Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of March 18, 2024

. 4 MIN READ

Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of March 18, 2024–March 22, 2024. 

The New York Times (3/21, Caryn Rabin) reports, “Surgeons in Boston have transplanted a kidney from a genetically engineered pig into an ailing 62-year-old man, the first procedure of its kind. If successful, the breakthrough offers hope to hundreds of thousands of Americans whose kidneys have failed.” The new organ has shown promise, “producing urine shortly after the surgery last weekend,” as “the patient’s condition continues to improve, according to physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital.” If the procedure can be replicated “on a large scale, dialysis ‘will become obsolete,’ said Dr. Leonardo V. Riella, medical director for kidney transplantation at Mass General.”

The AP (3/21, Stobbe) reports, “Dr. Tatsuo Kawai, the transplant surgeon, said the team believes the pig kidney will work for at least two years.” The achievement “marks the latest development in xenotransplantation, the term for efforts to try to heal human patients with cells, tissues, or organs from animals.”

HealthDay (3/20, Mundell, Miller) reports that approximately “1 in every 10 U.S. children ages 5 to 17 has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to” data from the National Center for Health Statistics. These “data from the National Health Interview Survey covers the years 2020 through 2022 and came from in-person or phone interviews involving a representative sample of American homes.” The survey “found that 11.3% of school-age children have been diagnosed with ADHD, with boys more likely to have this diagnosis (14.5%) than girls (8%).” These findings were published as an NCHS Data Brief. 

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The Hill (3/19, Irwin) reports, “The COVID-19 vaccine can cut the risk of heart failure and blood clots after a COVID-19 infection, a new study...found.” Published in the journal Heart, the research “found that...getting a vaccine slashes the risk of heart failure up to 55% and blood clots up to 78% after getting sick.” Additionally, “the study found the positive health effects were most significant in the 30 days following a vaccination but can last up to a year.” Researchers “examined people who were vaccinated with Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.”

CNN (3/18, Goodman) reports, “U.S. health officials are warning doctors about the dramatic rise in measles cases around the world, and advising families traveling to a measles-affected country to get babies as young as 6 months vaccinated before they go.” On Monday, the CDC “issued a health alert to doctors...to increase awareness of the international spread of measles, and urged them to vaccinate infants a few months ahead of the typical schedule if families are planning to go abroad.” The agency “also warned about lagging vaccination rates in 36 U.S. states where fewer than 95% of kindergarteners have been vaccinated against measles, putting them below the herd immunity threshold.”

MedPage Today (3/15, George) reported, “Disorders affecting the nervous system were the leading cause of ill health and disability globally, affecting 3.4 billion people worldwide, a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease....study showed.” Investigators found that “neurologic conditions affected 43.1% of the world’s population and were the top contributor to the global disease burden in 2021, ahead of cardiovascular diseases (excluding stroke).” The data also indicated that “globally, 37 conditions affecting the nervous system were responsible for 443 million disability-adjusted life-years...and 11.1 million deaths in 2021.” The findings were published in The Lancet Neurology. 


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