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Twentyeight Health is a telemedicine company expanding access to women’s health and reproductive care

New York’s Twentyeight Health is taking the wildly telemedicine services for women’s health popularized by companies like Nurx and bringing them to a patient population that previously hadn’t had access. 

The mission to provide women who are Medicaid or underinsured should not be deprived of the same kinds of care that patients who have more income security or better healthcare coverage enjoy, according to the company’s founder, Amy Fan.

The mission, and the company’s technology, have managed to convince a slew of investors who have poured $5.1 million in seed funding into the new startup. Third Prime led the round, which included investments from Town Hall Ventures, SteelSky Ventures, Aglaé Ventures, GingerBread Capital, Rucker Park Capital, Predictive VC, and angel investors like Stu Libby, Zoe Barry, and Wan Li Zhu.

“Women who are on Medicaid, who are underinsured or without health insurance often struggle to find access to reproductive health services, and these struggles have only increased with COVID-19 pandemic limiting access to in-person appointments,” said Amy Fan, co-founder of Twentyeight Health, in a statement. “We are fighting for healthcare equity, ensuring that all women, particularly BIPOC women and women from low-income backgrounds, can access high quality, dignified and convenient care.”

To ensure that its catering to underserved communities, the company works with Bottomless Closet, a workforce entry program for women, and the 8 colleges in the City University of New York ecosystem including LaGuardia College, which has 45,000 students with 70% coming from families making less than $30,000 in annual income.

The company’s services are currently available across Florida, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and it’s the only telemedicine company focused on contraception services to accept Medicaid.

In another example of how awesome this company is, it’s also working to provide free birth control for women who aren’t able to pay out of pocket and are uninsured through a partnership with Bedsider’s Contraceptive Access Fund. The company also donates 2% of its revenue to Bedsider and the National Institute for Reproductive Health. (Y’all, this company is amaze.)

To sign up for the service, new customers fill out a medical questionnaire online. Once the questionnaire is reviewed by a US board-certified doctor within 24 hours customers can access over 100 FDA-approved brands of birth control pills, patches, rings, shots, and emergency contraception and receive a shipment within three days.

Twentyeight Health provides ongoing care through online audio consultations and doctor follow up messages to discuss issues around updating prescriptions or addressing side effects, the company said.

“Today, low-income women are three times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than the average woman in the U.S., and nearly one-third of physicians nationwide aren’t accepting new Medicaid patients,” said Bruno Van Tuykom, co-founder of Twentyeight Health, in a statement. “This underscores why offering high-quality reproductive care that is inclusive of people across race, income bracket, or health insurance status is more important than ever.”

Launched in 2018, Twentyeight Health said it would use the new

Study: Less restrictive reproductive rights reduce birth complications risk by 7%

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are 7% less likely have low birth weight babies than those living in states with more stringent laws, according to an analysis published Tuesday by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The risk was 8% lower for Black women living in less-restrictive states, the data showed.

“Our study provides evidence that reproductive rights policies play a critical role in advancing maternal and child health equity,” study co-author May Sudhinaraset, of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, said in a statement.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973, which effectively legalized abortion, states have had “substantial discretion” in creating policies governing whether Medicaid covers the costs of contraception or reproductive health care.

Some states have taken steps that effectively limit access to abortion services and other reproductive care, Sudhinaraset and her colleagues said.

Black women are more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than any other race group, experience more maternal health complications than White women and generally have lower quality maternity care, they said.

In addition, women of color are more likely to experience adverse birth outcomes.

Compared to infants of normal weight, low-birth-weight babies face many potential health complications, including infections early in life and long-term problems, such as delayed motor and social development or learning disabilities.

Sudhinaraset and her colleagues analyzed birth record data for the nearly 4 million births that occurred in the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in 2016, comparing reproductive rights policies and adverse birth outcomes in each state.

They also evaluated if the associations were different for women of color and immigrants.

The findings indicate that expanding reproductive rights may reduce the risk of low-birth weight, particularly for U.S.-born Black women, the researchers said.

“Important policy levers can and should be implemented to improve women’s reproductive health overall, including increasing abortion access and mandatory sex education in schools,” Sudhinaraset said.

