Tag: Health

Most Parents Unaware Flu Vaccine More Important This Year.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to get an influenza vaccine this year, yet only 1 in 3 parents know this, a survey found.

In addition, fewer than half of parents said their child’s usual healthcare provider had strongly recommended influenza vaccination this year. However, the survey director said that that doesn’t mean providers and public health officials aren’t giving this advice to parents.

Health officials continue to encourage people to get vaccinated, but with everything else going on right now in the United States, “that message isn’t getting through,” Sarah Clark, MPH, co-director of the C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, told Medscape Medical News.

“We need to make sure those parents understand why this year” it’s important, said Clark, who is also a research scientist in the Department of Pediatrics at C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Ipsos Public Affairs, LLC, conducted the poll in August 2020 on behalf of the hospital.

The company administered the survey “to a randomly selected, stratified group of adults who were parents of at least one child age 0–18 years living in their household (n = 2027),” the report authors write. The survey results were published online September 28.

Ipsos chose adults from the company’s Web-enabled KnowledgePanel, which closely mirrors the US population. Although the sample size of 1992 parents may seem small, it is “a good scientific representation of the whole [United States],” Clark said.

“This Is Not a Normal Year”

“The good news is the proportion of parents who say they’re likely to get flu vaccine for their kids this year is about the same as what we and other people have found in prior years,” Clark explained.

The problem is that this is not a normal year, she continued. “[W]hat we really need to see is an increased proportion of parents saying they’re going to get their kid a flu vaccine this year, because this year it matters more.”

Two thirds of respondents said they plan to have their child vaccinated against influenza this year; 49% said they were “very likely”; and 19% said they were “likely” to do so.

Parents of adolescents were slightly less likely to say they plan to have their child receive the flu vaccine. Of those who plan to have their child vaccinated, 73% had children aged 2 to 4 years, 70% had children aged 5 to 12 years, and 65% had children aged 13 to 18 years.

Source : https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/938227

The male Y chromosome does more than we thought.

While the Y chromosome’s role was believed to be limited to the functions of the sexual organs, a scientist has shown that it impacts the functions of other organs as well.

New light is being shed on a little-known role of Y chromosome genes, specific to males, that could explain why men suffer differently than women from various diseases, including Covid-19.

The findings were published this month in Scientific Reports by Université de Montréal professor Christian Deschepper, director of the Experimental Cardiovascular Biology research unit of the Montreal Clinical Research Institute.

“Our discovery provides a better understanding of how male genes on the Y chromosome allow male cells to function differently from female cells,” said Deschepper, the study’s lead author, who is also an associate professor at McGill University.

“In the future, these results could help to shed some light on why some diseases occur differently in men and women.”

Genes that females lack

Humans each have 23 pairs of chromosomes, including one pair of sex chromosomes. While females carry two X sex chromosomes, males carry one X and one Y chromosome. This male chromosome carries genes that females lack. Although these male genes are expressed in all cells of the body, their only confirmed role to date has been essentially limited to the functions of the sex organs.

In his study, Deschepper performed a genetic manipulation that inactivated two male genes on the Y chromosome, altering several signalling pathways that play important roles in certain functions of non-sex organ cells. For example, under stress, some of the affected mechanisms could influence the way in which cells in human hearts defend themselves against aggressions such as ischemia (reduced blood supply) or mechanical stress.

In addition, the study showed that these male genes performed their regulatory functions in a way that was unusual compared to the mechanisms generally used by most other genes on the non-sex chromosomes. Thus, instead of specifically activating certain genes by direct action at the genome level, the Y chromosome seems to affect cellular functions by acting on protein production.

The discovery of these differences in function may explain in part why the functions of male Y chromosome genes have so far been poorly understood, said Deschepper.

Males differ from females in the manifestation, severity and consequences of most diseases. A recent example of this duality is Covid-19, which has a mortality rate twice as high in men than in women.

Source : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200925113438.htm

Upfront Darzalex Boosts PFS in Genetically High-Risk Myeloma.

— Meta-analysis found benefit in patients with high-risk cytogenetics regardless of backbone

The packaging and vial of Darzalex (daratumumab)

Patients with newly diagnosed or relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma with high-risk cytogenetics derived a progression-free survival (PFS) benefit from the addition of daratumumab (Darzalex) to a variety of backbone regimens, according to the results of a meta-analysis.

The meta-analysis included data from six phase III trials comparing backbone multiple myeloma regimens with or without daratumumab in patients with high-risk cytogenetics defined as the presence of t(4;14), t(14;16), or del(17p). The addition of daratumumab resulted in improved PFS for patients with newly diagnosed disease (pooled HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.47-0.95, P=0.02) and those with relapsed or refractory disease (pooled HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.30-0.67, P<0.001), reported Smith Giri, MD, MHS, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues in JAMA Oncology.

The positive effect of daratumumab was not weakened by the three trials having different backbone regimens and different age groups, the researchers noted. The meta-analysis found little evidence of heterogeneity (Cochran Q; P=0.77; I2=0%).

