Thursday, April 2, 2020

Latest Health Research

 
 
 
 COVID-19

Some COVID-19 patients still have coronavirus up to eight day after symptoms disappear

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
In a new study, researchers found that half of the patients they treated for mild COVID-19 infection still had coronavirus for up to eight days after symptoms disappeared. The research letter was published online in the American Thoracic Society's *American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine*. In "Time Kinetics of Viral Clearance and Resolution of Symptoms in Novel Coronavirus Infection," Lixin Xie, MD, Lokesh Sharma, PhD, and co-authors report on a study of 16 patients with COVID-19, who were treated and released from the Treatment Center of PLA General Hospital in B... more »

No evidence for or against the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for patients with COVID-19

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
A recent study has found that there is no evidence for or against the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for patients with COVID-19. The study, led by researchers at King's College London, also found other types of drugs, such as TNF blockers and JAK inhibitors safe to use. 89 existing studies on other coronavirus strains such as MERS and SARS, as well as the limited literature on COVID-19, were analysed to find out if certain pain medications, steroids, and other drugs used in people already suffering from diseases should be avoided if they catch COVID-19... more »

Low risk of coronavirus spreading through tears

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
While researchers are certain that coronavirus spreads through mucus and droplets expelled by coughing or sneezing, it is unclear if the virus is spread through other bodily fluids, such as tears. Today's just-published study offers evidence that it is unlikely that infected patients are shedding virus through their tears, with one important caveat. None of the patients in the study had conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. However, health officials believe pink eye develops in just 1 percent to 3 percent of people with coronavirus. The study's authors conclude that their finding... more »
 
Diet

Consumption of 3-6 eggs/week lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and death

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 15 hours ago
Eggs have been acknowledged as a good source of high-quality proteins and contain bioactive components beneficial for health, while they are also loaded with abundant cholesterol in the yolks, making the public hesitant about consuming whole eggs. Up to now, most studies exploring the association of egg consumption with incident CVD or total death were conducted in high-income countries and findings were inconsistent across populations and CVD subtypes. Accordingly, no consensus has been reached on the recommendation of egg consumption around the world. The current study conducted b... more »

A plant-based diet helps to prevent and manage asthma, according to new review

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
A plant-based diet can help prevent and manage asthma, while dairy products and high-fat foods raise the risk, according to a new review published in *Nutrition Reviews*. Asthma is a common chronic condition in which the airways become narrow and inflamed--sometimes leading to difficulty with breathing, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. "Asthma is a condition that affects more than 25 million Americans, and unfortunately it can make people more vulnerable in the COVID-19 outbreak," says study author Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, director of clinical research for the Physicians ... more »

Consuming extra calories can help exercising women avoid menstrual disorders

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
Exercising women who struggle to consume enough calories and have menstrual disorders can simply increase their food intake to recover their menstrual cycle, according to a study accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, and publication in the *Journal of the Endocrine Society*. The study found that exercising women with menstrual disorders can start menstruating again by consuming an additional 300-400 calories a day. "These findings can impact all exercising women, because many women strive to exercise for competitive and health-related reasons... more »
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Eating tofu and foods that contain higher amounts of isoflavones was associated with a moderately lower risk of heart disease, especially for younger women and postmenopausal women not taking hormones, according to observational research published today in *Circulation*, the flagship journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital analyzed data from more than 200,000 people who participated in three prospective health and nutrition studies; all participants were free of cancer and heart disease when the studies began.... more »
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
Infants who were started on solid foods at or before three months of age showed changes in the levels of gut bacteria and bacterial byproducts, called short-chain fatty acids, measured in their stool samples, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior studies have linked the early introduction of solid foods to a higher chance of being overweight in childhood. The new study, published in *BMC Microbiology*, suggests that early solid food introduction may predispose infants to being overweight at least in part by altering the gut b...more »
 

