Tuesday, March 17, 2015

American with Ebola Now in Critical Condition

American with Ebola Now in Critical Condition

CDC monitoring other health care workers who may have had contact with the patient
HealthDay news image MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The condition of an unidentified American health care worker infected with Ebola in West Africa has been downgraded from serious to critical, doctors at the U.S. National Institutes of Health said Monday.
No other details about the patient, who works with the Boston-based non-profit Partners in Health, were being made available, officials said. The patient is being treated at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.
The worker was flown in isolation on a chartered flight to the United States from Sierra Leone on Friday and was then admitted to the high-level containment facility in Maryland.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, besides the patient in Maryland, 11 other Partners in Health workers have been brought to the United States for monitoring. They include four taken to Atlanta to be near Emory University Hospital; four taken to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and three others who arrived in the Washington, D.C., area on Sunday to be near the NIH hospital in Bethesda, the Associated Press reported.
The health providers were also working in Sierra Leone, one of three West African nations hit hard by the Ebola outbreak that began last year.
The CDC said it continues to conduct "contact tracing" of individuals in Sierra Leone who may interacted with the patient now undergoing treatment in Maryland.
The Maryland patient is the 11th person with Ebola to be treated in the United States since August. Of the first 10 people treated for Ebola in the United States, eight survived and two died.
The death toll in the largest-ever Ebola outbreak has passed 10,000, the World Health Organization reported last week.
Nearly all the victims have been in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Only 15 Ebola deaths have occurred in other countries: Mali, Nigeria and the United States, the Associated Press reported.

SOURCES: U.S. National Institutes of Health, news release, March 16, 2015; Associated Press

Medical News Today: Diabetes drugs may promote heart failure, study finds

Medical News Today: Diabetes drugs may promote heart failure, study finds


Patients who manage type 2 diabetes with drugs that lower glucose or blood sugar may be at higher risk for heart failure. This was the finding of a comprehensive analysis of clinical trials covering more than 95,000 patients reported in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. The study was also presented at the 64th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology in San Diego, CA, earlier this week.
Heart failure - where the heart does not pump enough blood around the body at the right pressure - is a common condition in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Heart failure has a major impact on the quality of life of patients and is a major driver of health care costs in the US.  .. 

Medical News Today: New cholesterol-lowering drug 'could halve risk of heart attack, stroke'

Medical News Today: New cholesterol-lowering drug 'could halve risk of heart attack, stroke'


Currently, statin therapy is the standard treatment for many patients with high cholesterol. But a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine claims a drug called evolocumab could be much more effective; it reduced cholesterol levels so dramatically that patients' risk of cardiovascular events - such as heart attack and stroke - fell by more than half, compared with those receiving standard therapy alone. Lead study author Dr. Marc Sabatine, a senior physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, and colleagues recently presented their findings at the American College of Cardiology's 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego, CA.
The study was a 1-year extension of 12 phase 2 and 3 clinical trials that had assessed evolocumab's ability to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol - commonly referred to as "bad" cholesterol because of the role it plays in blocking the arteries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 71 million Americans have high LDL cholesterol - blood levels at 160 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher. High LDL cholesterol can raise the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart disease.
The 4,465 patients involved in the study had been a part of at least one of the previous trials investigating evolocumab, which works by blocking a protein that stops the liver from removing LDL cholesterol from the blood - called proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin 9 (PCSK9).
Of the participants, 2,976 were randomized to receive an injection of evolocumab under the skin every 2 or 4 weeks plus standard therapy, while 1,489 patients received standard therapy alone, which mostly involved moderate- or high-intensity statin therapy. The average follow-up duration was 11.1 months.  ..