Health Highlights: June 27, 2016

June 28, 2016

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

Pediatricians Should Screen Teens for Suicide Risk Factors: AAP

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among U.S. teens and family doctors should screen teen patients for suicide risks, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

In a report released Monday, the AAP also outlined how pediatricians can identify and assist teens ages 15-19 who are at risk for suicide, according to USA Today.

Suicide was the third leading cause of teen deaths in 2007, but has since passed homicide to become second. Unintentional injuries such as drug overdoses and vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths.

Teen suicide rates may have increased due to factors such as stress and anger triggered by electronic media, and a reluctance to use antidepressants, according to report author Ben Shain, head, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NorthShore University HealthSystem, USA Today reported.

Teen suicide risk factors that pediatricians should screen for include a history of physical or sexual abuse, bullying, substance abuse, mood disorders, and being lesbian, gay or bisexual, according to the AAP.


U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Controversial Texas Abortion Rules

Two parts of a controversial Texas abortion law that would have reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

In a 5-3 vote, the court ruled against a requirement that all abortion clinics meet the standards for ambulatory surgical centers, and another requirement that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, The New York Times reported.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who was joined by justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.

“We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution,” Breyer wrote.

Abortion clinics challenging the law said it already led to the closure of about half the state’s 41 abortion clinics, and the number would have again been cut in half if the two contested regulations took full effect, The Times reported.

The two provisions were included in a law passed by the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature and signed into law in July 2013 by then-Governor Rick Perry. Texas officials claimed the now-invalid provisions were necessary to protect women’s health.

However, abortion providers said the rules were expensive, unnecessary and meant to force many of them to close their clinics, The Times reported.

The law was upheld by a federal appeals court in 2015, but last spring a majority of the Supreme Court voted to stay that ruling pending appeal, CNN reported.