What We’re Reading: Suicide Among Female Nurses; Biden to Reverse Ban on Abortion Referrals; Exercise and COVID-19 Risk

A new study finds high rates of suicide among female nurses in the United States; President Joe Biden aims to undo Trump-era restrictions on abortion referrals; research indicates regular exercise may prevent severe COVID-19 outcomes.

High Suicide Rates Seen Among Female Nurses

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry shows female nurses are 2 times as likely to die by suicide compared with females in the general population and 70% more likely compared with female physicians. Researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study and assessed US data from 2007 to 2018. In absolute terms, compared with the general population of US women, being a female nurse was associated with an additional 8.5 suicides per 100,000. The investigators stress future research is warranted to assess whether interventions could help reduce suicide risk among nurses.

Biden Aims to Reverse Trump Ban on Abortion Referrals

President Joe Biden has begun to reverse a ban on clinics referring women for abortions implemented under former President Donald Trump, the Associated Press reports. The policy excluded Planned Parenthood from the federal family planning program and introduced new barriers for women trying to get birth control. Women’s groups had decried the measure as a “gag rule” while medical associations argued it violated the doctor-patient relationship. The Biden administration has not immediately suspended the regulation, as officials believe more deliberate, careful moves will increase chances proposed changes will be upheld in court.

Exercise May Prevent Severe COVID-19 Outcomes

Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that among patients with COVID-19, those who were consistently inactive had a greater risk of hospitalization, admission to intensive care units, and death. In contrast, patients who consistently met physical activity guidelines had less severe COVID-19 outcomes. The study was conducted among 48,440 adult patients with a diagnosis between January and October 2020. Based on the findings, the researchers recommend public health agencies promote physical activity and incorporate recommendations into routine medical care.