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21May
2020

Combining Remdesivir With Other Meds Could Boost COVID-Fighting Power

THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A combination drug therapy for COVID-19 aims to both prevent the virus from spreading inside the human body as well as quelling the immune system havoc that the germ wreaks. A U.S. federally funded clinical trial is testing whether the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir works better against COVID-19 if given with a powerful anti-inflammatory drug called baricitinib. "Baricitinib is a once-daily oral drug that has been well-tolerated in many studies examining its use in rheumatoid arthritis. It has very few drug interactions, so can [it] be combined with most antivirals such as remdesivir," said Dr. Vincent Marconi, a professor of medicine and global health at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. This isn't the only study...

Earlier Lockdowns Would Have Saved Thousands of American...

21 May 2020
THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 36,000 American lives would have been spared if strict social distancing measures had been enacted across the country just one week earlier than they were, new estimates suggest. And if those measures had been imposed two weeks before most people started staying home, about 54,000 COVID-19 deaths would have been avoided by early May, Columbia University disease models show, The New York Times reported. The U.S. coronavirus death toll stretched past 93,000 on Thursday, with more than 1.5 million cases. "It's a big, big difference," Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia and leader of the modeling team, told Times. "That small moment in time, catching it in that growth phase, is incredibly critical in reducing the number of...

Keto Diet Might Change Your Gut in More Ways Than One

20 May 2020
WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The now-trendy keto diet is said to turn fat into fuel. But a new, small study says it may also change the vast array of microbes residing in your gut (the microbiome). That could be a good thing, as those changes may ultimately strengthen the immune system by tamping down inflammation, researchers say. The keto diet, which severely restricts carbohydrates and emphasizes fats and protein, has been touted as a way to rein in epilepsy, diabetes and expanding waistlines. Yet despite rising popularity, it remains controversial, and much is unknown about its true impact on health. The new finding follows a two-month study that tracked diet-related shifts in microbiome content among 17 overweight or obese men, with follow-up tests in...

Multiple Sclerosis Ups Odds for Heart Trouble, Stroke

20 May 2020
WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple sclerosis can cause weakness, pain, fatigue and vision problems. The disease also appears to increase the odds of heart disease and stroke, new research suggests. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disorder that can affect movement. The British study found that people with MS were nearly one-third more likely to have "macrovascular disease." Those are conditions that affect the large blood vessels in the body. Heart disease and stroke can be examples of macrovascular disease. People with MS had a 1.5-fold higher risk of dying from heart disease or stroke compared to people without the disease. Those with MS also had 3.5-times higher odds of dying from any cause during the study than did people without the...

Cats, Dogs and Snakebite: One Pet Has an Advantage

20 May 2020
WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- One reason why cats have nine lives has emerged from an Australian study. Cats are twice as likely as dogs to survive the bite of a poisonous snake, according to an international team of researchers. The reason: Cats' blood clots faster than dogs' does. For the study, the researchers compared the effects of 11 different snake venoms from around the world on the blood-clotting agents in dogs and cats. "Snakebite is a common occurrence for pet cats and dogs across the globe and can be fatal," said co-author Bryan Fry, an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. "This is primarily due to a condition called venom-induced consumptive coagulopathy -- where an animal loses its ability...

Heart Attack Cases at ERs Fall by Half – Are COVID Fears to Blame?

20 May 2020
WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. emergency rooms are seeing about half as many heart attack patients as usual -- and researchers suspect the new coronavirus is the reason why. It's not that fewer people are having heart attacks, doctors say. Rather, it's fear of getting COVID-19 keeping people from hospitals. And the consequences can be deadly. "I'm certainly not convinced that the true rate of heart attacks going down explains even a large part of this finding," said lead researcher Dr. Matthew Solomon, a cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif. "We definitely think it has something to do with the public's response and fear about coming to the hospital and getting infected," he said. Solomon noted that after other major events, such as 9/11 and...

Lasting Spikes in Blood Pressure While Exercising Could Be Unhealthy Sign

20 May 2020
WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged men and women who develop high blood pressure while performing even moderate exercise may be at higher risk for heart disease, a new study suggests. "The way our blood pressure changes during and after exercise provides important information on whether we will develop disease in the future," researcher Vanessa Xanthakis, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, said in a university news release. In the study, Xanthakis and her colleagues looked at the link between blood pressure levels, as well as the time needed for high blood pressure to recede back to normal, for nearly 2,000 people enrolled in a major ongoing U.S. heart health study. Participants averaged 58 years of age, about a quarter were...

With PSA Test Out of Favor, Cases of Advanced Prostate Cancer Are Rising

20 May 2020
WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate cancer screening guidelines have been evolving for more than a decade, but new research suggests that recommendations against routine prostate cancer testing may have come at a steep price -- more men getting diagnosed with advanced prostate cancers. The study found that rates of advanced prostate cancers rose by about 5% per year through 2016. There was some good news, though. After routine use of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test was no longer recommended for the majority of men, rates of early prostate cancer went down by 6.9% per year in men between 50 and 74 years old. (Early prostate cancers may be very slow-growing and may not need treatment.) "Men have to talk with their providers. They have to make sure they...

Women Less Likely to Get Standard Heart Medications

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- It's a myth that heart attacks are a "man's disease." Yet a new research review confirms that women remain less likely than men to get medications...

AHA News: Not Wanting to Burden Busy Hospitals, She...

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2020 (American Heart Association News) -- Every weeknight in April, Charley Bednarsh flung open the windows of her fifth-floor apartment across from the World Trade Center. At 7...
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