By Nancy Lapid
(Reuters) – The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that have yet to be certified by peer review.
Statins may protect slightly against COVID-19 death
Widely-used statin drugs for lowering cholesterol may be linked to a slightly lower risk of dying from COVID-19, new data suggest. Researchers at Karolinska Institute in Sweden reviewed the medical records of nearly 1 million residents of Stockholm over the age of 45 between March and November 2020, roughly 18% of whom had been prescribed a statin, such as Pfizer Inc's Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Merck & Co's Zocor (simvastatin). The people prescribed statins had more risk factors for poor COVID-19 outcomes: they were older, more often male, had more medical conditions, lower education levels and less disposable income. After taking all that into account, statin users were still 12% less likely to have died of COVID-19 during the study period, according to a report published on Thursday in PLOS Medicine https://bit.ly/3aGoNE1. The researchers did not compare outcomes in people who actually got infected with the virus, however. And they only had data on prescriptions – not on whether patients took the medicine as prescribed. A formal clinical trial would be needed to confirm the findings. Still, they conclude, their data "suggest that statin treatment may have a modest preventive therapeutic effect on COVID-19 mortality."
Boosting with a different vaccine is safe, may be better
People who got Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine as a first shot had a stronger immune response when boosted with vaccines from either Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE or Moderna Inc, according to a study run by the National Institutes of Health. The trial, which included more than 450 adults who received initial shots from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or J&J, also showed that "mixing and matching" booster shots using different vaccine technology is safe in adults, the researchers reported in a paper posted on medRxiv on Wednesday https://bit.ly/2YKYwBN ahead of peer review. Moderna's and Pfizer's vaccines are based on messenger RNA (mRNA) while J&J's uses viral vector technology. The trial looked at a total of nine combinations of initial shots and boosters. Using different types of shots as boosters generally produced a comparable or higher antibody response than using the same type, the researchers reported. Mixing booster doses "may offer immunological advantages to optimize the breadth and longevity of protection achieved with currently available vaccines," they said.
Old age alone does not predict COVID-19 mortality risk
Older patients are known to be at higher risk for poor outcomes after infection with the coronavirus, but among those hospitalized with COVID-19, other characteristics help predict who is likely to do poorly, new data suggest. In a review of data on 4,783 people age 65 and older who were hospitalized for COVID-19 early in the pandemic, researchers at Northwell Health hospitals in New York found that age itself did not independently predict whether a patient was more likely to die. Instead, they reported on Thursday in BMC Geriatrics https://bit.ly/3AIFkSv, more important predictors of death for elderly patients were factors such as how independent they were before the infection, how sick they were when they arrived at the hospital, and their pre-existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, lung disease and dementia. The researchers noted that in facilities forced to ration care or facing resource shortages, some guidelines use advanced age as a reason to deny care. "Our findings support the American Geriatrics Society position statement indicating age alone should never be used to make decisions regarding resource allocation under conditions of resource scarcity," the researchers said. "Although age is still an important factor in the overall risk of COVID-19 mortality… a comprehensive approach that accounts for the above factors is essential in preventing ageism."
Click for a Reuters graphic https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl on vaccines in development.
(Reporting by Nancy Lapid and Carl O'Donnell; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
Social Security retirement benefits are often referred to as "earned benefits." That's because you pay payroll taxes that fund Social Security and earn work credits that entitle you to this retirement income.
Atlas V launch
GB Group's (LON:GBG) stock is up by a considerable 12% over the past three months. As most would know, fundamentals are…
Michigan State football plays the Indiana Hoosiers on Oct. 16, 2021. Watch on FS1 and follow along here for live updates and analysis.
Detroit Red Wings continue the 2021-22 season with a game vs. the Vancouver Canucks. Follow here for the game score, live updates and analysis.
Suspect to appear in court on Saturday
The attack on Amess, from Johnson's Conservative Party, comes five years after the murder of Jo Cox, a lawmaker from the opposition Labour Party, and has prompted a review of the security of elected politicians.Amess, 69, was knifed repeatedly in the attack at about midday on Friday (October 15) in Leigh-on-Sea, east of London, during a meeting with constituents.Police arrested a 25-year-old British man at the scene on suspicion of murder, adding it is believed he acted alone.In a statement early on Saturday, police said the early investigation had revealed a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism.Johnson, interior minister Priti Patel, and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer were among those to lay flowers in tribute to Amess at the scene of the murder.Johnson and Starmer stood side by side in a moment of silence before leaving. On Friday, Johnson said Britain had lost a fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague.As tributes poured in for Amess, politicians described the attack as an assault on democracy. Patel has said she will review the safety of elected politicians.
Tributes paid to Leigh-on-Sea veteran politician as man arrested on suspicion of murder
A NASA spacecraft named Lucy rocketed into the sky with diamonds Saturday on a 12-year quest to explore eight asteroids. Seven of the mysterious space rocks are among swarms of asteroids sharing Jupiter's orbit, thought to be the pristine leftovers of planetary formation. An Atlas V rocket blasted off before dawn, sending Lucy on a roundabout orbital journey spanning nearly 4 billion miles (6.3 billion kilometers).
The state is contending with the coming loss of gas-fired power plants and its last remaining nuclear facility in a planned transition to renewable energy.
Finished Squid Game? Here's a quick lowdown on other K-dramas for new converts.
More and more it seems we are divided by where we live in our country. Americans’ health and wellness, where we live, and the impact of that on our society is what I will focus on today.
Researchers wanted to know how many lives vaccines may have saved due to the states’ Covid-19 vaccination campaigns in the US.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, is stepping down after 12 years at the helm of the research center.
It has more than 79,300 five-star ratings.
Many seniors are interested in earning the maximum possible amount of Social Security income. Unfortunately, future retirees will have fewer chances to increase their monthly benefits than those who came before them. Seniors who want more money in their monthly Social Security checks can get it by delaying their claim for benefits.
With ProShares preparing for the launch of its exchange-traded fund, others are expected to follow as the Securities and Exchange Commission considers additional proposals.
‘She came home and said “I don’t want you to do it any more because the next time that phone goes, it could be a different conversation”’
A teenager triggered a large scale police operation after a restaurant owner mistook a toy gun he was carrying for a real weapon. A witness raised the alarm after seeing the 15 year old, who was wearing a camouflage outfit and holding what appeared to be a rifle, running up and down the street in the southern German town of Lindau. "Of course, we had to go immediately," an officer from Lindau police told Lindauer Zeitung.
US President Joe Biden tells reporters that Bill Clinton is "doing fine" after he talked to him on the phone. The former US president is in hospital as he undergoes treatment for a reported case of sepsis.