UniqueThis 's Entries

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  • 03 Sep 2022
    After a historic drop in 2020, life expectancy in the United States took another significant hit in 2021. According to provisional data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, life expectancy at birth dropped by nearly a year between 2020 and 2021 – and by more than two and a half years overall since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Life expectancy at birth fell to 76.1 years, the lowest it has been in the US since 1996, and the biggest 2-year decline in a century. Covid-19 was the driving factor, with deaths from the virus contributing to half of the decline from 2020 to 2021, according to the report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The death rate from Covid-19 was higher in 2021 than it was in 2020, so it wasn’t particularly surprising that life expectancy would fall again, Bob Anderson, chief mortality statistician for the CDC, told CNN. Also, drug overdose deaths reached a record high in 2021, killing about 109,000 people. And deaths from unintentional injuries – about half of which are due to drug overdose – was the second-leading cause of the decline in life expectancy. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, also said it wasn’t surprising, but it is frustrating. “It is distressing to see a continuing negative impact of drug overdose on the life expectancy of Americans. These deaths often occur in young adults and therefore represent a tragically high number of years of life lost and devastating impact on individuals, families, and communities,” she said. “We have the science and the tools available to help us reverse this trend and reduce the number of overdose deaths in this country. But these tools are not being used effectively.” Even if expected, the scale of the decline is still extraordinary. In 2021, mortality rates due to influenza and pneumonia decreased, and if not for these “offsetting effects,” the decline in US life expectancy would have been even greater, according to the report. “Mortality generally, mainly since the 1950s, has changed rather slowly,” Anderson said. Changes of more than a few tenths of a year have been considered substantial. The recent decline among American Indian and Alaska Native people is particularly “astounding,” Anderson said. The life expectancy for this group plunged by nearly 2 years between 2020 and 2021 and a startling 6.6 years since 2019 – more than twice as much as it did for the total US population. At 65.2 years, the life expectancy for American Indians in 2021 was equal to the overall US life expectancy in 1944. “When I saw that, in the report, I just – my jaw dropped,” Anderson said. “It was hard enough to fathom a 2.7 year decline over 2 years overall. But then to see a 6.6 year decline for the American Indian population – it just shows the substantial impact that the pandemic has had on that population.” Deaths from Covid-19 directly were the leading contributor to the decline in life expectancy among American Indian people in 2021, but deaths due to drug overdose and other unintentional injuries, as well as chronic liver disease, which is often caused by alcohol abuse, were nearly equal contributors for this group. When it comes to the pandemic, Anderson said, “I’m not just talking about Covid-19 necessarily, but also the other factors that seem to have increased during the pandemic.” Experts say the pandemic exacerbated already existing disparities for American Indians and others. Dr. Matthew Clark, a chief medical officer with the Indian Health Service, said the findings of the new CDC report are concerning, but it has been known that American Indian and Alaska Native people “suffer disproportionately with regard to health outcomes for a broad variety of conditions.” There are “unique aspects to addressing health outcomes” in these communities, he said, and this data should be viewed as a “call to action, an opportunity to redouble our efforts” to address a broad range of factors that impact the health of these populations and engage with tribal communities to find solutions. “Even in the midst of a very concerning report like this, I do think that there’s hope,” Clark said, and “there is an opportunity to move the needle in the other direction.” To do that, the goal should be to explore the root causes of those disparities for American Indians and others, said Ruben Cantu, an associate program director with Prevention Institute, a nonprofit focused on health equity. “A lot of the talk is going to be around the pandemic,” Cantu said. “But we need to think about what has driven the conditions that have allowed certain communities to be more vulnerable” in the first place, like crowded housing, poor access to health care and low-income jobs that don’t allow for paid sick leave. A separate study, published as a preprint in June, found that the decrease in life expectancy in the US over the course of the pandemic was “highly racialized” and substantially larger than it was for a set of comparable countries. In fact, that study found that life expectancy increased slightly between 2020 and 2021 for the set of 21 peer countries. The new data from the CDC highlights differences in life-expectancy trends by race and ethnicity, as well as by gender. In the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, life expectancy declined least among White people. In the second year of the pandemic, however, this group saw the second-biggest decline in life expectancy – and deaths due to Covid-19 contributed to the drop among White people more than any other racial or ethnic group. Once the most vaccinated group, the share of the White population that is fully vaccinated with their initial series now lags behind that of the Black, Hispanic and Asian populations, CDC data shows. Life expectancy in 2021 was highest among both Asian women (85.6 years) and men (81.2 years), the CDC data shows. Hispanic women were the only other group with a life expectancy greater than 80 years. In the total US population, life expectancy fell more among men than among women in 2021, widening a gap that has been growing over the past decade. The disparity in life expectancy between men (73.2 years) and women (79.1 years) is now nearly six years. The life expectancy for American Indian men in 2021 was 61.5 years, lower than any other group. Black men had the next lowest, at 66.7 years. A recent project by the Prevention Institute focused on the mental health and well-being of men and boys. It found that men and boys of color – especially Black and Native American men – “start out with higher rates of trauma and mental health challenges,” Cantu said, which can make them more vulnerable to other conditions. “Over the last five or six years, we’ve heard a lot more about diseases of despair – things like substance use, alcoholism and suicide – and a lot of those things are connected,” he said. “It helps to point out how vulnerable certain communities can be to a lot of other conditions.”   By Deidre McPhillips, CNN https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/31/health/life-expectancy-declines-2021/index.html
