College affirmative action bans linked to higher rates of smoking among minority youth
Banning the use of affirmative action in college admissions can harm the health of minority high school students, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine suggests. The study, published in PLOS Medicine, found that in states with a ban, smoking among black, Hispanic, and Native American high school students increased nearly 4 percent after those bans were put into place. Some students continued smoking for years into adulthood. But the bans had no significant effect on white students’ behaviors, the study found. “Educational policies can have these unintended health consequences,” said Atheendar Venkataramani, a co-author of the study and assistant professor of health policy at Penn. “Social policies really matter for health, and it’s worth talking about.”
Do Devices that Monitor or Zap the Brain Live Up to Their Claims?
Direct-to-consumer neurotechnology is all the rage. A quick Google search will reveal devices that promise to accelerate learning, promote weight loss, improve sleep, and treat depression, just to name a few. The number of new patents for brain health technologies, which include both mental health apps and devices that monitor or stimulate the brain, exploded over the last decade—and are now worth billions of dollars.
Holly Fernandez Lynch JD, MBE selected to be Greenwall Faculty Scholar
Her project is "What Makes Health Care Gatekeeping Ethical?”
Welcome 2019 ELSI Fellow: Moira Kyweluk
The Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy is thrilled to welcome Moira Kyweluk to the ELSI Genomics Postdoctoral Training Program in August 2019.
Philadelphia’s Sweetened Drink Sales Drop 38 Percent after Beverage Tax
One year after Philadelphia passed its beverage tax, sales of sugary and artificially sweetened beverages dropped by 38 percent in chain food retailers, according to Penn Medicine researchers who conducted one of the largest studies examining the impacts of a beverage tax. The results, published this week in JAMA, translate to almost one billion fewer ounces of sugary or artificially sweetened beverages – about 83 million cans of soda – purchased in the Philadelphia area. The findings provide more evidence to suggest beverage taxes can help reduce consumption of sugary drinks, which are linked to the rise in obesity and its related non-communicable diseases, such as type II diabetes.
We need more signal and less noise about industry payments to doctors
How much drug companies pay doctors for meals, giving talks, and serving on corporate boards was once as opaque as how these companies now price prescription drugs. That changed several years ago with the creation of the Open Payments program, which makes this information publicly available. In an unsuspecting twist, this transparency program, which was meant to bolster trust, has actually decreased patients’ trust in their physicians, even those who have never taken a nickel from pharmaceutical companies.
A Newcomer to Health Innovation Shares Her Experience
Aimee Ando has always been an early adopter. In her practice, if someone shows her a path forward, she usually takes it. It makes sense, then, that she joined the inaugural cohort of Penn’s Master of Health Care Innovation program, a two-year online degree at Penn that provides health care professionals with the mentors and know-how to create real change.
Doctors use social media as a way to combat disinformation, stay in touch with patients
Lori Inselman of Langhorne has struggled with weight her entire life. At 57, she recalls the torment of “being the heavy kid on the block and getting made fun of.” For decades, Inselman tried every diet around, her weight bouncing up and down. But that changed two and a half years ago when she met Janine Kyrillos, director of Jefferson’s Comprehensive Weight Management Program at Bala Cynwyd, who put her on a ketogenic form of eating — low carbohydrate, high fat — and admitted her to her closed Facebook group of Kyrillos’ other patients.
Attitudes Toward Physician-Assisted Death From Individuals Who Learn They Have an Alzheimer Disease Biomarker
Understanding attitudes toward PAD held by individuals at risk for cognitive decline owing to AD is important to inform ongoing debates about the scope of access to PAD. Further research is indicated to better understand end-of-life care preferences among people at increased risk for dementia.
‘Partly Alive’: Scientists Revive Cells in Brains From Dead Pigs
In a study that raises profound questions about the line between life and death, researchers have restored some cellular activity to brains removed from slaughtered pigs.
Precision Medicine Research: An Exception or An Exemplar?
Precision medicine is “an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.”1 There is growing interest in precision medicine research as an alternative to traditional research because it holds the potential to identify interventions tailored to the needs of particular patients rather than to the needs of the average patient.
5 ways to address the challenges of direct-to-consumer health products by Anna Wexler and Steve Joffe
Health products are increasingly moving from the realm of the medical professional to the consumer. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) versions of teeth alignment kits, genetic tests, hearing aids, heart-rhythm monitors, neurostimulation devices, and mental health tools are already on the market, causing professional organizations of dentists, geneticists, audiologists, cardiologists, neurologists, and psychiatrists to grapple with challenges to their authority and practice.
In Ethiopia, new perspectives on the challenges of development
PIK Professor Ezekiel Emanuel and Assistant Professor Heather Schofield led a group of Wharton students on a four-day trip to Ethiopia, for a close-up look at the African nation’s health, agricultural, business, and political sectors.
Zeke Emanuel: America has already had a gay president
“If elected, you would be the first openly gay president of the United States,” Stephen Colbert said to Pete Buttigieg after the mayor of South Bend, Ind., declared his candidacy. While the characterization of being openly gay or “out” is relatively new, the fact is the United States has already had a gay president whose contemporaries knew it: James Buchanan. Indeed, the United States has also had a gay vice president and, maybe more surprisingly, a gay senator from Alabama.
Name the much-criticized federal program that has saved the U.S. $2.3 trillion. Hint: it starts with Affordable
March 23, the ninth anniversary of the ACA’s passage, presents a good opportunity to examine its legacy on cost control — a legacy that deserves to be in the foreground, not relegated to the background behind the exchanges, Medicaid expansion, and work requirements.
"Preclinical Alzheimer Disease and the Dawn of the Pre-Caregiver" by Emily Largent and Jason Karlawish
This Viewpoint discusses the emerging role of the pre-caregiver in preclinical Alzheimer disease.
"Will robots replace doctors?" Bob Kocher and Zeke Emanuel
The data we are using to train our AI models could lead to results that perpetuate—and even exacerbate—rather than remedy these stubborn disparities.
Why Is Congress Afraid Of Consciousness?
Essay by Jonathan Moreno, David and Lyn Silfen University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania
The latest Instagram influencer frontier? Medical promotions.
Although they have massive followings, Moreno distinguishes influencers from celebrities through what he calls the “social network proximity.” Celebrities are people we project fantasies on, while influencer communities make those fantasies attainable because “they are based on some kind of emotional linkage.”