Latest Senior Health News

22Jan
2021

Even When Cancer Is in Remission, Patients' Risks of Severe COVID Rise

Even When Cancer Is in Remission, Patients` Risks of Severe COVID RiseFRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Your cancer has gone into remission, so you breathe a sigh of relief as you try to navigate the coronavirus pandemic safely.Not so fast, says new research that finds even cancer patients in remission still have a high risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.Previous studies have shown that cancer patients who have active disease or are hospitalized are at increased risk of severe COVID-19. Now, this latest report shows that protective measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing are just as important for cancer patients in remission, Penn Medicine researchers said."Patients who have cancer need to be careful not to become exposed during this time," said senior study author Dr. Kara Maxwell, an assistant professor of...

Meth Overdose Deaths Are Surging in America, With...

22 January 2021
Meth Overdose Deaths Are Surging in America, With Minorities Most at RiskFRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Deaths from overdoses of methamphetamine are rising across the United States, especially among Blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives, a new study warns. "While much attention is focused on the opioid crisis, a methamphetamine crisis has been quietly, but actively, gaining steam -- particularly among American Indians and Alaska Natives, who are disproportionately affected by a number of health conditions," said researcher Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).The researchers found that fatal meth overdoses more than quadrupled among American Indians and Alaska Natives from 2011 to 2018 (from 5 to 21 per 100,000 people). In this group, deaths for men rose from nearly 6 to 26 per 100,000 and from nearly...

Arthritis Drug Tocilizumab Flops as COVID-19 Treatment

21 January 2021
Arthritis Drug Tocilizumab Flops as COVID-19 Treatment THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The arthritis drug tocilizumab doesn't help hospital patients with severe COVID-19, according to a new study that contradicts earlier research suggesting that it might aid recovery.In fact, patients receiving tocilizumab had a higher risk of death, so the trial was halted early.Tocilizumab blocks a part of the immune system (interleukin 6) that can become overactive in some COVID-19 patients, and it was thought that the drug might help reduce inflammatory responses in patients.That theory was tested in this study, which included 129 adult COVID-19 patients, average age 57, at nine hospitals in Brazil. They had abnormal levels of at least two inflammation-related compounds in their blood and were receiving supplemental oxygen or mechanical...

When ICUs Near Capacity, COVID Patients' Risk for Death...

20 January 2021
When ICUs Near Capacity, COVID Patients` Risk for Death Nearly DoublesWEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- When intensive care units are swamped with COVID-19 patients, death rates may climb, a new study finds.Looking at data from 88 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, researchers found a pattern: COVID-19 patients were nearly twice as likely to die during periods when ICUs were dealing with a surge of patients with the illness.The results, experts said, do not necessarily mean that a busy ICU puts COVID-19 patients at greater risk.The study looked at numbers of patients, and not the actual care they received, said Dr. Lewis Kaplan, president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and a professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.One hospital may have a busy ICU, but be able to expand its capacity and...

If a Nursing Home Resident Gets a COVID Shot, Can Their Families Visit Them Now?

19 January 2021
If a Nursing Home Resident Gets a COVID Shot, Can Their Families Visit Them Now?TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- People in nursing homes have been suffering in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic, with their institutions in constant lockdown to prevent potentially fatal outbreaks.Now that they're some of the first in line to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, it would be natural for nursing home residents to expect that visits from friends and family will soon resume.That might not happen, though.Uneven vaccination rates and unknowns related to the vaccines could mean that folks in nursing homes will have to remain isolated for a while longer, experts said."It's going to be a while before there are enough people immunized to really start to see a reduction in risk," said Dr. Chris Beyrer, a professor of public health and human rights with the Johns...
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