April 23, 2021
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Diabetes in Focus
Patients with both asthma and type 2 diabetes who were treated with a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist had lower counts of asthma exacerbations and symptoms, compared with those who were treated with other diabetes drugs like sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors, dipeptidyl-peptidase IV inhibitors, sulfonylureas and basal insulin. The findings, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, remained significant after considering factors like weight loss and glycemic control.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (4/22) 
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A study in the journal Thyroid found that a maternal free thyroxine level serves as an integral mediator between an elevated level of human chorionic gonadotropin during early pregnancy and a lower likelihood of developing gestational diabetes. The findings were based on data from 18,683 pregnant women in China.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (4/21) 
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Nutrition & Wellness
A UK study in the journal BMC Medicine found that individuals who have a diet largely consisting of candy, chocolate, white bread and butter had 40% greater odds of heart disease and 37% greater odds of early death -- and they tended to be younger males who smoked or people who were obese, less active or had high blood pressure. The findings also showed that individuals who drank a lot of sugary beverages had 14% greater odds of heart disease and 11% greater odds of death.
Full Story: HealthDay News (4/22) 
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Patients who survived COVID-19 and did not require hospitalization 30 days after their diagnosis had a 59% higher risk of death over the next six months than those who were not infected with the virus, according to a study in Nature. The study, based on data from Department of Veterans Affairs patients, found the risk of death after 30 days of diagnosis was 51% greater for hospitalized COVID-19 patients than patients who were hospitalized for seasonal flu.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (4/22),  St. Louis Post-Dispatch (4/23) 
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A study in BMC Public Health found adults with severe obesity had more socioeconomic disadvantages and three times the risk of heart failure or all-cause and cardiovascular disease-related mortality, when compared with those who were overweight. "More effective policies and weight-management interventions are needed urgently to address this increasing burden and associated adverse health outcomes," said researcher Barbara Iyen.
Full Story: Medscape (free registration) (4/21) 
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Data show a quarter of US adults have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which can lead to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, but most people with NAFLD die of cardiovascular disease, not liver disease, medical experts said. Dr. Christos Mantzoros at Harvard Medical School called the intersection of liver and cardiovascular disease a "rapidly evolving field," and Dr. Laurence Sperling at Emory University said fatty liver disease should be considered part of the greater cardiometabolic risk profile.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Cardiology Today (4/20) 
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Advancing Health Equity
Health care leaders see equity as crucial not only to their patients but to their own ultimate success. The challenges are many, but the stakes are too high not to act. Join SmartBrief and a panel of experts from across health care for a virtual roundtable discussion of health equity challenges and solutions. Register Now
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Practice Update
About 3 in 10 health care workers say they have considered leaving the profession and about 6 in 10 say the pandemic has harmed their mental health, according to a poll by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation. Most health care workers surveyed said they felt respected by patients and the public, but most also said Americans were not taking sufficient precautions against COVID-19.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/22) 
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Survey: Knowledge about patient data access rules lacking
(Pixabay)
A Life Image survey in March found many health insurers and health care providers were unprepared to comply with new patient data access rules that went into effect April 5. Half of the 4,000 health care executives surveyed were still charging fees or sharing records on paper or compact disc, and despite broad awareness that new rules were imminent, close to 50% of the respondents were unaware of what practices would be considered information blocking.
Full Story: HealthLeaders Media (4/21) 
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Trends & Technology
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democrats are calling on the Biden administration to include provisions to lower prescription drug costs and expand the Affordable Care Act in the forthcoming American Families Plan, amid reports that health care measures won't be included in the legislative package expected to be released next week. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden was working with advisers on a final legislative package, which is expected to include investments in education and child care.
Full Story: The Hill (4/22),  The New York Times (4/22),  The Wall Street Journal (4/22) 
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HHS' Office of Inspector General has reminded health care facilities participating in the CDC's COVID-19 vaccination program that they should administer any vaccine free of charge to recipients amid reports that some patients are being charged for the vaccines. "Providers that charge impermissible fees must refund them and ensure that individuals are not charged fees for the COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine administration in the future," OIG wrote.
Full Story: Healthcare Finance (4/22) 
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