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My Choices Weekly News

Empower yourself with knowledge.

Weekly news updates are currently posted on our homepages, weekly news pages and sent directly to your inbox to provide up-to-date information on what has been covered in the news regarding nutrition, exercise, complementary health, and wellness in the previous week.

My Choices News Update

Exercise may reduce heart disease risk by changing how the brain reacts to stress
“Physical activity can help reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease by affecting stress responses in the brain, according to a new study. The researchers found that those who met the recommended levels of physical activity had a 23% lower risk of heart disease. People with depression saw a much larger benefit from physical activity. Experts say that the relationship between depression and heart disease can work in both directions, with heart disease developing from behaviors associated with depression or anxiety-related conditions.”

Exercising between 6 p.m. and midnight may be more beneficial for people with obesity
“Obesity increases a person’s risk for several medical conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. Scientists have been trying to determine what time of day is best to aid weight loss in people with obesity. Researchers at the University of Sydney have found that getting the majority of daily physical activity during the evening offers the most health benefits for people who have obesity.”

Exercise shown to curb appetite in diabetes and prediabetes patients
“The study observed that the effects on appetite varied in people with T2DM or prediabetes following acute exercise, whereas appetite ratings declined or were unchanged after chronic exercise. In acute intervention studies, the most consistent finding was increased perceived fullness in T2DM patients after exercise. Overall, the findings provide more evidence for the appetite-reducing effect of (chronic) exercise in prediabetes or T2DM subjects.”

Study shows exercise can reverse age-related lipid accumulation
“Scientists have discovered that a type of fat accumulates as tissue ages and that this accumulation can be reversed through exercise. Researchers from Amsterdam UMC, together with colleagues from Maastricht UMC+, analyzed both mice and human tissue before and after exercise allowing them to draw this conclusion. The results are published today in Nature Aging.”

Annual COVID-19 vaccine proves to be a wise investment for personal health and pocketbook
“In a recent study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, a team of researchers from the United States (U.S.) attempted to understand whether individuals experienced any economic benefits in getting an annual coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, given that the morbidity and mortality rates associated with the disease have decreased and the government no longer covers the vaccine costs.”

Addressing public health challenges through behavioral interventions
“The concept of “One Health” – which emphasizes the relationship between human, animal, plant and environmental health – has been gaining ground in scientific discussions in recent years. Brazilian and North American researchers developing research using this approach presented their work on Tuesday (April 9th), in Chicago (United States), during FAPESP Week Illinois.”

Misinformation Persists in Complementary Health: Evaluating the Reliability and Quality of YouTube-Based Information on the Use of Acupuncture for Chronic Pain
“Discussion: As patients increasingly depend on platforms like YouTube for trustworthy information on complementary health practices such as acupuncture, our study emphasizes the critical need for more higher-quality videos from unbiased healthcare institutions and physicians to ensure patients are receiving reliable information regarding this topic.”

A doctor to help patients thrive in life after cancer
“A cancer diagnosis 20 years, even 10 years ago, meant something different than it does today. With today’s advanced treatment options, including chemotherapy and radiation, Proton therapy, CAR T cell therapy, and other forms of immunotherapy, patients with a cancer diagnosis are living longer. However, even when cancer is in remission, side effects, or other health concerns left unattended during cancer treatment, can still affect patients’ health. That’s where Jennie Barbieri, MD, FACP, enters the picture. Barbieri is the first director of Bridging Oncology Care and Wellness Recovery at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute of Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.”

Health Insurance Mandates for Nonpharmacological Pain Treatments in 7 US States
“There has been recent interest by legislative bodies in increasing access to nonpharmacological pain therapies as a nonopioid alternative for pain. Prominent clinical practice guidelines recommend the use of nonpharmacological pain treatments such as acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, chiropractic care, massage, osteopathic manipulation, and physical therapy. Despite these recommendations, health insurance coverage for nonpharmacological pain treatments among both commercial and public plans, such as Medicare and Medicaid, is inconsistent. This study (1) documents the extent to which states have introduced or enacted mandates for coverage of nonpharmacological pain treatments and (2) describes and characterizes variation in such mandates. The findings from this study may help inform policy makers and relevant stakeholders considering legislation related to nonpharmacological pain treatments at the state and federal level.”

