January 15, 2021
AANP SmartBrief
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Health Care News
The US logged more than 200,000 new COVID-19 cases Thursday for the 10th day in a row, as well as more than 3,000 fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to more than 388,000 since the pandemic started. New ensemble projections from the CDC predict the COVID-19 death toll could top 400,000 by the third week of January as hospitals and health systems struggle to keep up with the surge of patients with COVID-19.
Full Story: CNN (1/15) 
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People with primary progressive aphasia had no memory skill decline but had significantly reduced language skills after an average of 1.7 years, compared with similarly significant verbal memory and language skill decline among those with Alzheimer's disease, but both groups had similar levels of plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer's, according to a study in Neurology. "More research is needed to help us determine what factors allow [people with primary progressive aphasia] to show this resilience of memory skills even in the face of considerable Alzheimer's disease pathology in the brain," said researcher Dr. M. Marsel Mesulam.
Full Story: HealthDay News (1/13) 
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Researchers analyzed survey data from 3,114 youths ages 15 to 24 and found that 85.3% of youths reported that they received formal sexual health education on HIV/AIDS, while only 46.9% said they received HIV testing. The findings in the Journal of Adolescent Health also showed that living in a nonmetropolitan area was linked to lower odds of reporting formal sexual health education on HIV//AIDS, but not to lower rates of HIV testing.
Full Story: Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (1/13) 
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A study in Pediatrics found that neurodevelopmental screening at age 14 months had low positive predictive value of adaptive behavior deficits at age 6 in youths born with single ventricle physiology.
Full Story: 2 Minute Medicine (1/13) 
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A study published in AOGS suggests that women who are overweight or obese during pregnancy may be more likely to have infertile sons, and the researchers say that maternal overweight may be tied to hormone imbalances that affect the development of male offspring's reproductive system. The study, which included 9,232 men and women aged 31 to 34, found that sons born to overweight mothers were 40% more likely to be infertile than those born to mothers of normal weight.
Full Story: The New York Times (1/13) 
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A study in the Annals of Family Medicine found that the adoption of inpatient mammogram screening at Massachusetts General Hospital led to the completion of mammograms in 17 of 21 eligible women, 35% of whom never had a prior mammogram, and others were four years behind their breast cancer screening schedule on average. "Completing preventive screening tests, such as mammograms, during hospitalizations can be one way to help patients who might otherwise miss preventive care," researcher Dr. Andrew Hwang said.
Full Story: Health Imaging online (1/13) 
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Pharmaceutical News
The FDA approved Pfizer's supplemental new drug application for Xalkori, or crizotinib, as a treatment for pediatric patients aged 12 months or older as well as young adults with refractory or relapsed, systemic ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Full Story: Cure Today (1/14) 
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Merck's application for V114, its 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, was granted priority review status by the FDA, according to a company announcement. Merck said a decision on V114 is expected from the FDA by July 18.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (1/12) 
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Emerging Trends, Products and Technologies
The breakthrough artificial intelligence system called RadClip better predicted the odds of prostate cancer recurrence and improved identification of subtle tumor region variations on preoperative MRI scans, compared with the Decipher Prostate Cancer Test and Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment scoring, according to a study in EBioMedicine. Researcher Lin Li said RadClip may enable improved treatment plans and more precise treatments for patients with prostate cancer.
Full Story: Health Imaging online (1/14) 
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A survey of parents with infants in a neonatal intensive care unit found those with higher incomes and infants with more serious conditions were more likely to enroll in clinical trials, according to a study in JAMA Network Open. Parents who did not participate had less trust in medical research, but parental understanding of the study was not associated with differences in rates of enrollment.
Full Story: Contemporary Pediatrics (1/14) 
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Health Policy and Legislative News
President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday proposed a plan to provide $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief, which would include $20 billion in funding for a national vaccine program, $350 billion for state and local governments, $50 billion for COVID-19 testing, and $170 billion for K-12 schools, colleges and universities. The American Rescue Plan would also provide $1,400 in direct payments to most Americans, boost federal unemployment benefits to $400 per week, raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and extend the eviction and foreclosure bans until the end of September.
Full Story: CNN (1/15),  The New York Times (1/15),  CNBC (1/14) 
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The CMS released its final annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for Affordable Care Act plans for the 2022 coverage year, lowering the user fee for plans sold on the federal exchange to 2.25% of premiums and 1.75% for plans sold on state exchanges using the federal platform. The rule also includes a provision that encourages states to collaborate with private firms to create next-generation exchanges.
Full Story: Healthcare Finance (1/14),  FierceHealthcare (1/14) 
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For more than 10 years, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health" report has served as a blueprint for the nursing field, outlining how to keep nurses atop a constantly changing health care system while advocating for them to assume more leadership positions. Join the director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, Dr. Susan Hassmiller, on Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT) to learn the impact of this report and what it, and the upcoming issue, mean for the future of nursing. This event is free and open to the public. Register now.
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SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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