Weekly Medical Briefs: 10-13-22

Weekly Medical Briefs

October 13, 2022

Weighted Blankets Promote Sleep
A weighted blanket of approximately 12 percent body weight used at bedtime prompted the release of higher concentrations of melatonin, as measured in the saliva, compared with a lighter blanket of only about 2.4% of body weight. This suggests that weighted blankets may help promote sleep in patients suffering from insomnia, according to the results from the small, in-laboratory crossover study.

Sore Throat Common in COVID
Having a sore throat is becoming a dominant symptom of COVID-19 infection, with fever and loss of smell becoming less common, according to recent reports in the U.K. The shift could be a cause of concern for the fall. As the main symptoms of the coronavirus change, people could spread the virus without realizing it. “Many people are still using the government guidelines about symptoms, which are wrong,” Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said.

—“The Independent” (U.K.)

Long COVID Limitations Confirmed
On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with the National Center for Health Statistics, released data on long COVID. The Household Pulse Survey data finds that more than 80 percent of people with long COVID experience limitations in day-to-day activities. In adults, these data also find that 14.2 percent who have tested positive for the coronavirus experienced long COVID for some period of time, while nearly 2 percent of people who tested positive continue to experience long-term symptoms of long COVID that have significant impact on their day-to-day activities.

—“Washington Post”

COVID, Flu Heart Issues Differ
COVID-19 causes DNA damage to the heart, affecting the body in a completely different way than the flu does, according to a recent study. The study looked at the hearts of patients who died from COVID-19, the flu and other causes. The findings could provide clues about why coronavirus has led to complications such as ongoing heart issues. “We found a lot of DNA damage that was unique to the COVID-19 patients, which wasn’t present in the flu patients,” said Arutha Kulasinghe, one of the lead study authors and a research fellow at the University of Queensland in Australia.


Death, Coffee Relationship Explored
A new study suggests that people who drank 1.5 to 3.5 cups of coffee each day, even with sugar added, were up to 30 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who didn’t drink coffee.

—“Annals of Internal Medicine”

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