    776 Posted by UniqueThis
  • After a historic drop in 2020, life expectancy in the United States took another significant hit in 2021. According to provisional data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, life expectancy at birth dropped by nearly a year between 2020 and 2021 – and by more than two and a half years overall since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Life expectancy at birth fell to 76.1 years, the lowest it has been in the US since 1996, and the biggest 2-year decline in a century. Covid-19 was the driving factor, with deaths from the virus contributing to half of the decline from 2020 to 2021, according to the report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The death rate from Covid-19 was higher in 2021 than it was in 2020, so it wasn’t particularly surprising that life expectancy would fall again, Bob Anderson, chief mortality statistician for the CDC, told CNN. Also, drug overdose deaths reached a record high in 2021, killing about 109,000 people. And deaths from unintentional injuries – about half of which are due to drug overdose – was the second-leading cause of the decline in life expectancy. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, also said it wasn’t surprising, but it is frustrating. “It is distressing to see a continuing negative impact of drug overdose on the life expectancy of Americans. These deaths often occur in young adults and therefore represent a tragically high number of years of life lost and devastating impact on individuals, families, and communities,” she said. “We have the science and the tools available to help us reverse this trend and reduce the number of overdose deaths in this country. But these tools are not being used effectively.” Even if expected, the scale of the decline is still extraordinary. In 2021, mortality rates due to influenza and pneumonia decreased, and if not for these “offsetting effects,” the decline in US life expectancy would have been even greater, according to the report. “Mortality generally, mainly since the 1950s, has changed rather slowly,” Anderson said. Changes of more than a few tenths of a year have been considered substantial. The recent decline among American Indian and Alaska Native people is particularly “astounding,” Anderson said. The life expectancy for this group plunged by nearly 2 years between 2020 and 2021 and a startling 6.6 years since 2019 – more than twice as much as it did for the total US population. At 65.2 years, the life expectancy for American Indians in 2021 was equal to the overall US life expectancy in 1944. “When I saw that, in the report, I just – my jaw dropped,” Anderson said. “It was hard enough to fathom a 2.7 year decline over 2 years overall. But then to see a 6.6 year decline for the American Indian population – it just shows the substantial impact that the pandemic has had on that population.” Deaths from Covid-19 directly were the leading contributor to the decline in life expectancy among American Indian people in 2021, but deaths due to drug overdose and other unintentional injuries, as well as chronic liver disease, which is often caused by alcohol abuse, were nearly equal contributors for this group. When it comes to the pandemic, Anderson said, “I’m not just talking about Covid-19 necessarily, but also the other factors that seem to have increased during the pandemic.” Experts say the pandemic exacerbated already existing disparities for American Indians and others. Dr. Matthew Clark, a chief medical officer with the Indian Health Service, said the findings of the new CDC report are concerning, but it has been known that American Indian and Alaska Native people “suffer disproportionately with regard to health outcomes for a broad variety of conditions.” There are “unique aspects to addressing health outcomes” in these communities, he said, and this data should be viewed as a “call to action, an opportunity to redouble our efforts” to address a broad range of factors that impact the health of these populations and engage with tribal communities to find solutions. “Even in the midst of a very concerning report like this, I do think that there’s hope,” Clark said, and “there is an opportunity to move the needle in the other direction.” To do that, the goal should be to explore the root causes of those disparities for American Indians and others, said Ruben Cantu, an associate program director with Prevention Institute, a nonprofit focused on health equity. “A lot of the talk is going to be around the pandemic,” Cantu said. “But we need to think about what has driven the conditions that have allowed certain communities to be more vulnerable” in the first place, like crowded housing, poor access to health care and low-income jobs that don’t allow for paid sick leave. A separate study, published as a preprint in June, found that the decrease in life expectancy in the US over the course of the pandemic was “highly racialized” and substantially larger than it was for a set of comparable countries. In fact, that study found that life expectancy increased slightly between 2020 and 2021 for the set of 21 peer countries. The new data from the CDC highlights differences in life-expectancy trends by race and ethnicity, as well as by gender. In the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, life expectancy declined least among White people. In the second year of the pandemic, however, this group saw the second-biggest decline in life expectancy – and deaths due to Covid-19 contributed to the drop among White people more than any other racial or ethnic group. Once the most vaccinated group, the