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HealthNews RoundUp - 1st Week of April 2020


Angiotensin Medications and CoVid19 Update



Last week in several reports I detailed the complex relationship between the angiotensin system and our current coronavirus.  A new, in-depth analysis of this relationship from collaborators at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Glasgow was just published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


The bottom line for most people on these medications: sit tight and consult your physician.  Yes, CoVid19 does use the ACE2 on cells to invade them.  ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers increase this substance in the body and animal studies suggest a risk for CoVid19 infection.


However, there is no conclusive humandata from the Chinese CoVid19 experience to say thumbs up or down.  These medications are lifesaving for those with heart failure, and they should absolutely not consider switching at this time. For those on the drugs for blood pressure control, the decision to switch is up to you and your doctor.  Beginning a new drug requires careful monitoring that may be difficult during these trying healthcare times.


#covid19 #coronavirus #angiotensin #hypertension #heartfailure #aceinhibitors #arb

covid19, coronavirus, angiotensin, hypertension, heartfailure, aceinhibitors, arb 



CoVid19 Transmission Wanes With Higher Temperatures



For every 1 degree Fahrenheit temperature increase, there appears to be a 7%

reduction in CoVid19 transmissibility.  This from a University of Chicago and UC Santa Barbara study of nearly 167,000 coronavirus cases from 134 countries.


There appear to be no affects on viral spread of changes in humidity or levels of precipitation.  Based on this data, the investigators predict that temperature changes between March and July of this year will result in a 43% drop in CoVid19 spread in the Northern hemisphere and a 71% rise in the Southern hemisphere.


This info challenges us here in North America to get our epidemic under control before temperatures begin to drop next fall.


#coronavirus #covid19 #temperature #seasons #transmissibility

coronavirus, covid19, temperature, seasons, transmissibility



Will CoVid19 Return With An Open Economy?



The numbers from China, the only country that has begun to emerge from their CoVid19 epidemic, show that a plague resurgence seems unlikely.  The risk depends on population size and  density for any given area as well as the rigor of personal protection measures.


Mathematicians analyzed numbers of new cases in 13 cities or provinces and calculated probabilities of new cases going forward. In half the jurisdictions, there was a ZERO calculated probability more cases.  In the most populous areas, the risk was between 3 and 7%, but strict personal protection reduced the risk by 67%.


We can control this virus with hand washing, physical distancing, testing, and quarantine of active cases.


#coronavirus #covid19 #resurgence #economy

coronavirus, covid19, resurgence, economy



Whole FoodsMarket Vodka Sauce Recall



Winter Gardens Quality Foods is recalling its Whole Foods Market Vodka Sauce due to undeclared milk in the product.  The affected lot is 20057.   Those with milk allergies could develop a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction to the product.  This sauce was sold in AZ, CA, CT, FL, HI, ME, MA. NV, NH, NJ, NY, and RI.  Return this product to the store for a full refund.


#recall #vodkasauce #milk

recall, vodkasauce, milk



A Daily Hot Bath Could Prevent Heart Attack & Stroke



Simmering in a daily hot bath may reduce your risk of all cardiovascular disease by 28% and of stroke by 26%.  A study of some 30,000 adults over a 30 year period was just published in the British Medical Journal.


The data revealed the benefit of hot water versus warm water for cardiovascular disease but not for strokes.  We know from other studies that tub baths do have a beneficial effect on high blood pressure.


Be warned, though, that this study only shows an association and not a cause-effect relationship.  Furthermore, hot water baths could be dangerous for elders as baths may cause confusion and occasional drowning. 


Andrew Felix Burden. Tub bathing and heart disease. Heart, 2020; heartjnl-2019-316187 DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2019-316187


#bath #cardiovasculardisease #stroke #hypertension

bath, cardiovasculardisease, stroke, hypertension



CoVid19 Vaccine Strategy Launched



Our lethargic US government is finally moving on coronavirus vaccines to the tune of $1 billion.  BARDA, the Biomedical Advances Research and Development Authority, part of the Health and Human Services agency, has signed contracts to develop and manufacture a vaccine.