To reap heart benefits of a plant-based diet, avoid junk food

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
Plant-based diets are becoming more popular in many areas of the world, but the health benefits of this dietary pattern may depend largely on the specific foods consumed. A new study being presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC) suggests that people following a plant-based diet who frequently consumed less-healthful foods like sweets, refined grains and juice showed no heart health benefit compared with those who did not eat a plant-based diet. "Based on these results, it seems that simply ... more »

Patients with exercise-related hyponatremia advised to 'drink to thirst'

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
Hyponatremia is a condition of low sodium concentration in the blood. Prolonged overhydration during exercise is the primary cause of all forms of exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) and should be avoided. The updated EAH clinical practice guidelines issued by the Wilderness Medical Society stress that individuals engaged in physical and endurance activities should drink to satisfy their thirst (known as "drink to thirst") to avoid overhydration. The guidelines appear in *Wilderness & Environmental Medicine*, published by Elsevier. Review articles and international consensus sta... more »

15% of US alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities involve alcohol under the legal limit

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
Accidents involving drivers testing below legal blood alcohol concentration limits are more likely to cause harm to others than drivers with levels at or above the limit, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine A new study in the *American Journal of Preventive Medicine*, published by Elsevier, found that motor vehicle crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) below the legal limit of 0.08 percent accounted for 15 percent of alcohol-involved crash deaths in the United States. Of these deaths, 55 percent of fatalities were ind... 
 

Benefits of fish in moderation while pregnant outweigh risks for child

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
Eating fish 1-3 times a week during pregnancy is associated with improved metabolic health as the child grows, according to new study from Keck School of Medicine of USC To eat or not to eat fish is a question that has long concerned pregnant women. Now, a new USC study shows that children whose mothers ate fish from one to three times a week during pregnancy were more likely to have a better metabolic profile -- despite the risk of exposure to mercury -- than children whose mothers ate fish rarely (less than once a week). The findings appear today in *JAMA Network Open*. "Fish is an... more »

A more balanced protein intake can reduce age-related muscle loss

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
Eating more protein at breakfast or lunchtime could help older people maintain muscle mass with advancing age - but most people eat proteins fairly unevenly throughout the day, new research at the University of Birmingham has found. The body's mechanisms for producing new muscle require regular stimulation to function efficiently - this stimulation happens when we eat protein. The mechanisms are less efficient in older people, so they need to eat more protein to get the same response as younger people. But just eating more protein is not enough, though - older people also need to sp... more »
 

The keto diet can lead to flu-like symptoms during the first few weeks on the diet

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
A study based on 43 online forums reveals symptoms, severity and time course of 'keto flu,' associated with a low-carbohydrate, high-fat ketogenic diet A ketogenic diet can lead to several flu-like symptoms within the first few weeks on the diet, according to a new study published in *Frontiers in Nutrition*. These symptoms peak in the first 7 days and dwindle after four weeks and range in severity, as reported by users on social media. These reports reveal common but yet unknown symptoms, such as flu fatigue, nausea, dizziness, decreased energy, feeling faint and heartbeat altera... more »
 
 
 
Medicine and supplements

Regular consumption of fish oil is likely associated with decreased all-cause and cardiovascular disease risk

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 3 days ago
--> *Consumption of fish oil was associated with decreased incidence of cardiovascular events with effects being most pronounced in patients with hypertension.* Lifestyle modification and dietary supplementation have long been recognized as potential avenues of additional therapeutic options to manage and prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD). Fish oil and omega 3 fatty acid supplementation have previously been recognized as products that could potentially prevent CVD and have widespread usage globally despite follow-up investigations providing inconclusive results. To better ... more »

Study shows legal marijuana products too strong for pain relief

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 6 days ago
More than 90% of the legal marijuana products offered in medical dispensaries are much stronger than what clinical studies have shown that doctors recommend for chronic pain relief, according to a study published in the March 26 online edition of the journal *PLOS ONE*. To many that may seem like a good thing, but just the opposite is true. "We know that high-potency products should not have a place in the medical realm because of the high risk of developing cannabis-use disorders, which are related to exposure to high THC-content products," said the study's lead author, Alfonso Edga... more »

