Top AMA Morning Rounds® News: Week of November 21, 2022

Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ top stories in medicine and public health for the week of Nov. 21-Nov. 25th, 2022.

Bloomberg Law (11/22, Langreth, Muller, Subscription Publication) reports that Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters “that fight the latest Omicron variants offer only modest short-term protection against mild infections , and experts say it’s still unclear if the updated shots are any better than previous versions at preventing hospitalization and serious illness.” These “bivalent booster shots were only 43% effective, according to a” CDC study effective in preventing mild disease compared to non-vaccination in adults under 49 years of age.

NBC News (11/22, Lovelace) reports, “The first real-world data on the new Omicron vaccines show they are better at preventing symptomatic COVID infections than the previous doses…” the CDC said. These “results are based on more than 360,000 symptomatic adults tested for COVID at pharmacies nationwide from September 14 to November 11.”

The Hill (11/22, Choi) reports that the results showed that the bivalent vaccines “offered stronger protection when comparing those who received them with people who received only two, three or four doses of the original monoclonal vaccine received”.

Reuters (11/21, Lapid) reports: “The widely held concept that levels of ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood can indicate risk of heart disease does not apply equally to blacks and whites, and the measurement itself may be of lesser value than previously thought,” according to the results of “a US study published Monday” in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

According to HealthDay (11/21, Norton), the study of “nearly 24,000 US adults found that low HDL levels were associated with a slightly higher risk of heart attack in whites,” but not in black adults. In addition, “high levels of HDL — traditionally heralded as heart-healthy — made no difference in terms of heart risk for black or white adults,” the study revealed.

Healio (11/21, Monostra) reports, “Women who adhered more to a plant-based portfolio diet reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes” (T2D), the researchers concluded in a study that ” Included was 145,299 women, of whom 13,943 developed type 2 diabetes during a median follow-up of 16 years.” The results were published online in the journal Diabetes Care.

CNN (11/18, McPhillips) reported: “Seasonal influenza activity is ‘elevated’ nationwide, with ‘high’ or ‘very high’ respiratory virus activity in more than half of U.S. states, according to an update released Friday was published by the CDC. Also, “health care systems across the country continue to feel the strain of a respiratory virus season that has hit earlier and harder than usual.”

NBC News (11/18, Edwards) reported that “most of the worst respiratory illnesses remain concentrated in the southern states,” but “there are indications that the flu has spread to other areas such as Colorado, New Mexico and Texas,” the report said the CDC is increasing.”

Healio (11/18, Downey) reported that researchers “have developed a handy risk assessment tool… to help people identify their potential risk for dementia.” The study “identified several risk factors for dementia, covering socioeconomic adversity, sleep phenotypes, physical activity and comorbidities.” The results of the study, which included 444,695 participants, were published online in the JAMA Network Open.


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