See What HealthDay Can Do For You
Contact Us

We are the world's largest health news service and leading creators of custom health content

Contact a representative
Learn more
Put our editorial expertise to work for youContact us

See Our Results

Our clients believe content must be designed to deliver specific results. We believe in delivering exactly what our clients need.

HealthDay is featured on leading websites including:

Contact Us

License our Award-Winning Daily Health and Medical News

HealthDay specializes in producing evidence-based health content that is licensed to media companies, hospitals, managed care organizations, publishers, non-profits, and government agencies. We produce daily news and video covering the latest health topics. We have informative educational text and video libraries on medicine and wellness.

See Our Licensed Solutions

Merck Allows Poor Nations to Make COVID-19 Pill

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A deal for Merck's COVID-19 pill to be made and sold cheaply in poor nations has been reached with Medicines Patent Pool, a United Nations-backed nonprofit organization.

The royalty-free license means that companies in 105 countries, mostly in Africa and Asia, can sublicense the formulation for the antiviral pill molnupiravir and start making it, the New York Times reported.

Earlier this month, Merck announced that a large clinical trial showed that the drug cut the rate of hospitalizations and deaths among high-risk COVID-19 patients in half. The company has submitted that data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking emergency-use authorization, with a decision expected in early December.

There were concerns that wealthy nations would grab large amounts of the drug and leave poorer nations with little or no access to it, which has occurred with COVID-19 vaccines.

Advocates for treatment access welcomed Merck's agreement with Medicines Patent Pool.

"The Merck license is a very good and meaningful protection for people living in countries where more than half of the world's population lives," James Love, who directs Knowledge Ecology International, a nonprofit research organization, told the Times. "It will make a difference."

More than 50 companies in the developing world have already approached the Medicines Patent Pool about obtaining a sublicense for the pill, according to the organization's director, Charles Gore.

The deal "is the first transparent public health license for a COVID medicine, and really importantly, it is for something that could be used outside of hospitals, and which is potentially going to be very cheap," Gore told the Times.

"This is hopefully going to make things a lot easier in terms of keeping people out of hospital and stopping people dying in low- and middle-income countries," he said.

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on COVID treatments.

SOURCE: New York Times

La incertidumbre de la pandemia mantiene a los estadounidenses en el limbo, según una encuesta

MARTES, 26 de octubre de 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Un tercio de los estadounidenses tienen dificultades para tomar decisiones básicas debido al estrés continuo que genera la pandemia, y los adultos más jóvenes y los que son padres son los que más dificultades tienen, revela una nueva encuesta.

"La pandemia ha impuesto a muchas personas un régimen de constante evaluación del riesgo. Cada día conlleva un embate de opciones en un contexto siempre cambiante, mientras las rutinas se alteran y unas tareas diarias que eran triviales se resignifican ante la pandemia", señaló Arthur Evans Jr., director ejecutivo de la Asociación Americana de Psicología (American Psychological Association, APA), que realizó la encuesta.

En general, un 32 por ciento de los más de 3,000 participantes adultos dijeron que tenían dificultades incluso con las decisiones básicas, por ejemplo para decidir dónde comer o qué ropa utilizar, pero las tasas fueron más altas entre los milénicos (de un 48 por ciento), seguido por los adultos de la generación Z (de un 37 por ciento), los de la generación X (de un 32 por ciento), los de la generación de la postguerra (de un 14 por ciento) y los adultos mayores (de un 3 por ciento).

La tasa fue más alta entre los que eran padres (de un 47 por ciento) que entre los que no lo eran (de un 24 por ciento).

Casi dos tercios (un 63 por ciento) de los participantes dijeron que están estresados por la incertidumbre sobre lo que sucederá en los próximos meses, y un 49 por ciento dijeron que la pandemia hace que parezca que planificar para el futuro sea imposible.

Más de un tercio dijeron que la pandemia ha hecho que sea más estresante tomar tanto las decisiones cotidianas (un 36 por ciento) como las decisiones vitales importantes (un 35 por ciento).

