10 Tips To Protect Your LiverLiver BasicsThe liver is the largest organ inside the human body. When something goes wrong with the liver, it can have a serious effect on almost every other organ in the body. A little more than 1.5 quarts of blood pump through the liver every minute, allowing the liver to quickly and effectively remove toxins and waste products from the bloodstream. At the same time, the liver stores important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and iron. Click through the slideshow for tips to keep this important organ happy and healthy.
Since emerging in late 2019, COVID-19 has killed almost 2 million people. These data showed that over 310,000 deaths were associated with COVID-19, placing it third among the leading causes of death in 2020. According to the mathematicians, there was enough distance between the number of U.S. deaths caused by cancer (the second leading cause of death in 2019) and those caused by unintentional injuries (the fourth leading cause of mortality in 2019) to conclude that COVID-19 fell at number three on the list in 2020. Heart disease was still the leading cause of death in the United States. During the week of December 5, researchers at the University of Washington said COVID-19 had actually surpassed ischemic heart disease as the leading cause of death in America that week, reported NBC News.
There are extensive social and cultural differences between African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans and African immigrants. Scientists discovered distinctions among the three different ethnic classifications for Black Americans and compared them with whites for all four heart disease risk factors studied: high blood pressure, diabetes, excess weight and smoking. Researchers also accounted for socioeconomic factors and found that African immigrants were more likely than Afro-Caribbeans, African Americans and white Americans to be college educated. Overall, African immigrants had significantly lower risk factors for heart disease risk compared with Black Americans and Afro-Caribbeans. For related coverage, read “Another Reason for African Americans to Quit Smoking Right Now” and “A Majority of African Americans Are Stricken With Hypertension by Age 55.”
As Los Angeles hospitals give record numbers of COVID patients oxygen, the systems and equipment needed to deliver the life-sustaining gas are faltering. “It’s been nuts, absolutely nuts,” said Esteban Trejo, general manager of Syoxsa, an industrial and medical gas distributor based in El Paso. When a hospital draws more and more liquid oxygen from those tanks, the super-cold liquid can seep further into the vaporizing coils where liquid oxygen turns to gas. But that puts additional strain on the hospitals’ cylinder oxygen supply, as well as the medical gas supplier, Karcher said. They thought something was broken, but when engineers took a look, Christensen said, it became clear the system was just not able to provide the amount of high-flow oxygen patients needed.
Although cancer researchers have made major strides in recent years and more people than ever are surviving longer, these advances haven’t always been accompanied by improvements in quality of life. That’s the subject of this special Cancer Health report—and it’s the next big challenge for the cancer community. Finding effective new treatments is absolutely essential—after all, there’s no quality of life if there’s no life. Making quality of life more central to cancer care means paying more attention to the experiences of people with cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and survival. Here are some key issues, with recommendations for ways the American system of cancer care has to change and tips on how individuals living with cancer—and their caregivers—can advocate for the best quality of life.
For the survey, UCLA researchers asked 931 women who had a mastectomy without undergoing breast reconstruction to assess the motivating factors for forgoing the procedure. The researchers also measured whether surgeons provided them with sufficient information and support for going flat. Women who experienced this kind of resistance tended to be less satisfied with their decision, the study found. Women who choose to go flat should be supported by their treatment team and not treated as if they aren’t concerned about their post-surgery appearance. “This study is an important first strike at dismantling the (often unconscious) patterns of paternalism and misogyny that have festered—unseen and unexamined—in breast cancer care for decades,” she told Cancer Health.
Diets that are rich in sugary beverages and trans fatty acids but lack the more healthful components of a Mediterranean diet drive up the risk of death from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to findings presented at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience. Arising from the accumulation of fat in the liver, NAFLD and its more severe form, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are responsible for a growing proportion of advanced liver disease worldwide. The researchers set out to determine the connection between metabolic and diet-related risk factors and death from liver disease. Globally, there were 184,905 liver-related deaths due to NAFLD in 2017, accounting for 8.6% of liver deaths due to all chronic liver diseases combined. High consumption of trans fats led to an almost 3% rise in such deaths even after adjusting for metabolic risk factors.