share of the White population that is fully vaccinated with their initial series now lags behind that of the Black, Hispanic and Asian populations, CDC data shows. Life expectancy in 2021 was highest among both Asian women (85.6 years) and men (81.2 years), the CDC data shows. Hispanic women were the only other group with a life expectancy greater than 80 years. In the total US population, life expectancy fell more among men than among women in 2021, widening a gap that has been growing over the past decade. The disparity in life expectancy between men (73.2 years) and women (79.1 years) is now nearly six years. The life expectancy for American Indian men in 2021 was 61.5 years, lower than any other group. Black men had the next lowest, at 66.7 years. A recent project by the Prevention Institute focused on the mental health and well-being of men and boys. It found that men and boys of color – especially Black and Native American men – “start out with higher rates of trauma and mental health challenges,” Cantu said, which can make them more vulnerable to other conditions. “Over the last five or six years, we’ve heard a lot more about diseases of despair – things like substance use, alcoholism and suicide – and a lot of those things are connected,” he said. “It helps to point out how vulnerable certain communities can be to a lot of other conditions.”   By Deidre McPhillips, CNN https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/31/health/life-expectancy-declines-2021/index.html
    Sep 03, 2022 776
  • 03 Sep 2022
    What’s happening Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it is planning to rename the disease known as monkeypox and even created a way for the public to weigh in on what the disease should be called in the future. Since the early weeks of the ongoing global monkeypox outbreak, which has led to nearly 50,000 known cases around the world, many public health experts have been loudly advocating for a new name based on the belief that the term “monkeypox” was misleading and fueled harmful stereotypes. In June, the WHO said it had begun the process of selecting a new label, though it has given no timetable for when a final choice might be made public. Monkeypox got its name after it was first discovered by Danish scientists in lab monkeys in 1958. Monkeys are not known to be major carriers of the disease, though. Most cases of animal-to-human transmission are tied to rodents. The current outbreak is being driven by transmission between humans, primarily men who have sex with men. The effort to rename monkeypox fits into a much broader campaign within the global health community to shed some of the practices that have been historically used to identify pathogens. Since 2015, the WHO has used an updated set of naming conventions that specifically bar the use of geographic titles and species names in order to “minimize unnecessary negative impact of disease names.” Those rules formally apply only to new diseases that need labeling, like COVID-19. There are still countless previously known illnesses on the books — like chickenpox and Middle East respiratory syndrome — that violate these new practices. Why there’s debate Experts broadly agree that monkeypox is, at best, an imperfect name for the disease, but there’s a lot of debate over whether changing its name would have a real effect on the scope of the global outbreak. The simplest argument used in favor of a name change is that it’s confusing and inaccurate, since monkeys don’t spread the disease and the virus is not isolated to parts of the world where they live. But the deeper reason many advocate for a change is their belief that monkeypox promotes dangerous stigma against African countries where the disease has been endemic and evokes the “painful and racist history” of Black people being compared to animals. While experts agree that increasing access to testing, vaccinations and treatment are the most important steps for containing monkeypox, supporters believe a “non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing” name would make the public and health officials take the risks of monkeypox more seriously. But skeptics doubt that giving monkeypox a new name would make much of a difference, and some worry that such moves can sow public confusion. Many experts argue that racist and anti-LGBTQ stigma would exist regardless of the disease’s name. “The name per se is not a major issue. It’s the weaponization of these names,” Mike Ryan, a WHO executive in charge of global emergency response, told reporters last month. There are also practical concerns, with some experts worrying about how changing the name of a disease that’s been documented for more than 60 years might hurt the continuity of scientific research into the disease. Others say it may be close to impossible to find a unique name that is simple enough to be discussed by the public and does not draw controversy. What’s next Experts say the process of renaming a disease can be painstaking and it may be several months, if not years, before monkeypox is officially renamed. In the meantime, some health authorities have begun using their own alternatives — California’s health department has been calling it MPX and a few other states are using hMPXV. It’s unclear if these names can catch on for everyday use. Perspectives Supporters The current name unfairly directs blame at poor countries and people of color “There are no wild non-human primates in Europe. There are many monkeys and apes in Africa, Asia, and in Central and South America. Monkeys are usually associated with the global south, especially Africa. In addition, there is a long dark history of black people being compared to monkeys. No disease nomenclature should provide a trigger for this.” — Moses John Bockarie, Conversation The name monkeypox fuels stereotypes of LGBTQ people as ‘the other’ “I can say, anecdotally, that all my gay friends are talking about this threat and taking it very seriously. But the name ‘monkeypox’ doesn’t help—it associates the virus with ‘animalistic’ behavior. … No one wants to be called a monkey. That’s particularly true at this historical moment, as the LGBTQ community is watching our hard-fought equality get stripped away, bit by bigoted bit.” — Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast Anything that makes it harder for vulnerable groups to openly discuss the disease must be remedied “Because speaking frankly about sexual behaviors is difficult, certainly for men who have long struggled to live in their bodies without apology, this is where our communication becomes deeply fraught. … Stigma swirls around this diagnosis. It doesn’t have to. Changing that starts with what we call this virus.” — Arjun V.K. Sharma, Boston Globe A name change would have effects long after the current outbreak has subsided “If monkeypox—or maybe rather, MPX—is here to stay, maybe we all ought to think about how to reduce the impact of its name.” — Hannah Docter-Loeb, Slate The name is simply inaccurate “Even the name ‘monkeypox’ is highly misleading and problematic. Monkeypox does not come from monkeys; the reservoir for it is in rodents.” — Ranit Mishori, The Hill Skeptics Changing the name won’t end the bigotry surrounding the disease “HIV is no longer called ‘gay-related immune deficiency,’ but gay men are still frequently ostracized over the condition. Connotation outlives denotation. Even COVID-19—a disease name that was designed from the very start to be as inoffensive as possible—can easily be turned into a slur.” — Benjamin Mazer, Atlantic Labels aren’t the reason that the health response to monkeypox has been so broken “At the moment, the things that are really standing in the way of a successful response are just having access to testing, to vaccine and to treatments. And if those things were fine, there'd be no monkeypox to talk about.” — Keletso Makofane, public health researcher, to NPR Renaming a well-known disease is a lot harder than it sounds “It turns out renaming viruses and the diseases they cause is not an easy thing to do. It raises concerns about the continuity of the scientific literature. It can be difficult to find an alternative that doesn’t offend. And something that works in one language or culture may not work in another.” — Helen Branswell, STAT It will be tough to find a new name that satisfies everyone “Tossing out the old name is easier than deciding on a new one.” — Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times Is there a topic you’d like to see covered in “The 360”? Send your suggestions to the360@yahoonews.com. https://news.yahoo.com/does-monkeypox-need-a-new-name-155554269.html?
    811 Posted by UniqueThis
  • What’s happening Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it is planning to rename the disease known as monkeypox and even created a way for the public to weigh in on what the disease should be called in the future. Since the early weeks of the ongoing global monkeypox outbreak, which has led to nearly 50,000 known cases around the world, many public health experts have been loudly advocating for a new name based on the belief that the term “monkeypox” was misleading and fueled harmful stereotypes. In June, the WHO said it had begun the process of selecting a new label, though it has given no timetable for when a final choice might be made public. Monkeypox got its name after it was first discovered by Danish scientists in lab monkeys in 1958. Monkeys are not known to be major carriers of the disease, though. Most cases of animal-to-human transmission are tied to rodents. The current outbreak is being driven by transmission between humans, primarily men who have sex with men. The effort to rename monkeypox fits into a much broader campaign within the global health community to shed some of the practices that have been historically used to identify pathogens. Since 2015, the WHO has used an updated set of naming conventions that specifically bar the use of geographic titles and species names in order to “minimize unnecessary negative impact of disease names.” Those rules formally apply only to new diseases that need labeling, like COVID-19. There are still countless previously known illnesses on the books — like chickenpox and Middle East respiratory syndrome — that violate these new practices. Why there’s debate Experts broadly agree that monkeypox is, at best, an imperfect name for the disease, but there’s a lot of debate over whether changing its name would have a real effect on the scope of the global outbreak. The simplest argument used in favor of a name change is that it’s confusing and inaccurate, since monkeys don’t spread the disease and the virus is not isolated to parts of the world where they live. But the deeper reason many advocate for a change is their belief that monkeypox promotes dangerous stigma against African countries where the disease has been endemic and evokes the “painful and racist history” of Black people being compared to animals. While experts agree that increasing access to testing, vaccinations and treatment are the most important steps for containing monkeypox, supporters believe a “non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing” name would make the public and health officials take the risks of monkeypox more seriously. But skeptics doubt that giving monkeypox a new name would make much of a difference, and some worry that such moves can sow public confusion. Many experts argue that racist and anti-LGBTQ stigma would exist regardless of the disease’s name. “The name per se is not a major issue. It’s the weaponization of these names,” Mike Ryan, a WHO executive in charge of global emergency response, told reporters last month. There are also practical concerns, with some experts worrying about how changing the name of a disease that’s been documented for more than 60 years might hurt the continuity of scientific research into the disease. Others say it may be close to impossible to find a unique name that is simple enough to be discussed by the public and does not draw controversy. What’s next Experts say the process of renaming a disease can be painstaking and it may be several months, if not years, before monkeypox is officially renamed. In the meantime, some health authorities have begun using their own alternatives — California’s health department has been calling it MPX and a few other states are using hMPXV. It’s unclear if these names can catch on for everyday use. Perspectives Supporters The current name unfairly directs blame at poor countries and people of color “There are no wild non-human primates in Europe. There are many monkeys and apes in Africa, Asia, and in Central and South America. Monkeys are usually associated with the global south, especially Africa. In addition, there is a long dark history of black