London, July 28 (IASN) Inflammation and blood clotting seen in very severe cases of Covid-19 may be caused by the antibodies sent to fight the infectious disease activating unnecessary platelet activity in the lungs, according to researchers.Platelets are small cells found in blood which form clots to stop or prevent bleeding, but when they don't function properly, it can lead to serious health concerns such as strokes and heart attacks.The study, published in the journal Blood, took antibodies produced to fight the coronavirus's spike protein, from people with severe Covid-19 infections, and cloned them in a lab to study them.The team, led by researchers from the Imperial College London, found that the small sugars found on the surface of these antibodies were different to antibodies from healthy individuals, and when those cloned antibodies were introduced in a lab to blood cells taken from healthy donors, there was an observed increase in platelet activity.The team also found that it was possible to reduce or stop platelets from responding in this way in the laboratory by treating blood with active ingredients from different medications which is known to either inhibit platelet function or immune responses.The findings suggest that it may be possible for drugs that are currently used to treat immune system problems to reduce or stop the cells from producing an exaggerated platelet response.--IANSrvt/vd
London, July 28 (IANS) Researchers have found that strokes were a common complication experienced by hospitalised adults with severe Covid-19, with higher rates than expected amongst younger people.The study, led by a team at the University of Southampton in the UK, showed that risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure, contributed to the risk of stroke, including in younger people.The study, published in the journal Brain Communications, looked into 267 cases of Covid-19 related neurological and psychiatric problems in the UK.Of the 267 cases, strokes were the most frequently reported conditions, affecting nearly half of the patients. Over a quarter of strokes occurred in patients under 60 years old, many of whom had modifiable risk factors that meant they were already at risk of stroke.Other common conditions included delirium, psychiatric events and other evidence of damage to the brain (encephalopathy). More than 10 per cent of patients experienced more than one neurological condition, and these patients were more likely to require intensive care and ventilation."It was striking not only how many different neurological and psychiatric events we observed in this study, but also that some of these conditions occurred together within the same patients. This suggests Covid can affect multiple parts of the nervous system in the same patient," said Dr Amy Ross-Russell, research fellow at the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust."Patients with strokes also had blood vessel blockages or thrombosis elsewhere in the body so this is important for understanding why some strokes occur during Covid-19," Ross-Russell added.The finding suggests that Covid-19 amplifies the risk of stroke, including in younger people. Public health measures could reduce this, including lifestyle measures to avoid developing diabetes and high blood pressure, good control of blood sugar and blood pressure, and avoiding the risk of severe Covid-19 through vaccination and other public health measures.--IANSrvt/dpb
Did you know, sitting for long hours at a stretch can give you high blood pressure and increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer? In fact, any extended sitting such as at a desk, behind a wheel, or in front of a screen can be harmful.
When we sit, we use less energy as compared to standing or moving. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with several health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions -- high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and Cancer.
Several studies done to understand the link between sitting time and health risk factors found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity, faced similar risks of dying as posed by obesity or smoking. Therefore, living a sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous to your health. The less sitting or lying down you do during the day, the better your chances for living a healthy life. We know that due to the pandemic, most people are confined to their homes and work-from-home has added up to more working hours, leading to long sitting hours in front of the screens. But the health impact it has is manifold.
How long sitting hours affect your body: Humans are built to stand upright. Our heart and cardiovascular system work more effectively that way. Our bowel function is also more efficient when we are upright. It is common for people who are bedridden in the hospital to experience problems with their bowel function, isn't it? Similarly, sitting for long or being inactive for prolonged hours can be very harmful to health.
Leg and gluteals (bum muscles): Sitting for long periods can lead to weakening and wasting away of the large leg and gluteal muscles. These large muscles are important for walking and for stabilizing us. If these muscles are weak, we are more likely to get injured from falls, and from exercises.
Metabolic problems leading to heart diseases and stroke: Moving the muscles helps our body digest the fats and sugars we eat. If we spend a lot of time sitting, digestion is not as efficient, so the body will retain those fats and sugars.
Hip and joint problems: Sitting causes our hip flexor muscles to shorten, which can lead to problems with hip joints. Sitting for long periods can also cause problems with the back, especially if one consistently sits with poor posture or doesn't use an ergonomically designed chair or workstation. Even if you exercise but end up spending a large amount of time sitting, you are still at risk of health problems such as Metabolic Syndrome.
