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Death Toll During Pandemic Far Exceeds Totals Reported by Countries, W.H.O. Says

06 May 2022

Nearly 15 million more people died during the first two years of the pandemic than would have been expected during normal times, the organization found. The previous count of virus deaths, from countries’ reporting, was six million.

A New Covid Mystery Why haven’t cases started rising again in the U.S.?

06 Apr 2022

To many people’s surprise — including mine — new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. have not begun to rise. Over the past two weeks, they have held roughly steady, falling about 1 percent, even as the highly contagious BA.2 subvariant of Omicron has become the dominant form of Covid in the U.S. Across much of Europe, by contrast, cases surged last month after BA.2 began spreading there, and many experts expected a similar pattern here. That hasn’t happened. “It has not taken off,” Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota epidemiologist, told me.

COVID-19 takes serious toll on heart health—a full year after recovery

25 Mar 2022

From very early in the pandemic, it was clear that SARS-CoV-2 can damage the heart and blood vessels while people are acutely ill. Patients developed clots, heart inflammation, arrhythmias, and heart failure. Now, the first large study to assess cardiovascular outcomes 1 year after SARS-CoV-2 infection has demonstrated that the virus’ impact is often lasting. In an analysis of more than 11 million U.S. veterans’ health records, researchers found the risk of 20 different heart and vessel maladies was substantially increased in veterans who had COVID-19 1 year earlier, compared with those who didn’t. The risk rose with severity of initial disease and extended to every outcome the team examined, including heart attacks, arrhythmias, strokes, cardiac arrest, and more. Even people who never went to the hospital had more cardiovascular disease than those who were never infected.

The White House said it is offering a second round of free coronavirus tests to all Americans.

07 Mar 2022

The White House on Monday said that it would begin offering a second round of four free at-home coronavirus tests to all American households, delivering on a pledge President Biden made last week in his State of the Union address, when he framed the offer as part of a broader effort to stay ahead of possible outbreaks and new variants.

Covid May Cause Changes in the Brain, New Study Finds

07 Mar 2022

Brain scans before and after infection showed more loss of gray matter and tissue damage, mostly in areas related to smell, in people who had Covid than in those who did not.


Development of a Definition of Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

25 May 2023

Key Points Question What symptoms are differentially present in SARS-CoV-2–infected individuals 6 months or more after infection compared with uninfected individuals, and what symptom-based criteria can be used to identify postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) cases? Findings In this analysis of data from 9764 participants in the RECOVER adult cohort, a prospective longitudinal cohort study, 37 symptoms across multiple pathophysiological domains were identified as present more often in SARS-CoV-2–infected participants at 6 months or more after infection compared with uninfected participants. A preliminary rule for identifying PASC was derived based on a composite symptom score. Meaning A framework for identifying PASC cases based on symptoms is a first step to defining PASC as a new condition. These findings require iterative refinement that further incorporates clinical features to arrive at actionable definitions of PASC.

11 clinical trials that will shape medicine in 2023

23 Dec 2022

2022 has been a rollercoaster year for biopharma, as it has faced an industry-wide slowdown and late-stage clinical trial failures, as well as breakthroughs and regulatory approvals. COVID-19 has continued to disrupt nearly all aspects of clinical trial infrastructure, from patient recruitment to supply chains, but despite this, 2023 promises to bring many new readouts from different branches of medicine (Table 1). Nature Medicine asked 11 leading experts for their top clinical trials to watch in the coming year

Association of Baseline Adherence to Antihypertensive Medications With Adherence After Shelter-in-Place Guidance for COVID-19 Among US Adults

20 Dec 2022

Question: Does baseline antihypertensive medication adherence identify individuals at risk for poor adherence during sheltering for COVID-19? Findings This cohort study assessed antihypertensive medication adherence as the proportion of days covered (PDC) from filled prescriptions claims for 6 months before and after COVID-19 sheltering guidance in a random sample of 27 318 US adults. Poor adherence (PDC < 50) during sheltering occurred in 73% with poor baseline adherence, 32% with fair baseline adherence (PDC 50-79), and 10% with good baseline adherence (PDC ≥ 80). These findings suggest that adherence-promoting interventions may be helpful irrespective of sheltering for poor baseline adherence and during sheltering for fair baseline adherence.

Changes in the Relationship Between Income and Life Expectancy Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic, California, 2015-2021

07 Jul 2022

Key Points Question How did the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic affect life expectancy in California and the relationship between census tract income and life expectancy relative to prepandemic years? Findings In this retrospective analysis of 1 988 606 deaths in California during 2015 to 2021, life expectancy declined from 81.40 years in 2019 to 79.20 years in 2020 and 78.37 years in 2021. Life expectancy differences between the census tracts in the highest and lowest income percentiles increased from 11.52 years in 2019 to 14.67 years in 2020 and 15.51 years in 2021. Meaning This ecological study of deaths in the state of California demonstrated that life expectancy declines in 2020 increased in 2021 and that the life expectancy gap by income level increased during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic relative to the pre-pandemic period.

Four Vaccine Doses Prevented Severe Omicron COVID-19 Better Than 3

10 May 2022

Older patients in Israel who received a fourth dose of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) SARS-CoV-2 vaccine were more than 3 times less likely to develop severe COVID-19 than those who received only 3 doses. But while protection against severe disease did not wane during the testing period, protection against confirmed infection appeared short-lived.

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