Las tasas fueron más altas entre los adultos más jóvenes para las decisiones diarias: de un 40 por ciento para la generación Z, de un 46 por ciento para los milénicos y de un 39 por ciento para los de la generación X, frente a un 24 por ciento de los de la generación de la postguerra y un 14 por ciento de los adultos mayores. También fueron más altas respecto a las decisiones importantes: de un 50 por ciento para los de la generación Z y de un 45 por ciento para los milénicos, frente a un 33 por ciento de los de la generación X, un 24 por ciento de los de la generación de la postguerra y un 6 por ciento de los adultos mayores.

Los que eran padres fueron más propensos a decir que las decisiones cotidianas y las decisiones vitales importantes eran más estresantes: un 47 por ciento, frente a un 30 por ciento entre los que no eran padres, y un 44 frente a un 31 por ciento, respectivamente. Además, un 54 por ciento de los que tenían hijos de hasta 4 años de edad dijeron que las decisiones cotidianas se habían vuelto más estresantes.

Los adultos hispanos fueron más propensos que los adultos blancos a decir que la pandemia ha hecho que tomar decisiones sea mucho más estresante (decisiones cotidianas: un 44 frente a un 34 por ciento; decisiones importantes: un 40 frente a un 32 por ciento).

"Mantener un alto grado de vigilancia inevitablemente desgasta la salud mental", explicó Evans en un comunicado de prensa de la APA. "Y funcionar en medio de tanta incertidumbre complica el estado general de agotamiento mental que tantos sienten ahora mismo, sobre todos los adultos jóvenes y los que son padres".

Más de 3 de cada 5 adultos (un 61 por ciento) dijeron que la pandemia los ha hecho replantearse la forma en que estaban viviendo, y más de 2 de cada 5 (un 44 por ciento) tomaron una decisión vital importante durante la pandemia del coronavirus. La encuesta incluyó a adultos de a partir de 18 años, y se llevó a cabo entre el 11 y el 23 de agosto de 2021.

La encuesta sí encontró que la mayoría (un 70 por ciento) de los encuestados tenían confianza en que todo volverá a funcionar tras el final de la pandemia, y un 57 por ciento se mostraron de acuerdo en que tienden a recuperarse con rapidez después de las épocas difíciles.

"El optimismo de los estadounidenses sobre el futuro es alentador, pero tenemos unos efectos reales de salud mental que surgen de este periodo de estrés prolongado que debemos resolver ahora", añadió Evans. "Es urgente que como país prioricemos la salud mental de todos los estadounidenses, y que proveamos un sistema de respaldo universalmente accesible".

Más información

Los Institutos Nacionales de la Salud de EE. UU. ofrece consejos sobre cómo afrontar el estrés de la pandemia de COVID-19.

Artículo por HealthDay, traducido por HolaDoctor.com

FUENTE: American Psychological Association, news release, Oct. 26, 2021

La administración de Biden anuncia los detalles de los requisitos de vacunación para los viajeros extranjeros

MARTES, 26 de octubre de 2021 (HealthDay News) -- La administración de Biden publicó el lunes los puntos específicos de su plan para permitir la vuelta de los viajeros extranjeros a Estados Unidos.

Aunque los visitantes adultos deberán estar vacunados del todo contra la COVID-19 y tendrán que hacerse una prueba del virus antes de abordar un avión hacia Estados Unidos, los visitantes menores de 18 años no tendrán que estar vacunados del todo, pero de cualquier forma tendrán que someterse a una prueba de la COVID-19 a menos que tengan 2 años o menos, señaló la Casa Blanca en una declaración. La nueva política sobre los viajes entra en vigor el 9 de noviembre.

Otras exenciones del requisito de vacunación incluyen a las personas que participaron en ensayos clínicos sobre la COVID-19, que tuvieron reacciones alérgicas graves a las vacunas, o que provengan de un país donde las vacunas contra la COVID-19 no estén ampliamente disponibles.

Esto incluye a unos 50 países, y las personas de estos países solo podrán entrar a Estados Unidos con una carta del gobierno que autorice el viaje por un motivo convincente y no solo para el turismo, declaró a Associated Press un alto funcionario de la administración.

Las líneas aéreas tendrán que recolectar la información de contacto de los pasajeros, independientemente del estatus de vacunación, para ayudar con el rastreo de contactos si resulta necesario.