Commonly used mouthwash could make saliva significantly more acidic

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
The first study looking at the effect of chlorhexidine mouthwash on the entire oral microbiome has found its use significantly increases the abundance of lactate-producing bacteria that lower saliva pH, and may increase the risk of tooth damage. A team led by Dr Raul Bescos from the University of Plymouth's Faculty of Health gave a placebo mouthwash to subjects for seven days, followed by seven days of a chlorhexidine mouthwash. At the end of each period, the researchers carried out an analysis of the abundance and diversity of the bacteria in the mouth - the oral microbiome - as we... more »
 

Ritalin and similar medications cause brain to focus on benefits of work, not costs

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Common assumption has long held that Ritalin, Adderall and similar drugs work by helping people focus. Yet a new study from a team led in part by Brown University researchers shows that these medications -- usually prescribed to individuals diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but often used by otherwise healthy people as a "study aid" -- actually work by directing the brain to fix its attention on the benefits, rather than the costs, of completing difficult tasks. The study, published on Thursday, March 19 in the journal *Science*, marks the first time that scie...more »

Vitamin D boosts chances of walking after hip fracture

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
Senior citizens who are not vitamin D deficient have a better chance of walking after hip fracture surgery, according to a Rutgers-led study. The findings in *The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition* suggest that vitamin D deficiency could limit mobility in older adults, said senior author Sue Shapses, a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Shapses suggests that older adults take 800 international units (IU), equivalent to 20 micrograms, of vitamin D daily to prevent defici...more »

Acid reflux drugs linked to increased fracture risk in kids

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
Proton pump inhibitors - a widely used class of drugs used to treat acid reflux and related symptoms - may lead to an increased risk of fractures in children and adolescents, reports a study in the *Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition**(JPGN)*. Official journal of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) and the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, *JPGN* is published by Wolters Kluwer. "This study suggests an increased risk of fracture among otherwise healthy pediatric patie... more »

Statins starve cancer cells to death

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
More than 35 million Americans take statin drugs daily to lower their blood cholesterol levels. Now, in experiments with human cells in the laboratory, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have added to growing evidence that the ubiquitous drug may kill cancer cells and have uncovered clues to how they do it. The findings, say the researchers, enhance previous evidence that statins could be valuable in combating some forms of cancer. In unrelated studies, other Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have studied how statins may cut the risk for aggressive prostate cancer. "There have b... more »
 
Aging

Why life can get better as we age -- study

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 6 days ago
Mindfulness helps wellbeing at all ages. People say life gets better with age. Now research suggests this may be because older people have the wisdom and time to use mindfulness as a means to improve wellbeing. Healthy ageing researchers at Flinders University say certain characteristics of mindfulness seem more strongly evident in older people compared to younger people - and suggest ways for all ages to benefit. "This suggests that mindfulness may naturally develop with time and life experience," says behavioural scientist Associate Professor Tim Windsor, who co-authored a recent s... more »

Half of 65+ adults lack dental insurance

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Oral care coverage acts as a strong draw for enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans MICHIGAN MEDICINE - UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: KEY FINDINGS FROM THE NATIONAL POLL ON HEALTHY AGING POLL OF ADULTS AGED 65-80 view more CREDIT: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Nearly all older Americans support adding a dental benefit to the Medicare program that covers most people over age 65, according to a new national poll that also reveals how often costs get in the way of oral health for older adults. Ninety-three percent of people between the ages of 65 and 80 f... more »

Disengagement in retirement may be associated with greater cognitive decline

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
Certain middle-aged and older adults, especially women who tend to disengage from difficult tasks and goals after they retire, may be at greater risk of cognitive decline as they age, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. "This study raises questions about how individual differences in motivation and gender may play a role in cognitive declines and points to the potential importance of continuing to engage in mentally stimulating activities in retirement," said lead author Jeremy Hamm, PhD, of North Dakota State University. "This may be a signifi... more »
 
