5 Things to Read on Improving Health

Read about a pilot of broad-based DNA sequencing, the promise of a new Ebola vaccine and why consumers shouldn’t trust pills marketed as sun protection.

Height, weight and … DNA? Sequencing picks up in popularity

Genetic tests can help predict future health problems, and at least one health system is embracing the technology. Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania has a goal to offer DNA sequencing free of charge to all 3 million of its patients. Doctors there are hopeful this will help improve health and decrease the cost of care, Kaiser Health News reports, while others are skeptical, predicting the testing may lead to over-treatment.

New Ebola vaccine put to the test

Ebola is back, with an outbreak spreading in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But unlike the major outbreak in 2014, this time, a vaccine exists. After years of research, it’s being put to use in the real world for the first time to fight the growing outbreak. “I’m of course excited that we are there. And of course it has taken too long,” the vaccine’s designer told STAT.

Pills marketed as sun protection too good to be true, FDA warns

Companies selling pills or capsules claiming they can protect people against the sun are “misleading consumers, and putting people at risk,” the head of the Food and Drug Administration warned this month. “There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen,” he said, according to USA Today.

Suicidal thoughts, actions on the rise among children

In 2015, children visited hospitals for suicidal thoughts or attempts roughly twice as often as in 2008, NPR reports from a recent study. The cause of the increase isn’t clear, but researchers did see peaks around fall and spring — when school-related pressure would be at a high point. Doctors recommend talking to kids and asking how they’re feeling to assess possible suicide risk.

[Related: Depression is on the rise and linked with other chronic conditions]

Technology may be tough on the thumbs

Thumb overuse cases are on the rise, thanks to smartphones, and injuries are becoming more common in working adults. A New York Times writer shares her experience after she developed tendinosis in her phone thumb. “It’s a crisis,” one doctor told her.

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5 Things to Read on Improving Health

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health care system work better?

Interested in ways we can make the health care system work better?