Estados Unidos aceptará cualquier vacuna aprobada para el uso regular o de emergencia por la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos (FDA) de EE. UU. o por la Organización Mundial de la Salud. Entre estas se encuentran las vacunas de Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, y las vacunas Sinopharm y Sinovac de China. Se permitirá la combinación de las vacunas aprobadas, informó AP.

Según AP, la nueva política sale a medida que la administración de Biden alivia las restricciones que prohíben el viaje no esencial desde varias docenas de países: la mayor parte de Europa, China, Brasil, Sudáfrica, India e Irán.

Se evaluará el cumplimiento de los viajeros extranjeros que lleguen a Estados Unidos, declaró un funcionario de la administración a AP, y las líneas aéreas que no ejecuten los requisitos podrían recibir multas de hasta 35,000 dólares por infracción.

El principal grupo comercial de la industria aérea de EE. UU. se alegró de la nueva política de viajes de la administración.

"Hemos observado un aumento en las ventas de billetes para el viaje internacional en las últimas semanas, y estamos ansiosos por comenzar a reunir de forma segura a incontables familias, amigos y colegas que no se han visto en dos años o más", aseguró en una declaración Airlines for America.

Más información

Visite los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) de EE. UU. para obtener más información sobre los viajes durante la pandemia.

Artículo por HealthDay, traducido por HolaDoctor.com


FUENTE: Associated Press, Airlines for America, news release, Oct. 25, 2021; White House, news release, Oct. 25, 2021

Many Blood Cancer Patients Get Little Protection From COVID Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Anti-vaxxers felt their suspicions confirmed when former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell died from COVID-19 complications in mid-October despite being fully vaccinated.

But Powell, 84, was being treated for blood cancer at the time of his death, and a new study reports that the COVID vaccines are producing little to no protection for some cancer patients.

Nearly 3 out of 5 blood cancer patients failed to mount an immune response against COVID after receiving a full two-dose course of the Pfizer vaccine, according to clinical trial results from the United Kingdom.

People with solid tumors also had a less robust response to COVID vaccination compared with healthy folks, researchers added.

The new study "demonstrates to us that people with both solid tumors and also blood cancers do not respond optimally to vaccines, and particularly to COVID vaccine," said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the Bethesda, Md.-based National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. "They have demonstrated it with a sureness and a completeness that we didn't have before."

Powell died while battling multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that particularly impacts the immune system. He had been scheduled to receive a third COVID vaccine booster shot, but died before his appointment.

"Although we are well to try to get them to respond by giving them a third dose of vaccine, our expectations shouldn't be too high, and neither should the patients' [expectations]," Schaffner said.

For this trial, Dr. Sheeba Irshad, a senior clinical lecturer from King's College London, and colleagues administered the Pfizer vaccine to 159 people, 128 of whom were cancer patients. They then tracked their immune response. The results were published Oct. 11 in the journal Cancer Cell.

The researchers found that only 36% of blood cancer patients achieved an immune response to COVID following full vaccination, compared with 78% of solid cancer patients and 88% of the healthy control participants.

The first dose of vaccine didn't work particularly well in solid cancer patients, with only 38% developing an immune response to COVID. But a second dose given at either 3 or 12 weeks boosted protection.

Cancers tend to wreak havoc with the body's immune system, particularly cancers of the blood, Schaffner said.

Blood cancers "frequently involve cells that interact with or are a part of the immune system -- lymphomas, for example. The disease itself reduces the capacity of the immune system to function normally," Schaffner said.

The study points out that older age -- a known link to severe COVID -- takes a back seat to cancer, said one expert.

"A cancer diagnosis seems to trump age as a risk factor for a weaker immune response," said Dr. Julie Gralow, executive vice president and chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The treatments used to cure cancer -- chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy -- also can interfere with immune response, said Dr. Betty Hamilton, interim director of the Cleveland Clinic Blood and Marrow Transplant Program.

"We have had the sense that patients who are immunosuppressed or immunocompromised in some way have less response to the vaccine," Hamilton said, citing cancer patients as well as patients undergoing organ transplant.

