CDC researchers are retesting specimens from 294 pregnant women for the Zika virus, while other CDC-approved public health laboratories are re-examining samples from 115 men and nonpregnant women after a testing error at the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences Public Health Laboratory caused all tests from July to December to yield negative results. Two of 62 retested samples from pregnant women were positive for Zika virus and results will be finalized over the next two to three weeks, said Dr. Wendi Kuhnert-Tallman, co-leader of the CDC's Zika lab task force.
A Korean study in the Journal of Women's Health found breast-feeding for at least 12 months over a woman's lifetime was associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, compared with breast-feeding for less than 12 months. The findings were based on more than 4,700 women ages 19 to 50 years.
Researchers found that 29% and 23% of obese patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent gastric bypass surgery and sleeve gastrectomy, respectively, were able to stop their diabetes medications five years after the procedure, compared with 5% of those on diabetes medications alone. The findings in The New England Journal of Medicine, based on 150 patients, showed those who underwent weight-loss surgery lost significantly more weight and had lower blood glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
The survival rate among extremely preterm infants increased from 30% in 2000 to 36% in 2011, and the rate of those who didn't develop neurological impairments at ages 18 months to 22 months rose from 16% to 20% over the same period, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers said survival improvements may be tied to wider steroid use among mothers and lower infection rates.
Antibiotic use alone yielded 97% efficacy and no adverse effects in children using nonsurgical treatment for appendicitis, and 82% of those who received antibiotics avoided appendectomy at a follow-up of eight weeks to four years, Canadian and UK researchers reported in Pediatrics. The findings, based on a review of 10 international studies, showed that 14% of those who didn't undergo surgery had recurrent appendicitis.
A study presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections found patients with HIV had a 59% increased risk of heart disease for every five years on a ritonavir-boosted darunavir protease inhibitor regimen. The findings, based on 49,709 participants of the Data Collection on Adverse Events of Anti-HIV Drugs study, did not show an elevated risk among patients on a ritonavir-boosted atazanavir regimen.
Sedentary patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes showed no improvement in early diastolic myocardial tissue velocity and in the ratio of early and atrial mitral annular tissue velocities 16 weeks after being treated with liraglutide, combined with supervised exercise, while those on placebo did see improvements with exercise, according to a study in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. Danish researchers used a cohort of 33 patients and found no significant difference in left ventricular structure or function and heart rate within or between the two groups.
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Influenza activity so far this season has been moderate, with elevated activity expected to continue for several more weeks, CDC researchers reported in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. An accompanying report showed that the batch of flu vaccine distributed this year has been 48% effective, compared with 47% vaccine efficacy last year.
Opioid use may be a factor in cocaine drug overdose deaths in the US, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study noted that between 2006 and 2015, there was an increase in the number of overdose deaths for those on both cocaine and opioids, while there was a decrease in the number of overdose deaths in those using cocaine alone.
Republicans met Thursday to discuss plans for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said legislation would be introduced after the House returns from a 10-day recess on Feb. 27. Lawmakers received a 19-page "policy brief" with details on an ACA replacement plan, including restructuring of Medicaid, elimination of penalties for the uninsured and employers that do not offer coverage, incentives for health savings accounts, and an age-based monthly tax credit that does not vary with income for those who purchase coverage.