1. Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor’s role in the identification of blood clots for high-risk patients
An abnormal immune response is thought to be the major driver of severe COVID-19. One protein, called soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor, or suPAR, circulates in the blood and originates from immune cells and has been shown to play a major role in complications of COVID-19.
Salim Hayek and a team of researchers from around the world have been studying suPAR and its relationship to critical outcomes in COVID-19 cases.
In a publication by the International Study of Inflammation in COVID-19, a multinational observational study of patients hospitalized for COVID-19, researchers found that higher suPAR levels were associated with an increased risk of blood clot formation.
Salim Hayek et. al, “Soluble Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor and Venous Thromboembolism in COVID-19,” Journal of the American Heart Association. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.122.025198
2. Link between Social isolation and a death risk from a stroke or heart attack
Social isolation and loneliness are associated with about a 30% increased risk of heart attack or stroke, or death from either, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association.
The risk of social isolation increases with age due to life factors, such as widowhood and retirement. Nearly one-quarter of U.S. adults ages 65 and older are socially isolated, and the prevalence of loneliness is even higher, with estimates of 22% to 47%. However, younger adults also experience social isolation and loneliness. A survey from Harvard University’s Making Caring Common project describes “Gen Z” (adults currently ages 18-22) as the loneliest generation. Increased isolation and loneliness among younger adults may be attributed to higher social media use and less engagement in meaningful in-person activities.
Data also suggests that social isolation and loneliness may have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among young adults ages 18-25, older adults, women, and low-income individuals.
Crystal Wiley Cené et. al, Journal of the American Heart Association, DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.122.026493
3. People with opioid use disorder are not receiving the life-saving medication
While the opioid overdose and death epidemic continues to worsen across the United States, medications such as methadone, buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone are proven to reduce opioid overdoses by more than 50 percent. New findings led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine indicate the vast majority, or 86.6 percent, of people living with opioid use disorder (OUD), are not receiving these evidence-based, life-saving medications.
The study, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, examined the gap between new estimates of OUD prevalence and the use of medications to treat opioid use disorder (MOUD) at the national and state levels from 2010 through 2019. Although the use of MOUD has grown by more than 100 percent over the last decade, this rise in treatment has failed to keep pace with OUD and skyrocketing overdose mortality rates—largely driven by fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid up to 50 times stronger than heroin.
Noa Krawczyk et. al, Has the treatment gap for opioid use disorder narrowed in the U.S.?: A yearly assessment from 2010 to 2019″, International Journal of Drug Policy, 4-Aug-2022
4. Strong bone development in weight training vegans as compared to those on a plant-based diet
People on a plant-based diet who do strength training as opposed to other forms of exercise such as biking or swimming may have stronger bones than other people on a vegan diet, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
About 6 percent of people in the United States are vegans. Recent research shows a plant-based diet can be associated with lower bone mineral density and increased fracture risk.
“Veganism is a global trend with strongly increasing numbers of people worldwide adhering to a purely plant-based diet,” said Christian Muschitz, M.D., of St. Vincent Hospital Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna in Vienna, Austria. “Our study showed resistance training offsets diminished bone structure in vegan people when compared to omnivores.”
Christian Muschitz et. al, Self-Reported Resistance Training is Associated with Better HR-pQCT Derived Bone Microarchitecture in Vegan People, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 4-Aug-2022, 10.1210/clinem/dgac445