Take it from the rats: A junk food diet can cause long-term damage to adolescent brains
“A new USC-led study on rats that feasted on a high-fat, sugary diet raises the possibility that a junk food-filled diet in teens may disrupt their brains’ memory ability for a long time. “What we see not just in this paper, but in some of our other recent work, is that if these rats grew up on this junk food diet, then they have these memory impairments that don’t go away,” said Scott Kanoski, a professor of biological sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “If you just simply put them on a healthy diet, these effects unfortunately last well into adulthood.””

Mouse study shows how a father’s diet can shape the health of his offspring
“New research published in Nature Communications finds that the macronutrient balance in the diet of male mice affects the level of anxiety-like behavior of sons and the metabolic health of daughters.”

Seafood is a potentially underestimated source of PFAS exposure, study shows
“The findings stress the need for more stringent public health guidelines that establish the amount of seafood people can safely consume to limit their exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, the researchers report in the journal Exposure and Health. This need is especially urgent for coastal regions such as New England where a legacy of industry and PFAS pollution bumps up against a cultural predilection for fish, the authors write.”

My Choices News Update

Effect of Integrated Naturopathy Interventions on Systemic Inflammatory Markers and Quality of Life in Patients With Active Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial
“Conclusions: The findings of the present study suggest that integrated naturopathy treatments may have the ability to control persistent inflammation, maintain immune homeostasis, and lower disease activity.”

A ‘balanced’ diet is better than a vegetarian one in supporting brain health
“Dietary patterns and food choices impact brain function, but the specific relationship between food and the brain is complex. Researchers are interested in finding out what diets optimize brain functioning and health. One study examined four dietary patterns and found that a balanced diet containing several food types saw the most overall benefit in brain health.”

What Experts Really Think About Diet Soda
“Growing up, Olivia Dreizen Howell, 39, “lived on” diet soda. So did her family. At a family reunion in 1996, everyone sported T-shirts with their shared surname in Diet Coke-can font. “We drank Diet Coke, Diet ginger ale, and Diet Sprite like water—there was no difference in our household,” she says. Like many, Howell believed that sugar-free soda was a benign choice. But the latest research casts doubt on that assumption, linking diet drinks to mood disorders, fatty liver development, autoimmune diseases, and cancer, to name a few.”

Healthy eating, physical activity, and medication: Type 2 diabetes patients’ willingness to engage varies
“Type 2 diabetes (T2D) may occur as a result of unhealthy lifestyle habits. People with T2D are often associated with diets with excessive sugar, high alcohol consumption, smoking, and have sedentary habits. This has sparked much interest in determining the optimal lifestyle changes that could help normalize dysfunctional metabolic pathways in T2D patients.”

Regular exercise prevents DNA damage with aging
“Regular aerobic exercise later in life prevents genomic instability characterized by DNA damage and telomere dysfunction, according to a study from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah. Researchers will present their work this week at the American Physiology Summit, the flagship annual meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS), in Long Beach, California.”

Tackling social isolation could be more effective than healthy eating for obesity
“People with obesity are commonly urged to lose weight by eating more healthily, cutting down on calorie intake and exercising more – but that advice overlooks a crucial problem. It overstates individual agency – putting the person at fault because of poor lifestyle choices – and doesn’t take into account all the factors contributing to the obesity crisis. For instance, research has found that there are significant social determinants of obesity, such as poverty, stigma and loneliness. A recent study of people in the UK has suggested that one way to keep obese people alive for longer is to encourage them to interact more with other people.”

Longitudinal association between fitness and metabolic syndrome: a population-based study over 29 years follow-up
“Conclusions: Fitness may be a predictor of longitudinal metabolic health, and potentially also mediates previously reported longitudinal associations between physical activity and metabolic health. More research is needed to confirm these observations, and to also explore underlying mechanisms.”

Weight Loss in Short-Term Interventions for Physical Activity and Nutrition Among Adults With Overweight or Obesity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
“Conclusion: Short-term multicomponent interventions involving physical activity and nutrition can achieve weight loss for adults with overweight or obesity. Offering short-term interventions as alternatives to long-term ones may reach people who otherwise would be unwilling or unable to enroll in or complete longer programs.”