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Women’s Reproductive Health Tied to Later Heart Disease | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia and miscarriage, may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease later in life, a new study suggests.

For the study, the researchers analyzed 32 reviews that assessed women of childbearing age and their subsequent risk of heart disease. The women in those papers were followed for an average of seven to 10 years.

Several reproductive factors were linked with an up to twofold risk of heart disease later in life: starting periods early; use of combined oral contraceptives; polycystic ovary syndrome; miscarriage; stillbirth; preeclampsia; diabetes during pregnancy; preterm birth; low birth weight; and early menopause.

In addition, preeclampsia was associated with a fourfold risk of heart failure.

Family medical history, genetics, weight, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and chemical imbalances from use of hormonal contraceptives are among the possible explanations for these associations, according to study author Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues.

There was no association between heart disease risk and current use of progesterone-only contraceptives, use of non-oral hormonal contraceptive agents or fertility treatment, the study authors noted.

More time breastfeeding was associated with a lower risk of heart disease, according to the report published online Oct. 7 in the BMJ.

Previous research has suggested that women may have specific risk factors for heart disease and stroke, but there were questions about the quality of evidence, the study authors said in a journal news release.

The new report doesn’t prove cause and effect, but the findings indicate that reproductive factors do influence women’s future risk of heart disease. The researchers suggest that women’s health care guidelines be updated to include reproductive risk factors as part of the risk assessment for heart disease.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Reproductive Health Tied to CVD in Women

Pregnancy complications and fertility issues that occur throughout the course of life may increase a woman’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) later on in life, according to an umbrella review.

A wide range of female sex-specific reproductive health factors from first menstruation to menopause were associated with increased risk of composite CVD, stroke, ischemic heart disease, and heart failure (HF), reported Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar, MD, of the University of Birmingham in England, and colleagues.

Preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, stillbirth, and preterm birth had the strongest associations with cardiovascular illness later on in life, with women who had history of preeclampsia at four times the risk of developing HF (relative risk 4.19, 95% CI 2.09-8.38), they wrote in The BMJ.

Breastfeeding reduced the risk of poor cardiovascular health. There were also no observed associations between CVD and use of progesterone-only birth control, non-oral hormonal contraceptives, or fertility treatment, according to the authors.

“Our review increases awareness of female sex-specific risk factors for cardiovascular disease among women and health care workers,” Nirantharakumar told MedPage Today in an email. “It calls for multi-disciplinary collaboration between primary care doctors and specialists (obstetricians, gynecologists, cardiologists, and stroke physicians) in the evaluation and follow-up of women with a history of reproductive risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”

Christopher Nau, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at University Hospitals in Cleveland, said that while this review does not quantify individualized risk, it highlights a wide range of female-specific reproductive health factors that all physicians should pay attention to when screening patients.

“Pregnancy is a window into the long-term health risks for a woman,” Nau, who was not involved in the study, said in an interview. “A lot of issues with women’s reproductive health can have an impact on other parts of their health, and we need to keep that in mind.”

Recent age and sex-specific trends have shown some increases in cardiovascular illness risk among younger age groups, and specifically women, Nirantharakumar said. Although many studies have investigated female sex-specific cardiovascular risk factors, gaps in the current literature make public health implications unclear.

Nirantharakumar and colleagues conducted an umbrella review to synthesize existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses. They searched databases for studies about women, CVD, and risk factors related to fertility and pregnancy occurring from first menstruation to menopause. The group investigated several cardiovascular health outcomes, including ischemic heart disease, coronary artery disease, stroke, HF, composite CVD, and others.

Narrative reviews, literature reviews, genetic studies, duplicate analyses, and reviews that looked into atherosclerosis, venous thromboembolism, and hormone replacement treatment were excluded from the review. The researchers accepted articles published up to August 2019.

There were 32 articles included in the umbrella review, a majority of which were meta-analyses. The studies that investigated fertility outcomes followed patients for a median of 10 years, while those that looked into adverse pregnancy outcomes followed patients for around 7.5 years.

Women with moderate preeclampsia, stillbirth, and preterm birth were more than twice as likely to develop composite CVD. Those who had preeclampsia, gestational