Health

When a Spouse Goes to the Nursing Home
Health

When a Spouse Goes to the Nursing Home

Even as the signals of approaching dementia became impossible to ignore, Joseph Drolet dreaded the prospect of moving his partner into a long-term care facility.Mr. Drolet, 79, and his beloved Rebecca, 71, both retired lawyers and prosecutors in Atlanta, had been a couple for 33 years, though they retained separate homes. In 2019, she began getting lost while driving, mishandling her finances and struggling with the television remote. The diagnosis — Alzheimer’s disease — came in 2021.Over time, Mr. Drolet moved Rebecca (whose surname he asked to withhold to protect her privacy) into his home. But serving as her round-the-clock caregiver, as she needed help with every daily task, became exhausting and untenable. Rebecca began wandering their neighborhood and “getting dressed in the middle ...
6 Reasons That It’s Hard to Get Your Wegovy and Other Weight-Loss Prescriptions
Health

6 Reasons That It’s Hard to Get Your Wegovy and Other Weight-Loss Prescriptions

About 3.8 million people in the United States — four times the number two years ago — are now taking the most popular weight-loss drugs, according to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, an industry data provider.Some of these prescriptions are for diabetes. The medicines are Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy (the same drug sold under different brand names), and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro and Zepbound (also the same drug).Pent-up demand is even higher, because many people who want the drugs cannot find or afford them. Without insurance coverage, people have to pay out of their own pockets. If they obtain a coupon offering a discount from Eli Lilly, people with commercial insurance pay $550 a month for Zepbound. For those who are commercially insured, a coupon from Novo Nordisk for Wegovy ...
Runner With Long Covid Creates Flagstaff’s Dream Run Camp
Health

Runner With Long Covid Creates Flagstaff’s Dream Run Camp

Never one to waste a spare moment, Matt Fitzgerald clambered into the second row of his Mazda CX-90 on a recent weekday morning and cracked open his MacBook so that he could work on another book.Mr. Fitzgerald, 52, is many things — writer, public speaker, coach — but mostly he is prolific. He has written or co-written 34 books, most of them about running, endurance sports and nutrition. He writes early. He writes often. He writes a lot.“Sometimes I do feel like I’m doing B-plus work on a dozen things versus A-plus work on three or four,” he said. “But I am who I am. There’s always a couple of things where I try to give the absolute best of myself at any given time, and I guess that’s enough.”Mr. Fitzgerald has the sort of slim, athletic build that hints at another part of his identity: dis...
Syphilis Is Soaring in the U.S.
Health

Syphilis Is Soaring in the U.S.

Syphilis, once nearly eliminated in the United States, continues to resurge, reaching the highest rate of new infections recorded since 1950, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.More than 207,000 cases were diagnosed in 2022, the last year for which data are available. That represents an 80 percent increase since 2018, and 17 percent over the previous year’s tally, according to a new C.D.C. report.The rates soared in every age group, including newborns. In November, the C.D.C. said more than 3,700 cases of congenital syphilis were reported in 2022, roughly 11 times the number recorded a decade ago. The disease caused 231 stillbirths and 51 infant deaths in 2022.Experts pointed to a slew of reasons for the continued increases in syphilis and other S.T.I.s.Substanc...
The Man in Room 117
Health

The Man in Room 117

Sam and Olga had concluded that only involuntary treatment could break the cycle for Andrey — something open-ended, combining long-term injectable medications with intensive therapy and counseling.They are part of a much larger ideological shift taking place, as communities grope for ways to manage ballooning homeless populations. California, one of the first states to turn away from involuntary treatment, has passed new laws expanding it. New York has made a billion-dollar investment in residential housing, psychiatric beds and wraparound services.Sam had staked his hopes on Washington’s new involuntary treatment law, and found it maddening that this fall, when Andrey was released, the new system was not yet active. His frustration was often directed toward civil rights advocates who oppo...
Jon Franklin, Pioneering Apostle of Literary Journalism, Dies at 82
Health