My Choices News Update

Health Plans Predict: Implementing Upper Payment Limits May Alter Formularies and Benefit Design But Won’t Reduce Patient Costs
Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) Research Update: The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) has released a white paper that shares insurers views on the implementation of Upper Payment Limits (UPLs) and what it will mean for people taking prescription drugs subject to UPLs. PDABs are popping up in several states promising to lower costs of prescription drugs for patients. The laws, however, focus on setting limits on reimbursement by payers – PBMs, insurers, employers, the state, etc. – and not on consumer out-of-pocket costs. Many patient groups, providers, and other stakeholders have raised concerns about how these efforts could limit access to medicines and are dubious about patients actually saving money. This research fully validates those concerns, including direct quotes about utilization management increasing and that consumers will not receive savings (if any) from UPLs. They also anticipate provider financial risks may increase – which means fewer pharmacies and physician offices willing to risk providing medicines subject to UPLs. PFCD has published the findings and proposals for reforms that will help patients. Avalere, who conducted in-depth interviews with executives from six different health plans covering nearly seven million lives, has posted a related Insights & Analysis piece, Research Explores Health Plan Perceptions of PDABs and UPLs.

Are you an Oregon Resident? Take the Oregon PDAB Survey. They need to hear from you.

Regularly exercising 2 or more times a week may cut insomnia risk
“Not getting enough sleep can increase a person’s risk for several health issues. Previous research shows certain lifestyle changes can improve a person’s sleep quality, including increasing daily activity. Researchers from Reykjavik University in Iceland found that people who persistently exercised at least two or more times a week had a lower insomnia risk and an easier time getting six to nine hours of sleep each night.”

Why loneliness is bad for your health
“A lack of social interaction is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia and more. Researchers are unpicking how the brain mediates these effects.”

Lancet study reveals alarming global obesity trends in 2022
“New study released by the Lancet shows that, in 2022, more than 1 billion people in the world are now living with obesity. Worldwide, obesity among adults has more than doubled since 1990, and has quadrupled among children and adolescents (5 to 19 years of age). The data also show that 43% of adults were overweight in 2022.”

Sitting Time Reduction and Blood Pressure in Older Adults
“Conclusions and Relevance  In this study of a 6-month sitting reduction intervention, older adults in the intervention reduced sedentary time by more than 30 min/d and reduced systolic blood pressure. Sitting reduction could be a promising approach to improve health in older adults.”

Mouse study shows exercise during pregnancy improves heart health of future generations
“Exercising during pregnancy doesn’t just benefit moms—it may also give their babies a head start on their heart health after birth, according to a study by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.”

Obesity Genes Mean Some Folks Must Exercise More for Same Results
“People with a high genetic risk for obesity have to work out more to maintain a healthy weight. People with high risk had to walk 2,280 more steps a day than those at average risk to avoid obesity. Doctors might need to issue individual exercise prescriptions based on a person’s genetics.”

A mindful ‘body scan’ can be a powerful pain-relief tool
“The meditation helps the brain observe sensations with less discomfort.”

Costco Unveils Medical Weight Loss Subscription Program
“April 2, 2024 – Costco is entering the growing marketplace for medical weight loss, joining the likes of WeightWatchers and Noom amid booming interest in the new class of drugs known as GLP-1s.”

My Choices News Update

Trees and bushes near highways improve air quality
“Anyone who’s endured rush-hour bumper-to-bumper traffic knows how unpleasant the air can get. Between fumes, dust, and all those exhaust pipes, it’s definitely not a nature lover’s paradise. But what if those trees and bushes lining our highways weren’t just there for decoration? What if they were secretly cleaning the air you breathe? Well, a new study from Georgia State University says they just might be.”

Is It Time to Address the Fiscal Reality of the Cancer Care Model and Consider Alternatives?
“This commentary begins with the poignant words of the great American philosopher Yogi Berra, who is reported to have declared: “You can observe a lot by watching.” So, we note 2 recent items in the medical world that, if interpreted correctly, should send chills down the spines of those considering the possible—and perhaps even likely— financial future of oncology care in the United States.”

‘Winners and losers’: The world of coffee is being reordered by EU laws to stop cutting of forests
“Farmer Le Van Tam tends coffee plants at a coffee farm in Dak Lak province, Vietnam on Feb. 1, 2024. New European Union rules aimed at stopping deforestation are reordering supply chains. An expert said that there are going to be “winners and losers” since these rules require companies to provide detailed evidence showing that the coffee isn’t linked to land where forests had been cleared.”

