#chronic diseases

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Profiling the coronavirus

Risk factors for severe and fatal COVID-19 cases identified

Age, male sex, obesity, and underlying illness have emerged as risk factors for severe and fatal cases of COVID-19 in the UK, according to the largest cohort study to date published by The BMJ. As the largest prospective observational study reported worldwide to date, it provides a comprehensive picture of the characteristics of patients hospitalised in the UK with COVID-19 and their outcomes.…

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COPD, asthma and more

Deaths and disability due to lung diseases on the rise

There has been an increase in deaths and disability due to chronic respiratory (lung) diseases over the past three decades, finds an analysis of data from 195 countries published by The BMJ. The poorest regions of the world had the greatest disease burden. Ageing and risk factors including smoking, environmental pollution, and body weight also play a key role, say the researchers. Chronic…

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Gastroenterology

Crohn's disease linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer

Researchers from Karolinska Institutet, Örebro University and Aarhus University, Denmark, have published the largest study to date on the risk of colorectal cancer in Crohn's disease. The article is published in the journal The Lancet Gastroenterology Hepatology. Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Several previous studies have reported an increased risk of colorectal…

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Boosting the microbiome

A vaccine against chronic inflammatory diseases

In animals, a vaccine modifying the composition and function of the gut microbiota provides protection against the onset of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity. This research was conducted by the team of Benoît Chassaing, Inserm researcher at Institut Cochin (Inserm/CNRS/Université de Paris), whose initial findings have been…

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Multiple sclerosis and the psyche

Depression speeds up appearance of MS symptoms

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who also have depression are more likely to suffer debilitating symptoms early than people with MS who are not depressed, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden that is published in the journal Neurology. The findings highlight the need for early recognition and treatment of depressive symptoms in patients with MS. More than 2 million people…

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Chronic inflammations

GATA-3: 'Switching off' allergies and asthma

Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as allergies and asthma, are not only an acute problem but also a major research and prevention challenge. We spoke with Professor Harald Renz, Director of the Institute for Laboratory Medicine at the University Hospital Gießen/Marburg, Germany, and discussed the major reason for increases in the number of these widespread diseases.

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Neural network approach to ECG

AI detects heart failure from a single heartbeat

Researchers have developed a neural network approach that can accurately identify congestive heart failure with 100% accuracy through analysis of just one raw electrocardiogram (ECG) heartbeat, a new study reports. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic progressive condition that affects the pumping power of the heart muscles. Associated with high prevalence, significant mortality rates and…

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Chronic Liver Disease

Study confirms clinical benefit of ShearWave Elastography

SuperSonic Imagine announces that a multicenter retrospective study conducted in Europe and China, has confirmed the clinical utility of ShearWave Elastography in patients with chronic liver disease, the first results of which were presented at the International Liver Congress (ILC 2019). The objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of ShearWave Elastography (SWE) in the…

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Double danger

MS patients at a greater risk of cancer, new study suggests

New results of a 65-year follow-up study of nearly 7,000 Norwegian patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) suggest that patients may have a greater overall risk of developing cancer than the general population, with an especially high risk of cancer in respiratory organs, urinary organs and the central nervous system. Presented at the 5th European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Congress in Oslo,…

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More than a symptom

Chronic pain: a real disease after all?

For the first time ever, chronic pain will be classified as a diagnosis in line with other diseases when the World Health Organization (WHO) approves the next catalogue of recognised diseases in May. According to Professor Peter Svensson from the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health, this is very significant for the approx. 20% of the population who suffer from chronic pain. Working with top…

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Building a risk profile

Audiologists seek genetic link to tinnitus

Tinnitus, more commonly known as ringing in the ears, is a serious audiological and neurological condition affecting nearly 50 million Americans. Noise and music exposure are the predominant environmental risk factors for tinnitus. There is no known cure, and there are no FDA-approved medications developed specifically to treat it. The fact is, tinnitus is very common but not well understood. A…

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Mineral menace

Multiple Sclerosis: Do zinc and iron play a role?

