Health Highlights: Aug. 4, 2017

U.S. Teen Suicide Rates Continue to Rise Prosecutors Deployed to Fight U.S. Drug Abuse Epidemic Former Notre Dame Football Coach Ara Parseghian Dies at 94

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

U.S. Teen Suicide Rates Continue to Rise

Teen suicide rates in the United States continue to rise, particularly among females, a new government report shows.

In fact, the suicide rate for females aged 15 to 19 in 2015 was the highest seen in 40 years, the researchers noted.

Among males aged 15 to 19, suicide rates increased from 12 per 100,000 to 18 per 100,000 between 1975 and 1990, fell between 1990 and 2007, and then reached 14 per 100,000 by 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, NBC News reported.

"Rates for females aged 15-19 were lower than for males aged 15-19 but followed a similar pattern during 1975-2007," they wrote. "The rate in 2015 was the highest for females for the 1975-2015 period."

Between 2007 and 2015, suicide rates doubled among females aged 15 to 19 and increased more than 30 percent among males aged 15 to 19, NBC News reported.

It's part of an overall rise in suicides in the United States, which have increased 28 percent since 2000, according to CDC suicide expert Thomas Simon.

"Nationally overall we have been seeing an increase in suicide rates that is pretty pervasive among all age groups," said Simon.

In 2007, 4,320 U.S. children and young adults up to age 24 committed suicide, according to the CDC, making suicide among the four leading causes of death among Americans aged 10 and older. In 2015, 5,900 children and adults aged 10 to 24 committed suicide, separate CDC data reveals.


Prosecutors Deployed to Fight U.S. Drug Abuse Epidemic

Twelve federal prosecutors will be sent to cities plagued by drug addiction to investigate health care fraud and opioid scams, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday.

The pilot program is meant to combat the nation's drug abuse epidemic, the Associated Press reported.

"In recent years some of the government officials in our country I think have mistakenly sent mixed messages about the harmfulness of drugs," Sessions said. "So let me say: We cannot capitulate intellectually or morally unto this kind of rampant drug abuse. We must create a culture that's hostile to drug abuse."

The prosecutors will analyze data in an attempt to identify doctors and other health care providers who illegally prescribe or distribute powerful opioid painkillers, the AP reported.

The drugs are a major factor in the nation's deadly drug overdose epidemic. A record 215,000 Americans died of overdoses in 2015.


Former Notre Dame Football Coach Ara Parseghian Dies at 94

Former Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian has died at age 94.

In a statement, university president Rev. John Jenkins said Parseghian died at his home in Granger, Ind., at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

Parseghian had recently returned home after spending more than a week in a nursing care facility, where he was treated for an infection in his surgically repaired hip. He continued to receive round-the-clock care at home.

After taking over a struggling Notre Dame football program in the 1960s, Parseghian led the team to two national championships (1966 and 1973) in 11 seasons. He retired after the 1974 season with a record of 95-17-4, the AP reported.

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