people being compared to monkeys. No disease nomenclature should provide a trigger for this.” — Moses John Bockarie, Conversation The name monkeypox fuels stereotypes of LGBTQ people as ‘the other’ “I can say, anecdotally, that all my gay friends are talking about this threat and taking it very seriously. But the name ‘monkeypox’ doesn’t help—it associates the virus with ‘animalistic’ behavior. … No one wants to be called a monkey. That’s particularly true at this historical moment, as the LGBTQ community is watching our hard-fought equality get stripped away, bit by bigoted bit.” — Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast Anything that makes it harder for vulnerable groups to openly discuss the disease must be remedied “Because speaking frankly about sexual behaviors is difficult, certainly for men who have long struggled to live in their bodies without apology, this is where our communication becomes deeply fraught. … Stigma swirls around this diagnosis. It doesn’t have to. Changing that starts with what we call this virus.” — Arjun V.K. Sharma, Boston Globe A name change would have effects long after the current outbreak has subsided “If monkeypox—or maybe rather, MPX—is here to stay, maybe we all ought to think about how to reduce the impact of its name.” — Hannah Docter-Loeb, Slate The name is simply inaccurate “Even the name ‘monkeypox’ is highly misleading and problematic. Monkeypox does not come from monkeys; the reservoir for it is in rodents.” — Ranit Mishori, The Hill Skeptics Changing the name won’t end the bigotry surrounding the disease “HIV is no longer called ‘gay-related immune deficiency,’ but gay men are still frequently ostracized over the condition. Connotation outlives denotation. Even COVID-19—a disease name that was designed from the very start to be as inoffensive as possible—can easily be turned into a slur.” — Benjamin Mazer, Atlantic Labels aren’t the reason that the health response to monkeypox has been so broken “At the moment, the things that are really standing in the way of a successful response are just having access to testing, to vaccine and to treatments. And if those things were fine, there'd be no monkeypox to talk about.” — Keletso Makofane, public health researcher, to NPR Renaming a well-known disease is a lot harder than it sounds “It turns out renaming viruses and the diseases they cause is not an easy thing to do. It raises concerns about the continuity of the scientific literature. It can be difficult to find an alternative that doesn’t offend. And something that works in one language or culture may not work in another.” — Helen Branswell, STAT It will be tough to find a new name that satisfies everyone “Tossing out the old name is easier than deciding on a new one.” — Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times Is there a topic you’d like to see covered in “The 360”? Send your suggestions to the360@yahoonews.com. https://news.yahoo.com/does-monkeypox-need-a-new-name-155554269.html?
    Sep 03, 2022 811
  • 22 Aug 2021
    Perhaps you have felt disappointed when you start an especially vigorous workout routine only to see the scale go above the weight you started with. Is there a biological reason behind why exercise makes me gain weight? There are many aspects to the answer. Exercise does not make you fat. Weight gain after working out is most likely a combination of several factors, but you shouldn't give up. Professor Corinne Caillaud, an Australian professor of physical activity and digital health, says people typically don't realize the health benefits of exercise even when they gain weight. In regard to weight management, exercise is important, but diet also plays a role, said Caillaud. A person who notices their weight increasing should review the quantity and quality of the food they're eating, she said. What and how much they eat can explain their post-exercise weight gain.  "Unfortunately, a lot of people think that they can eat more because they've exercised," Caillaud said. Although eating junk food occasionally may not be harmful, exercising will likely not counteract the effects of increasing the frequency with which you consume it.  The weight gain may be due to a few different biological factors, even if your diet hasn't changed. It is possible to overstrain your muscles if you aren't accustomed to good workouts and then go all out. According to University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, when this happens, your muscles are damaged by microtears, but these are not cause for concern, since your body helps repair the damage by sending nutrition to the muscles. As a result, your muscles ache the next day, but eventually your muscles grow.  
    6111 Posted by UniqueThis
  • Perhaps you have felt disappointed when you start an especially vigorous workout routine only to see the scale go above the weight you started with. Is there a biological reason behind why exercise makes me gain weight? There are many aspects to the answer. Exercise does not make you fat. Weight gain after working out is most likely a combination of several factors, but you shouldn't give up. Professor Corinne Caillaud, an Australian professor of physical activity and digital health, says people typically don't realize the health benefits of exercise even when they gain weight. In regard to weight management, exercise is important, but diet also plays a role, said Caillaud. A person who notices their weight increasing should review the quantity and quality of the food they're eating, she said. What and how much they eat can explain their post-exercise weight gain.  "Unfortunately, a lot of people think that they can eat more because they've exercised," Caillaud said. Although eating junk food occasionally may not be harmful, exercising will likely not counteract the effects of increasing the frequency with which you consume it.  The weight gain may be due to a few different biological factors, even if your diet hasn't changed. It is possible to overstrain your muscles if you aren't accustomed to good workouts and then go all out. According to University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, when this happens, your muscles are damaged by microtears, but these are not cause for concern, since your body helps repair the damage by sending nutrition to the muscles. As a result, your muscles ache the next day, but eventually your muscles grow.  