Some studies have suggested that minerals such as zinc and iron may play a role in how multiple sclerosis (MS) progresses, once people have been diagnosed with it. But little was known about whether zinc, iron and other minerals play a role in the development of the disease. A new study shows no link between dietary intake of several minerals and whether people later develop MS. The study is…

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Meeting of the generations

We need a Senior Laboratory

It’s undeniable: the bulk of our population is growing older. Yet, this demographic change has not altered laboratory medicine: the reference values for many analyses are still based on data of a younger cohort. Inevitably this could lead to serious errors in the interpretation of older patients’ test results.

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Multiple sclerosis

Old cells repair damage in the brains of MS patients

A new study shows that there is a very limited regeneration of cells in the brain of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). These findings underline the importance of treating MS at an early stage of the disease progression, when the affected cells can repair the damage as they are not replaced by new ones. The results are published in the journal Nature by researchers from Karolinska…

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Pediatrics

New risk staging for children with kidney disease

Experts in pediatric kidney disease have published a new staging system to help doctors better predict the length of time until a child with chronic kidney disease (CKD) will need to undergo a kidney transplant or start receiving dialysis. Although this type of prognostic guide exists for adults, this is the first such tool specific to children. “We designed a clinically useful, data-driven…

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Place matters

Obesity and the "ecology of disadvantage"

Nearly 70 percent of the U.S. adult population meets the definition of overweight or obese, but a new study by University of Arkansas researchers shows the problem isn’t randomly distributed across the country. Instead, obesity is concentrated in areas with social and demographic factors that create what researchers term an “ecology of disadvantage.”

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Artificial lungs

Easing ARDS and AECOPD

Innovative ‘artificial lungs’, which help the patients to breathe, offer less traumatic treatment for severe diseases such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD/AECOPD). Respiratory failure is one of the most frequent causes of ICU admission. It may occur inter alia in patients with ARDS, a dangerous condition when the respiratory system…

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Pressure monitoring

This biodegradable sensor disappears after its job is done

Engineers at the University of Connecticut (UConn) have created a biodegradable pressure sensor that could help doctors monitor chronic lung disease, swelling of the brain, and other medical conditions before dissolving harmlessly in a patient’s body. The UConn research is featured in the current online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The small, flexible sensor is…

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Survival rates

Grim outlook for chronic ischaemic heart disease patients

Nearly a quarter of patients with chronic ischaemic cardiovascular disease are dead or hospitalised within six months, reports a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. “Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death worldwide yet some patients appear to get lost in the system after their initial visit to a hospital or…

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Experimental medicine

Loophole in chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment detected

A team of researchers in Italy and Austria has determined that a drug approved to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) may be less effective in a particular subset of patients. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, reveals that ibrutinib has a diminished capacity to delocalize and kill tumor cells expressing an adhesive protein called CD49d, but combining ibrutinib…

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Experts' discussion

How to tackle parasitic worms

Parasitic worm infections – or helminthiases – affect more than one billion people and have a considerable public health impact in many parts of the world. In December 2017, international experts gather in Basel, Switzerland, to discuss new strategies to control and eliminate parasitic worms. The scientific symposium is hosted by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. Approximately…

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Clinical value

Kidney disease diagnosis made easier through DNA sequencing

DNA sequencing could soon become part of the routine diagnostic workup for patients with chronic kidney disease, suggests a new study from Columbia University Medical Center. The researchers found that DNA sequencing could identify the genetic cause of the disease and influence treatment for many patients with chronic kidney disease.

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Sertraline usage

Standard antidepressant may be ineffective with chronic kidney disease patients

A clinical trial involving hundreds of participants has shown that one of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants may not benefit millions of patients who also have chronic kidney disease (CKD). “These results provide evidence that could change clinical practice,” said Dr. Susan Hedayati, Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and first author of the study, which was…

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