STAT News – How U.S. states have used emergency declarations to fight the opioid epidemic
In Arizona, it allowed state officials to get daily reports on overdoses. In Alaska, it allowed officials to expand naloxone use. In Massachusetts, it led to new prescription monitoring guidelines and even a controversial ban on a specific painkiller. But at the national level, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Tuesday the Trump administration did not yet think it was necessary to declare a state of emergency regarding the opioid crisis. And it is still unclear what invoking such powers would mean for an epidemic that is touching every corner of the country and will likely endure for the foreseeable future.

The New York Times – Programs that fight teenage pregnancy are at risk of being cut
Pregnancy prevention projects across the country, reaching more than a million youths, are funded by a program that the Trump administration has scheduled for elimination in its proposed budget. If Congress concurs, it will end the Obama-era effort to shift away from decades of reliance on abstinence-only programs, which showed little to no evidence of effectiveness. Most projects begun under the Obama administration’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program teach about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases in addition to abstinence. Even before the budget is voted on, the Health and Human Services Department is curtailing the projects, which it funds through grants of $89 million a year to 81 organizations.

Kaiser Health News – Asthma, more deadly with age, takes heavy toll on older adults
Death rates for older adults with asthma are five times that of younger patients, according to a new review of asthma among seniors. And medical complications are more common. As the prevalence of asthma climbs in people 65 and older, more seniors will grapple with its long-term impact. Estimates vary, but up to 9 percent of older adults are thought to have asthma — a respiratory condition that inflames the lungs and interferes with breathing.

CBS News – Strokes recently declined among men, but not women, study says
A study released Wednesday found that from 1999 to 2005, the incidence of stroke declined in both men and women. But from 2005 to 2010, while the rates among men continued to drop, they stayed the same for women. Dr. Kathryn Rexrode of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital said risk factors for stroke — such as obesity, high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat and diabetes — may for some reason affect women differently than men.

Reuters – Texas bill restricting insurance coverage for abortions nears approval
A Texas bill that would restrict insurance coverage for abortions was approved by the state’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday, a move critics called cruel and damaging to women’s health. The House measure would ban insurance coverage for abortions and require women who wanted coverage to purchase a supplemental plan for an abortion, the latest effort by the most-populous Republican-controlled state to place restrictions on the procedure.