Cancer: Emerging studies suggest that the dangers of sitting include increasing your chances of developing some types of Cancer, including lung, uterine, and colon cancers.
How to stay active and healthy during work time: Prolonged sitting as bad as smoking a daily cigarette pack a day. When you are active your levels and endurance improves, and your bones maintain strength. You might start by simply standing rather than sitting when you have the chance, or finding ways to walk while you work.
Every 30 minutes, take a break from sitting
Stand while talking on the phone or while watching television
If you work at a desk, try a standing desk or improvise with a high table or counter
Position your work surface above a treadmill with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk, so that you can be in motion throughout the day
The impact of movement, even leisurely movement, can be profound. For starters, you will burn more calories. This might lead to weight loss and increased energy levels. Also, physical activity helps maintain muscle tone and leads us to overall mental well-being.
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New York, July 22 (IANS) Adults and children with Covid-19 who have a history of malnutrition may have an increased likelihood of death and the need for mechanical ventilation, according to a study.
Malnutrition hampers the proper functioning of the immune system and is known to increase the risk of severe infections for other viruses, but the potential long-term effects of malnutrition on Covid-19 outcomes are less clear, said Louis Ehwerhemuepha from Children's Hospital of Orange County in California, US.
Children older than five and adults aged 18 to 78 years with previous diagnoses of malnutrition were found to have higher odds of severe Covid-19 than those with no history of malnutrition in the same age groups.
Children younger than five and adults aged 79 or above were found to have higher odds of severe Covid-19 if they were not malnourished compared to those of the same age who were malnourished. In children, this may be due to having less medical data for those under five, according to the researchers.
The risk of severe Covid-19 in adults with and without malnutrition continued to rise with age above 79 years. The findings are published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Malnutrition, as a global health problem for both the pediatric and adult population, will continue to overlap with the Covid-19 pandemic that has already affected millions worldwide, Ehwerhemuepha said.
The researchers suggest that public health interventions for those at highest risk of malnutrition may help mitigate the higher likelihood of severe Covid-19 in this group.
For the study, the team investigated associations between malnutrition diagnoses and subsequent Covid-19 severity, using medical records for 8,604 children and 94,495 adults (older than 18 years) who were hospitalised with Covid-19 in the US between March and June 2020. Patients with a diagnosis of malnutrition between 2015 and 2019 were compared to patients without.
Of 520 (6 per cent) children with severe Covid-19, 39 (7.5 per cent) had a previous diagnosis of malnutrition, compared to 125 (1.5 per cent) of 7,959 (98.45 per cent) children with mild Covid-19. Of 11,423 (11 per cent) adults with severe Covid-19, 453 (4 per cent) had a previous diagnosis of malnutrition, compared to 1,557 (1.8 per cent) of 81,515 (98.13 per cent) adults with mild Covid-19.
London, July 21 (IANS) Testing people for heart-related issues may help to identify patients hospitalised with Covid-19 who face an especially high risk of dying, suggests a study.
Although SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, primarily affects the respiratory tract, it also leads to cardiovascular complications including severe arrhythmias, acute coronary syndromes, myocarditis and pulmonary embolism.
A team of researchers from the University of Salerno in Italy, examined 1,401 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 who were admitted.
About 226 (16.1 per cent) underwent transthoracic echocardiography within 48 hours of admission. In-hospital death occurred in 68 patients (30.1 per cent).
Low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), low tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, and acute respiratory distress syndrome were independently associated with in-hospital mortality.
"Clinical and echocardiographic parameters of disease severity might help to determine which patients with Covid-19 are at higher risk for in-hospital mortality," said lead author Angelo Silverio, at the University of Salerno.
The research was published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The study suggests that early LVEF may be very useful to identify patients with higher probability of fatal outcome as cardiovascular complications can negatively impact on outcomes of patients with Covid.
A growing body of research suggests that some people with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease may develop more severe symptoms and complications once infected with coronavirus.
New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) With two more cases of dengue and chikungunya each reported in the last one week, the tally of vector-borne diseases reported in the national capital this year has gone up to 67.According to data shared by South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which is the nodal agency in this regard, from January 1 to July 17 this year, 40 cases of dengue have been registered.Delhi has also reported 17 malaria and 10 chikungunya cases.According to the civic authority, Delhi, between January 1 to July 17 last year, had reported 32 cases of vector-borne diseases.A senior SDMC official told IANS that during an inspection in south Delhi area recently, a total of 334 breeding sites were detected.--IANSpd/vd