    Aug 22, 2021 6111
  • 15 Aug 2021
    False and misleading claims about Covid-19 vaccines, fertility and miscarriages are still circulating online, despite not being supported by evidence. Doctors are extremely cautious about what they recommend during pregnancy, so the original advice was to avoid the jab. But now, so much safety data has become available that this advice has changed and the vaccine is now actively encouraged (as getting Covid itself can put a pregnancy at risk) We have looked at some of the more persistent claims - and why they are wrong. This theory comes from a misreading of a study submitted to the Japanese regulator. The study involved giving rats a much higher dose of vaccine than that given to humans (1,333 times higher). Only 0.1% of the total dose ended up in the animals' ovaries, 48 hours after injection. Far more - 53% after one hour and 25% after 48 hours - was found at the injection site (in humans, usually the arm). The next most common place was the liver (16% after 48 hours), which helps get rid of waste products from the blood. The vaccine is delivered using a bubble of fat containing the virus's genetic material, which kick-starts the body's immune system. And those promoting this claim cherry-picked a figure which actually referred to the concentration of fat found in the ovaries. Fat levels in the ovaries did increase in the 48 hours after the jab, as the vaccine contents moved from the injection site around the body. But, crucially, there was no evidence it still contained the virus's genetic material. We don't know what happened after 48 hours as that was the limit of the study. Some posts have highlighted miscarriages reported to vaccine-monitoring schemes, including the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Yellow Card scheme in the UK and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in the US. Anyone can report symptoms or health conditions they experience after being vaccinated. Not everyone will choose to report, so this is a self-selecting database. There were indeed miscarriages reported in these databases - they are unfortunately common events - but this does not mean the jab caused them. A study has found data showing the miscarriage rate among vaccinated people was in line with the rate expected in the general population - 12.5%. Dr Victoria Male, a reproductive immunologist at Imperial College London, says these reporting systems are very good for spotting side-effects from the vaccine that are normally rare in the general population - that's how a specific type of blood clot was linked in some rare cases to the AstraZeneca vaccine. If you suddenly start seeing unusual symptoms in vaccinated people, it raises a red flag. They are not so good at monitoring side-effects that are common in the population - such as changes to periods, miscarriages and heart problems. Seeing them in the data doesn't necessarily raise these red flags because you'd expect to see them anyway, vaccine or not. It's only if we start getting many more miscarriages than are seen in unvaccinated people that this data would prompt an investigation - and that's not been the case so far. Some people have also shared graphs showing a big rise in the overall number of people reporting their experiences to these schemes compared with previous years, for other vaccines and drugs. This has been used to imply the Covid vaccine is less safe. But the rise can't tell us that, it can only tell us that lots of people are reporting - possibly because an unprecedented proportion of the population is being vaccinated and it is a much talked-about subject. A widely shared petition from Michael Yeadon, a scientific researcher who has made other misleading statements about Covid, claimed the coronavirus's spike protein contained within the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines was similar to a protein called syncytin-1, involved in forming the placenta. He speculated that this might cause antibodies against the virus to attack a developing pregnancy, too. Some experts believe this was the origin of the whole belief that Covid vaccines might harm fertility. In fact syncytin-1 and the coronavirus's spike protein are just about as similar as any two random proteins so there is no real reason to believe the body might confuse them. But now evidence has been gathered to help disprove his theory. US fertility doctor Randy Morris, who wanted to respond directly to the concerns he'd heard, began monitoring his patients who were undergoing IVF treatment to see whether vaccination made any difference to their chances of a successful pregnancy. Out of 143 people in Dr Morris's study, vaccinated, unvaccinated and previously infected women were about equally likely to have a successful embryo implantation and for the pregnancy to continue to term. The women were similar in most other respects. The study is small, but it adds to a large volume of other evidence - and were the claim true, you would expect that to show up even in a study of this size. Dr Morris pointed out that people spreading these fears had not explained why they believed antibodies produced in response to the vaccine could harm fertility but the same antibodies from a natural infection would not. The problem is, while scientists are rushing to provide evidence to reassure people, by the time they can report their findings people online have moved on to the next thing. As Dr Morris explained: "The hallmark of a conspiracy theory is as soon as it's disproven, you move the goalpost." By Rachel SchraerBBC News
    5651 Posted by UniqueThis
