1. Increased COPD risk for women due to smaller airways
Structural differences in lung airways between men and women may be the cause of differences in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prevalence and outcomes between the sexes.
For this study, researchers analyzed data from nearly 10,000 participants enrolled in Genetic Epidemiology of COPD (COPDGene), a prospective multicenter observational cohort study of current and former smokers, as well as never smokers, between the ages of 45 and 80 years, at 21 clinical centers across the United States. The researchers looked at data of never, current, and former smokers enrolled in COPDGene from January 2008 to June 2011 and followed up longitudinally until November 2020.
Airway disease on CT was quantified using seven metrics: airway wall thickness, wall area percent, Pi10 (square root of the wall thickness of a hypothetical airway with internal perimeter of 10 mm) for airway wall, lumen (airway passage in which air flows through) diameter, airway volume, total airway count and airway fractal dimension for airway lumen.
Surya P. Bhatt et. al, Sex Differences in Airways at Chest CT: Results from the COPDGene Cohort, JOURNAL Radiology,2-Aug-2022
2. Link between a heart attack, stroke, and gout flare-ups
Experts at the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with experts at Keele University, have found that the risk of heart attacks and strokes temporarily increases in the four months after a gout flare.
The results of the study, led by Professor Abhishek in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, are published in the journal JAMA.
The team used anonymized data from 62,574 patients with gout treated in the National Health Service in the UK. Of these, 10,475 experienced a heart attack or stroke after the diagnosis of gout, while others of similar age, sex, and duration of gout, did not experience such events. They evaluated the association between heart attacks or strokes and recent gout flares and adjusted these results for comorbidities, socioeconomic deprivation, lifestyle factors, and prescribed medications among other things. They found that gout patients who suffered a heart attack or stroke were twice as likely to have had a gout flare in the 60 days prior to the event, and one and a half times more likely to have a gout flare in the preceding 61-120 days.
Professor Abhishek et. al, Association Between Gout Flare and Subsequent Cardiovascular Events Among Patients With Gout, JAMA, 2-Aug-2022, 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001704
3. Effective new treatment for chronic back pain targeting the nervous system
People challenged with chronic back pain have been given hope with a new treatment that focuses on retraining how the back and the brain communicate, a randomized controlled trial run by researchers at UNSW Sydney and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), and several other Australian and European universities have shown.
The study carried out at NeuRA, divided 276 participants into two groups: one undertook a 12-week course of sensorimotor retraining and the other received a 12-week course of sham treatments designed to control for placebo effects, which are common in low back pain trials.
Professor James McAuley from UNSW’s School of Health Sciences, and NeuRA said sensorimotor retraining alters how people think about their body in pain, how they process sensory information from their back, and how they move their back during activities.
Professor James McAuley et. al, Effect of Graded Sensorimotor Retraining on Pain Intensity in Patients With Chronic LowBack Pain, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2-Aug-2022, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2022.9930
4. Link between persistent low wage and a faster memory decline in later life
Sustained low wages are associated with significantly faster memory decline, according to a new study by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. While low-wage jobs have been associated with health outcomes such as depressive symptoms, obesity, and hypertension, which are risk factors for cognitive aging, until now no prior studies had examined the specific relationship between low wages during working years and later-life cognitive functioning. The findings are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Research into the effects of lower income on health is rapidly expanding. Using records from the national Health and Retirement Study (HRS) of adults for the years 1992-2016, the researchers analyzed data from 2,879 individuals born between 1936 and 1941. Low-wage was defined as an hourly wage lower than two-thirds of the federal median wage for the corresponding year. Kezios and colleagues categorized study participants’ history of low wages into those who never earned low wages, intermittently earned low wages, or always earned low wages based on wages earned from 1992 to 2004 and then examined the relationship with memory decline over the next 12 years from 2004-2016.
Katrina Kezios et. al, American Journal of Epidemiology,2-Aug-2022