Jon Franklin, Pioneering Apostle of Literary Journalism, Dies at 82

Jon Franklin, an apostle of narrative short-story style journalism whose own work won the first Pulitzer Prizes awarded for feature writing and explanatory journalism, died on Sunday in Annapolis, Md. He was 82.His death, at a hospice, came less than two weeks after falling at his home, his wife, Lynn Franklin, said. He had also been treated for esophageal cancer for two years.An author, teacher, reporter and editor, Mr. Franklin championed the nonfiction style that was celebrated as New Journalism but that was actually vintage narrative storytelling, an approach that he insisted still adhere to the old-journalism standards of accuracy and objectivity.He imparted his thinking about the subject in “Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction” (1986), which became a go-to how-to ...
Europe Faces a Measles Outbreak
Health

Europe Faces a Measles Outbreak

Back Story: The pandemic and rising hesitancy slowed immunizations.A false claim in the 1990s that said the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine causes autism led to a drop in immunization rates. Public health campaigns later recouped much of that deficit, but the rates again fell during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in low-income countries.The measles virus is particularly adept at finding pockets of vulnerability, but outbreaks of other vaccine-preventable diseases may follow, said Dr. Saad Omer, the dean of the O’Donnell School of Public Health at U.T. Southwestern in Dallas.“Measles is usually the canary in the coal mine,” Dr. Omer said. In the United States this year, Philadelphia has recorded nine cases of measles, Washington State confirmed three cases and was investiga...
FDA Issues Warning of Cancer Risk Tied to CAR-T Therapies
Health

FDA Issues Warning of Cancer Risk Tied to CAR-T Therapies

The Food and Drug Administration is requiring companies that make specialized cancer therapies known as CAR-T to add a boxed warning that the treatments themselves may cause cancers.The agency noted that the benefits still outweighed the risks of the therapy, which involves removing a type of white blood cells — T cells — and then genetically engineering them to create proteins called chimeric antigen receptors (CAR). Infused back into a patient’s blood, the engineered cells allow the T cells to attach to cancer cells and kill them.But the therapies, which mostly treat blood cancers, including multiple myeloma, had already carried a warning for dangerous immune responses and for neurological risks. And the new warning follows reports of about 20 cases of secondary cancers that federal heal...
Berish Strauch, Path Breaker in Reconstructive Surgery, Dies at 90
Health

Berish Strauch, Path Breaker in Reconstructive Surgery, Dies at 90

Berish Strauch, a plastic surgeon whose pioneering procedures and devices to reattach or replace vital body parts included one of the first toe-to-thumb transplants, a device to reverse vasectomies and, perhaps most notably, the first inflatable prosthetic penis, died on Dec. 24 in Greenwich, Conn. He was 90.His daughter, Laurie Strauch Weiss, said the cause of his death, in a hospital, was respiratory failure.Beginning in the late 1960s, Dr. Strauch was at the forefront of a revolution in plastic surgery, in particular microsurgery, in which doctors use microscopes and precision instruments to sew together minuscule blood vessels, nerves and ligaments, some thinner than a human hair, said Dr. June K. Wu, an associate professor of surgery at Columbia University who completed her residency ...
With Harsh Anti-L.G.B.T.Q. Law, Uganda Risks a Health Crisis
Health

With Harsh Anti-L.G.B.T.Q. Law, Uganda Risks a Health Crisis

For decades, Uganda’s campaign against H.I.V. was exemplary, slashing the country’s death rate by nearly 90 percent from 1990 to 2019. Now a sweeping law enacted last year, the Anti-Homosexuality Act, threatens to renew the epidemic as L.G.B.T.Q. citizens are denied, or are too afraid to seek out, necessary medical care.The law criminalizes consensual sex between same-sex adults. It also requires all citizens to report anyone suspected of such activity, a mandate that makes no exceptions for health care providers tending to patients.Under the law, merely having same-sex relationships while living with H.I.V. can incur a charge of “aggravated homosexuality,” which is punishable by death.Anyone who “knowingly promotes homosexuality” — by hiring or housing an L.G.B.T.Q. person, or by not repo...