Sleep

Past your bedtime? Inconsistency may increase risk to cardiovascular health

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Despite increasing awareness of how critical sleep is to our health, getting a good night's rest remains increasingly difficult in a world that's always "on" -- responding to emails at all hours, news cycles that change with every tweet and staring endlessly into the blue light of cell phone, tablet and computers screens. Scientists have stressed the importance of healthy sleep habits, recommending at least seven hours each night, and have linked lack of sleep to an increased risk in numerous health conditions, including diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Now a new study s...more »
 

Getting too little -- or too much -- sleep may be bad for the heart

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
Whether you like to burn the midnight oil to check emails or binge watch your favorite series, toss and turn or sleep until mid-morning, it seems the amount of sleep you get matters when it comes to your future vascular and heart health. Compared with people who slept for longer or shorter periods of time, those who reported sleeping seven or eight hours a night had significantly less evidence of stiffness in their arteries, indicating a lower chance of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Sci... more »

 

Exercise

Pilates significantly improves blood pressure in young, obese women

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 15 hours ago
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS USA SHARE PRINT E-MAIL A new paper in The *American Journal of Hypertension*, published by Oxford University Press, finds that mat Pilates may be an effective strategy to improve cardiovascular health for young obese women, a population that is at risk for hypertension and early vascular complications. With an estimated 9 million participants in 2018 and a series of celebrity endorsements, including Beyoncé and Emma Stone, mat Pilates training has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. It has become one of the most widely known wellness routines in the ... more »

Physical activity contributes to positive mental well-being in menopausal women

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 15 hours ago
Postmenopausal women have more depressive symptoms than peri- or premenopausal women UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ - JYVÄSKYLÄN YLIOPISTO SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: HIGH LEVEL OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS LINKED TO FEWER DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS, HIGHER SATISFACTION WITH LIFE AND HIGHER POSITIVE AFFECTIVITY IN MENOPAUSAL WOMEN.view more CREDIT: UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ A recent study has found that late menopausal status is associated with an elevated level of depressive symptoms that indicate the negative dimension of mental well-being. However, menopause was not linked to positi...more
 
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 16 hours ago
Being in isolation without access to gyms and sports clubs should not mean people stop exercising, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Bath. Keeping up regular, daily exercise at a time when much of the world is going into isolation will play an important role in helping to maintain a healthy immune system. The analysis, published in the international journal *Exercise Immunology Review*, involving leading physiologists Dr James Turner and Dr John Campbell from the University of Bath's Department for Health, considers the effect of exercise on our immune... more »

Exercise reduces caregiver's burden in dementia care

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
The research group "geriatric psychiatry in motion" of the German Sport University Cologne and the LVR-Hospital Cologne develop and evaluate exercise programmes for geriatric mental health care. Latest results from a study in acute dementia care indicate a special exercise programme is not only effective for the patients themselves, but also reduces the professional caregiver's burden caused by neuropsychiatric symptoms. Short-bout exercise sessions of 20 minutes several times per day are key aspects of this 'exercise-carrousel' - a new exercise programme specially tailored for pati... more »

Exercise training better than weight loss for improving heart function in type 2 diabetes

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
Researchers in Leicester have shown that the function of the heart can be significantly improved in patients with type 2 diabetes through exercise. The study, which was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and conducted at the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) - a partnership between Leicester's Hospitals, the University of Leicester and Loughborough University - also showed that a low-energy diet did not alter heart function in the same patient group. Dr Gaurav Gulsin, a BHF Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Leicester, trainee heart d... more »
 

Higher daily step count linked with lower all-cause mortality

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
[image: graphic with textgraphic with text]Taking more steps each day is associated with a lower risk of death.NCI In a new study, higher daily step counts were associated with lower mortality risk from all causes. The research team, which included investigators from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), both parts of the National Institutes of Health, as well as from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also found that the number of steps a person takes each day, but not the intensity of stepping, had a strong association with mor... more »

