Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of Jan. 9, 2023


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of Jan. 9, 2023–Jan. 13, 2023.

USA Today (1/12, Rodriguez) says, “A report from the American Cancer Society released Thursday shows continued decreases in cancer deaths but health experts say more could be done regarding cancer prevention.” The “annual Cancer Statistics projects over 1.95 million people will be diagnosed with cancer and nearly 610,000 will die of cancer in 2023, an uptick from 2022 projections.” Still, the findings showed “overall cancer mortality has decreased 33% since 1991, an estimated 3.8 million lives saved from cancer.” USA Today adds, “Among the major findings: Lung and colorectal cancers cause the most deaths, prostate cancer is rising among men, and cervical cancer rates have seen an ‘astounding’ drop among young women.”

NBC News (1/12, Carroll) reports the findings published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians showed prostate cancer “rose by 3% yearly between 2014 and 2019 after two decades of decline, with the increase mostly driven by diagnoses of advanced disease.”

ABC News (1/12, Westman, Miao) reports the findings also showed that “Black men and women are more likely to die from prostate, uterine and breast cancer compared to other races.”

CNN (1/12, Howard) says, “The report attributes this steady progress to improvements in cancer treatment, drops in smoking and increases in early detection,” as well as HPV vaccinations.

Bloomberg (1/11, Pham) reports, “The effects of long COVID tend to resolve within a year of mild infection, with vaccinated people at lower risk of breathing difficulties compared with unvaccinated people, according to a study” in which “researchers examined the health records of almost 2 million people in Israel who tested for COVID-19 over a 19-month period.” More than “70 long COVID conditions were analyzed within a group of infected and matched uninfected members.”

NBC News (1/11, Edwards) reports “symptoms—such as chest pain, cough, muscle aches and hair loss—tended to fade away within a year.” The findings were published in The BMJ.

CNN (1/11, LaMotte) reports, “Only slight differences appeared between men and women in the study, but children had fewer early symptoms than adults, which were mostly gone by year’s end.”

MedPage Today (1/10, George) reports, “Moderate-to-severe hearing loss was linked with a higher prevalence of dementia,” researchers concluded in “a cross-sectional study of Medicare beneficiaries.” In the 2,413-older adult study, “dementia prevalence among people with moderate-to-severe hearing loss was higher than it was among people with normal hearing.” Additionally, in “people with moderate-to-severe hearing loss...hearing aid use was associated with a lower prevalence of dementia compared with no hearing aid use.” The findings were published online in a research letter in JAMA.

According to CNN (1/9, LaMotte), people “can reduce” the “risk of an early death for any reason by nearly 20%, just by eating more foods from” a “choice of four healthy eating patterns, according” to findings published online in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study revealed that individuals “who more carefully followed any of the healthy eating patterns – which all share a focus on consuming more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes – were also less likely to die from cancer, cardiovascular illness, and respiratory and neurodegenerative disease.”

MedPage Today (1/9, Monaco) reports, “Among 75,230 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 44,085 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, those who scored in the highest quintile for healthy eating patterns recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans...had a 14% to 20% lower risk of total mortality versus those in the lowest quintile,” the study revealed. The four healthy eating patterns include the Healthy Eating Index 2015, the Alternate Mediterranean Diet, the Healthful Plant-Based Diet Index, and the Alternate Healthy Eating Index.

The Washington Post (1/6, A1, McGinley) reported that on Friday, the Food and Drug Administration approved Alzheimer’s disease drug lecanemab (Leqembi), “even as doctors sharply debated the safety of the drug and whether it provides a significant benefit.” The agency “said the for patients with mild cognitive impairment or early dementia because of Alzheimer’s.” This “accelerated approval was based on a mid-stage trial that showed the treatment effectively removed...amyloid beta...from the brain.”

The New York Times (1/6, Belluck) reported Eisai, which “led the development and testing of the drug” and is partnering with Biogen, “said the list price for Leqembi...would be $26,500 per year.”

NBC News (1/6, Lovelace) reported the companies in September “announced that a phase 3 clinical trial of 1,795 patients found Leqembi slowed cognitive decline in people who received it by 27% after 18 months,” and “the FDA said Friday that it expects to review the phase 3 data ‘soon.’”

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