Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of July 17, 2023


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of July 17, 2023–July 21, 2023.

Healio (7/20, Southall) reports, “Researchers have identified a direct correlation between blood group A and increased risk for COVID-19 infection, according to study results.” Results indicate that “the COVID-19 virus interacts directly with the blood group A antigen, making the cell surface ‘stickier’ for the virus.” The findings were published in Blood.

NBC News (7/19, Camero) reports, “New research presented Wednesday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Amsterdam highlights a growing body of evidence linking people’s microbiomes to” the health of their brains. For example, “one study found that chronic constipation was tied to worse cognitive abilities—the equivalent of three years of aging—while two other studies found that certain gut bacteria were associated with dementia risk.”

According to CNN (7/19, Rogers), “bowel movement frequency and subjective cognitive function were also linked with the participants’ gut microbiomes.” Among people “with infrequent bowel movements and worse cognitive function, there was a depletion in good bacteria that produce butyrates, fatty acids which support the gut barrier that prevents bacteria and other microbes from entering your bloodstream.” In another “abstract of 140 middle-aged adults, having lower levels of neuroprotective gut bacteria Butyricicoccus and Ruminococcus was associated with elevated levels of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers,” researchers concluded.

HealthDay (7/18, Gotkine) reports, “The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concludes that the current evidence is insufficient for assessing the balance of benefits and harms of screening for lipid disorders in children and adolescents aged 20 years or younger.” These conclusions “form the basis of a final recommendation statement published in” JAMA.

Healio (7/18, Bascom) reports that “the task force based its recommendation on a review of 43 studies with evidence on screening for two types of cholesterol disorders in adolescents and children: high cholesterol mostly caused by environmental factors like obesity or a sedentary lifestyle and high cholesterol from a genetic mutation.” However, “none of the randomized controlled trials directly addressed the harms and effectiveness of screening.”

The AP (7/17, Perrone) reports that the FDA approved nirsevimab injection, developed by Sanofi and AstraZeneca, “for infants and children up to 2 years old who face increased risk of severe RSV.” The drug “is a laboratory-made version of an antibody that helps the immune system fight off RSV.” Based on the “FDA approval, babies— including preterm infants—can receive a single injection to protect against their first season of RSV, which typically lasts about five months.” Additionally, “children up to age 2 can receive another dose to protect them during their second season facing the virus.” The drug, which is “already approved in Canada, Europe and the U.K.,” will be marketed in the U.S. by Sanofi. CDC advisers “will meet early next month to recommend exactly who should get the drug.”

The Washington Post (7/17, Johnson) reports, “In a large clinical trial, a single shot of Beyfortus was shown to be safe and effective in preventing babies from developing illness that required medical attention or hospitalization.”

Modern Healthcare (7/14, Turner, Subscription Publication) wrote, “Cybersecurity threats to health care organizations have grown exponentially in the last few years, according [to] a report published Thursday.” Close to “25% of cyberattacks in 2022 targeted the health care industry, according to data cited in a report from managed security company Trustwave.” Additionally, “The past three months have seen three of the biggest data breaches since 2010.”

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