 

Higher daily step counts linked with lower blood pressure

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
The smart watches seen on the wrists of roughly 1 in 5 Americans could be more than just a fun gimmick but a potentially useful research tool to track habitual physical activity levels. People who took more steps daily, as tracked by their watch, had lower blood pressure on average than those taking fewer steps in a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC). The research is part of the Framingham Heart Study, a project focusing on factors affecting heart disease that has been ongoing for ... more »
 

High blood pressure surprisingly common in female college athletes

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 2 weeks ago
While many college athletes may seem like they are in peak physical condition, they can still face significant cardiovascular risks. Nearly half of a cohort of female athletes at two U.S. universities were found to have higher than normal blood pressure levels, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC). "There have been very few studies describing the female athlete's heart and risk factors that might lead to cardiac morbidity and mortality in this group," said Cecil Ramba... more »more »

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Pilates significantly improves blood pressure in young, obese women


OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS USA
A new paper in The American Journal of Hypertension, published by Oxford University Press, finds that mat Pilates may be an effective strategy to improve cardiovascular health for young obese women, a population that is at risk for hypertension and early vascular complications.
With an estimated 9 million participants in 2018 and a series of celebrity endorsements, including Beyoncé and Emma Stone, mat Pilates training has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. It has become one of the most widely known wellness routines in the United States. The program emphasizes core strength, flexibility, body posture, and controlled breathing.
At the same time, the prevalence of obesity in young adults has become a major public health issue. Though it is well-documented that exercise is a key factor in preventing and managing cardiovascular health problems, obese women tend not to maintain traditional workout routines. Despite sources in the media reporting on the cardiovascular benefits of Pilates, the existing scientific literature is scarce.
Researchers here studied young obese women (age 19-27) with elevated blood pressure and a body mass index between 30-40kg/m2 through 12 weeks of mat Pilates. The participants were free of chronic diseases, were non-smokers and performed less than 90 minutes of regular exercise per week. There were three one-hour training sessions per week, which were divided into the following stages: initial warm up and stretch (10min), general mat Pilates exercises (40 min), and a cool down (10 min). The training increased over the 12 weeks, with the repetition of each exercise steadily increasing. A certified mat Pilates instructor supervised all sessions.
This is the first study to find that mat Pilates routines significantly reduced arterial stiffness and blood pressure, including central (aortic) pressure.
"We hypothesized that Mat Pilates might decrease the risk of hypertension in young obese women. Our findings provide evidence that Mat Pilates benefit cardiovascular health by decreasing blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and body fatness in young obese women with elevated blood pressure. Because adherence to traditional exercise (both aerobic and resistance) is low in obese individuals, Mat Pilates Training might prove an effective exercise alternative for the prevention of hypertension and cardiovascular events in young obese adults."