Still, cancer patients should get the COVID vaccine and booster, Hamilton and Schaffner said.

"We do still recommend vaccination for these patients because we do believe that a little bit of protection is better than none," Hamilton said.

Best bet is to quarantine

But their best bet to stay COVID-safe is to quarantine, and for the people around them to get vaccinated and stick tight to public health recommendations, the experts said.

"If you are one of these people, or one of the people around these people, you have to be careful," Schaffner said. "Use the masks. Be very careful with social distancing, and avoid crowds. And certainly the people around them should be vaccinated."

Hamilton agreed.

"It's really important to counsel these patients that they still need to be very careful in public and to wear masks and wash their hands frequently," Hamilton said.

"My specialty is bone marrow transplant, and so our patients are extremely immunosuppressed," she said. "Oftentimes after transplant they use these public health measures anyway. Even without COVID, they've been using these methods of avoiding crowded places and wearing masks and washing their hands frequently and avoiding people who are ill."

This threat to cancer patients further emphasizes the need for as many people in the community as possible to get vaccinated against COVID, Hamilton and Schaffner added.

"If you permit this virus to circulate in the community, occasionally it will sneak through the perimeter that we create around these people. It can get in and infect one of these people and make them gravely ill," Schaffner said.

"You can believe everyone around Colin Powell with an army's precision was going to be protected. Nobody wanted to be the dreaded spreader who gave it to Colin Powell, but it got through to the Powell family anyway," he continued. "That happens when the virus is still out there circulating in the community and hasn't yet been suppressed optimally."

And it's not just people with cancer who would be protected by herd immunity to COVID, Schaffner said.

"There are many more frail people around us than we are used to, because medical science is such that people are living older. They're living frailer. People with underlying serious illnesses like cancers of various kinds are living longer among us," Schaffner said. "We all share a responsibility to help protect our frail brothers and sisters who live among us."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19 vaccines for immunocompromised patients.

SOURCES: William Schaffner, MD, medical director, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Md.; Julie Gralow, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer, American Society of Clinical Oncology; Betty Hamilton, MD, interim director, Cleveland Clinic Blood and Marrow Transplant Program; Cancer Cell, Oct. 11, 2021

Would You Like Phthalates With That? Fast Food Contains Industrial Chemicals: Report

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Do you like your burgers well done with a side of plastic?

Probably not. But a new study suggests that fast food often comes with a sizable helping of plastic-softening chemicals that could potentially lead to hormone disruption, infertility and learning disabilities.

At issue are phthalates and other so-called "replacement plasticizers." Manufacturers use these chemicals to help soften the plastics found in products that are routinely used when handling food. Those include gloves, conveyor belts, packaging, wrapping and tubes.

The problem: phthalates and their plasticizer cousins don't seem to stay in their lane, easily migrating into the foods with which they come into contact. The study's researchers warn that between 70% and 86% of the fast foods they tested contained some type of phthalate or plasticizer.

"We think our findings suggest that phthalates and replacement plasticizers are widespread in fast food meals," said study author Lariah Edwards. She's a postdoctoral scientist in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, D.C.

The finding didn't strike Edwards as particularly surprising, given that items sold at fast food chains "are so heavily processed, packaged and handled."

Still, it's a significant concern, she stressed, "since fast food meals are such a large part of the American diet," and because "phthalates are known to disrupt hormones in humans, and are linked to a long list of health problems, such as reproductive and children's neurodevelopmental effects."

To gain insight into the issue, Edwards and her colleagues first purchased 64 food samples from a variety of fast food chains located in one American city. They also obtained three pairs of unused food handling gloves.

Both the food and the gloves were then tested for 11 different types of phthalates and plasticizers.

Ten of the 11 chemicals were found in the tested foods.

More than 80% of the food samples were found to contain a phthalate known as DnBP, while 86% contained a plasticizer known as DEHT, which is commonly found in food gloves. About 70% contained a phthalate known as DEHP.

Cheeseburgers, chicken burritos and other meat products had the highest phthalate/plasticizer content, with much higher DEHT levels detected in burritos than in burgers.

On the upside, cheese pizzas were among the least contaminated foods, while French fries were found to be DEHT-free.