New method paves the way for clearer dietary guidelines on brain health
“In a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers developed a method to retrospectively harmonize data on the association between dietary patterns and cognitive health from individual studies that vary widely in the methodologies and results.”

New research suggests intermittent fasting increases the risk of dying from heart disease. But the evidence is mixed
“Intermittent fasting has gained popularity in recent years as a dietary approach with potential health benefits. So you might have been surprised to see headlines last week suggesting the practice could increase a person’s risk of death from heart disease.”

‘Forever chemicals’ prompt new, stricter advice for eating fish from Mississippi
“Concerns about pollutants including “forever chemicals” have prompted state health officials to issue new guidelines for eating fish from a stretch of the Mississippi River between St. Paul and Wabasha.”

Ultraprocessed Foods Linked With 32 Types of Health Problems
“Ultraprocessed foods include ready-to-eat meals, snacks, and sugary drinks that contain a long list of ingredients and additives designed to make the food sellable or palatable. Now these foods have been associated with more than 30 health conditions, a review of 45 meta-analyses involving about 9.9 million participants found.”

Eating an avocado every day can add years to your life
“Scientists have discovered a fascinating connection between eating one avocado every day and an overall enhanced diet quality and healthier life. Spearheaded by Associate Professor Kristina Petersen and the esteemed retired Professor Penny Kris-Etherton from Penn State University’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, this study delves into how incorporating a single avocado into one’s daily diet can lead to significant nutritional benefits.”

Chronic diseases do not reduce the benefits of exercise, finds study
“A recent study shows exercise is also beneficial and safe for older people with multiple chronic conditions or risk factors. Exercise can improve physical fitness despite chronic diseases. However, exercise should be started safely and at an intensity appropriate for your starting level.”

Spotlight On: Obesity Matters
“Priti Chawla knows the pain that can come with weight bias and discrimination all too well. Growing up in India, she was often ridiculed for her body size. “I was the chubbiest girl in my class,” she recalls. “My classmates had no filter. I was always the one who was never asked for a dance. The bias and discrimination was both implicit and explicit.”

Medicare Part D to cover cost of Wegovy when used to reduce risks of heart conditions
“Medicare Part D will pay for the antiobesity drug Wegovy (semaglutide) when prescribed to cut risks of heart disease. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week issued guidance that current Medicare Part D and Medicaid coverage rules apply to the drug making headlines for its health effects including weight loss.”

Hepatitis C News Update

And Then There Was One: HCV Elimination in the Coinfected Population
“The treatment of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) has evolved considerably in the past 15 years. Second-generation direct-acting antivirals entered the market in late 2014. Today we have well-tolerated, short-course (generally 8-12 weeks), pangenotypic options with greater than 95% efficacy to achieve cure or sustained virologic response (SVR). In the World Health Organization’s (WHO) most recent global health sector strategies for 2022 to 2030, it is estimated that the treatment of HCV worldwide increased 10-fold since 2015.”

Insights from patient who cleared hepatitis C could lead to vaccine
“By studying individuals who spontaneously clear hepatitis C infections, a team of researchers has identified viable vaccine targets for a disease that infects 70 million worldwide with case numbers increasing every year.”

Over 30 years, big fall in HIV among people who inject drugs in Baltimore, but hepatitis C remains high
“Despite less injecting drug use, increased use of harm reduction services, and significant progress in reducing HIV infections, there has been a resurgence of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs in recent years in Baltimore, especially among people under the age of 40. This research, tracking changes over the past three decades, was presented by Eshan Patel to the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2024) in Denver.”

State sues El Dorado county over needle exchange bans
“PLACERVILLE, Calif. – As part of an ongoing dispute between some county officials and the Sierra Harm Reduction Coalition, a nonprofit that distributes clean needles, Narcan and offers other services, Placerville’s City Council and the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors both recently passed bans on the operation of needle exchange programs. Following on the heels of the latter of the two bans, passed by City Council in late February, the California Department of Public Health filed a lawsuit against the two governing bodies and their elected officials.”

‘Time for Five’ coalition launches global petition targeting medical test maker Cepheid and parent corporation Danaher
“Washington, DC, 22 March 2024 — Ahead of World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) protested alongside other global health activists outside the headquarters of US corporation Danaher, which owns diagnostics maker Cepheid, demanding they drop the price to US$5 for all their ‘GeneXpert’ medical tests that they sell in low- and middle-income countries, for diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), HIV, hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and Ebola. Testing is the first step to getting someone who is sick on the treatment they need and preventing further spread of infectious diseases.”

