1. High blood viscosity can predict higher risk of death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients
The large-scale study is the first to evaluate blood viscosity in the prediction of mortality in COVID-19 patients. A simple calculation of blood viscosity was more robust in the identification of hospitalized patients at risk for dying from COVID-19 complications when compared to common measures of inflammation and the blood clotting biomarker D-dimer. The study is published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Researchers looked at records of 5,621 COVID-19 patients from six hospitals in the Mount Sinai Health System between February 27, 2020, and November 27, 2021. All had clinical and laboratory-verified diagnoses of COVID 19 and were identified within 48 hours of hospitalization and followed until hospital discharge or death.
Reference: “High blood viscosity can predict higher risk of death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients”; THE MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL / MOUNT SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
2. Higher cardiovascular health to indicate increased genetic risk for stroke
Genes and lifestyle factors together play a role in stroke risk. However, even for people at high risk for stroke, adopting a healthy cardiovascular lifestyle may significantly lower the risk of stroke in their lifetime, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access, peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association.
For the study, researchers reviewed data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, a community-based study of more than 11,500 white and Black adults over the age of 45, who had no history of stroke at enrollment. Study participants were followed for 28 years; 45% were men, and 55% were women.
Reference: “Higher cardiovascular health may partially offset increased genetic risk for stroke”; Journal of the American Heart Association, DOI:10.1161/JAHA.122.025703
3. ‘iTEARS’ could help diagnose diseases by isolating biomarkers in tears
According to a new study, doctors say someday tears can be put to good use. In ACS Nano, researchers report a nanomembrane system that harvests and purifies tiny blobs called exosomes from tears, allowing researchers to quickly analyze them for disease biomarkers. Dubbed iTEARS, the platform could enable more efficient and less invasive molecular diagnoses for many diseases and conditions, without relying solely on symptoms.
Tears are well-suited for sample collection because the fluid can be collected quickly and non-invasively, though only tiny amounts can be harvested at a time. So researchers wondered if a nanomembrane system, which they originally developed for isolating exosomes from urine and plasma, could allow them to quickly obtain these vesicles from tears and then analyze them for disease biomarkers.
Reference: ‘iTEARS’ could help diagnose diseases by isolating biomarkers in tears; AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, ACS Nano; DOI:10.1021/acsnano.2c02531.
4. Do benefits of physical, mental activity on thinking differ for men and women?
Studies have shown that physical and mental activity help preserve thinking skills and delay dementia. A new study suggests that these benefits may vary for men and women. The study is published in the July 20, 2022, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study looked at the effects of physical and mental activities, such as reading, going to classes, or playing cards or games, on cognitive reserve in the areas of thinking speed and memory. Cognitive reserve is the buffer that occurs when people have strong thinking skills even when their brains show signs of the underlying changes associated with cognitive impairment and dementia.
Reference: “Do benefits of physical, mental activity on thinking differ for men and women?” AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY;Neurology.