MedDay – May 27, 2021

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NEW YORK, NY. — How good gut bacteria could help cancer patients and the number of Americans who died of an overdose reached unprecedented levels during the pandemic. Femi Redwood takes a look at some of today’s top health stories.

A nationwide survey of emergency medical service agencies finds a 40% jump in the number of people who died of a drug overdose last year compared to 2019. The largest increases were found in minority populations, people living in poverty and residents of western states. Researchers point to pandemic-related struggles and a recent spread of synthetic opioids.

A new study finds a link between people who’ve lost consciousness due to a concussion and disability later in life. University of Pennsylvania researchers surveyed over 7,000 older adults and found those who’d suffered a concussion and lost consciousness when they were younger more frequently reported having difficulty walking or limits to the amount of work they could do.

And good gut bacteria can counteract side effects from chemotherapy, according to a new study from Northwestern University. Researchers say specific strains break down chemo drugs and protect microbes that digest food and provide immunity. Microbiome damage from chemotherapy in children has been linked to obesity, asthma and diabetes.

Those are some of today’s top health stories. Femi Redwood, CBS News, New York.

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