Because not all of these chemicals have been thoroughly studied, the precise harm they may pose to human health is not entirely clear, the team acknowledged.

But Edwards cautioned that until researchers get a better handle on the risk involved, consumers should know that "it is not only [about] processed foods" at fast food chains -- any food that's handled in any restaurant setting can be exposed to such chemicals, she noted.

With that in mind, Edwards said better oversight is needed, adding that she hopes "our work can be used by policymakers to help create stronger regulations to keep phthalates and replacement plasticizers out of our foods."

Meanwhile, one thing that people can do to limit potential risk is to "eat lower on the food chain." That, said Edwards, basically means limiting meat intake.

"However, we recognize that this strategy to reduce exposure is not always accessible to everyone," she added. So, she and her colleagues point to their own prior research, which suggests that home cooking is the safer bet, since people tend not to use problematic plastic gloves, packaging and the like when prepping food in their own kitchen.

That's a strategy echoed by Lona Sandon, program director of the department of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

"Many fast food chains rely on meats, chicken and fish or other foods that are preformed, partially cooked, then frozen, packaged in plastic, and shipped to the restaurant site to be finished at the time of order," Sandon noted. "This gives plenty of time for these foods to sit wrapped in plastic."

And even relatively healthy food options are not immune to plastic exposure, she added, noting that "organic or not, the risk persists if the food is stored in plastic that has these chemicals."

The solution, said Sandon, is "eating less fast food and less food in general that is packaged in plastic. Prepare more fresh foods at home using fresh meats, chicken, or fish and produce."

Edwards and her colleagues published their findings Oct. 27 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.

More information

There's more information on phthalates at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Lariah Edwards, PhD, postdoctoral scientist, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, Washington, D.C.; Lona Sandon, PhD, RDN, LD, program director and associate professor, Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Health Professions, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, Oct. 27, 2021

Long COVID Can Last a Year; Many Sufferers Quit Jobs

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Patients suffering from "long COVID" can have symptoms that last a year or more, putting their jobs and everyday routines in jeopardy, a new study finds.

Looking at more than 150 people with long-lasting effects from COVID-19, researchers said the patients reported thinking problems, fatigue, brain fog, headache, sleep problems and dizziness.

"The majority of people who we studied had been sick for at least a year, and were still seeing significant difficulty in life participation, feelings of general wellness and health, ability to socialize and ability to perform daily tasks," said lead researcher David Putrino. He's an associate professor of rehabilitation and human performance at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

The cause of long COVID isn't clear, Putrino said. It's possible the virus is still causing reactions months later or perhaps it has altered the immune system and that's what's causing these persistent symptoms, he theorized.

Putrino was insistent that these symptoms are real physical reactions to the virus and not caused by mental or emotional problems.

"These patients are exhibiting symptoms consistent with over 100 years of literature surrounding post-viral illness," he said. "So this is a known phenomenon that accompanies viruses, especially novel viruses, and the symptoms are very consistent with other post-viral illnesses, such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease and even the Spanish flu."

Whether these patients will ever recover also is unclear, said Putrino, who is also director of rehabilitation innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System.

"It's our hope that they will," he said. "We have some data emerging to suggest that patients do respond to rehabilitation intervention. We're also doing research to understand what could be the underlying cause, and from there we can start to think about drug development and drug targets."

Rehabilitation for long COVID consists of several steps to identify -- and avoid -- triggers. It also involves gentle exercises to help reprogram the autonomic nervous system, which regulates critical involuntary functions of the body.

If you suspect you have long COVID, Putrino suggests finding a doctor who believes what you're going through is real and is willing to work with you as a partner.

"Also, avoid anyone who is pushing aggressive exercise or exercise training. There is strong literature to suggest that in post-viral illness, exercise therapy will worsen your symptoms and will not make you better," he said.

For the study, Putrino and his colleagues looked at 156 patients treated for long COVID between March 2020 and March 2021. Participants completed a questionnaire that asked about various symptoms and what they believe triggered them a median of 351 days post-infection. None had been vaccinated at the time of the study.

