We get it, you see a lot of medical newsletters, so hear us out. Once a month, we’ll highlight important medical news sprinkled with witty commentary, fun facts, giveaways, and more… because learning should be fun! Subscribe to receive the Morning Report directly.
Weekend Warriors vs Steady Soldiers
Soldier on, weekend warriors
More than half of US adults take a dietary supplement, but are these consumers prolonging their lives or being duped by clever marketing? (We don’t mean to keep picking on marketers.) To answer this question, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) did what it does best: pored over the latest evidence and issued new recommendations.
Mislabeled and Misleading
- Of the 89 products that listed a total CBD amount, 58% contained more CBD than advertised, while 18% contained less
- 35% of the products contained THC (the ingredient primarily responsible for the “high”), but 51% failed to mention THC on the label, and 11% labeled it as “THC free”
- Many products made unsubstantiated therapeutic or cosmetic claims (eg, 22% touted a reduction in pain, but the FDA—somewhere shaking its head—has not yet approved any CBD product for this purpose)
And the Winner Is…
Thank you all for posting your cartoon caption contest ideas. We were impressed! It was a tough call, but the Pri-Med team agreed that the following caption gave us the heartiest chuckle.
In my professional opinion, you can wear white socks until Labor Day!
Congratulations to Sharon Gottschalk, PA-C, a hospitalist from Watertown, WI, for penning this excellent caption!
Check out future issues of Morning Report for more cartoon caption contests.
The Dietary Rule of Threes
When it comes to achieving optimal health, diet and exercise go together like Rick Astley and unwavering commitment—you shouldn’t think of one without the other. A new study analyzing data from the UK Biobank found that breaking a sweat only modestly counteracts a poor diet when it comes to all-cause or cardiovascular mortality. And a healthy diet in an inactive individual does not confer a statistically significant all-cause or CVD mortality risk reduction. The group in the study with the greatest mortality risk reduction reported both a healthy diet AND at least moderate exercise.
Key takeaway: Continue to counsel patients on the synergistic effect of both a healthy diet and moderate-to-intense exercise on lowering their overall mortality risk.
Speaking of dietary improvements, a recent study suggests patients may want to skip that extra dash of salt at the dinner table. Once again, the UK Biobank supplied the data for a large study—this one determining the effect of adding salt at the table (not counting salt used while cooking) on mortality risk. The results were unsavory: adding salt conferred a 28% greater risk of premature mortality when compared with not adding salt. Furthermore, adding salt shortened the male lifespan by an average of 1.5 years and the female lifespan by 2.28 years.
Key takeaway: To mitigate the mortality risk associated with added salt, patients may want to limit their use of table salt to 2,300 mg, or one teaspoon, per day, as recommended by several dietary guidelines.
One way to reduce salt consumption is to avoid processed foods. And doing so also lowers the risk for dementia, according to another large study using data from the UK Biobank. Researchers discovered that participants’ relative risk of developing dementia increased by 25% for every 10% increase in daily ultra-processed foods. The list of culprits included not only soft drinks, ice cream, deep-fried chicken, and flavored cereals but also less obvious choices like packaged versions of hummus, guacamole, and bread. Inversely, replacing these processed foods with healthier options showed a lower risk of dementia.
Key takeaway: One study author distilled the key finding as follows: “… increasing unprocessed or minimally processed foods by only 50 grams a day, which is equivalent to half an apple, a serving of corn, or a bowl of bran cereal, and simultaneously decreasing ultra-processed foods by 50 grams a day, equivalent to a chocolate bar or a serving of fish sticks, is associated with 3% decreased risk of dementia.”
Rapid-Fire COVID-19 Updates
COVID QUICK HIT
- The Novavax vaccine is the fourth one to be authorized in the United States for the prevention of COVID-19
- Long COVID: ‘Viral reservoir’ of spike protein may explain long-term symptoms
- Elevated HDL may improve SARS-CoV-2 infection resistance
Opioid vs Opioid-Free Analgesics for Post-Op Pain
Given the ongoing opioid crisis, you may find yourself walking a tightrope between prescribing post-operative opioid pain relief to patients and safeguarding against addiction to these powerful analgesics. Results from a recent study suggest that a more conservative management approach may be the best path forward, at least for minor and moderate surgical procedures.
Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of nearly 50 clinical trials comprising more than 6,000 patients who underwent an array of minor to moderate procedures, including dental, orthopedic, and general surgery procedures. The results showed that postoperative pain management involving nonopioid analgesics was as effective as opioid analgesics at alleviating pain and conferred a lower risk of adverse effects. Win-win!
Interested in more healthcare news? Here are some other articles we don’t want you to miss:
- Behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in adults without cardiovascular disease risk factors: USPSTF recommendation statement
- Prognosis of prostate cancer patients improved
- Amazon buying One Medical is only its most recent dive into the health care industry
- The natural history of peanut and egg allergy in children up to age 6 years in the HealthNuts population-based longitudinal study
- Interventions for reversing prediabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Morning Report is written by:
- Alissa Scott, Lead Author
- Aylin Madore, MD, MEd, Editor
- Margaret Oliverio, MD, Editor
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Please note that the summaries in Morning Report are intended to provide clinicians with a brief overview of an article, and while we do our best to select the most salient points, we ask that you please read the full article linked in each summary for clarification before making any practice-changing decisions.
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