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Other Diseases & Conditions

Lack of Sleep Linked to Risk for Dementia

Researchers in the Whitehall Study followed 7959 British men and women for 30 years, with data on their sleep habits collected at ages 50, 60 and 70. They found that those who slept six hours or less per night had a 30 percent increased risk for dementia, compared with those who slept seven hours or more.

Treatable Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19

Don't believe the claims made for nutritional products that are supposed to boost your immunity and protect you from infections, unless you suffer from a specific medical condition or deficiency that can be corrected by that product. The current evidence shows that you are at increased risk for infection with, and severity of, COVID-19 if you have a medical condition that interferes with your immune system such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and so forth.

Sunscreens and Sun Protection

Sunscreens help to prevent sunburns and skin cancers because they actually block the ultraviolet rays of the sun that damage the skin. However, some sunscreens are safe, while others may not be safe.

COVID-19 Precautions May Affect Other Respiratory Infections in the Future

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that we may need to continue social distancing and hand washing for years to come. The significant reduction in non-COVID-19 respiratory infections this year could decrease the number of people who are immune to other respiratory viruses, and increase the frequency and severity of other respiratory infections in the future.

Guidelines for COVID-19 Fully Vaccinated People

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released recommendations for fully vaccinated people who are two weeks past their second injection of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, or have had the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As of March 8, 2021, more than 31 million people (9.4 percent of the U.S. population) had completed these vaccines.

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine Approved

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use in the U.S., and millions of doses are now being shipped. We already have mass immunizations underway with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which look better and better as we keep getting new reports of their benefits and minimal side effects.

Gut Bacteria and Colon Cancer Risk Factors

A review of 45 prospective studies found that risk for suffering colon cancer is increased by drinking alcohol and eating red meat, and decreased by eating more fiber and yogurt. More than 1.3 million North Americans have had colorectal cancer, a disease associated with lifestyle factors that cause bad bacteria to thrive in your colon.

People Who Have Had COVID-19 Are Protected for Three Months, Probably More

Two studies suggest that you can get long-term immunity after being infected with COVID-19. People who previously had COVID-19 have high protective antibody titers for at least three months, and at six months still had persistent parts of the COVID-19 virus in their intestines that continued to cause high protection antibodies.

Messenger RNA May Help to Beat Cancer

The two currently-approved COVID-19 vaccines use a technique called messenger RNA (mRNA) that could lead to cures for cancer and many other diseases.

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine is Coming

The soon to be approved vaccine for COVID-19 from Johnson & Johnson requires just one injection, instead of the two required for the previously-approved vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The J&J vaccine can be stored with ordinary refrigeration and does not need the extremely cold storage required for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Can Be Delayed if Necessary

Many people are worried that they may not receive their second dose of the vaccine on schedule because of delayed deliveries of the vaccine, or because of suggestions that the scheduled second doses of the vaccines should be given as a first dose to others so that more people can be immunized.

Two New COVID-19 Vaccines Coming Soon

The Pfizer\BioNTech and Moderna messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines are already available for some people. They require two injections and look better all the time, with very few serious reactions so far and good antibody response for prevention of COVID-19. Two more vaccines appear ready to be available soon for public immunization.

Many Cases of COVID-19 Come from People with No Symptoms

People with no symptoms transmit more than half of all cases of COVID-19, according to a model developed by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This reinforces the importance of following the CDC's basic guidelines: wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay socially distant.

Safety of the Messenger RNA Vaccines for COVID-19 (Pfizer and Moderna)

Results from clinical trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines showed about 95 percent effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 infections, and they were given Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 13 and December 20, 2020. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says...

Low Vitamin D Increases COVID-19 Risks

If your vitamin D level is below 30 ng/mL, you are at increased risk for contracting COVID-19. A review of 40 studies showed that adequate vitamin D reduced the frequency and severity of COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions, and lowered the death rate

Long COVID-19 Syndrome

Most people who develop COVID-19 recover in 2-6 weeks, but between 10 and 70 percent of recovered COVID-19 patients develop “Long COVID-19 Syndrome,” suffering at least one symptom for many weeks or months after their initial infection.

