London: Increased air pollution has been linked with rise in risk of autoimmune diseases, according to a twin study.
Two abstracts presented by Dr Giovanni Adami at the 2022 EULAR Congress looked at the issue of environmental exposures and their role in disease development.
Particulate matter (PM) is defined as everything in the air that is not a gas, and includes a variety of chemicals and materials, some of which can be toxic.
Data from over 80,000 people in a retrospective observational study in Italy found a positive association between PM levels measured at local air-quality stations and the risk of autoimmune diseases.
In fact, every 10 micrograms per cubic metre increase in PM10 concentration was associated with an incremental 7 per cent risk of having autoimmune disease.
Exposure to PM10 above 30 micrograms per cubic metre and PM2.5 above 20 micrograms per cubic metre was associated with 12 per cent and 13 per cent higher risks of autoimmune disease, respectively.
When broken down by individual diseases, exposure to PM10 was associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but no other autoimmune diseases, whereas exposure to high levels of PM2.5 was associated with an increased risk of RA and inflammatory bowel disease.
Overall, chronic exposure to particulate air pollution above the threshold for human protection was associated with a 10 per cent higher risk of developing immune-mediated diseases.
In a separate study, the same team looked at the association between long-term exposure to PM and osteoporosis in almost 60,000 women at high risk of fracture.
The results showed that exposure to PM2.5 was negatively associated with low bone mass at the top of the thigh bone and lumbar spine.
Chronic exposure above 25 micrograms per cubic metre for PM2.5 and 30 micrograms per cubic metre for PM10 was associated with a 16 per cent and 15 per cent higher risk of having osteoporotic bone mass scores at any site.
The researchers concluded that long-term exposure to air pollution was associated with higher risk of osteoporosis.
Further, among the RA patients, high silica exposure was independently associated with lung abnormalities such as interstitial lung disease and mediastinal lymphadenopathy. (Agency)
Read More► Why 5 Minutes of Sun Makes Your Mood Better
Tokyo: Daily vitamin D supplements do not seem to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes in people already at high risk of the condition, finds a study.
Type 2 diabetes affects around 480 million people worldwide, and is predicted to increase to 700 million by 2045. Another half a billion people have impaired glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes, or higher than normal blood sugar levels that, if left untreated, can develop into Type 2 diabetes.
Some studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of future diabetes, but trials of Vitamin D supplements for preventing the condition have shown inconsistent results.
The new study, published by The BMJ, shows that supplements had no clinically meaningful effect in high risk adults, but suggest there may be a benefit for people with insufficient insulin secretion, although this finding remains unclear.
In the study, the team assessed whether eldecalcitol - an active form of vitamin D used to treat osteoporosis in Japan - could reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes among people with impaired glucose tolerance.
They analysed 1,256 Japanese adults with impaired glucose tolerance recruited from three hospitals in Japan and were divided into two groups: a standard daily dose of eldecalcitol (630 participants) or placebo (626 participants). They were assessed for diabetes every three months over a three-year follow-up period.
During this period, the researchers found no meaningful differences between groups in those who developed diabetes (12.5 per cent in the eldecalcitol group and 14 per cent in the placebo group) or whose blood sugar levels returned to normal (23 per cent in the eldecalcitol group and 20 per cent in the placebo group).
The team did, however, find a significant increase in both lower back and hip bone mineral densities among those taking eldecalcitol compared with placebo.
"Although treatment with eldecalcitol did not significantly reduce the incidence of diabetes among people with pre-diabetes, the results suggested the potential for a beneficial effect of eldecalcitol on people with insufficient insulin secretion," said researchers, calling for further study to determine whether vitamin D is beneficial to people with pre-diabetes. (Agency)
Read More► B12 Deficiency in Children is Huge Yet Overlooked Problem: Study
London: People with diabetes were almost twice as likely to die with Covid and almost three times as likely to be critically or severely ill compared to those without diabetes, finds a study.