Compared with findings from previous studies, fewer people are heeding lung cancer screening advice, according to findings recently published in JAMA Network Open. “We found that periodic screening rates for lung cancer were much lower—55% in our overall pooled analysis—than the rates reported in clinical trials,” Maria Lopez-Olivo, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues wrote. The researchers looked at adherence rates for lung cancer screening in the United States, traits of people who adhered to screening and diagnostic testing rates following screening. Across all studies, the adherence rate for lung cancer screening varied between 12% and 91%, which the researchers attributed to differences in the eligibility criteria used. The pooled lung cancer screening adherence rate was 55% for follow-up periods ranging from 12 to 36 months.
The viruses are spread differently, ranging from contaminated food and water (like hepatitis A) to blood transfusions and shared needles (hepatitis C). The plan lists five main goals for the next five years:Prevent new viral hepatitis infections. Improve viral hepatitis–related health outcomes of people with viral hepatitis. “The nation is losing ground in the fight against viral hepatitis despite safe and effective hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines, and a hepatitis C cure that works after an eight-week course of medicine.”The AIDS Institute, a national nonprofit, said the new plan lays the groundwork for eliminating hepatitis. People living with HIV often have problems that affect the liver, including viral hepatitis and fatty liver.
Now, new findings published in the journal Nature Human Behavior suggest that individuals’ predilection for different types of foods may be linked to their genetics, CNN reports. Scientists sought to find any evidence that might link people’s food preferences to specific genetic markers. Researchers found genetic links for 13 dietary habits, including consumption of alcohol, other drinks and foods, as well as human diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Nine gene locations were associated with the consumption of coffee, tea, alcohol, yogurt, cheese, fermented soybeans, tofu, fish, vegetables and meat. Because only Japanese natives were studied, experts said the genetic variations associated with food preferences might be different among other populations around the world.
The short-term symptoms of high or low blood glucose levels experienced by diabetics can impact driving in a serious way. Blood glucose levels rise after consuming carbohydrates, sugars that come in two main forms simple and complex—also called simple sugars and starches. Self-management means checking blood glucose levels regularly, eating a healthy diet, being physically active, managing stress, and seeing healthcare providers regularly. That involves managing blood glucose levels by eating a healthy diet, losing excess weight, and being physically active. The goal should be to regulate blood glucose levels as best as possible by spreading out carbohydrate consumption, checking glucose levels regularly, taking medications and using insulin as needed.
Among men who have sex with men, viral suppression plateaued in the years leading up to and including 2018. AIDSVu.org has been providing granular data on viral suppression for years. Kenya has used real-time data to target HIV prevention resources since 2016, according to a Medscape report. Traditional methods of finding communities with low levels of viral suppression rely on person-to-person contact tracing, which can be slow, inefficient and incomplete. These data, the study authors wrote, suggest that existing programs aimed at improving viral suppression should focus messaging and resources within these hot spots.
As the COVID-19 pandemic heads for a showdown with vaccines it’s expected to lose, many experts in the field of emerging infectious diseases are already focused on preventing the next one. Experts predict it would cost about $700 billion to institute these and other measures, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. He is setting up the Global Virome Project to catalog viruses in wildlife in order to predict which ones might ignite the next pandemic. One case study for how viruses emerge from nature to become an epidemic is the Nipah virus. “A road will facilitate a transport of goods and people and create economic incentive,” said Walzer, of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
After recently making headlines for his ongoing divorce battle, Dr. Dre, age 55, is in the news again. The hip-hop artist and producer was hospitalized January 4 for a brain aneurysm, reports NBC News. A brain aneurysm is a bulge, or ballooning, in a blood vessel in the brain that can leak or rupture, leading to bleeding in the brain, better known as a hemorrhagic stroke. It’s unknown whether Dre’s brain aneurysm did, in fact, rupture. “Send love and your prayers to the homie Dr. Dre,” tweeted Ice Cube, who, along with Dre, was a member of the rap group N.W.A.
