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Tackling Heart Disease On A Global Scale
More than 17.5 million people die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) each year – making it the number one cause of death worldwide. Although in recent years the United States has actually seen a decline in heart disease, approximately 70% of the US population will either experience CVD themselves or have a family member experience a cardiovascular complication that will lead to death.
And the situation is even more dire in low- and middle-income countries, where CVD rates have been climbing at an alarming rate. For example, country profiles from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that in the Philippines, CVD-related deaths increased from less than 350 per 100,000 in 2000 to more than 450 in 2012.
Armenia saw a spike from 500 deaths to 700 deaths per 100,000 in just two years, and now the country is once again seeing rates creep back up.
“Until recently, there just hasn’t been a
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Doctors Prescribe More Antibiotics When Expectations Are High, Study Says
Experimental evidence confirms what surveys have long suggested: Physicians are more likely to prescribe antibiotics when they believe there is a high expectation of it from their patients, even if they think the probability of bacterial infection is low and antibiotics would not be effective, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.
Numerous studies have shown that inappropriate and excessive antibiotic use remains one of the main causes of antibiotic resistance and is widely considered a major threat to global health.
“Much effort has been spent encouraging physicians to adhere to clinical guidelines when prescribing antibiotics. However, with few notable exceptions, these efforts rarely address the non-clinical factors, such as how to tackle patients’ expectations,” said the study’s lead author, Miroslav Sirota, PhD, of the University of Essex. The s
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Emergency room patients treated by physicians who prescribe opioids more often are at greater risk for long-term opioid use even after a single prescription than those who see less-frequent prescribers, according to the findings of a study from Harvard Medical School and T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The research, believed to be the first to measure variation in provider prescribing practices and their impact on long-term opioid use, is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Long-term opioid use increases the danger of misuse, addiction and even overdose, fueling what public health experts have called a national epidemic of opioid overuse.
In 2015, more than 15,000 people in the United States died from an overdose involving prescription opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The findings, the researchers add, underscore an acute need to
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The Flu Gets Cold
In an effort to one day eliminate the need for an annual flu shot, a group of researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are exploring the surface of influenza viruses, which are covered by a protein called “hemagglutinin” (HA). This particular protein is used like a key by viruses to open cells and infect them, making it an ideal target for efforts to help the body's immune system fight off a wide range of influenza strains.
Erin Tran, a staff scientist who works in the Laboratory of Cell Biology/Biophysics Section of the NIH National Cancer Institute, will present the research at the Biophysical Society’s 61st Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, which runs from Feb. 11-15, 2017. Tran has been using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) methods to determine whether the spike-shaped HA proteins in their native environment emb