Many Common Drugs Linked to Risk for Dementia

The American Geriatrics Society strongly recommends avoiding the use of anticholinergic medications in older adults, because seniors may be more likely to experience unwanted side effects than younger people. One out of every three drugs prescribed for men and women over 65 are anticholinergic drugs, which are associated with increased risk for dementia.

Should You Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

Are you concerned about getting one of the new COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are approved? We have no long-term safety information because no one has more than 10 months of experience with this disease. However, we do have decades of experience with other vaccines.

Three Effective COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be Available Soon

We now have three apparently safe and effective vaccines to help stop the current COVID-19 pandemic. The latest estimates are that the pandemic will not end until 70 to 90 percent of the North American population has some degree of immunity.

Pfizer Vaccine 90 Percent Effective in Early Data

Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, have announced that their COVID-19 vaccine appears to be more than 90 percent effective against the disease. Early data from their 44,000-person trial analyzed the first 94 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 among the participants who received either the two-dose vaccine or a saline placebo.

Exercise Should Be Part of the Treatment for Cancer

A study from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that repeated bouts of exercise slow the growth of, and help to prevent recurrences of, cancers. The authors showed, in both mice and humans, that exercising muscles release into the bloodstream chemicals that increase production of CD8+ cells that an individual's own immune system uses to kill cancer cells.

Colon Cancer Risk and Neu5Gc Antibodies

Researchers have suggested a method to measure antibodies in humans after they eat the foods that contain Neu5Gc (BMC Medicine, Oct 23, 2020;18(262)). The more meat and dairy a person eats, the higher the rise in antibodies against Neu5Gc.

Herd Immunity With Vaccines

The only way that the pandemic will end is when a sufficient percentage of people become immune to COVID-19, most by being vaccinated plus a lesser number of people who have been infected with the virus and recovered. This is called herd immunity. Researchers tell us that in the U.S., the pandemic will not end until about 40 to 70 percent of the population is immune.

Drugs Given to President Trump for COVID-19

As reported by the White House medical team, the drugs given to President Trump to treat COVID-19 included Regeneron's antibody cocktail (monoclonal antibodies), Gilead Sciences' remdesivir (brand name Veklury), and dexamethasone.

Colon Cancer, a Preventable Disease?

One in 20 North Americans can expect to develop colon cancer, with more than 100,000 new cases each year. A recent review of 80 studies found that most cases of colon cancer are linked to poor lifestyle choices.

Do Not Overdose on Vitamin D

You cannot be poisoned by vitamin D through sun exposure or diet alone, but vitamin D poisoning can occur when people take high-dose supplements for an extended time. Excess vitamin D can cause blood calcium levels to rise and after several months of having high blood calcium levels and having no symptoms at all, you can develop kidney failure and not even know it.

Get Your Flu Shot During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A flu shot will help to protect you from this year's flu viruses. A flu shot will not protect you from developing COVID-19, but the odds of severe disease, ventilatory support requirement, and death were reduced in people who had a recent trivalent flu vaccine.

Inhaled COVID-19 Vaccine Being Tested

Oxford University researchers have started testing inhaled versions of their COVID-19 vaccines compared to those given by intramuscular injection (Associated Press, Sept 14, 2020). An inhaled vaccine could be more effective than those given by injection because it may cause a stronger local immunity in the throat and nose, which are the primary entryways for the virus.

Low Vitamin D Can Increase Risk for and Severity of COVID-19

Vitamin D deficiency increases risk for becoming infected with COVID-19, and for complications and death from the disease. A study of 500 patients showed that those who had low blood levels of hydroxy vitamin D were twice as likely as those with normal levels to develop COVID-19.

How Would I Treat Myself If I Got COVID-19?

If I had COVID-19 and was not very sick, I do not know if I would take anything. Today there are no drugs or treatments proven to prevent or cure COVID-19, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not licensed any treatment specifically for the virus.