Researchers from around the world are questioning whether some vaccines are more protective than others and if a new costly trial would be worthwhile. But it would be costly. Public health news is on cystic fibrosis, improving long-term heart health, dangers from air pollution, aid-in-dying medications, care for NFL concussions, managing type 2 diabetes, curbing violent policemen, and rising cycling fatalities, as well.
Stat: TB Vaccines Can Vary. But Does That Make Some Less Protective?
After years away from live animal hosts, the bacterium got used to its cushy lab-dish life and lost its barnyard edge. Enough of its tough old self remained to trigger a body’s immune defenses, but not enough to make a healthy person sick. Perfect for a microbial training drill. Word spread. Scientists made pilgrimages to France, to take home some defused bovine tuberculosis of their own — and what began as an udder-swab in 1902 ended up yielding one of the world’s most widely used vaccines, now given to some 100 million infants globally each year. (Boodman, 1/28)
Stateline: Cystic Fibrosis Patient Asks For Increased Efforts Around Antibiotic Resistance
Americans combat more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections each year—a battle Gunnar Esiason, son of former NFL quarterback “Boomer” Esiason, knows all too well. Esiason lives with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and cells that produce mucus, puts him at an increased risk for bacterial infections, and makes him especially vulnerable to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. “I very much attribute my survival thus far to antibiotics,” he says. (Stateline, 1/28)
The New York Times: Keeping Aging Muscles Fit Is Tied To Better Heart Health Later
How much muscle you have now could indicate how healthy your heart will be later, according to an interesting new study of muscle mass and cardiovascular disease. The study finds that, for men at least, entering middle age with plenty of muscle lowers the subsequent risk of developing heart disease by as much as 81 percent, compared to the risks for other men. (Reynolds, 1/29)
CNN: Even Short-Term Exposure To Low Levels Of Air Pollution Can Increase Risk Of Cardiac Arrest
Short-term exposure to air pollution is linked to a higher risk of sudden heart problems, especially among older people, according to a study published Monday. The study, published in the journal The Lancet, indicates that even low levels of air pollution can increase the likelihood of cardiac arrest. Study researchers at The University of Sydney say there is an “urgent need to reassess” international guidelines on air quality. (Crespo, 1/28)
Kaiser Health News: When Aid-In-Dying Is Legal, But The Medicine Is Out Of Reach
he call came the last week of September, when Neil Mahoney could still stagger from his bed to the porch of his mobile home to let out his boisterous yellow Lab, Ryder. Rodney Diffendaffer, a clinical pharmacist in Longmont, 45 miles away, had left a message. Your prescription is ready, it said. (Aleccia, 1/29)
Miami Herald: NFL Bulks Up Independent Medical Staff For Super Bowl 54
NFL concussions were up slightly in 2019, and the league is redoubling efforts in the Super Bowl to ensure anyone who sustains a head injury during the game gets the appropriate care. During a player health and safety tour of Hard Rock Stadium Tuesday, the NFL’s chief medical officer said there will be an additional unaffiliated neurotrama consultant (UNC) on the field Sunday, adding a layer of redundancy for the league’s biggest game. (Beasley and McPherson, 1/28)
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Could Type 2 Diabetes Be Managed With A Simple Outpatient Procedure? Penn Doctors Investigate.
Gregory Ginsberg, a Penn Medicine doctor, is exploring a new frontier in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. He’s co-leading a clinical trial at Penn that is testing whether killing cells on the inner surface of the duodenum — the first part of the small intestine immediately past the stomach — can lead to better control of blood sugar in people with diabetes. (Burling, 1/28)
ProPublica/Anchorage Daily News: Sex Offenders Were Becoming Cops. After Our Stories, Alaska’s Governor Wants That To End.
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is proposing changes to state law that would improve police hiring standards and oversight after some villages hired police officers that were sex offenders or had been convicted of domestic violence. The proposed legislation, introduced Monday, is intended to deter communities from appointing unqualified people as VPOs and to deter people with certain convictions from applying for the jobs, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Megan Peters said. (Hopkins, 1/29)
California Healthline: California Bike Fatalities Hit 25-Year High
Alongside the surging popularity of bike shares and fitness cycling in California comes a sobering statistic: From 2016 through 2018, more cyclists died in traffic accidents across the state than during any three-year period in the past 25 years. Traffic accidents killed 455 cyclists in California from 2016 through 2018, according to new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (Reese, 1/28)
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