 Moderna, a biotech company that has a vaccine candidate, has begun testing it.  BARDA is also talking about alternative vaccines with Pfizer, Sanofi, and Johnson and Johnson’s own labs.


 J&J will use the government grant to ramp up manufacturing capacity to produce at least 1 billion doses of the vaccine. Even so,  safe and effective vaccine will not be available until late 2021, but it will come.


#covid19 #coronavirus #vaccine 

covid19, coronavirus, vaccine




Should We Wear Masks?



The answer is YES!  If you’re younger, it protects others.    It may also protect you as an elder or one with diabetes, lung disease, or immunosuppression.


Virologists tell us that safe physical distancing is 6 feet or lately 10 feet.  A new study from MIT shows that aerosols with live virus may spew 27 feet or further.


Can’t buy a mask?  A 2 layer neck warmer or a lighter decorative face mask will cover your nose and mouth.  


Want added protection?  Attach a layer of HEPA vacuum cleaner bag material and an inner, comfortable liner inside.  It’s almost as good as an N95 mask. The real ones are for first responders and healthcare professionals.


Spread of aerosols:


CDC PPE specifications:


#covid19 #coronavirus #mask #aerosols

covid19, coronavirus, mask, aerosols



The FDA Recalls Zantac



If you’re taking either over-the-counter or prescription Zantac or ranitidine, get rid of it.  The FDA has been investigating this drug for contamination with a likely carcinogen N-Nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA and now orders it off the market.  Ranitidine decomposes over time when its stored at higher than room temperature, and  the levels of NDMA become unsafe.


Stop taking this medication, and dispose of it properly.  Know that drugs with a similar function including Pepcid, Tagamet, Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec are not contaminated with NDMA.  Check with your doctor to be certain that using one of these will be safe for you before buying them over the counter.


#recall #zantac #ranitidine #ndma

recall, zantac, ranitidine, ndma




Males Twice As Likely To Die From CoVid19



Seventy percent of Italians killed by coronavirus are male, and two-thirds of those hospitalized with the virus in China were men.  Israeli immunologists, experts on gender differences in immune function, explain why.


Men are more susceptible to viruses than women due to less effective and less-well prepared immune systems.  Men have fewer immune scavenger macrophages than women and fewer pre-activated macrophages ready to do battle.  Macrophage control is on the X chromosome and men have only one of those. 


Then too, men have less healthy lifestyles.  They smoke more, eat unhealthy foods, and wash their hands in public restrooms half as often as women. C’mon guys.


#immunity #macrophage #covid19 #coronavirus #male

immunity, macrophage, covid19, coronavirus, male



New Blood Test For Cancer



Some good news to brighten your day.  A new cancer screening test from Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic can detect the presence of more than 50 cancer types including the tough ones to diagnose like ovarian and pancreatic cancer.


The test detects cancer DNA in the blood and differentiates it from normal DNA by patterns of methylation.  It can pinpoint the source of the cancer organ-wise in more than 90% of cases.


More work must be done since, currently, the test can only detect cancer 43% of the time.  If a cancer is detected, the test is correct 99% of the time.   Very exciting.  Stay tuned.


M.C. Liu, G.R. Oxnard, E.A. Klein, etal. Sensitive and specific multi-cancer detection and localization using methylation signatures in cell-free DNA. Annals of Oncology, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.annonc.2020.02.011


#cancer #ovarian #pancreatic #cancertest #dna

cancer, ovarian, pancreatic, cancertest, dna




Additional Calories Restore Menstrual Regularity



An extra 3-400 calories a day restores predictable periods for exercising women.  A study from Penn State to be presented to the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting studied 62 fitness enthusiasts with sporadic menstrual periods.


Half of the group increased their daily calories.  They and the control group continued their vigorous exercise and the remainder of their usual diet over the 12 month study duration.  Those women who added calories were twice as likely to achieve menstrual regularity.


Women with eating disorders such as anorexia-bulemia suffer radically altered menstrual cycles with their weight loss.  Now we know that even those with regular diets may benefit from a few more calories.


#calories #dysmenorrhea #exercise

 calories, dysmenorrhea, exercise

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