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How to know if chest pains are serious

Chest pain can stem from many health issues. Some are quite serious, while others may be nothing to worry about.

Sometimes, chest pain indicates a blocked artery and a heart attack. This is an emergency situation, in which the heart is not receiving enough blood and oxygen to function correctly.

However, chest pain can also stem from a health issue affecting the lungs, stomach, or muscles, for example.

It is crucial to receive emergency care for chest pain, especially if it is sudden and severe and accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, or both.

Many heart conditions can cause chest pain, including:

Heart attack

A heart attack may be the best-known cause of chest pain, and the pain usually occurs in the center of the chest.

People experience this pain differently — some describe it as uncomfortable, sharp, sudden, and severe, while others report a squeezing sensation. In some people, the pain comes and goes.

It is worth noting that a heart attack does not always cause chest pain. A person may experience other symptoms, with or without chest pain, including:

  • cold sweats
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea
  • pain in other areas, such as the arms, back, jaw, or stomach
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • sweating

Also, males and females may experience heart attacks differently. Learn about the symptoms common in females here.

Anyone who believes that they may be having a heart attack should receive immediate medical attention.

Aortic dissection

This cause of chest pain is a life threatening condition in which a tear forms in the lining of the aorta, one of the body’s most important arteries.

If the tear is large enough or a doctor cannot treat it in time, it can cause fatal bleeding.

The symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack, and they may also include:

  • leg pain or paralysis
  • paralysis on one side of the body
  • difficulty speaking or seeing

Anyone who may be experiencing this should receive immediate medical care.

Pericarditis

Pericarditis occurs when the sac that surrounds the heart, called the pericardium, becomes inflamed.

This can cause chest pain, especially when a person takes a deep breath.

Aortic stenosis

The aortic valve allows oxygenated blood to flow out of the heart’s left ventricle and into the rest of the body.

Stenosis occurs when this valve becomes stiff, either from age or disease. When this happens, and the heart pumps out less blood, it can cause chest pain.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

This condition causes the heart’s muscle to become overly thick, shrinking the heart’s chambers. As a result, the heart is able to hold less blood and cannot pump as effectively.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can also prevent the heart from keeping a healthy electrical rhythm.

The lungs reside in the chest cavity, and the following health issues affecting the lungs can cause pain in the area:

COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

People with COPD often have pain in the upper middle chest, as well as lung inflammation,

More Than 15 Percent Of Ohio Kids Considered Obese: Study

CLEVELAND — More than 15 percent of Ohio children are considered obese.

Ohio has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation for children ages 10 to 17, according to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Roughly one in seven Ohio kids are considered obese.

“Childhood obesity remains an epidemic in this country,” said Jamie Bussel, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation .

Ohio’s obesity rate for kids 10 to 17 is 15.7 percent. The national obesity rate for that age group is 15.5 percent. Ohio has the 20th highest youth obesity rate in the nation.

Poverty is one of the leading contributing factors to youth obesity, the Foundation found. With the coronavirus pandemic causing shutdowns and mass layoffs around the nation, Ohio and the U.S.’s youth obesity crisis may have grown worse.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing economic recession have worsened many of the broader factors we know contribute to obesity, including poverty and health disparities. We must confront these current crises in ways that also support long-term health and equity for all children and families in the United States,” Bussel said.

Obesity rates tend to also reveal racial, ethnic and economic disparities. Black, Hispanic and Native American children have higher obesity rates than white or Asian children, the Foundation said.

“We’ve seen these disparities for decades when it comes to childhood obesity rates,” Bussel said. “This year, we’ve also seen people of color and people with low incomes hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. In both cases these outcomes reflect decades of disinvestment in specific communities and specific groups of people, often driven by the systemic racism and discrimination that are still so prevalent in our society.”

To counteract escalating obesity rates, the Foundation recommended the federal government increase SNAP’s maximum benefit level and expand waivers allowing school districts to feed students and the community.

The data on Ohio’s youth obesity rate is included in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s new report, “State of Childhood Obesity: Prioritizing Children’s Health During the Pandemic.”

The report uses data from the 2018-2019 National Survey of Children’s Health and an analysis conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

This article originally appeared on the Across Ohio Patch

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No Confirmed Cases, 3 In Quarantine

SOLON, OH — Three Solon Schools students are quarantining after possibly being exposed to COVID-19.

According to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students or staff currently. However, three students are quarantining because they have been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus within the past 14 days.

The Solon Schools have not had a positive case of COVID-19 among students since Sept. 8. There was also a single positive case among staffers on Sept. 15.

Families should check their student for the following symptoms prior to sending them to school:

  • Fever greater than or equal to 100.4°F

  • New onset and/or worsening cough

  • Difficulty breathing

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Excessive fatigue

  • Headache

  • Nasal congestion or runny nose

“We understand that some symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to other more typical illnesses such as colds or the flu and allergies. We urge you to contact your child’s health care provider if you ever have questions or are uncertain about whether a symptom is related to a current condition, such as allergies, or is a possible sign of something more serious,” the district said in a statement on its website.

This article originally appeared on the Solon Patch

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Facebook to crack down on ads that discourage vaccines

The social media giant, however, stopped short of banning anti-vax content.

The post added that while they already don’t allow ads featuring vaccine hoaxes, “Now, if an ad explicitly discourages someone from getting a vaccine, we’ll reject it.”

