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Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of May 13, 2024


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of May 13, 2024–May 17, 2024.

Neurology Advisor (5/16) reports, “Remote cognitive testing via smartphones yields reliable and valid data for the detection of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, also known as frontotemporal dementia (FTD), according to study results.” Investigators came to this conclusion after conducting “a cohort study between January 2019 and July 2023 to determine whether smartphone-based cognitive measures for remote FTD evaluations were reliable and valid.” The findings were published in JAMA Network Open.

The New York Times (5/15, Sheikh) reports, “Heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease are among the most common chronic illnesses in the United States—and they’re all closely connected.” Patients “with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke compared with those who don’t have diabetes,” and they “are also at risk of developing kidney disease. And when the kidneys don’t work well, a person’s heart has to work even harder to pump blood to them, which can then lead to heart disease.” All three conditions “overlap so much that last year the American Heart Association coined the term cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome to describe patients who have two or more of these diseases, or are at risk of developing them.” A new study published in JAMA “suggests that nearly 90% of American adults already show some early signs of these connected conditions.”

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Reuters (5/14, Fick) reports, “Patients taking Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy [semaglutide] obesity treatment maintained an average of 10% weight loss after four years, potentially boosting the drugmaker’s case to insurers and governments to cover the cost of the effective but expensive drug.” The company “presented the new long-term data on Tuesday at the European Congress on Obesity.”

The Hill (5/14, Choi) reports, “The trial found that weight loss among the semaglutide group continued to week 68 of use and was sustained by week 208. By this point, those taking Wegovy lost and kept off an average of 10.2% of their weight and an average of 3 inches off their waist.” Researchers also “found that weight loss was smaller among participants with a body mass index lower than 30 kg/m².”

Healthcare IT News (5/13, Fox) reports, “The Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center issued a threat alert Friday about the Russia-backed ransomware group Black Basta, warning of its accelerated attempted attacks against the health care sector.” In response, “the American Hospital Association also sent a cybersecurity advisory with technical mitigation recommendations to its members.” The warnings “come in the wake of a major cyberattack impacting St. Louis-based Ascension health system that started this past Wednesday and continues to hamstring clinical operations.”

Editor’s note: Get the AMA’s updates on ongoing cybersecurity concerns and resources to protect patient health records and other data from cyberattacks.

CNN (5/10, McPhillips) reports that approximately “1 in 8 adults in the United States has used a” GLP-1 agonist “at some point in their life, and half of them—about 6% of adults, or more than 15 million people—are currently using a prescription, according to new survey data from KFF.”

The Hill (5/10, Choi) reported, “The majority—62%—of them said they were using the drugs to treat a chronic condition such as diabetes or heart disease, while the remaining 38% they took the medications just to lose weight.” Meanwhile, “of the participants with diabetes, 4 out of 10 said they had used a GLP-1 agonist.”

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