KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: SCOTUS Decides An ACA Case. No, Not THAT Case.

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Weight loss can help head off lasting damage caused by fatty liver

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of liver disease in the United States, and is estimated to affect up to a quarter of adults in the world. It is defined by excess fat accumulating in the liver and usually occurs in people with obesity, high blood sugars (diabetes), abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, or high blood pressure. These disorders often run together and as a group are called metabolic syndrome. The “non-alcoholic” part of “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease” is important to distinguish it from alcohol-related liver disease, which can also cause excess liver fat.

How fat can damage the liver

In some people, the excess fat sits in the liver but may not cause any liver damage. However, in about one in 20 people, excess liver fat triggers chronic liver inflammation. This condition is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH (“steato-“ means relating to fat and … Read more

Trump Says N95 Masks Can Be Sterilized For Reuse. Only In A Pinch, Experts Warn.

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb, front-line health care workers are decrying unsafe working conditions — in particular, describing inadequate access to personal protective equipment, or PPE. Many hospitals and state lawmakers blame Washington, saying the Trump administration has not done enough to make this critical protective gear available.

But at a recent press conference, President Donald Trump suggested those claims are overblown, asserting instead that hospitals have the tools they need to sanitize and reuse protective facewear.

“We’re also using a sterilization process — some great equipment that will sterilize masks … Read more

Heading Off a COVID-19 Disaster for Californians Experiencing Homelessness


Dr. Stuart Malcolm of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic speaks with a person experiencing homelessness about the coronavirus in San Francisco on March 17, 2020. Photo: Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images

COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in ways that were previously unimaginable. Millions of Americans are trying to comply with advice to stay home and avoid physical proximity to others. As many have learned, sheltering in place is hard. Imagine what it’s like for someone living on the streets.

For more than 150,000 people experiencing homelessness (PDF) in California, complying with physical distancing and shelter-in-place orders is all but impossible.

Compounding the problem, people experiencing homelessness live with a higher incidence of chronic medical and behavioral health conditions than the general population, and they die, on average, 20 years younger than people who are housed. Studies have shown that up to one-third of them have lung disease, compared … Read more

Harvard Health AdWatch: An arthritis ad in 4 parts

Perhaps you’ve grown as weary as I have of repeated arthritis ads. They appear in frequent rotation on television, online, and in magazines, promoting Enbrel, Humira, Otezla, Xeljanz, and others.

If you’ve actually read or listened to these ads, you might have felt perplexed at certain points. Here’s a quick rundown on what they’re saying — and not saying — in one of those ads.

“The clock is ticking”

Part 1: A teakettle whistles on the stove and a disembodied voice speaks as this ad for Humira opens. “This is your wakeup call. If you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, month after month the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. Ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion.” Three people are shown starting their day in pain: one rubs his knee and grimaces, another has a sore shoulder, and the third, sore hands. Their suffering is clear, … Read more

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