US centers get $2.1M to help hepatitis patients find doctors
“The Center for Disease Analysis (CDA) Foundation has granted $2.1 million in funding to 14 U.S. organizations to help diagnosed but untreated hepatitis B and C patients find doctors. The funds come from the foundation’s Relink grant program, which is supported by an $8-million grant from Gilead Sciences. Gilead markets several hepatitis therapies. The CDA Foundation plans to distribute three more rounds of Relink grants by 2025.”

Lung Cancer News Update

Clinical Trial of Keytruda and Lynparza Combination Fails to Meet Primary Endpoint for Treatment of Metastatic Nonsquamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
“Merck revealed that its Phase III KEYLYNK-006 clinical trial, which tested a combination of Keytruda and Lynparza for the treatment of a subset of patients with metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), failed to meet the primary endpoint of improving overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).”

Banner Health’s Ion procedure as high as 95% accurate at detecting lung cancer nodules
“Banner Health’s North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley offers robotic-assisted technology to help detect biopsy lung lesions early on among at-risk patients. John Cowden, an expert in pulmonary medicine at Banner Health, directs a technologically advanced diagnostic tool for lung cancer in northern Colorado — a robotic-assisted bronchoscopy called the Ion procedure.”

Incurable but not hopeless: How hope shapes patients’ awareness of their advanced cancer prognosis
“Hope is defined as the expectation of achieving a future good. Patients with cancer, whether it is curable or not, prioritize cure as their highest hope. Patients with incurable cancer wish to be informed about their disease and its treatment, but also need to maintain hope. This inner conflict can impact how they process information about their prognosis.”

Milken researchers find widened racial disparities in pollution-related illnesses
“Researchers examined air pollution and its associated health impacts like asthma and lung cancer from 2010 to 2019 and found that disparities in air pollution-related health complications have increased in that period. Gaige Kerr, the lead author of the study, said pollution-reducing legislation like the Clean Air Act has benefitted white communities more than communities of color because the regulations don’t resolve the history of government officials disproportionately placing pollutive factories and highways in minority neighborhoods, causing the disparity between the groups to increase.”

Oxford University developing new lung cancer vaccine
“Researchers at the University of Oxford have received a grant of £1.7 million to develop a vaccine for lung cancer.”

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Care Intensity at the End of Life for Patients With Lung Cancer
“The authors concluded: “Compared with [non-Hispanic White] patients, [Asian/Pacific Islander], Black, and Hispanic patients who died with lung cancer experienced higher intensity of [end-of-life] care. Future studies should develop approaches to eliminate such racial and ethnic disparities in care delivery at the [end of life].””

Low Screening Rates for Lung Cancer Highlight Public Health Priority
“Eligibility criteria for annual lung cancer screening (LCS) among current or former smokers should be updated, with the move going a long way to reduce screening disparities, experts emphasize today in JAMA Network Open. Their comparison of outcomes following the release of screening guidance from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in 2013 and updated in 2021 shows overall poor uptake of annual low-dose CT LCS, despite changes to 2 major criteria that expanded the eligibility pool: Age was lowered to 50 years from 55 to 80 years, and pack-year (PY) smoking history was reduced from 30 to 20.”

Tagrisso with the addition of chemotherapy showed favourable trend in overall survival in EGFR-mutated advanced lung cancer with further follow up in FLAURA2 Phase III trial
“Results from the FLAURA2 Phase III trial showed AstraZeneca’s ​Tagrisso (osimertinib) with the addition of chemotherapy​ provided a clinically meaningful and consistent benefit in subsequent outcomes after disease progression in patients with locally advanced or metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated (EGFRm) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Tagrisso with the addition of chemotherapy also demonstrated a favourable trend toward overall survival (OS) improvement at two years of follow up. These results were presented today at the 2024 European Lung Cancer Congress (ELCC) in Prague, Czech Republic (abstract #4O).”

ChromaCode Partners With Medical College of Georgia on Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Rapid PCR Testing
“The test utilizes ChromaCode’s high-definition PCR (HDPCR) technology, which involves machine learning algorithms and novel chemistries that increase the multiplexing capabilities of standard lab instruments. The panel covers all variants identified by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network as clinically relevant in NSCLC with a four-hour workflow for rapid results.”

