Tip of the Iceberg: Existing Racial Inequalities in Death from COVID-19 Will Soar

Lifesaving innovations for COVID-19 will only markedly increase the already existing racial inequalities, if public health initiatives for equitable dissemination throughout all communities are not immediately developed. The introduction of drugs for HIV, respiratory distress syndrome, and hepatitis C resulted in racial inequalities. Moreover, before the introduction of the Salk polio vaccine in 1952, initially, black Americans experienced significantly lower rates of paralytic polio than white Americans. By 1959, after the widespread distribution of the vaccine, the reverse was true.

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Racial Inequalities in Liver Cancer Deaths Soared After Launch of Hepatitis C Drugs

A study explored racial inequalities in death from liver cancer before and after the introduction of lifesaving drugs for hepatitis C. Results showed that from 1979 to 1998, racial inequalities in mortality from liver cancer in the U.S. were declining. But, from 1998 to 2016, of the 16,770 deaths from liver cancer among blacks, the excess relative to whites increased from 27.8 percent to 45.4 percent. Concurrently, racial inequalities in death decreased for major risk factors for liver cancer, such as alcohol and diabetes.

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Heart attack, stroke risk declines among people with diabetes

The rate of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular complications has improved among people with diabetes over the past 20 years, narrowing the gap in cardiovascular mortality rates between individuals with and without diabetes, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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A New Way to Accurately Estimate COVID-19 Death Toll

A Rutgers engineer has created a mathematical model that accurately estimates the death toll linked to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and could be used around the world. The model, detailed in a study published in the journal Mathematics, predicted the death toll would eventually reach about 68,120 in the United States as a result of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. That’s based on data available on April 28, and there was high confidence (99 percent) the expected death toll would be between 66,055 and 70,304.

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Thyroid hormone use may raise death risk in older adults

Thyroid hormone replacement therapy in older adults is associated with a higher risk of death compared with no treatment, a large study finds. The study results were accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, and publication in a special supplemental section of the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

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Low-income older adults dually enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid have substantially higher mortality rates than adults solely enrolled in Medicare

In a new study published today in JAMA, a team of researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) evaluated how health outcomes for low-income older adults who are dually enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid have changed since the early 2000s.

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Researchers Challenge New Guidelines on Aspirin in Primary Prevention

New guidelines recommend aspirin use in primary prevention for people ages 40 to 70 years old who are at higher risk of a first cardiovascular event, but not for those over 70. Yet, people over 70 are at higher risks of cardiovascular events than those under 70. As a result, health care providers are understandably confused about whether or not to prescribe aspirin for primary prevention of heart attacks or strokes, and if so, to whom.

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Most Rehabilitating Sea Turtles with Infectious Tumors Don’t Survive

Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is the most significant infectious disease affecting sea turtle populations worldwide. FB leads to tumors on the turtles’ eyes, flippers and internal organs and is widespread in warmer climates like Florida. A large-scale study evaluated tumor score, removal and regrowth in rehabilitating green sea turtles with FP in the southeastern U.S. from 2009 to 2017, and found that 75 percent did not survive following admission into a rehabilitation facility, irrespective of whether or not tumor regrowth occurred after surgery.

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