Physical activity contributes to positive mental well-being in menopausal women


Postmenopausal women have more depressive symptoms than peri- or premenopausal women
UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ - JYVÄSKYLÄN YLIOPISTO
IMAGE
IMAGE: HIGH LEVEL OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS LINKED TO FEWER DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS, HIGHER SATISFACTION WITH LIFE AND HIGHER POSITIVE AFFECTIVITY IN MENOPAUSAL WOMEN.view more 
CREDIT: UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ
A recent study has found that late menopausal status is associated with an elevated level of depressive symptoms that indicate the negative dimension of mental well-being. However, menopause was not linked to positive dimensions of mental well-being in women aged 47 to 55. The results also suggest that a high level of physical activity was linked to fewer depressive symptoms, higher satisfaction with life and higher positive affectivity in menopausal women.
"According to our research, postmenopausal women had more depressive symptoms than peri- or premenopausal women," says doctoral student Dmitriy Bondarev from the Gerontology Research Center and Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. "At the same time menopause was not related to positive mental well-being."
The menopausal transition is divided into three stages. Pre-menopause begins five to ten years before the menopause with gradual irregularity in menstrual cycles. Perimenopause is the time prior to last menstruation, when the function of the ovaries noticeably fades away. Postmenopause is the time after the last menstruation.
Menopause occurs on average between the ages of 46 and 52 and signifies the aging of a woman's reproductive system, which has a far-reaching effect on many bodily functions. However, the link between menopause and psychological functioning in middle-aged women has been investigated less.
The findings of the study indicate that irrespective of the menopausal status, physical activity was beneficial for mental well-being in middle-aged women.
"Physically active women had lower depressive symptoms, had higher positive affectivity scores and were more satisfied with life in comparison to inactive women," Bondarev explains. "Thus, being physically active during the menopausal transition may help to withstand the negative influence of menopause on depressive symptomatology and spare positive mental well-being."
The study is a part of the Estrogenic Regulation of Muscle Apoptosis (ERMA) study involving over 1,000 women aged 47 to 55 living in Jyväskylä, Finland. In the present study, the menopausal stage was determined by the serum hormone concentrations and menstrual diaries. Mental well-being and physical activity were self-reported by the participants.

Consumption of 3-6 eggs/week lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and death


Eggs have been acknowledged as a good source of high-quality proteins and contain bioactive components beneficial for health, while they are also loaded with abundant cholesterol in the yolks, making the public hesitant about consuming whole eggs. Up to now, most studies exploring the association of egg consumption with incident CVD or total death were conducted in high-income countries and findings were inconsistent across populations and CVD subtypes. Accordingly, no consensus has been reached on the recommendation of egg consumption around the world.
The current study conducted by Xia and her colleagues from Fuwai Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences suggested that there were U-shaped relationships between egg consumption and the risks of incident CVD and total death among general Chinese, and those consumed 3-6 eggs/week was at the lowest risk. More specifically, consumption of <1 22="" 29="" and="" associated="" consumption="" cvd="" death="" egg="" for="" hand="" higher="" incident="" of="" on="" other="" risk="" the="" total="" was="" week="" with="">=10 eggs/week was associated with 39% and 13% higher risk for incident CVD and total death, respectively.
In addition, researchers pointed out that the influence of egg consumption seemed to be different across CVD subtypes. Individuals had higher consumption of eggs was more likely to have increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and ischemic stroke, while the elevated risk of hemorrhagic stroke was only found among those with lower consumption.
The current study was conducted based on the project of Prediction for Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk in China (China-PAR), which was established to estimate the epidemic of CVD and identify the related risk factors in general Chinese population. A total of 102136 participants from 15 provinces across China were included, who were all free of CVD, cancer or end-stage renal diseases at baseline. During up to 17 years of follow-up, 4848 cases of incident CVD (including 1273 CHD and 2919 stroke), and 5511 total death were identified, with over 90% follow-up rate.
A previous Chinese evidence from the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB) study indicated that low to moderate intake of eggs (about 5 eggs/week) was significantly associated with lower risk of CVD in comparison with never or rare consumption (about 2 eggs/week). However, lacking participants with consumption of >=1 egg/d limited them to further assess the influence of higher egg consumption. In the China-PAR project, about 25% participants consuming 3-6 eggs/week, and the percentage of participants consuming < 1 egg/week and >=10 eggs/week was 12% and 24%, respectively. Benefiting from the wide range of egg consumption, the present study firstly demonstrated the potential adverse effects of too much egg intake among Chinese population.
The removal of limits on dietary cholesterol in the most recent US and Chinese dietary guidelines have provoked considerable reaction. Both the American Heart Association and the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association subsequently released scientific reports and emphasized that "dietary cholesterol should not be given a free pass to be consumed in unlimited quantities". Considering the rapid increase of both cholesterol intake and hypercholesteremia prevalence in China, measures should be taken to encourage the public to limit dietary cholesterol intake. Meanwhile, those with rare egg consumption could be recommended to eat a bit more in the future. This novel evidence should be considered in the update of guidelines on dietary cholesterol and CVD prevention for the general Chinese and probably for other populations in the low-and middle- income countries.

