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Health Highlights: July 16, 2019

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

Anorexia May Have Roots in Metabolism: Study

There's a link between the eating disorder anorexia nervosa and metabolism, a new study finds.

"It means that when we think about anorexia nervosa we need to be thinking that it is not only a psychiatric disorder, but also a metabolic disorder," lead researcher Cynthia Bulik told CNN.

She and her colleagues examined the DNA of nearly 17,000 people with anorexia and 55,000 people without the eating disorder.

They pinpointed eight genetic markers that connect anorexia with some genetic factors that also affect the risk for psychiatric disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and anxiety. But they also found genetic factors linking anorexia to high physical activity and metabolic traits such as a low body mass index (BMI), CNN reported.

The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics.

Anorexia is commonly treated as a purely mental health disorder, but these new findings connecting the disorder with metabolism could help improve treatment and save lives, according to CNN.

Further research is needed to learn more about metabolism's role in anorexia and how it influences the risk of the eating disorder.

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Family Planning Clinic Abortion Restrictions Effective Immediately: Trump Administration

An immediate ban on taxpayer-funded family planning clinics referring women for abortions was announced Monday by the Trump administration.

Another requirement that the clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions also takes effect immediately, the Associated Press reported.

And a rule to take effect next year forbids both kinds of facilities from being under the same roof.

Planned Parenthood is significantly affected by the changes. The group provides taxpayer-funded family planning and basic health care to low-income women, as well as abortions that must be paid for separately, the AP reported.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen said "our doors are still open' as her organization and other groups seek to overturn the regulations in federal court.

The Health and Human Services Department said no judicial orders currently prevent it from enforcing the rule while the matter is before the courts, the AP reported

While welcomed by abortion opponents, "the administration's actions show its intent is to further an ideological agenda," said Clare Coleman, president of the umbrella group National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association.

A number of professional groups also oppose the Trump administration's actions. They could affect low-income women's access to basic medical care, including birth control, cancer screenings and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, according to the American Medical Association.

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Posted: July 2019

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