More than 8 out of 10 respondents were still bothered by fatigue, brain fog (67%), headache (60%), sleep disturbance (59%) and dizziness (54%).

Further evaluation found that 60% of the patients had some degree of mental impairment, such as diminished short-term memory, difficulty remembering names and problems with decision-making and daily planning.

Of the 135 patients who answered questions about employment, 102 had worked fulltime before getting sick, but only 55 -- roughly half -- continued working afterward.

Also, the researchers found the biggest trigger of symptoms was physical exertion (reported by 86% of patients), followed by stress (69%), dehydration (49%) and weather changes (37%).

Infectious disease expert Dr. Marc Siegel said he's particularly concerned by the changes in cognitive, or mental, ability.

COVID-19 can cause inflammation in the brain, which can affect thinking, he said.

"Inflammation is a second disease. It can cause deterioration to the central nervous system directly, even white matter changes," said Siegel, a clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

Siegel, who wasn't part of the study, thinks COVID-19 has more effects on thinking and memory than other viruses. "I think that you're going to find cognitive effects more and more. The question is how long it lasts," he said.

He also said COVID-19 vaccination, even after suffering from the disease, might help prevent long COVID.

"There's some evidence, although I can't call this proof yet, that being vaccinated after COVID helps reduce long COVID," Siegel said. This can help rev up your immune system and decrease the amount of virus in your body, he explained.

The report was published Oct. 20 online in the American Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.

More information

For more on long COVID, see the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: David Putrino, PhD, director, Rehabilitation Innovation, Mount Sinai Health System, and associate professor, rehabilitation and human performance, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Marc Siegel, MD, clinical professor, medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; American Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Oct. 20, 2021, online

Shorter Course of Post-Op Radiation May Work Well for Prostate Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- After prostate cancer surgery, men can safely undergo fewer radiation treatments at higher doses, a new clinical trial shows.

Researchers found that the shorter regimen — given over five weeks, instead of seven — did not raise patients' odds of lasting side effects.

Safety has been a "major concern" because when patients have fewer radiation treatments, the daily dose needs to be higher, explained Dr. Neha Vapiwala, a radiation oncologist who was not involved in the study.

But the new findings offer "level-one evidence" that a shorter course can be delivered safely, said Vapiwala, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

Prostate cancer is a highly treatable disease. In the United States, the 10-year survival rate stands at 98%, according to the American Society for Radiation Oncology. That means the impact of treatment choices on men's quality of life is particularly critical.

A shorter course of radiation is obviously appealing for its convenience. The new study was designed to find out whether fewer treatments would come at the expense of lasting side effects.

According to lead researcher Dr. Mark Buyyounouski, "Preserving quality of life was a major priority when testing the shorter treatment course. It is important for patients to know that accepting a more convenient treatment doesn't mean they have to compromise on quality of life."

The trial involved 296 men who'd undergone surgery for prostate cancer and needed follow-up radiation. Around half were randomly assigned to receive standard doses over seven weeks, while the rest were given higher doses over five weeks.

By the end of treatment, men on the higher-dose regimen were reporting more gastrointestinal symptoms, like cramps, diarrhea and nausea. But those problems resolved in both groups of patients, and were gone when the men were assessed six months later.

Radiation for prostate cancer can also sometimes cause urinary problems, like leakage or burning during urination. But on average, neither study group showed an increase in those symptoms, in the short term or over the two years after treatment.

"Short-term side effects of radiation therapy are well-established, and patients understand that," said Buyyounouski, a professor of radiation oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine, in California.

"What patients ultimately want to know is whether the side effects will go away, and that's what we saw in our study," he said in a society news release.

Buyyounouski presented the findings Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held in Chicago. Research reported at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Short courses of radiation are not new in prostate cancer. They have been an option for men who forgo surgery and opt to have radiation therapy alone.

However, shorter courses have not been routinely offered to patients who've had surgery, Vapiwala said. Most doctors, she added, have been waiting for clinical trial evidence first.

Shorter radiation regimens are not only more convenient for patients, Buyyounouski said in a meeting news release: They can also lessen their travel expenses and co-pays, and limit time away from work.

There are also benefits for the health care system, he noted, as insurers pay for fewer treatments, and radiation facilities can take more patients.