  • False and misleading claims about Covid-19 vaccines, fertility and miscarriages are still circulating online, despite not being supported by evidence. Doctors are extremely cautious about what they recommend during pregnancy, so the original advice was to avoid the jab. But now, so much safety data has become available that this advice has changed and the vaccine is now actively encouraged (as getting Covid itself can put a pregnancy at risk) We have looked at some of the more persistent claims - and why they are wrong. This theory comes from a misreading of a study submitted to the Japanese regulator. The study involved giving rats a much higher dose of vaccine than that given to humans (1,333 times higher). Only 0.1% of the total dose ended up in the animals' ovaries, 48 hours after injection. Far more - 53% after one hour and 25% after 48 hours - was found at the injection site (in humans, usually the arm). The next most common place was the liver (16% after 48 hours), which helps get rid of waste products from the blood. The vaccine is delivered using a bubble of fat containing the virus's genetic material, which kick-starts the body's immune system. And those promoting this claim cherry-picked a figure which actually referred to the concentration of fat found in the ovaries. Fat levels in the ovaries did increase in the 48 hours after the jab, as the vaccine contents moved from the injection site around the body. But, crucially, there was no evidence it still contained the virus's genetic material. We don't know what happened after 48 hours as that was the limit of the study. Some posts have highlighted miscarriages reported to vaccine-monitoring schemes, including the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Yellow Card scheme in the UK and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in the US. Anyone can report symptoms or health conditions they experience after being vaccinated. Not everyone will choose to report, so this is a self-selecting database. There were indeed miscarriages reported in these databases - they are unfortunately common events - but this does not mean the jab caused them. A study has found data showing the miscarriage rate among vaccinated people was in line with the rate expected in the general population - 12.5%. Dr Victoria Male, a reproductive immunologist at Imperial College London, says these reporting systems are very good for spotting side-effects from the vaccine that are normally rare in the general population - that's how a specific type of blood clot was linked in some rare cases to the AstraZeneca vaccine. If you suddenly start seeing unusual symptoms in vaccinated people, it raises a red flag. They are not so good at monitoring side-effects that are common in the population - such as changes to periods, miscarriages and heart problems. Seeing them in the data doesn't necessarily raise these red flags because you'd expect to see them anyway, vaccine or not. It's only if we start getting many more miscarriages than are seen in unvaccinated people that this data would prompt an investigation - and that's not been the case so far. Some people have also shared graphs showing a big rise in the overall number of people reporting their experiences to these schemes compared with previous years, for other vaccines and drugs. This has been used to imply the Covid vaccine is less safe. But the rise can't tell us that, it can only tell us that lots of people are reporting - possibly because an unprecedented proportion of the population is being vaccinated and it is a much talked-about subject. A widely shared petition from Michael Yeadon, a scientific researcher who has made other misleading statements about Covid, claimed the coronavirus's spike protein contained within the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines was similar to a protein called syncytin-1, involved in forming the placenta. He speculated that this might cause antibodies against the virus to attack a developing pregnancy, too. Some experts believe this was the origin of the whole belief that Covid vaccines might harm fertility. In fact syncytin-1 and the coronavirus's spike protein are just about as similar as any two random proteins so there is no real reason to believe the body might confuse them. But now evidence has been gathered to help disprove his theory. US fertility doctor Randy Morris, who wanted to respond directly to the concerns he'd heard, began monitoring his patients who were undergoing IVF treatment to see whether vaccination made any difference to their chances of a successful pregnancy. Out of 143 people in Dr Morris's study, vaccinated, unvaccinated and previously infected women were about equally likely to have a successful embryo implantation and for the pregnancy to continue to term. The women were similar in most other respects. The study is small, but it adds to a large volume of other evidence - and were the claim true, you would expect that to show up even in a study of this size. Dr Morris pointed out that people spreading these fears had not explained why they believed antibodies produced in response to the vaccine could harm fertility but the same antibodies from a natural infection would not. The problem is, while scientists are rushing to provide evidence to reassure people, by the time they can report their findings people online have moved on to the next thing. As Dr Morris explained: "The hallmark of a conspiracy theory is as soon as it's disproven, you move the goalpost." By Rachel SchraerBBC News
    Aug 15, 2021 5651
  • 15 Aug 2021
    United States regulators on Thursday said transplant recipients and others with severely weakened immune systems can get an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to better protect them as the Delta variant continues to surge. The announcement by the food and drug administration applies to several million Americans who are especially vulnerable because of organ transplants, certain cancers or other disorders. Several other countries, including France and Israel, have similar recommendations. It's harder for vaccines to rev up an immune system suppressed by certain medications and diseases, so those patients don't always get the same protection as otherwise healthy people — and small studies suggest for at least some, an extra dose may be the solution. "Today's action allows doctors to boost immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19," Dr. Janet Woodcock, the FDA's acting commissioner, said in a statement. The FDA determined that transplant recipients and others with a similar level of compromised immunity can receive a third dose of the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna at least 28 days after getting their second shot. The FDA made no mention of immune-compromised patients who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The announcement comes as the extra-contagious Delta version of the coronavirus surges through much of the country, pushing new cases, hospitalizations and deaths to heights not seen since last winter. Importantly, the FDA's decision only applies to this high-risk group, estimated to be no more than 3% of U.S. adults. It's not an opening for booster doses for the general population. Instead, health