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Roundup: Most U.S. Adults at Risk for Potentially Serious Cardiometabolic Condition, Research Finds; and More News

Nearly 90% of U.S. Adults at Risk for Cardiometabolic Syndrome That Can Lead to Heart Disease or Other Serious Conditions

Nearly 90 percent of U.S. adults could be at risk of developing "cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome" -- or CKM – which puts someone at a much higher risk of heart disease, heart failure or stroke, new research has found. CKM is a systemic disorder that involves kidney disease, diabetes, obesity and risk factors for heart disease.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently stated that one in three U.S. adults have three or more risk factors leading to CKM syndrome. The AHA alerted physician in October about CKM syndrome, which is diagnosed in stages ranging from zero — no risk factors for heart disease — to stage 4 — people with diagnosed heart disease, along with excess body fat, metabolic risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes, or kidney disease.

For the new study, published in JAMA, a peer-reviewed journal from the American Medical Association, researchers reviewed nearly a decade’s worth of data from more than 10,000 people who were participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Almost 90 percent of U.S. adults met the criteria for CKM (stage 1 or higher) and 15 percent for advanced CKM stages -- neither of which improved between 2011 and 2020, the study states.

“Substantial between-subgroup differences in advanced stages were observed, with older age, men, and Black adults at increased risk,” the study’s authors conclude. “Compared with White adults, Black adults were significantly more likely to have advanced (CKM) stages.”

Study participants older than 65 were more likely to be at an advanced CKM stage than people between the ages of 45 to 64. However, only 18 percent of participants ages 20 through 44 were at stage zero, or That is, they had no risk factors.

Moreover, nearly 50 percent of the study were at stage 2 of CKM, or at moderate risk with such health issues as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or chronic kidney disease.

Specialists at the Cardiometabolic Clinic at Baptist Health Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute address CKM through a multidisciplinary approach that “emphasizes the interconnected nature of cardiovascular, kidney, and metabolic health,” explains Adedapo Iluyomade, M.D., a preventive cardiologist who helps lead the Cardiometabolic Clinic and other programs at Baptist Health Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute

See related articleWhat Exactly is ‘Cardiovascular Kidney Metabolic Syndrome’ and Why It’s So Important

Researchers: New Urine Test Can Identify High-Risk Prostate Cancer

Researchers have developed a urine-based test that can distinguish between slow-growing prostate cancers that pose little risk and more aggressive cancers that need treatment, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The test could help some patients avoid unnecessary biopsies and other tests that carry potential risks.

Although prostate biopsies are generally safe, they can be painful and lead to fever, urinary tract infection, or other side effects. “In many cases, the biopsy identifies slow-growing prostate cancers that would benefit from close monitoring, but do not need immediate treatment,” the NIH states.

About a decade ago, an NIH-supported research team led by Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., of the University of Michigan developed a urine-based test called MyProstateScore (MPS) that is still in use. Based on two genes that are often found at high levels in the urine of men who have prostate cancer. While MPS enables early detection of prostate cancer, it does not distinguish between low-grade and more serious cancers.

In the latest study, Dr. Chinnaiyan joined Jeffrey Tosoian, M.D., of Vanderbilt University worked to identify a set of urine-based genes that could distinguish aggressive prostate cancers.

The new 18-gene test was named MyProstateScore 2.0 (MPS2). Validation analysis on 743 men found that MPS2 could rule out the presence of high-grade cancer with 97 percent accuracy. The findings were published in JAMA Oncology

Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among men. Screening for prostate cancer now commonly includes a blood test to measure levels of a substance called prostate specific antigen (PSA), which is produced by the prostate gland. PSA levels can be elevated in men who have prostate cancer or certain non-cancerous conditions, such as inflammation of the prostate.

Elevated PSA levels can lead to additional tests that may include a biopsy.

“In nearly 800 patients with an elevated PSA level, the new test was capable of ruling out the presence of clinically significant prostate cancer with remarkable accuracy,” said Dr. Tosoian, in a statement. “This allows patients to avoid more burdensome and invasive tests, like MRI and prostate biopsy, with great confidence that we are not missing something.”

If you have questions about prostate cancer screenings, consult your physician.

NIH Launches Next Phase of ‘Long COVID’ Trial to Focus on Sleep Health, Exercise Intolerance

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said it will launch a new phase of ongoing clinical trials to investigate potential treatments for long-term symptoms after COVID-19 infection—or “long COVID.” The new phase of trials will focus on “sleep disturbances, exercise intolerance and the worsening of symptoms following physical or mental exertion known as post-exertional malaise (PEM).”

It is part of NIH’s Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative, which has six other RECOVER studies currently enrolling participants across the United States testing treatments to address viral persistence, neurological symptoms, including cognitive dysfunction (like brain fog) and autonomic nervous system dysfunction, the NIH said.

The new trials will enroll about 1,660 people across 50 study sites.

“The group of symptoms these trials will try to alleviate are truly disruptive and devastating for so many people struggling with long COVID,” said Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D., director of NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and co-lead of the RECOVER Initiative, in a statement. “When people can’t get reliable sleep, can’t exert themselves and feel sick following tasks that used to be simple, the physical and mental anguish can lead to feelings of utter helplessness. We urgently need to come up with answers to help those struggling with long COVID feel whole again.”

One of the new trials will test a program that “combines exercise training, strength and flexibility training, education, and social support, collectively known as personalized cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.” The goal of the program is to help people who experience exercise intolerance with symptoms that include shortness of breath and fatigue during exercise after having COVID-19.

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With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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