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Morning Medical Update: U.S. teen birth rate hits historic low; Chemical in common sweetener destroys DNA; More than 80% of drug users test positive for fentanyl


The top news stories in primary care today.

doctor morning desk coffee © Alena Kryazheva - stock.adobe.com

© Alena Kryazheva - stock.adobe.com

U.S. teen birth rate hits historic low

Teen birth rates in the United States dropped 3% last year, which is a historic low. The rate has been dropping almost every year since 1991. “The data released today by the CDC showed some slight improvements across the board, which is promising, but there is still much more work to be done," Dr. Elizabeth Cherot, senior vice president and chief medical and health officer at March of Dimes said in an article.

Chemical in common sweetener destroys DNA

Sucralose, also known as Splenda, has been linked to DNA destruction in a recent study. Researchers found that after ingested, sucralose produces several fat-soluble compounds in the gut. One of those compounds is sulacrose-6-acetate. “When we exposed sucralose and sucralose-6-acetate to the tissue that lines your gut wall – we found that both chemicals cause ‘leaky gut.’,” Susan Schiffman, corresponding author of the study said in an article.

More than 80% of users test positive for fentanyl

While more than 80% of those injecting drugs test positive for fentanyl, only 18% intend to take it, according to a new study done at the NYU School of Global Public Health. Drug deaths have nearly tripled in New York City since 2017 when fentanyl became more common. To combat this, the city has opened two overdose prevention centers, which are the nations first.

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