Does Vaping Cause Lung Cancer?
“Vaping exposes you to thousands of chemicals, including many that cause cancer and lung disease.”


Updated ASCO Guidelines for Optimal Small Cell Lung Cancer Management
“In a conversation with CancerNetwork®, Gregory Peter Kalemkerian, MD, spoke about the publication of updated guidelines for managing small cell lung cancer (SCLC) with systemic therapy, which was developed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in collaboration with Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario).”

My Choices News Update

Vitamin D and Calcium Supplements May Reduce Cancer Risk, Study Shows
“Experts explain how the combination could be a double-edged sword, though.”

Appropriate Statin Use Soars When Pharmacists on Board
“The odds of prescribing the appropriate dose of statins increased sixfold when automated referrals were made to pharmacy services to prescribe the medications, rather than waiting for the doctor, according to a presentation at the 2023 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, in Philadelphia (abstract 23096).”

Health Equity Week Explores the Leap From Promises to Practice
“Faculty, residents, trainees and students from Feinberg, the local community and beyond recently came together for Health Equity Week, a weeklong series of educational programming designed to expose the roots of healthcare inequities as well as avenues to address them.”

New pill can mimic the health benefits of exercise
“In a breakthrough development, scientists are on the brink of creating a pill that could simulate the health benefits traditionally obtained from exercise. This novel approach is aimed at combating muscle deterioration and various medical ailments, including heart disease and neurodegenerative disorders.”

Wearing a sports bra that’s too tight may impact your workout, study finds
“Choosing what to wear to exercise can be a matter of fashion, comfort or convenience, but new research suggests that women may want to pay special attention to one particular aspect of their workout wear: the sports bra. When a sports bra is too tight during exercise, it can impair breathing and impact energy and performance, according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine.”

Weight loss caused by common diabetes drug tied to “anti-hunger” molecule in study
“A Stanford Medicine study found that metformin, a commonly prescribed diabetes drug associated with moderate weight loss, stimulates production of lac-phe, a molecule abundant after exercise.”

Eliminating socioeconomic disparities in youth physical activity could save over $15 billion, study shows
“What would happen if the existing disparities in physical activity levels between youth of lower and higher socioeconomic statuses were eliminated? Previous studies have shown that those between 6–17 years of age in lower socioeconomic groups get on average 10%–15% less physical activity than those of higher socioeconomic groups.”

Superior to standard soda? Trying prebiotic “pop”
“From bananas and artichokes to… soda? A new gut-friendly health food has made its way to refrigerators, but it‘s not your typical fruit, veggie, or bacteria and yeast gelatinous-sponge-looking thing. It’s prebiotic soda. I can’t say I’ve ever been asked to list the nutrition benefits of a bubbly beverage, but this may be the outlier.”

Why Immersion in Very Cold or Hot Water Can Be So Healthy
“March 13, 2024 – There’s a good chance you’ve come across this popular 10-second social media narrative:
Hard-bodied individual looks into the camera. Zooms out to show they’re wearing only a beanie and a bathing suit. Hey, I’m about to dunk myself in freezing water. Voluntarily! Because I love-hate-love-hate it! Really! You should too.
Should you?”

Breathe, don’t vent: Turning down the heat is key to managing anger
“Venting about a source of anger might feel good in the moment, but it’s not effective at reducing the rage, new research suggests. Instead, techniques often used to address stress — deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, yoga or even counting to 10 — have been shown to be more effective at decreasing anger and aggression.”

Lung Cancer News Update

Nearly half of patients with positive lung cancer screening findings delay follow-up care
“Key takeaways: Delaying follow-up after receipt of positive lung cancer screening findings was relatively common. Patients with lung cancer had a high likelihood of clinical upstaging if they delayed follow-up.”

