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Top news stories from AMA Morning Rounds®: Week of Sept. 4, 2023


Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of Sept. 4, 2023–Sept. 8, 2023.

Bloomberg (9/7, LaPara, Subscription Publication) reports, “Exposure to extremely hot weather raises pregnant women’s risk of severe health complications,” investigators concluded in a study revealing that “high outdoor temperatures during pregnancy were associated with a 27% increase in risk for such complications as sepsis...or dangerous increases in blood pressure.”

MedPage Today (9/7, Firth) reports, “Among over 400,000 patients at a Southern California health system, high exposure—defined as ≥80th percentile of the proportions— to extreme heat days during pregnancy and the third trimester specifically were associated with a 27% and 28% increased risk of severe maternal morbidity, respectively,” the study revealed. The findings were published online in JAMA Network Open.

The Hill (9/6, Nazzaro) reports, “Globally, new cancer cases among people younger than 50 increased by 79.1% from 1990 to 2019, according to a new study.” Additionally, “the number of early-onset cancer deaths...increased by 27.7% from 1990 to 2019.” The findings were published in BMJ Oncology.

HealthDay (9/6, Reinberg) reports, “The highest rates of early-onset cancers in 2019 were in North America, Australasia and Western Europe.” The investigators found that “the fastest rising cancers are in the windpipe and prostate, and most deaths have been from breast, windpipe, lung, bowel and stomach cancer.”

MedPage Today (9/6, Bassett) reports, “Mortality from early-onset kidney cancer...and ovarian cancer...showed the fastest increasing trends, while mortality from early-onset liver cancer...showed the sharpest decline.”

NBC News (9/5, Herzberg, Carroll) reports, “A device that follows kids’ eye movements as they watch a video showing a social interaction between two children may help speed up diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder” (ASD), investigators concluded in research published simultaneously in JAMA and JAMA Network Open. This research suggests that “the tablet-based device can identify the disorder in children ages 16 months to 30 months as accurately as a specialist would.”

Healio (9/1, Swain) reported, “After pooling individual-level data from 112 cohort studies, researchers determined that more than 50% of cases of CVD can be attributed to five modifiable risk factors—BMI, systolic BP, non-HDL, current smoking and diabetes,” according to findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at ESC Congress 2023. What’s more, “systolic BP contributed the most to the attributable fraction of CVD,” investigators concluded.

The Washington Post (9/2, Jeong) reported the CDC “on Friday issued a national alert warning health care professionals to watch out for infections of Vibrio vulnificus, a rare flesh-eating bacteria that has killed at least 13 people on the Eastern Seaboard this year.” Such infections “in the eastern United States rose eightfold from 1988 to 2018, the CDC said.” Additionally, over that “same period, the northern geographic range of infections has increased by 30 miles every year.”

CNN (9/1, Christensen) reported, “While most people have become sick after eating raw or undercooked seafood, people can also get infected after swimming in the ocean with an open wound, such as a recent piercing or tattoo or even a minor cut or scrape.” The bacteria “can cause what’s commonly known as a flesh-eating infection,” or necrotizing fasciitis. CNN added, “Of the 150 to 200 Vibrio vulnificus cases reported to the CDC every year, about 1 in 5 die from the infection, sometimes within one or two days of getting sick.”

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