Vapiwala said the trial is "incredibly important" in showing that the shorter, higher-dose approach can be done safely.

"While there may be increased patient-reported side effects," she said, "these toxicities generally resolve with time and were not markedly worse with the shorter course compared to the standard one."

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on treating prostate cancer.

SOURCES: Neha Vapiwala, MD, professor, radiation oncology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia; Oct. 25, 2021 presentation, American Society for Radiation Oncology annual meeting, Chicago

AHA News: Could a Halloween-Induced Nightmare Be Bad for Your Health?

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27, 2021 (American Heart Association News) -- The nightmare was so vivid that you woke up in a cold sweat, heart racing and certain that the creepy catastrophe was all too real.

Should you have skipped the haunted house and those terrifying Halloween movies? More importantly, was that nightmare bad for your health?

On both counts, sleep experts say, probably not. But repeated troubling nighttime episodes could lead to health problems during the day, which underscores the need for a good night's sleep.

"The good news is that nightmares aren't as serious as a heart attack," said Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who studies sleep's effect on cardiovascular issues. "But they're also not nothing."

A study of 1,233 Japanese people with cardiovascular disease suggested people reporting frequent nightmares were more likely to have depression, anxiety and insomnia, which could worsen their heart conditions. The study, published last December in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, urged cardiologists to ask patients about nightmares as part of their assessments.

In another study, researchers surveyed more than 3,000 U.S. military veterans and found those reporting nightmares at least twice a week that were at least moderately distressing had more cases of high blood pressure, heart problems and heart attack, even after controlling for the impact of age, smoking status, posttraumatic stress disorder and other factors. The preliminary findings were presented last year at a virtual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

But the studies were observational, without examining cause and effect. It might not be the nightmares themselves causing physiological harm, but rather their impact on everyday life, said Dr. Reena Mehra, director of sleep disorders research at the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute.

If bad dreams are frequent enough to cause stress and insomnia, she said, "one could argue that maybe over time that would contribute to cardiovascular risk."

Grandner agreed. "A lot of cardiovascular issues and mental health issues are intertwined," he said. "Extreme stress takes a toll on our heart and our metabolism."

During most dreams, he said, "your brain is very active, but your body is completely immobile. Otherwise, you'd be acting out your dreams."

But during a nightmare, Grandner said, "the dream breaks through those barriers, and you get a response strong enough to actually wake you up. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you, and for most people they're harmless. But if you do experience them a lot, it can be very stressful."

Mehra said extreme cases, such as nightmares sparked by PTSD, may warrant psychological counseling and medication. But most people, she said, should focus on sleep hygiene, the formal term for a good bedtime routine.

That includes getting enough sleep – the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours nightly for most adults – having consistent sleep and wake times, putting away electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol late in the day.

One more recommendation might be more difficult. "To the extent one can," Mehra said, "reduce any stressors in life that can trigger the nightmares."

So what about a good Halloween scare?

"When you're exposed to things that get a reaction out of you, you're going to start incorporating them into dreams," Grandner said. "For some people, it's traumatic. If you're the kind of person who has a hard time unseeing an image, and that can be very stressful to take to bed with you, maybe they should think twice.

"But for most people, it's like a roller coaster. It's fun, there's no emotional attachment except for the excitement, and it probably won't lead to nightmares. So go have fun."

American Heart Association News covers heart and brain health. Not all views expressed in this story reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email editor@heart.org.

By Michael Precker

Liver Transplants Soar as Some Americans Drink Their Way Through the Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Demand for liver transplants among heavy drinking Americans surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows.

It found that the number of people with alcoholic hepatitis who received a new liver (32,320) or were put on a liver transplant waiting list (51,488) between March 2020 and January 2021 was 50% higher than what was expected based on pre-pandemic patterns, CNN reported.

There was little change in the number of people without alcoholic hepatitis who needed a liver transplant, according to the study published Oct. 26 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Alcoholic hepatitis often develops after years of heavy drinking, but can also develop after a short period of excessive alcohol use, CNN reported. With alcoholic hepatitis, the liver stops processing alcohol and instead creates highly toxic chemicals that trigger inflammation. The inflammation can kill off healthy liver cells, creating irreversible damage to the liver.

