2017 Year in Review: The Top Health and Medical News

More Americans suddenly have high blood pressure and the nation's opioid crisis dominated health news in 2017. Here's a look back at the year in health. 

President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency.  Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for people under 50 in the US.  

The American Heart Association revised its guidelines for high blood pressure. The new threshold is 130 over 80, replacing 140 over 90.. which means nearly half of adults in the US have hypertension.

A game changer in the treatment of Multiple Scleroisis. The FDA greenlighted Ocrevus, the first drug approved to treat a severe form of MS. 

"Just slowing down the progression if nothing else will allow you to do things that you are doing now longer," said MS patient Steve Beanblossom. 

The FDA also approved the first gene therapy for leukemia. "CAR-T" removes a patient's T-cells then modifies them in the lab to destroy cancer cells.  

"Without overstating it… this is a brand new way to treat cancer," promised Dr. Stephan Grupp of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The American Cancer Society reported a sharp rise in colorectal cancers in millennials and Gen X-ers. 
Poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity may be to blame for the increase. 

The number of people having strokes is dropping in the US, except among women, who may have difficulty spotting the warning signs including fatigue and muscle weakness.

Doctors in Dallas celebrated the birth of the first baby in the us  born to a mother who had a uterus transplant. The boy was delivered in a scheduled c-section.

There was something so exciting about this because the patients are so excited," said Dr. Robert Gunby, Jr., OB-GYN at Baylor University Medical Center.

A team of doctors in the US and South Korea repaired a faulty gene in a human embryo for the first time. The controversial process of gene editing could help prevent thousands of genetic disorders.

New national guidelines aimed at reducing peanut allergies recommend most children start eating foods that contain peanuts when they are infants. 

And two major studies suggest drinking coffee, caffeinated or decaf, will help you live longer. Researchers said the antioxidants found in coffee may offer protective benefits.  

Another study showed light to moderate drinking also offers big health benefits. One theory is that alcohol may improve good cholesterol  and lower inflammation.


(Meg Oliver, CBS News)


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