Ten Health Stories from 2016

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1. Zika virus

The mosquito-borne virus began in Brazil. It has been found to cause birth defects in the fetuses of women. The virus can cause babies to be born with heads smaller than normal.

2. EpiPen prices

Conceivably nothing drew the public’s focus to the increase of prescription drug prices more than that of the EpiPen. It’s prices soared to over $600. This outraged parents of children who must always have the lifesaving treatment on them.

3. Life expectancy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated earlier this month that Americans can now expect to live 78.8 years. Expectancy last year was 78.9.

4. Painkiller addiction

Overdose deaths from highly addictive prescription painkillers reached all time highs.

5. Gene editing

A genetic-engineering tool which alters DNA in living organisms (CRISPR-Cas9), shows potential for developing treatments for diseases, a study that is being funded by the National Academy of Sciences.

6. Tainted water

Tap water with alarmingly high lead levels created a public health scare in Michigan, and caused worry around the United States. Blood tests showed heightened lead levels in many children.

7. Transgender health

Medical services for transgender people grew last year. Groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics conveyed support for young transgendered individuals.

8. Obamacare woes

It was challenging going for the Affordable Care Act. Insurers continued to back out of the program, leaving one-third of U.S. counties with just one insurance company.

9. Screen-time benefits

According to a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the trendy Pokemon Go game led to players taking fifteen hundred more steps per day than they normally would have.

10. Sleep

Sleep has progressively become a public health issue. Not getting enough sleep causes many health problems. These problems can range from weight gain to emotional instability.

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