a person’s risk of cancer.

Cancer treatments advance

cancer biomarkers

It was a bustling year for rising cancer treatments.

One of a many talked about was a mobile immunotherapy famous as CAR-T.

The diagnosis is a one-time distillate utilizing a patient’s possess engineered T cells.

It has shown good guarantee in late-stage clinical trials.

So many so that Gilead Sciences purchased Kite Pharma, a tiny biotech organisation specializing in CAR-T, for $12 billion during a summer.

Cancer diagnosis has modernized so many in a past few years that there’s been speak of a concept vaccine.

However, a investigate published in Mar resolved it’s doubtful a one-size-fits-all vaccine for cancer will be developed.

There’s a elementary major reason. There are too many opposite kinds of cancer.

Nonetheless, there could be vaccines for sold forms of cancer.

There already is one for a human papillomavirus (HPV).

And, in October, researchers announced a clinical hearing for a vaccine for women who have already undergone diagnosis for nonmetastatic breast cancer and are in remission.

The new drug Keytruda was also in a news.

It’s one of a new array of drugs that aim cancer biomarkers so they can 0 in on dangerous tumors.

Advances were also done in cancer diagnoses.

In February, researchers during Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) pronounced they were contrast a new high-tech blood test.

The exam involves a tiny device that uses nanowires to detect present growth cells in a bloodstream.

About a same time, researchers during a University of California San Diego (UCSD) unveiled another new blood test.

This exam works by identifying DNA traces of cancer cells that have damaged divided from tumors.

All these new advancements do come during a cost and a cost tab for cancer showing and diagnosis was also a vast story in 2017.

A study published in Sep estimated that it costs curative companies scarcely $650 million to arise a new cancer drug.

Those new drugs, a researchers said, do move in a median of $1.6 billion in revenue.

Those numbers were hotly contested by a curative courtesy though.

But that didn’t rage some of a contention of a cost of cancer care.

Concerns were lifted in a tumble over a $475,000 cost tab trustworthy to Novartis’ new cancer-fighting drug Kymriah.

Critics remarkable that taxpayer income had been used to assistance account investigate for a drug.

Company officials, however, pronounced that Novartis had spent $1 billion to move a drug to market.

Other surety trends also emerged in 2017.

One was that some-more women diagnosed with breast cancer are selecting to have double mastectomies even if their cancer has usually shown adult in one breast.

Despite all a news on diagnosis and prevention, cancer still valid to be a challenging foe.

A report in Jun remarkable that notwithstanding a altogether diminution in cancer rates, a occurrence of singular cancers competence be on a rise.

The following month, a report by a CDC settled that nonetheless there are fewer cancer cases in farming America now, a genocide rate from cancer in those regions is increasing.

And in October, researchers expelled a investigate in that they pronounced there’s no transparent justification that many new cancer drugs extend or urge lives.

Finally, a box of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) returned to a news.

In July, Healthline reported that a former presidential claimant competence have engaged his mind cancer from Agent Orange while portion in a Vietnam War 50 years ago.

The high-profile box helped prominence this form of cancer as good as a Veterans Administration’s disaster in a past to understanding with a tie between Agent Orange and veterans’ illnesses.

During 2017, a party courtesy also used a endless height to gleam a spotlight on a accumulation of health-related issues.

Entertainment takes on critical issues

13 reasons why

Movies and online shows did their partial to make news in a health universe in 2017.

The many talked about module was substantially “13 Reasons Why.”

The 13-episode play on Netflix centered on a high propagandize lady who had taken her possess life and afterwards left behind a array of audio tapes in that she told others during a propagandize how they had helped expostulate her to suicide.

Supporters of a uncover pronounced it sparked contention about issues such as bullying and amicable media shaming.

Critics, including some self-murder impediment groups, pronounced a play glamorized teen suicide.

Another Netflix uncover drew identical reactions involving eating disorders.

“To a Bone” portrayed a immature lady critical with anorexia.

Some experts praised a uncover for bringing issues surrounding eating disorders to a forefront.

Others, however, lifted concerns about a film’s striking depictions of svelte bodies and eating jumbled behavior.

Earlier in a year, a film that strike a china shade evoked critique from a mental health community.

“Split” focused on a male with dissociative temperament commotion who kidnaps 3 girls and afterwards terrorizes and harms them.

Critics pronounced a film wasn’t an accurate description of people with a commotion and could disgrace people with this illness.

Another major film drew ubiquitous regard for a doing of a illness not good famous by a public.

“The Big Sick” told a story of a comedian whose fiancée is put into a medically-induced coma after entrance down with adult-onset Still’s disease.

The film stars Kumail Nanjiani and is formed on a real-life story of a comedian and his wife, Emily V. Gordon.

The regretful comedy brought a grin to audience’s faces yet also prepared them about this singular form of arthritis.

One of a year’s biggest blockbusters also garnered some praise.

“Wonder Woman” starring Gal Gadot was lauded for portraying a superheroine as strong, smart, and caring.