For newly diagnosed disease, the analysis included data from the ALCYONE, MAIA, and CASSIOPEIA studies. In each individual study, the addition of daratumumab did not significantly improve PFS among patients with high-risk cytogenetics. In these studies, 15.9%, 14.3%, and 15.5% of patients had high-risk cytogenetics, respectively.

“It is possible that the benefit of daratumumab for high-risk multiple myeloma was not identified in those trials owing to relatively small sample sizes,” the researchers wrote. “The current meta-analysis combined multiple studies with similar design to increase the power to answer a scientifically and clinically relevant question.”

For relapsed/refractory disease, data from CASTOR, POLLUX, and CANDOR was included. In contrast to the trials of newly diagnosed disease, CASTOR and POLLUX both showed a benefit for daratumumab in terms of PFS among patients with high-risk cytogenetics; only CANDOR did not. Again, there was no significant heterogeneity (Cochran Q, P=0.63; I2=0%).

The researchers also looked at outcomes for patients with standard-risk multiple myeloma. Among those with standard-risk newly diagnosed disease, all three trials showed a significant improvement in PFS in the regimens containing daratumumab. In the meta-analysis, the addition of daratumumab also showed a PFS benefit for newly diagnosed disease (pooled HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.37-0.54, P<0.001). Similar benefit was seen within each of the three trials for patients with relapsed or refractory disease. Again, the meta-analysis showed a similar benefit (pooled HR 0.38, 95% CI 0.26-0.56, P<0.001).

Several limitations were noted by Giri and colleagues, including a lack of analysis of other subsets of high-risk disease, such as those with extramedullary disease or P53 mutations.

“The present analysis provided evidence that, when combined with backbone proteasome inhibitor and immunomodulatory agent-based regimens, daratumumab was associated with improved PFS among patients with high-risk multiple myeloma and standard-risk multiple myeloma in the context of newly diagnosed and relapsed or refractory disease,” the researchers wrote.

“However, it did not provide a comparison between daratumumab-based and non–daratumumab-based regimens,” they continued. “The identification of the best regimen and therapeutic strategy for patients with high-risk multiple myeloma may be achieved by network meta-analysis, preferentially using individual patient data and by future well-designed randomized clinical trials.”

Source : https://www.medpagetoday.com/hematologyoncology/myeloma/88792

Complications from diabetes linked to worse memory, IQ in children.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a serious but common complication of type 1 diabetes, is linked to lower IQ scores and worse memory in children with type 1 diabetes, according to a study led by UC Davis Health researchers. The study published Sept. 22 in Diabetes Care is also the first large-scale work to differentiate between DKA’s impact on children with a new diagnosis and children with a previous diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.

DKA happens when diabetes goes undiagnosed or is poorly managed. With DKA, blood sugar gets very high as acidic substances called ketones build up to dangerous levels in the body. Early signs of DKA include excessive thirst, frequent urination, and nausea, abdominal pain, weakness and confusion.

“We assessed the neurocognitive effects of DKA in children with known type 1diabetes as well as in those who were just diagnosed with it,” said Simona Ghetti, professor of psychology at UC Davis and the lead author on the study. “Our study uncovered that even one severe episode of DKA in children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is linked to cognitive problems; and among children with a previous diagnosis, repeated DKA exposure predicted lower cognitive performance after accounting for glycemic control.”

The study included 376 children with type 1 diabetes and no DKA history and 758 children with type 1 diabetes and a history of DKA. These children, ages 6-18 years, were participating in a DKA clinical trial at the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) sites led by two of the study’s co-authors, Nathan Kuppermann and Nicole Glaser.

One severe DKA episode can hurt memory and IQ

The study found that among children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, those who experienced moderate and severe DKA had lower long-term memory compared to children with diabetes and no exposure to DKA. Greater severity of DKA was also associated with lower IQ in these children.

Children with a previous diagnosis showed lower performance compared with children with new onset in measures of memory and IQ, suggesting that cognitive deficits may worsen over time.

The study’s large sample allowed the researchers to capture complex associations of DKA severity, socioeconomic status and glycemic control among previously diagnosed patients. These associations revealed that patients with repeated DKA exposure and poorly controlled type 1 diabetes are at substantial risk of cognitive deficits.

“The results from the study emphasize the importance of prevention of DKA in children with known type 1 diabetes and of timely diagnosis during new onset before the development of DKA,” said Glaser, professor of pediatrics at UC Davis Health and senior author of the study. “There is an opportunity to prevent DKA with proper management of the glucose level in the blood.”

Source : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200922172622.htm

Portable X ray system cleared by US FDA.

The US FDA has approved portable X-ray system AiRTouch for human medical use.

The device is a simple and efficient frontline tool to obtain chest X-rays for COVID-19 diagnosis. 

The device is equipped with an all-in-one PC that loads the customer’s acquisition software. The advantages of AiRTouch device Include – a wireless and compact design that requires minimal space and accommodations, minimise radiation to patient and operator with lowest possible dose, maximise day-to-day efficiency with industry-leading battery performance, begin operation immediately with seamlessly integrated software solution and built-in workstation.

Aspenstate has been granted approval by FDA. 

Source : https://futuremedicineindia.com/portable-x-ray-system-cleared-by-us-fda/