Studies

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Radiology research

Chest CT illuminates COPD mortality risk

Body composition information derived from routine chest CTs can provide important information on the overall health of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including their risk…

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Mammography support

AI solution may reduce interval breast cancer rates

Medical technology company iCAD, Inc. announced that ProFound AI for 2D
Mammography might notably reduce the risk of interval breast cancer, according to a new retrospective analysis. The aim…

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Study hints at increased risk

Many Covid-19 patients return to hospital within 140 days

People discharged from hospital after Covid-19 appear to have increased risks of diseases across multiple organs and nearly a third are readmitted to hospital in the following months, according to a…

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Post-hospitalisation

New study reveals impact of 'Long Covid'

Recovery duration, co-morbidities, mortality, risk groups: A large study across multiple UK centres reports in detail on prospectively assessed outcomes of Covid-19, the so called 'Long Covid'. We…

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Malignant brain tumor

Successful test for mutation-specific vaccine against diffuse gliomas

Tumor vaccines can help the body fight cancer. Mutations in the tumor genome often lead to protein changes that are typical of cancer. A vaccine can alert the patients' immune system to these mutated…

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A change of heart

New study sees huge turnaround in Covid-19 vaccine sceptics

More than four in five (86%) people who were unsure or said no to a Covid-19 vaccine in December 2020 would now take one, or have already been vaccinated, finds the latest research by the Virus Watch…

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Prevalence of depression and anxiety

Covid-19 pandemic impacts mental health worldwide, study finds

A study conducted by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health researchers reports a high global prevalence of both depression and anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic. It also shows how the implementation of mitigation strategies including public transportation and school closures, and stay-at-home orders impacted such disorders. Results are published in Psychological Medicine.

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Asymptomatic disease spread

Why vaccines alone may not be enough to end the Covid-19 pandemic

Even as vaccines are becoming more readily available, protecting against the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Covid-19 is key to ending the pandemic, say two infectious disease experts at the Georgetown University Medical Center. In their Perspective, “SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Without Symptoms,” published in the journal Science, they make the case…

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New study confirms

Covid-19 vaccines highly effective in nursing homes

In what is believed to be the first published study of Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, a research team co-led by the Yale School of Public Health found a widely used vaccine is highly successful in preventing infections. Residents of such facilities, particularly those in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), have experienced disproportionately high…

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Delay in treatment for serious illness

Digital Covid-19 'symptom checkers' may do more harm than good

Digital Covid-19 ‘symptom checkers’ may stop some patients from getting prompt treatment for serious illness, suggests an international case simulation study. Both the US and UK symptom checkers consistently failed to identify the symptoms of severe Covid-19, bacterial pneumonia, and sepsis, frequently advising these cases to stay home, the findings indicate. The availability and use of…

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Evaluation of contact-free interaction model

Talking to a 'robotic doc'? Most patients wouldn't mind

In the era of social distancing, using robots for some health care interactions is a promising way to reduce in-person contact between health care workers and sick patients. However, a key question that needs to be answered is how patients will react to a robot entering the exam room. Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently set out to answer that question. In a study…

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Superior in identifying cancers in symptomatic younger women

Breast cancer detection: advantage DBT

Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) increases detection of breast cancer in symptomatic women under the age of 60, especially in dense breasts. A large, multi-institutional study conducted in the United Kingdom comparing the sensitivity of full-field digital mammography (FFDM), DBT, and FFDM plus DBT supports findings of two similar published studies, both conducted in China in the same time frame.

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Myocarditis, infarction, ischaemia

Many Covid-19 patients leave hospital with heart damage

Around 50% of patients who have been hospitalised with severe Covid-19 and who show raised levels of a protein called troponin have damage to their hearts. The injury was detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at least a month after discharge, according to new findings published in the European Heart Journal. Damage includes inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), scarring or…

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Study from Zambia shows many more deaths

Experts: Impact of Covid-19 in Africa “vastly underestimated”

The impact of Covid-19 in Africa has been vastly underestimated, warn researchers in a new study. Outside of South Africa, this is the first study to provide systematic surveillance data capturing the impact of Covid-19 in Africa. Their findings are based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results for 364 deceased people of all ages at the University Teaching Hospital morgue in Lusaka,…

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Covid-19's impact on studies

Clinical trials during the pandemic: lessons for future cancer research

The continuing corona virus epidemic has impacted strongly on cancer care and research, including the delay of treatments and diagnoses as well as on trials of new therapies, and the shift in research to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. However, the session ‘Cancer research and Covid-19’, during the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Virtual Showcase (online 2-3 November) looked at how UK…

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Measuring mitochondrial DNA

Rapid blood test identifies Covid-19 patients at high risk of severe disease

One of the most vexing aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic is doctors’ inability to predict which newly hospitalized patients will go on to develop severe disease, including complications that require the insertion of a breathing tube, kidney dialysis or other intensive care. Knowledge of a patient’s age and underlying medical conditions can help predict such outcomes, but there are still…

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Getting into shape

'Prehabilitation' to aid recovery after surgery for older patients

Older adults about to undergo elective surgery should undertake a sustained programme of targeted exercise beforehand to counteract the muscle-wasting effects of bedrest, new research suggests. A study published by researchers in the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences showed that short term ‘prehabilitation’ strength exercises, undertaken…

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Flaws in study design

Will COVID-19 vaccines save lives? Right now, we cannot tell

Vaccines are being hailed as the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the vaccine trials currently underway are not designed to tell us if they will save lives, reports Peter Doshi, Associate Editor at The BMJ. Several COVID-19 vaccine trials are now in their most advanced (phase 3) stage, but what will it mean exactly when a vaccine is declared “effective”? Many may assume that successful…

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Strict separation policy

Creating 'COVID-19 free' hospital areas to save lives after surgery

Setting up ‘COVID-19 free’ hospital areas for surgical patients could save lives during the second wave of the pandemic – reducing the risk of death from lung infections associated with coronavirus, a new global study reveals. Researchers working together in Brazil and beyond found that that patients who had their operation and hospital care in ‘COVID-19 free’ areas had better outcomes.…

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'Rush to publish'

Have research standards suffered during COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a flood of potentially substandard research amid the rush to publish, with a string of papers retracted or under a cloud and a surge in submissions to pre-print servers where fewer quality checks are made, a leading ethicist has warned in the Journal of Medical Ethics. This has implications for patients, clinicians, and potentially government policy, says…

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Study establishes link

Growth factor IGF-1 increases risk for several cancers

A study of almost 400,000 British participants has identified a new link between raised levels of the growth factor IGF-1 and increased thyroid cancer risk and has confirmed associations with breast, prostate and colorectal cancer. This could lead to new preventative strategies, including diet and lifestyle interventions.

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Cardiovascular risk

Cholesterol drug combination could benefit heart patients

A new study has suggested that more patients could benefit from combinations of cholesterol-lowering drugs to reduce their risk of stroke and heart attacks. While risk is reduced for many patients through taking statins, those at the highest risk of cardiovascular events may benefit from combinations of lipid-lowering therapies, according to the results of a European study of patients across 18…

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