Lung Cancer Survivors and Caregivers Take Their Stories to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Lifesaving Research and Public Health Funding
“WASHINGTON, March 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On Wednesday, March 20, LUNG FORCE Heroes—people living with lung cancer, their loved ones and advocates from across the country—will travel to Washington, D.C. to advocate for lifesaving research and public health funding. As a part of the American Lung Association LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day, the advocates will meet with members of Congress to share their stories, and ask them to support $51.3 billion in research funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $11.6 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

GRAIL Announces Novel Risk Classification Test to Be Used in Lung Cancer Study
“MENLO PARK, Calif. & CAMBRIDGE, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)– GRAIL, LLC, a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early when it can be cured, announced today that participants from Japan, via a collaboration with AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq:AZN), will have their samples tested using GRAIL’s novel risk classification test on its Methylation Platform. This assay has been validated for recurrence risk classification in newly diagnosed Stage I lung adenocarcinoma.”

Early Onset of Lung Cancer in Small Areas as a Signature of Point Pollution Sources
“At a small-area scale, the detrimental effect of air pollution on lung cancer is challenging to identify and measure due to the potentially scattered detection of pollutants and/or limited statistical power of available indicators. A novel method is presented to detect and quantify the detrimental impact of pollution in small areas by employing the early onset of lung cancer as a signature of pollution. Early-onset lung cancer may speed up the investigation of potential environmental hazards in a specific area, enabling public health officials or citizen committees to carry out geographical analyses.”

FDA Accepts NDA for Ensartinib in Metastatic ALK-Positive NSCLC
“The regulatory agency set an action date of December 28, 2024 for ensartinib as a treatment for those with ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer.”

Study Reveals New Insights Into Immune System Role in Lung Cancer Risk
“Recent developments in cancer research have highlighted the vital role of the immune system, particularly in the notable successes of cancer immunotherapy. Now, a paradigm-shifting study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York in collaboration with the University of Helsinki, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard sheds light on how variations in immune genetics influence lung cancer risk, potentially paving the way for enhanced prevention strategies and screening.”

Lung Cancer Replaces Breast Cancer as Most Common Form Among Chinese Women
“(Yicai) March 14 — Lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the most frequent type of malignant tumor among Chinese women amid the aging population. In 2022, China had 402,000 women with lung cancer and 357,000 people with breast cancer, according to the most recent report by the National Cancer Center. The nation recorded almost 1.1 million new lung cancers, making up 22 percent of all new cases of diseases linked to abnormal cell growth.”

Immunotherapy Trials for Metastatic NSCLC: FDA Pooled Analysis
“In a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pooled analysis reported in The Lancet Oncology, Bernardo Haddock Lobo Goulart, MD, and colleagues found that response rate and progression-free survival were only moderately correlated with overall survival in first-line immunotherapy trials for metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).”

Hepatitis C News Update

Gene Activity Study May Lead to Better Therapies for Fibrosis of the Liver
“A research team carried out an animal study aimed at better understanding the scarring process (fibrosis) in diseased or injured livers. They examined gene activity in two different mouse models exhibiting varying degrees of liver disease severity, also capturing certain phases of spontaneous regression of the disease. At the same time, important indicators of disease severity, such as portal venous pressure, blood markers of liver injury, or the extent of liver fibrosis based on liver tissue samples, were recorded.”

Atea’s antiviral treatment combo works for 98% of HCV patients
“Atea Pharmaceuticals’ once-daily oral antiviral treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) — a combination of bemnifosbuvir and ruzasvir — successfully cleared HCV within four weeks in 98% of patients in a clinical study, according to new lead-in trial data. The combination antiviral treatment was generally safe and well tolerated, with mostly mild adverse events, according to Atea. No drug-related serious adverse events and no treatment discontinuations were reported. Because the four-week efficacy of 98% exceeded the protocol-defined efficacy criterion of 90% or greater, the study will now continue with up to another 220 participants. It will assess the safety and a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after starting the eight-week treatment regimen. It also will evaluate failure to suppress HCV load, sustained virologic response at 24 weeks, and viral resistance.”

Resources for 2024 National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
“This year, National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD) is on Wednesday, March 20. On this day, we pause to recognize the impact of HIV among Native populations and highlight the critical work happening in communities around the country to engage Native people, including American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, in fully ending the HIV epidemic. NNHAAD supports the Indigenous HIV/AIDS Syndemic Strategy: Weaving Together the National HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis Referred to as the Indigi-HAS, the National HIV/AIDS Program for IHS coordinated its release. The Strategy complements the existing National HIV/AIDS Strategy and includes additional specific topics important to Indigenous communities. It adopts a syndemic approach, addressing HIV, hepatitis C virus, and sexually transmitted infections in an integrated way.”

