Lots of material to parse in Cvidence’s X issue, this year’s anniversary issue

This year’s Cvidence Cycle X has left us with a treasure trove of new scientific studies, data, and conclusions about health. Readers of this blog will no doubt remember seeing a lengthy writeup of…

Lots of material to parse in Cvidence’s X issue, this year’s anniversary issue

This year’s Cvidence Cycle X has left us with a treasure trove of new scientific studies, data, and conclusions about health. Readers of this blog will no doubt remember seeing a lengthy writeup of one of them last week.

Want to read all about the research before it appears in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology? Too bad! That information has been tucked away behind a paywall.

But you can see the hardcover version online, and you can read the study’s text in both the Jan. 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and here.

As usual, a great many studies popping up in the CCX probe the roots of health. They tackle everything from obesity to sudden cardiac death.

A headline which may grab your attention this year is about a problem in the opioid overdose epidemic: People with opioid dependence have died from infection of the hands and feet. Reports Dr. Monica Hunt of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who led the study that alerted this medical community to the problem: “Many in the current epidemic are patients who’ve struggled for years with opioid use disorders who’ve lost their ability to use their limbs,” she said. The researchers found a link between infected feet and deaths from accidental overdose of heroin or fentanyl. They concluded that an environmental trigger, including conditions such as bacteria and mold, might be a risk factor.

Another alarming and familiar case involves a hereditary condition called ventricular fibrillation, which leads to heart failure. Symptoms can include a racing heart, dizziness and stroke, but it’s a typical cardiac rhythm. Alas, unlike the now familiar electrical rhythm disorder of atrial fibrillation, the cardiac fibrillation often runs in families. More than 1,000 patients with the condition in Britain have died from the rare but not-fatal condition since 2007. The study also discovered that 63 percent of people with the condition suffered from atrial fibrillation. It’s thought that the two conditions might be linked. There are treatment recommendations to be made for a patient with fibrillation, according to the researchers.

The following papers, by a group of men led by Dr. Charles Dwyer of Duke Medicine, offer few surprises, but will still strike a chord with people across the country:

Work by Dr. Dwyer and his team looked at other medications routinely prescribed for hypertension and diabetes and found that they don’t help so much as they may numb the pain. The researchers suggested that patients should consider some additional therapies, such as adding ella to the standard blood thinner aspirin.

The 6,700 words of notes included in this case study by Dr. Raymond Hardeman of McMaster University, and Dr. Robert Sommerhoff of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, detail decades of research into the differences in a woman’s risk of breast cancer with the use of oral contraceptives. Results looked for a period of time through the 1970s. Since then, “we’ve found that the risk declines,” Dr. Hardeman wrote. Most believe the decline occurred because of safer methods of contraception and more women avoiding sex after childbearing age.

This year’s CCX also addresses dementia, asthma, diabetes, and two trends that could be considered real news for nearly everyone in the country: obesity and antibiotic resistance. The studies looked at things such as the effects of people with obesity on individual risk factors for disease, the effects of antibiotics on treatment success and the effects of obese people’s lower levels of “good” cholesterol.

Finally, a thank-you to my co-writer, David Griner, and support staff: Producer Lauren De Freitas, photographer Lindsay Usiaga, video and photo editors Vicki Schwartz and Jean Danau-Schwaiger, in addition to editors Christy and Melanie in the Washington Post Research Support office.

Leave a Comment