The study conducted by researchers from the University of Aberdeen, UK found patients with diabetes had a significantly higher risk of requiring an intensive care admission and supplementary oxygen or being admitted in a critical condition in comparison to patients without diabetes.
However, good control of blood sugar in these patients can significantly reduce this risk.
"We found that following a Covid-19 infection, the risk of death for patients with diabetes was significantly increased in comparison to patients without diabetes," said Stavroula Kastora from the varsity.
"We also show that good glycaemic control may be a protective factor in view of Covid-19 related deaths," she added, in the paper published in the journal Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.
The team reviewed findings from 158 studies that included more than 270,000 participants from all over the world to determine how Covid affects people living with diabetes.
The pooled results showed that people with diabetes were 1.87 times more likely to die with Covid, 1.59 times more likely to be admitted to ICU, 1.44 times more likely to require ventilation, and 2.88 times more likely to be classed as severe or critical, when compared to patients without diabetes.AA
Further, the researchers found that patients in China, Korea and the Middle East were at higher risk of death than those from EU countries or the US. They suggest this may be due to differences in healthcare systems and affordability of healthcare.
Diabetes is a serious medical condition where blood sugar levels are too high.
In 2021, approximately 537 million adults between the 20-79 years were living with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
The total number of people living with diabetes is projected to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.
While diabetes increased severity of Covid, a recent study published in the journal Diabetologia, also showed people who have had Covid-19 infection are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
"In light of the ongoing pandemic, strengthening outpatient diabetes clinics, ensuring consistent follow up of patients with diabetes and optimising their glycaemic control could significantly increase the chances of survival following a Covid infection," Kastora noted. (Agency)
Read More► Double-Masking Does Not Improve Protection Against Covid: Study
New York: People hospitalised during the pandemic both for Covid and other conditions have a higher rate of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections compared to patients hospitalised before the pandemic, according to a study.
An estimated 1.2 million people worldwide died in 2019 from antibiotic-resistant infections, and this number is predicted to increase ten-fold by 2050.
There have been studies reporting that the pandemic was associated with antimicrobial resistance (AMR) secondary infections, possibly due to the increase in the use of antibiotics to treat Covid-19 patients and disruptions to infection prevention and control practices in overwhelmed health systems.
The study, presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) being held in Portugal, evaluated the pandemic's impact on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in 271 hospitals across the US.
The researchers assessed AMR rates per 100 hospital admissions before and during the Covid pandemic, and examined whether drug-resistant infections were acquired in the community-onset setting (defined as a culture collected less than two days after admission) or in the hospital-onset setting (more than two days after admission).
In total, 1,789,458 patients were admitted to the hospital in the pre-pandemic period and 3,729,208 during the pandemic.
The number of patients admitted to the hospital with at least one AMR infection was 63,263 in the pre-pandemic period and 129,410 during the pandemic.
Patients who tested positive or negative for Covid had higher levels of AMR than patients before the pandemic, 4.92 per 100 admissions and 4.11 per 100 admissions, respectively.
For hospital-associated infections, the AMR rate was 0.77 per 100 admissions before the pandemic and 0.86 per 100 admissions during the pandemic, and highest at 2.19 per 100 admissions in patients with Covid-19.
When looking at community-onset infections, the AMR rate was 2.76 per 100 admissions in the pre-pandemic period, and 2.61 per 100 admissions during the pandemic.
"These new data highlight the importance of closely monitoring the impact of Covid-19 on antimicrobial resistance rates, said Dr Karri Bauer from the US pharmaceutical company Merck.
"It is particularly worrying that antibiotic resistance has been rising during the pandemic in both SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative patients. Hospital-acquired infections are a major concern, with antimicrobial resistance rates significantly higher during the pandemic than before," he added. (Agency)
Read More► Omicron Ups Risk of Upper Airway Infections, Cardiac Arrest in Small Kids
A combination of high-dose Vitamin D, Omega-3s, and simple home strength exercises can help reduce cancer risk in healthy adults aged 70 or older by 61 per cent, claims a study.
