The Added Stress of Childcare; Hospitals' 'Failed Strategy'; and Poor Child Heart Health

Kaitlin Edwards

July 20, 2022

Childcare Woes Increase Stress in Healthcare Workers
COVID-related childcare stress (CSS) increased burnout, anxiety, and depression in healthcare workers, with a disproportionate impact on women, racial, and ethnic minority workers, according to new research.

Significant results: CCS affected 21% of medical employees and was linked to 115% greater odds of anxiety and depression. It was also associated with 80% higher odds of burnout, 91% higher odds of intent to reduce hours within 1 year, and 28% higher odds of intent to leave the job within 2 years.

Among physicians, allergists and dermatologists had the highest CCS rates.

Expert: Hospitals Waiting Out Labor Problems Won't Work
Hospitals and health systems face higher costs for labor, drugs, and supplies during a time of reduced admissions from the pandemic.

A big threat: Burnout and lack of available staff have caused clinician supply to dwindle. Contract firms have upped their rates and have become one of the largest driving forces of wage inflation.

Drug and supply costs also on the rise: In January 2022 alone, drug companies increased prices of 810 drugs by an average of 5.1%, according to a study by GoodRX. Research also found that cost inflation for supplies has increased by 3% since before the pandemic.

Reduced admissions: Hospitals volumes have not yet recovered to pre-COVID levels, and research suggests that the trend will likely continue, excluding patients with COVID.

Heart Health Poor for Most US Children
Fewer than one third of children aged 2–19 years scored highly on the American Heart Association's (AHA's) checklist for ideal cardiovascular fitness, according to new research.

Researchers analyzed available data using AHA's Life's Essential 8 — a 100-point assessment of eight predictors for measuring heart health, including sleep, nicotine exposure, and blood glucose.

Poor results: Only 2.2% of children of the nearly 10,000 included in the study had optimal heart health. In the 2- to 5-year age group, 56.5% of the children had good heart health. Only 33.5% of 6- to 11-year-olds scored highly. Of adolescents, 14% had a good heart score.

Why it matters: "As a physician community caring for these patients, we need to be much more aggressive with our counseling and referral of these patients," said Barry Love, MD, director of the congenital cardiac catheterization program at the Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Heart Center, New York City. "These youngsters will inevitably encounter the effect of these conditions ― coronary artery disease and stroke ― at a much earlier adult age."

Kaitlin Edwards is a staff medical editor based in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @kaitmedwards. For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


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