Perinatally Acquired HCV is Better Treated Sooner than Later
“Children treated for perinatally acquired hepatitis C virus (HCV) with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) at 3 years of age will live longer and with lower health care costs than those treated at 6 years of age or older, according to investigators who indicate that their analysis model is the first to project life expectancy with age at treatment.”

FACT SHEET: The President’s Budget Protects and Increases Access to Quality, Affordable Healthcare
“The President and the Vice President believe that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. The Administration’s actions to protect and expand Americans’ access to quality, affordable healthcare have made a positive difference for Americans’ well-being and wallets. The Administration continues to build on, strengthen, and protect Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and now more Americans have health insurance than under any other President.”

My Choices News Update

Oregon needs to listen to its patients
“More than half of Oregonians are living with at least one chronic health condition. One in four adults has a disability, and around 20,000 people receive a cancer diagnosis each year. Right now, our state is making critical drug pricing decisions that could make it harder for these patients to access the care they need. And it’s doing so without even giving them a seat at the table.”

Grant to Support Liver Disease Drug Development, Potentially Reduce Animal Testing
“Liver disease researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSM) will use a $7.8 million federal grant to build a new drug discovery center, which will test whether using human cells can replace animals in determining if and how a new drug works.”

Complementary Health Approaches for Pain Management Increasing in Popularity
“Complementary health approaches, like yoga or acupuncture, can be particularly appealing to patients seeking natural and non-invasive approaches to improve their health.”

Guidance on Use of Race, Ethnicity, and Geographic Origin as Proxies for Genetic Ancestry Groups in Biomedical Publications
“In March 2023, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a consensus study report titled Using Population Descriptors in Genetics and Genomics Research.1 Sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health, the report is more than a discussion of the use of terminology; the authors of the NASEM report suggest a tectonic shift away from current models that use race, ethnicity, and geographic origin as proxies for genetic ancestry groups (ie, a set of individuals who share more similar genetic ancestries) in genetic and genomic science.”

Why Diet Matters for the Planet and Your Health
““The hottest year was even hotter than expected,” read a recent headline in Science. If, like me, you want to do more to stave off the worst, then cast a more critical eye on diet. What we eat has a major climate impact, because food production generates high levels of the greenhouse gases (GHG) that underlie climate change.”

Navigating nutrition facts and fads
“In a world of diet trends and conflicting nutrition information, it can feel like you are bombarded by tons of “solutions” for health improvement every day. The truth is there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to personal nutrition. Jaime Gnau, clinical assistant professor in the public health and sports medicine department at Missouri State University, brings over 20 years of health care experience to her role.”

Habitual Short Sleep Duration, Diet, and Development of Type 2 Diabetes in Adults
Question  Is there an association between adherence to healthy diet, sleep duration, and risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) in adults?
Findings  This cohort study analyzing data from 247 867 adults in the UK Biobank found that individuals sleeping less than 6 hours daily had a notably higher risk of developing T2D compared with those with 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Despite the association between healthier diets and reduced T2D risk, the increased risk associated with short sleep duration persisted even among adults with healthy eating habits.
Meaning  These findings suggest that adopting a healthy diet may not reduce the risk of developing T2D among those with habitual short sleep duration.”

Women who do strength training live longer. How much is enough?
“Resistance training does more than help us build strong muscles. A new study finds women who do strength training exercises two to three days a week are more likely to live longer and have a lower risk of death from heart disease, compared to women who do none.”

Walking 5,000 Steps Three Times Per Week Could Add Three Years to Life Expectancy
“LONDON, March 12, 2024–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New research published by Vitality and the London School of Economics shows that sustaining a healthy exercise habit of at least 5,000 steps three times per week for two years can add up to three years to an individual’s life expectancy and reduce their healthcare costs by up to 13%.”

Demographic, health, physical activity, and workplace factors are associated with lower healthy working life expectancy and life expectancy at age 50
“This study identified demographic, health, physical activity, and workplace factors associated with lower HWLE and life expectancy at age 50. Identifying the extent of the impact on healthy working life highlights these factors as targets and the potential to mitigate against premature work exit is encouraging to policy-makers seeking to extend working life as well as people with musculoskeletal and mental health conditions and their employers. The HWLE gaps suggest that interventions are needed to promote the health, wellbeing and work outcomes of subpopulations with long-term health conditions.”

Weekly News Update.
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