Published in Frontiers in Aging, it is the first study to test the combined benefit of three affordable public health interventions for the prevention of invasive cancers that has grown past the original tissue or cells where it developed, and spread to otherwise healthy surrounding tissue.
Apart from preventative recommendations such as not smoking and sun protection, public health efforts that focus on cancer prevention are limited, according to Dr Heike Bischoff-Ferrari of the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland.
"Preventive efforts in middle-aged and older adults today are largely limited to screening and vaccination efforts," Bischoff-Ferrari noted.
Studies have shown that Vitamin D inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Similarly, Omega-3 may inhibit the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells, and exercise has been shown to improve immune function and decrease inflammation, which may help in the prevention of cancer.
However, there was a lack of robust clinical studies proving the effectiveness of these three simple interventions, alone or combined.
Bischoff-Ferrari and her colleagues tested the effect of daily high-dose Vitamin D3 (one form of Vitamin D supplements), daily supplemental Omega-3s, and a simple home strength exercise, alone and in combination, on the risk of invasive cancer among adults aged 70 or older.
The three-year trial, held in Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, and Portugal, involved 2,157 participants.
The results show that all three treatments (Vitamin D3, Omega-3s, and exercise) had cumulative benefits on the risk of invasive cancers, Bischoff-Ferrari said.
Each of the treatments had a small individual benefit but when all three treatments were combined, the benefits became statistically significant, and the researchers saw an overall reduction in cancer risk by 61 per cent.
"Our results, although based on multiple comparisons and requiring replication, may prove to be beneficial for reducing the burden of cancer," Bischoff-Ferrari said, adding the need for further studies. (agency)
Read More► Genes Can Affect Our Nutrient Tolerance: Study
Six in 10 people with SARS-CoV-2 still have at least one symptom of long Covid a year later, with fatigue, shortness of breath and irritability being the most common, a new study has shown.
The study, being presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Portugal, found that Covid-19 symptoms that don't clear up after 15 weeks are likely to last at least a year.
An estimated 25-40 per cent of people with Covid-19 develop long Covid, persisting symptoms that can affect multiple organs and include mental health problems.
Most of the data to date, however, is based on patients who were hospitalised with Covid-19 and it isn't clear how it applies to Covid-19 cases more generally.
To find out more, Aurelie Fischer and colleagues at the Luxembourg Institute of Health in Luxembourg, surveyed almost 300 people a year after they were diagnosed with Covid.
The 289 participants (50.2 per cent women) had an average age of 40.2 years and were divided in three groups, based on the severity of their initial infection: asymptomatic, mild and moderate/severe Covid-19.
They were asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire about whether they were experiencing 64 common long Covid-related symptoms.
A third (34.3 per cent) were experiencing fatigue a year on, 12.9 per cent said respiratory symptoms were affecting their quality of life and more than half (54.2 per cent) had ongoing sleep problems.
Participants who had moderate/severe Covid-19 were twice as likely to still have at least one symptom a year on than those whose initial infection was asymptomatic. Having had moderate/severe Covid-19 was also associated with more sleep problems after a year than being asymptomatic (63.8 per cent vs. 38.6 per cent).
"Participants with a mild form of the acute illness were more likely than those who'd been asymptomatic to have at least one symptom at one year, and to have sleep problems, but to a lesser extent than those with a moderate or severe acute illness," Fischer said.
One in seven participants (14.2 per cent) said they could not envisage coping with their symptoms long-term.
Further, the analysis also revealed that some groups of symptoms tend to occur together, suggesting that there are multiple different types of long Covid.
Read More► Covid Not Only Infects Human Retina, But Can Also Replicate in It
Dear Patron, Please provide additional information to validate your profile and continue to participate in engagement activities and purchase medicine.