authorities consider the extra dose part of the initial prescription for the immune-compromised. For example, France since April has encouraged that such patients get a third dose four weeks after their regular second shot. Israel and Germany also recently began recommending a third dose of two-dose vaccines. Separately, U.S. health officials are continuing to closely monitor if and when average people's immunity wanes enough to require boosters for everyone — but for now, the vaccines continue to offer robust protection for the general population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to formally recommend the extra shots for certain immune-compromised groups after a meeting Friday of its outside advisers. Transplant recipients and others with suppressed immune systems know they're at more risk than the average American and some have been seeking out extra doses on their own, even if it means lying about their vaccination status. The change means now the high-risk groups can more easily get another shot — but experts caution it's not yet clear exactly who should. "This is all going to be very personalized," cautioned Dr. Dorry Segev, a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins University who is running a major National Institutes of Health study of extra shots for organ recipients. For some people, a third dose "increases their immune response. Yet for some people it does not seem to. We don't quite know who's who yet." One recent study of more than 650 transplant recipients found just over half harbored virus-fighting antibodies after two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines — although generally less than in otherwise healthy vaccinated people. Another study of people with rheumatoid arthritis and similar autoimmune diseases found only those who use particular medications have very poor vaccine responses. There's little data on how well a third dose works, and if it causes any safety problems such as an increased risk of organ rejection. Wednesday, Canadian researchers reported that transplant recipients were more likely to have high levels of antibodies if they got a third dose than those given a dummy shot for comparison. Other small studies have similarly found that some transplant recipients respond to a third dose while others still lack enough protection.
    5527 Posted by UniqueThis
  • United States regulators on Thursday said transplant recipients and others with severely weakened immune systems can get an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to better protect them as the Delta variant continues to surge. The announcement by the food and drug administration applies to several million Americans who are especially vulnerable because of organ transplants, certain cancers or other disorders. Several other countries, including France and Israel, have similar recommendations. It's harder for vaccines to rev up an immune system suppressed by certain medications and diseases, so those patients don't always get the same protection as otherwise healthy people — and small studies suggest for at least some, an extra dose may be the solution. "Today's action allows doctors to boost immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19," Dr. Janet Woodcock, the FDA's acting commissioner, said in a statement. The FDA determined that transplant recipients and others with a similar level of compromised immunity can receive a third dose of the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna at least 28 days after getting their second shot. The FDA made no mention of immune-compromised patients who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The announcement comes as the extra-contagious Delta version of the coronavirus surges through much of the country, pushing new cases, hospitalizations and deaths to heights not seen since last winter. Importantly, the FDA's decision only applies to this high-risk group, estimated to be no more than 3% of U.S. adults. It's not an opening for booster doses for the general population. Instead, health authorities consider the extra dose part of the initial prescription for the immune-compromised. For example, France since April has encouraged that such patients get a third dose four weeks after their regular second shot. Israel and Germany also recently began recommending a third dose of two-dose vaccines. Separately, U.S. health officials are continuing to closely monitor if and when average people's immunity wanes enough to require boosters for everyone — but for now, the vaccines continue to offer robust protection for the general population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to formally recommend the extra shots for certain immune-compromised groups after a meeting Friday of its outside advisers. Transplant recipients and others with suppressed immune systems know they're at more risk than the average American and some have been seeking out extra doses on their own, even if it means lying about their vaccination status. The change means now the high-risk groups can more easily get another shot — but experts caution it's not yet clear exactly who should. "This is all going to be very personalized," cautioned Dr. Dorry Segev, a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins University who is running a major National Institutes of Health study of extra shots for organ recipients. For some people, a third dose "increases their immune response. Yet for some people it does not seem to. We don't quite know who's who yet." One recent study of more than 650 transplant recipients found just over half harbored virus-fighting antibodies after two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines — although generally less than in otherwise healthy vaccinated people. Another study of people with rheumatoid arthritis and similar autoimmune diseases found only those who use particular medications have very poor vaccine responses. There's little data on how well a third dose works, and if it causes any safety problems such as an increased risk of organ rejection. Wednesday, Canadian researchers reported that transplant recipients were more likely to have high levels of antibodies if they got a third dose than those given a dummy shot for comparison. Other small studies have similarly found that some transplant recipients respond to a third dose while others still lack enough protection.
    Aug 15, 2021 5527