The University of Michigan study also found a sharp rise in alcohol sales from March 2020 until the end of that year.

"While we cannot confirm causality, this disproportionate increase [in liver transplant need] in association with increasing alcohol sales may indicate a relationship with known increases in alcohol misuse during COVID-19," the study authors wrote.

They added that the research "provides evidence for an alarming increase in [alcoholic hepatitis] associated with increasing alcohol misuse during COVID-19 and highlights the need for public health interventions around excessive alcohol consumption."

More information

Visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for more on alcoholism.


SOURCE: CNN

Immunocompromised May Need Fourth COVID Shot: CDC

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Severely immunocompromised people may require a fourth mRNA coronavirus shot, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The agency didn't provide an official recommendation about a fourth shot in its updated guidelines, but did say that people should talk to their doctors to determine if one is necessary, CNN reported.

In August, the CDC authorized a third dose for certain immunocompromised people 18 and older who may not have a complete immune response from the first two doses.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved booster shots of all three available vaccines in the United States for certain people, including those with compromised immune systems.

According to the CDC, small studies have found that fully vaccinated immunocompromised people accounted for about 44% of the breakthrough cases that led to hospitalization. And one Johns Hopkins University study found that vaccinated immunocompromised people were 485 times more likely than most vaccinated people to be hospitalized with COVID-19 or die from the disease, CNN reported.

Research shows that a booster shot improves the antibody response to the vaccine in certain immunocompromised people.

Moderately to severely immunocompromised people include those who are being treated for cancers of the blood or for tumors, certain organ transplant and stem cell recipients, people with advanced or untreated HIV, and those who take a high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune systems, according to the CDC.

The CDC estimates about 9 million Americans, or roughly 2% of the population, fall into this category.
People who are immunocompromised who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot should get a booster at least two months after their initial vaccine. People who choose a Moderna vaccine as a booster, even if they received a different vaccine as the first dose, should get the half-dose sized shot that was authorized as a booster for Moderna's vaccine, the CDC said in its recommendations.

Even if they are vaccinated, the CDC recommends people with conditions that compromise their immune systems should still try to avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and should wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

More information

Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more on COVID vaccines.


SOURCE: CNN

cnbc make itHealthDay custom content

Bespoke Solutions To Meet Your Specific Content Needs

Leveraging HealthDay’s core competence in content creation, our custom content division is the ideal solution for those who need material for a unique purpose, and for those who prefer to own the copyright to the content. Our clients turn to the HealthDay Custom Content Solutions for everything from simple newsletters to evidence-based, clinically accurate content, which is medically reviewed by our board-certified staff of physicians.

See Our Custom Solutions

What our clients are saying about HealthDay

The New York Times chose HealthDay as a premier daily health news service. Each day, we issue five HealthDay articles for newspapers and magazines. Clients of The New York Times Licensing Group rely on HealthDay for coverage of the world health - from breaking news to study reports to wellness and consumer service information. The quality, accessibility and journalistic credibility is in line with our standards.

John Stickney

Senior editor

New York Times Syndicate

https://www.nytimes.com

Research indicates over half of U.S. adults watch videos online and health topics are widely searched.

Our discerning audience expects timely and relevant health news while visiting USNews.com, and HealthDay TV is the perfect complement to our health news section.


Tim Smart

Senior editor

US News and World Report

https://www.usnews.com

The American College of Physicians has had a long and successful relationship with HealthDay, in producing our ACP Advocate newsletters. Thanks to HealthDay we are able to provide our members with professionally written and meaningful content.

HealthDay's willingness to collaborate has been invaluable to us.

Laura Baldwin

Director, Public Relations

American College of Physicians

https://www.acponline.org

"For over a decade Healthday has helped Drugs.com publish timely medical news, providing unparalleled coverage, accuracy, and depth. We have the utmost respect for Healthday's ethics, commitment, customer service, and vast knowledge of U.S. HCP and consumer audiences."

Paul Wager

COO

Drugs.com

https://www.drugs.com

Explore our content

search placeholder