Regular exercise benefits immunity -- even in isolation


Being in isolation without access to gyms and sports clubs should not mean people stop exercising, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Bath. Keeping up regular, daily exercise at a time when much of the world is going into isolation will play an important role in helping to maintain a healthy immune system.


The analysis, published in the international journal Exercise Immunology Review, involving leading physiologists Dr James Turner and Dr John Campbell from the University of Bath's Department for Health, considers the effect of exercise on our immune function.
Over the last four decades, many studies have investigated how exercise affects the immune system. It is widely agreed that regular moderate intensity exercise is beneficial for immunity, but a view held by some is that more arduous exercise can suppress immune function, leading to an 'open-window' of heightened infection risk in the hours and days following exercise.
In a benchmark study in 2018, this 'open window' hypothesis was challenged by Dr Campbell and Dr Turner. They reported in a review article that the theory was not well supported by scientific evidence, summarising that there is limited reliable evidence that exercise suppresses immunity, concluding instead that exercise is beneficial for immune function.
They say that, in the short term, exercise can help the immune system find and deal with pathogens, and in the long term, regular exercise slows down changes that happen to the immune system with ageing, therefore reducing the risk of infections.
In a new article, published this month, leading experts, including Dr Turner and Dr Campbell, debated whether the immune system can change in a negative or positive way after exercise, and whether or not athletes get more infections than the general population. The article concludes that infections are more likely to be linked to inadequate diet, psychological stress, insufficient sleep, travel and importantly, pathogen exposure at social gathering events like marathons -- rather than the act of exercising itself.
Author Dr James Turner from the Department for Health at the University of Bath explains: "Our work has concluded that there is very limited evidence for exercise directly increasing the risk of becoming infected with viruses. In the context of coronavirus and the conditions we find ourselves in today, the most important consideration is reducing your exposure from other people who may be carrying the virus. But people should not overlook the importance of staying fit, active and healthy during this period. Provided it is carried out in isolation -- away from others -- then regular, daily exercise will help better maintain the way the immune system works -- not suppress it."
Co-author, Dr John Campbell added: "People should not fear that their immune system will be suppressed by exercise placing them at increased risk of Coronavirus. Provided exercise is carried out according to latest government guidance on social distancing, regular exercise will have a tremendously positive effect on our health and wellbeing, both today and for the future."
Regular moderate intensity aerobic exercise, such as walking, running or cycling is recommended, with the aim of achieving 150 minutes per week. Longer, more vigorous exercise would not be harmful, but if capacity to exercise is restricted due to a health condition or disability, the message is to 'move more' and that 'something is better than nothing'. Resistance exercise has clear benefits for maintaining muscles, which also helps movement.
At this current time in particular, the researchers underline the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene when exercising, including thoroughly washing hands following exercise. To give the body its best chance at fighting off infections, they suggest in addition to doing regular exercise, people need to pay attention to the amount of sleep they get and maintain a healthy diet, that is energy balanced to account for energy that is used during exercise. They hope that this debate article will lead to a wave of new research exploring the beneficial effects of exercise on immune function.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Some COVID-19 patients still have coronavirus up to eight day after symptoms disappear