Gadot was also hailed as a certain purpose indication for immature women.

The thespian and former quarrel tutor in a Israel Defense Forces was 5 months profound when she filmed some of a movie.

Yet, she still powered by a filming and even achieved some of her possess stunts.

Experts pronounced Gadot serves as an impulse for girls and immature women.

And obvious celebrities weren’t only moving a open for roles they were playing.

Some also had real-life stories to tell.

Celebrities step in

Randy Travis

Sometimes law is some-more absolute than fiction.

That was a box with a array of celebrities who stepped brazen this year to tell their health-related stories.

One was republic thespian Randy Travis.

In February, Healthline published the story of his prolonged highway behind from a debilitating stroke.

Travis scarcely died from that cadence 4 years ago.

But given then, a eight-time Grammy leader has relearned how to travel and has partially regained use of a right side of his body.

Pop thespian Janet Jackson sparked contention of late motherhood when she gave birth to her initial child during a age of 50.

Hoda Kotb of a “Today Show” speedy contention of a identical subject when she adopted a child during a age of 52.

Pete Davidson, a expel member on “Saturday Night Live,” brought a emanate of mental health to a comedy stage.

The immature comedian discussed his diagnosis of equivocal celebrity commotion on a podcast.

He afterwards joked about it during a newscast shred of a “Saturday Night Live” show.

Sports total also stepped forward.

In May, Healthline told the story of Charlie Kimball, a initial competition automobile motorist with diabetes to contest in a Indianapolis 500.

This year was a seventh time Kimball participated in a nation’s many famous automobile race.

Kimball told Healthline about a conditioning he does to prepared for these prolonged races, as good as a apparatus he has on house his competition automobile to guard his critical signs.

A father-son group from a ball universe got a summary out this summer about prostate cancer.

Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. talked to Healthline in Jul about a comparison Griffey’s cancer diagnosis 12 years ago, his treatment, and a surety measures he and his son both take now.

The late ball stars urged group to get unchanging checkups for prostate cancer.

A former basketball star jumped into a discuss about a opioid epidemic.

Grant Hill spoke to Healthline in Sep about a debate he’s partial of to remonstrate people to cruise alternatives to remedy pain killers after surgery.

Hill had 11 surgeries during his 19-year career.

He pronounced a pain remedy he primarily took was an upsetting knowledge and led him to try other methods.

Not all a recommendation given by celebrities concerned critical health issues though.

A array of stars offering their perspectives on diets, exercise, and other topics.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow done her annual incursion into this field.

This year, Paltrow was one of a folks touting a advantages of “clean sleeping” in her latest book.

Among a technique’s strategies is to get during slightest 9 hours of nap a night.

Not each consultant was convinced.

Paltrow’s recommendation this year was reduction argumentative than some remedies she has rallied behind in a past.

However, Paltrow and her purify sleeping cohorts were nowhere nearby a many surprising health story this past year.

The peculiar and a unusual

fanged fish

From fish and Komodo dragons to squid ink, there were copiousness of equivocal weird health stories in 2017.

We start with skin creams done with… snail slime.

The cosmetics have been renouned in Asia for years, yet we reported this summer how a creams were gaining traction, and sales, in a United States.

There was also a rising trend of lab-grown meat.

Companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have been shipping their plant-based products to restaurants and stores.

In March, Memphis Meats announced they had constructed a country’s initial lab-grown duck strips.

We also trafficked to a waters off a seashore of Australia for the story of venom from a supposed “fanged fish.”

Scientists pronounced a heroin-like venom from a fish could someday be used as a pain remedy that’s reduction addictive than remedy opioids.

A small over north in a Indonesian islands brought us another story from a unusual.

Scientists in that segment pronounced blood from a Komodo dragon could be a new apparatus in a quarrel opposite antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The researchers have been study a blood, perplexing to brand molecules that give a vast lizards a clever healthy immunity.

Not to be outdone, scientists in a United States are regulating scorpion venom to assistance children with mind cancer.

They’ve combined a fake chronicle of a venom to use as “tumor paint” to make tumors light adult and mount out during surgery.

If that doesn’t make we queasy, afterwards maybe a suspicion of your dentist regulating squid ink might.

In September, Healthline published a story about researchers who are regulating squid ink to hunt for signs of resin disease.

It competence sound unpleasant, yet it does discharge a need for a dentist to force a steel intent in your mouth.

Finally, a record universe brings us a final summation of 2017.

This one competence be useful if we devise on merrymaking on New Year’s Eve.

During a systematic discussion in June, researchers denounced a new app designed to tell people if they’ve had too many to drink.

The app uses a time of day and week, as good as a user’s past function and their effusive calls and content messages, to establish if someone is overdoing it with liquor.

The app afterwards sends a user understanding and advisory messages.

Sort of a high-tech designated motorist or AA sponsor.

That wraps it adult for 2017.

An engaging year for health-related news.

And 2018 appears prepared to collect adult where this year leaves off.