BHSF Friday Roundup 091522 HERO


Roundup: CDC and Florida Disagree on COVID-19 Booster; Why You Should Be Taking Your Blood Pressure Lying Down; and More News

To Boost or Not to Boost?

Ahead of an expected busy flu and COVID-19 season this fall, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Tuesday that everyone ages 6 months and older should get an updated Covid-19 vaccine. Dr. Mandy Cohen, director of the agency, signed off on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices or ACIP, a panel of experts that advises the CDC on its vaccine recommendations.


The updated vaccine, which is tailored to better protect against an omicron subvariant, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday. The CDC’s endorsement means the vaccine will be covered by public and private insurance plans.


The federal guidance met resistance from Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, who was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Ladapo announced Wednesday that Floridians under 65 should not get the new COVID-19 vaccines.


Ladapo's recommendation comes as cases of COVID-19 in Florida have risen over the summer, with almost 24,000 cases reported in the final week of August. That’s more than double the number from one month earlier, but infection levels remain far below those the state recorded during surges of both the delta and omicron variants.


“Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death,” the CDC said. “Vaccination also reduces your chance of suffering the effects of Long COVID, which can develop during or following acute infection and last for an extended duration. If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past 2 months, get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself this fall and winter.”

Why You Want to Take Your Blood Pressure Lying Down

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the simple act of having someone lie down for a blood pressure reading might reveal more than expected about their heart health, preliminary research has found.


Using data from a large, long-running study, researchers discovered that when compared with readings taken while someone was sitting, readings that showed high blood pressure in people who were lying down did a better job of predicting stroke, serious heart problems and death. 


The results were presented at the AHA’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions in Boston earlier this week. The work is considered preliminary until full findings are published in a peer-reviewed journal.


Dr. Stephen Juraschek, senior researcher on the work, said the findings were surprising and suggest that having people lie flat to measure their blood pressure could potentially help identify people who need treatment despite seemingly normal readings taken while seated.


Managing high blood pressure, or hypertension, has long been understood to be an essential part of heart health. But getting an accurate reading from a seated position can be complicated, said Juraschek, a general internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School.


Over the years, he said, research has shown "time and time again" that nighttime blood pressure measurements are one of the best predictors of cardiovascular disease. But it's hard to get such readings. "It's not comfortable to have your arm compressed repeatedly overnight," he said. "It can affect your sleep."


Juraschek said the "gold standard" for accuracy is ambulatory blood pressure, which takes readings throughout the day. But that requires wearing a monitor for 24 hours.

Night Owl? You May Have a Higher Risk of Type 2 Diabetes


Being a “night owl” is associated with a greater incidence of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study found that people who go to bed late and get up late are 19% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than early birds after considering all sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.


So-called “morning people” have a morning chronotype, while people who prefer the evening and night hours have an “evening” chronotype. The study involved 63,676 nurses from the ages of 45 to 62. None had a history of cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes at the study’s outset.


The study involved 63,676 nurses from the ages of 45 to 62. Each participant filled out a questionnaire every two years from 2009 until 2017. None had a history of cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes at the study’s outset.


Of the participants, 11% described themselves as having a “definite evening” chronotype, while 35% said they had a “definite morning” chronotype. Evening chronotype people were 54% more likely to have unhealthy lifestyle habits, including smoking, inadequate sleep duration, higher weight and BMI, lack of physical activity, and poorer-quality diet.


Before factoring for socioeconomic factors, shift work, family history of diabetes, and several of these lifestyle habits — especially high BMI and low physical activity levels — the risk of diabetes for people with an evening chronotype was much higher at 72%. This suggests that these factors, as opposed to an evening chronotype itself, may have much to do with the higher incidence of diabetes.

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