Thirty years in the making, the test may soon improve prostate cancer treatment. In any given year, 174,600 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 31,600 will die of it. By making prostate cancer cells beam on a PET scan, the new test identifies whether metastasis has occurred and if so, where. In the 1990s, cancer researchers found that prostate cancer cells express a distinct protein on their surfaces that can be detected by small molecules. To learn more about this test, read “PSMA PET-CT Accurately Detects Prostate Cancer Spread, Trial Shows.” And to read about another innovation in prostate cancer treatment, see “Minimally Invasive Ultrasound Ablation Can Treat Prostate Cancer.”
Funeral director Kevin Spitzer has been overwhelmed with COVID-related deaths in the small city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. They watched as New York hospitals and funeral homes marshaled refrigerated trucks to store bodies. “Morticians and funeral homes are overflowing as well. The clinic, which has just two morgue spaces, has dealt with 80 COVID deaths, including seven on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Native communities have not only been among the hardest hit with COVID illnesses and deaths, but their grieving rituals have been among the most seriously disrupted.
Safety Net Primary Care ProvidersThe findings come from a 2019 health care provider survey by Afiba Manza-A. Before adjusting variables to account for the small number of responses, that low knowledge was associated with a 91% decreased likelihood of prescribing PrEP. “Providers had a high awareness of PrEP and were willing to prescribe PrEP if given additional information,” wrote the study authors. “Providers in our survey endorsed interest in receiving educational trainings on PrEP and integrating PrEP services into primary care. This finding is encouraging because [primary care providers] and HIV specialists often disagree about whom should be responsible for prescribing PrEP.”Click here to read the study.
Even before there was a vaccine, some seasoned doctors and public health experts warned, Cassandra-like, that its distribution would be “a logistical nightmare.”After Week 1 of the rollout, “nightmare” sounds like an apt description. Why should vaccine distribution be any different? From there, an inscrutable mix of state officials, public health agencies and lobbyists seem to be determining where the vaccine should go. But Pfizer — which did not fully participate in Operation Warp Speed — is shipping much of the vaccine itself. The National Health Service will let everyone else “know when it’s your turn to get the vaccine ” from the government-run health system.
The hurdle is that COVID vaccine makers are only in the early stages of testing their products on children. The Pfizer vaccine authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday was greenlighted only for people ages 16 and up. It will take months to approve use of the vaccines for middle- and high school-aged kids, and months more to test them in younger children. Meissner abstained from the committee’s vote Thursday that supported, by a 17-4 vote, an emergency authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for people 16 and older. Federal scientists hope to get that data from the Moderna and Pfizer adult vaccine trials, she said.
In China, many watching the events in Washington D.C. immediately made comparisons to the violent occupation of Hong Kong’s legislature in mid-2019. Protests in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, began in June 2019 as a series of large-scale, peaceful demonstrations against an extradition bill that critics feared would be used by China as a weapon to silence dissenters. But the Global Times posted a side-by-side comparison of scenes of the Hong Kong protests and Trump protesters inside the Capitol building. Ann Chiang, a pro-Beijing lawmaker in Hong Kong posted a video of the turmoil in Washington D.C. on her Facebook page. The U.S. government has passed several pieces of legislation supporting the protest movement in Hong Kong, and the city has become a political flashpoint between China and the U.S.Get The Brief.
At Wellness Axis we want to encourage habits of wellness, Increase awareness of factors and resources contributing to well-being, Inspire and empower individuals to take responsibility for their own health, and to support a sense of community. Wellness can be thought of as the quality or state of being in good health.