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What We're Reading: Birth Control Coverage; Genes and Life Span; Breast Cancer Risk

AJMC Staff
The Trump administration will allow religious groups, nonprofits, small businesses, and some other employers to opt out of providing birth control coverage for their employees; an analysis of over 50 million family trees finds that genes have little impact on life span; and women who wake up early have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.

HHS to Let Some Employers Opt Out of Birth Control Coverage

The Trump administration will allow some employers with religious or moral objections to opt out of providing birth control coverage for their employees, a requirement under the Affordable Care Act. The Wall Street Journal reports that under the new rules, which take effect immediately, religious groups, nonprofits, small businesses, and some other employers will be able to opt out of coverage. Most publicly traded companies and government entities wouldn’t be exempt and will have to continue providing coverage. The exemptions are less sweeping than an original set of rules proposed a year ago that would have allowed more employers to opt out of the contraceptive mandate through religious or moral objection.

 

Life Span Has Little to Do With Genes, Analysis Says

An analysis of over 50 million family trees from Ancestry.com found that the heritability of life span is considerably less than widely thought, STAT News has reported. According to the scientists, genes accounted for well under 7% of people’s life span, contradicting the 20% to 30% of most previous estimates. The life spans of spouses were more similar than those of sisters or brothers, indicating that nongenetic factors, such as having access to clean water and living far from disease outbreaks, play a significant role.



Early Risers Have Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

Researchers from the United Kingdom have determined that women who wake up early have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Analyzing data from over 400,000 women, researchers found that women who prefer mornings have a 40% to 48% reduced risk of developing the disease, while women who slept longer than 7 to 8 hours had a 20% increased risk per additional hour slept.

 
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