In a new study, researchers found that half of the patients they treated for mild COVID-19 infection still had coronavirus for up to eight days after symptoms disappeared. The research letter was published online in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
In "Time Kinetics of Viral Clearance and Resolution of Symptoms in Novel Coronavirus Infection," Lixin Xie, MD, Lokesh Sharma, PhD, and co-authors report on a study of 16 patients with COVID-19, who were treated and released from the Treatment Center of PLA General Hospital in Beijing between January 28 and Feb. 9, 2020. Patients studied had a median age of 35.5 years.
Researchers collected samples from throat swabs taken from all patients on alternate days and analyzed. Patients were discharged after their recovery and confirmation of negative viral status by at least two consecutive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
"The most significant finding from our study is that half of the patients kept shedding the virus even after resolution of their symptoms," said co-lead author Dr. Sharma, instructor of medicine, Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine. "More severe infections may have even longer shedding times."
The primary symptoms in these patients included fever, cough, pain in the pharynx (pharyngalgia) and difficult or labored breathing (dyspnea). Patients were treated with a range of medications.
The time from infection to onset of symptoms (incubation period) was five days among all but one patient. The average duration of symptoms was eight days, while the length of time patients remained contagious after the end of their symptoms ranged from one to eight days. Two patients had diabetes and one had tuberculosis, neither of which affected the timing of the course of COVID-19 infection.
"If you had mild respiratory symptoms from COVID-19 and were staying at home so as not to infect people, extend your quarantine for another two weeks after recovery to ensure that you don't infect other people," recommended corresponding author Lixin Xie, MD, professor, College of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing.
The authors had a special message for the medical community: "COVID-19 patients can be infectious even after their symptomatic recovery, so treat the asymptomatic/recently recovered patients as carefully as symptomatic patients."
The researchers emphasized that all of these patients had milder infections and recovered from the disease, and that the study looked at a small number of patients. They noted that it is unclear whether similar results would hold true for more vulnerable patients such as the elderly, those with suppressed immune systems and patients on immunosuppressive therapies.
"Further studies are needed to investigate if the real-time PCR-detected virus is capable of transmission in the later stages of COVID-19 infection," Dr. Xie added.

A plant-based diet helps to prevent and manage asthma, according to new review


A plant-based diet can help prevent and manage asthma, while dairy products and high-fat foods raise the risk, according to a new review published in Nutrition Reviews.
Asthma is a common chronic condition in which the airways become narrow and inflamed--sometimes leading to difficulty with breathing, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
"Asthma is a condition that affects more than 25 million Americans, and unfortunately it can make people more vulnerable in the COVID-19 outbreak," says study author Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee. "This research offers hope that dietary changes could be helpful."
Researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine examined the evidence related to diet and asthma and found that certain foods--including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods--can be beneficial, while others--such as dairy products and foods high in saturated fat--can be harmful.
The review authors highlight a study finding that when compared to a control group, asthma patients who consumed a plant-based diet for eight weeks experienced a greater reduction in use of asthma medication and less severe, less frequent symptoms. In another study, asthma patients adopted a plant-based diet for a year and saw improvements in vital capacity--a measure of the volume of air patients can expel--and other measures.
The authors suggest that a plant-based diet is beneficial because it has been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, which can exacerbate asthma. Plant-based diets are also high in fiber, which has been positively associated with improvements in lung function. The researchers also highlight the antioxidants and flavonoids found in plant foods, which may have a protective effect.
The review also finds that dairy consumption can raise the risk for asthma and worsen symptoms. One 2015 study found that children who consumed the most dairy had higher odds of developing asthma, compared with the children consuming the least. In another study, children with asthma were placed in either a control group, where they made no dietary changes, or in an experimental group where they eliminated dairy and eggs for eight weeks. After eliminating dairy, the experimental group experienced a 22% improvement in peak expiratory flow rate--a measure of how fast the children were able to exhale--while children in the control group experienced a 0.6% decrease.
High fat intake, consumption of saturated fat, and low fiber intake were also associated with airway inflammation and worsened lung function in asthma patients.
"This groundbreaking research shows that filling our plates with plant-based foods--and avoiding dairy products and other high-fat foods--can be a powerful tool for preventing and managing asthma," says Dr. Kahleova.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges those with asthma to have a plan in place--including stocking up on supplies, taking asthma medication as needed, avoiding crowds, and practicing good hygiene.