Health Highlights: Feb. 18, 2020

By on February 18, 2020

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Melanoma Cases Rising in U.S.

Cases of melanoma in the United States increased 2% a year between 2005 and 2015, and will likely rise from 96,000 cases in 2019 to 151,000 cases in 2030 if the trend continues, a new study says.

The researchers noted that most cases of melanoma — the deadliest type of skin cancer — in the United States are linked with ultraviolet radiation exposure from “excessive sun exposure and indoor tanning,” CNN reported.

UV exposure accounted for 91% of all melanoma cases diagnosed in the United States from 2011 to 2015, and 94% of melanoma cases occurred in non-Hispanic whites, according to the study.

“High indoor tanning prevalence among teen girls in the late 1990s is likely a contributing factor,” to the rising number of melanoma cases, said study author Dr. Farhad Islami, a cancer epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society, CNN reported.

States with the highest UV-attributable incidence rates among all residents were: Utah, 36.3 cases per 100,000; Vermont, 31.1 per 100,000; Delaware, 28.2 per 100,000; Minnesota, 27.6 per 100,000; New Hampshire, 27.2 per 100,000; Oregon, 25.5 per 100,000; Idaho, 25.4 per 100,000; Georgia, 24.2 per 100,000; Washington, 23.9 per 100,000; Montana, 23.9 per 100,000.

“These variations likely reflect a combination of state differences in the strength of solar UV radiation, regular or intermittent participation in outdoor activities [even intermittent sun exposure increases melanoma risk], sun protection, indoor tanning and early detection activities,” the authors wrote, CNN reported.

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Coronavirus Fears Trigger Attack on Asian-American Teen in California

A 16-year-old California boy was attacked at school last week by assailants who accused him of having the coronavirus simply because he’s Asian-American.

This is just one of a series of racist incidents in the United States linked with the coronavirus outbreak that began in China, but has nothing to do with being Asian, CBS News reported.

Officials did not release the name of the San Fernando Valley student’s school or any further details of the attack, but said that Los Angeles police are investigating.

The student “went to the hospital originally, and went to the emergency room,” Robin Toma, the executive director of the L.A. County Human Relations Commission, said in a news conference with Los Angeles County public officials on Thursday, CBS News reported. “They were taking MRIs to ensure he didn’t have a concussion or other harm.”

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