Moreover, the social media giant announced the launch of a new campaign to provide information about flu vaccines to users, and pledged to work with “global health partners on campaigns to increase immunization rates,” Jin and Leathern said.

PHOTO: The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken Dec. 2, 2019.

The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken Dec. 2, 2019.

Facebook’s policy, however, stops short of banning posts or other types of content on the platform that discourages vaccines. It also does not ban political ads that “advocate for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines — including a COVID-19 vaccine,” Jin and Leathern wrote.

“We’ll continue to require anyone running these ads to get authorized and include a ‘Paid for by’ label so people can see who is behind them,” the blog post stated.

Source Article

Belly bulge: Causes and treatments

Weight gain is a simple explanation for a belly bulge, but there may be other causes. Some people carry a belly bulge for life while others notice growth over time.

In this article, we examine the different causes of belly bulge and their treatment or prevention. We also assess when to see a doctor.

Whether a person has a moderate weight or obesity, their body fat can distribute in several ways.

Subcutaneous fat makes up the majority of belly fat. This sits just below the skin, and is pinchable.

However, visceral fat is another type of belly fat that lies inside the abdominal cavity between the organs. Research suggests it has links with several diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

While visceral body fat mechanisms are unknown, one study reports that genetics play a significant factor.

Weight gain is a serious problem in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that 42.4% of U.S. adults had overweight in 2017–2018.

A small amount of belly fat is relatively harmless. However, the larger the bulge, the higher the chance of serious illness.

Several factors can cause a belly bulge.

Getting older

A person’s body composition changes as they age, which can lead to a belly bulge.

For females, the decrease in the hormone estrogen during menopause triggers an accumulation of body fat. Fat tissues produce estrogen, so more is produced after menopause to create a balance.

Levels of the hormone progesterone also decrease, which can lead to water weight gain and bloating.

The accumulation of belly fat is a natural result of these hormonal and metabolic changes.

For males and females, muscle tissue, muscle mass, and the capacity to burn calories decrease with age.

Therefore, if a person keeps consuming the same number of calories every day, fat naturally increases.

Stress

In the modern world, day-to-day stress majorly impacts on people’s health and well-being. It not only affects the body psychologically — it also interferes with its ability to function normally.

The American Institute of Stress report that 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms of stress.

Possible physical side effects include unwanted belly fat. This relates to the stress hormone cortisol, which is created in the body’s adrenal glands. Cortisol affects fat storage around the lower abdomen, while its receptors are found deep within visceral fat.

This hormone provides a physical boost during exercise. However, it also induces acute stress. While working in the brain, it helps control mood and motivation.

Cortisol also manages how the body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It regulates blood pressure and can increase blood sugar levels. If a person is stressed, cortisol increases their need to consume sweet or comforting foods and drinks.

Research shows that chronically stressed individuals are more vulnerable to a high-fat, high-sugar diet.

Bloating

Also called distension, bloating occurs for many reasons. These include:

The feeling of pressure or swelling in the stomach from bloating should not usually be a cause for concern.

It’s Tough to Change the Minds of ‘Vaccine-Hesitant’ Parents, Study Finds | Health News

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — When parents have concerns about the safety of childhood vaccinations, it can be tough to change their minds, as a new study shows.

The study involved “vaccine-hesitant” parents — a group distinct from the staunch “anti-vaxxer” crowd. They have worries about one or more routine vaccines, and question whether the benefits for their child are worthwhile.

Even though those parents are not “adamantly” opposed to vaccinations, it can still be hard for pediatricians to allay their concerns, said Jason Glanz, lead researcher on the study.

So Glanz and his colleagues looked at whether giving parents more information — online material “tailored” to their specific concerns — might help.

It didn’t. Parents who received the information were no more likely to have their babies up to date on vaccinations than other parents were, the study found.

The news was not all bad. Overall, more than 90% of babies in the study were all caught up on vaccinations.

So it may have been difficult to improve upon those numbers, according to Glanz, who is based at Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Institute for Health Research in Aurora.

But, he said, it’s also possible the customized information reinforced some parents’ worries.

“It might have done more harm than good,” Glanz said.

That’s because among vaccine-hesitant parents, those who were directed to general information that was not tailored, had the highest vaccination rates — at 88%.

The findings were published online Oct. 12 in Pediatrics.

Childhood vaccination rates in the United States are generally high. But studies show that about 10% of parents either delay or refuse vaccinations for their kids — generally over safety worries.

Routine childhood vaccines have a long history of safe use, Glanz said, but some parents have questions. They may have heard that certain ingredients in vaccines are not safe, or worry that their baby is being given “too many” immunizations in a short time.

And during a busy pediatrician visit, Glanz said, it can be hard to address all those questions.

So his team tested a web-based tactic to augment routine checkups. They randomly assigned 824 pregnant women and new parents to one of three groups: One received standard vaccine information from their pediatrician; another was directed to the study website for additional, but general, information on immunizations; and the third received tailored information from the website.

That tailoring was done with the help of a survey that asked parents about their vaccine beliefs and concerns.

In the end, however, the targeted messaging flopped. It made no difference among parents overall: Across the three groups, between 91% and 93% of babies were up to date on vaccinations at 15 months of age.

And among the 98 parents who were deemed vaccine-hesitant, the tactic seemed to backfire: Only 67% of those babies were up to date compared to 88% of those whose parents received general vaccine information. The rate was 75% in the standard-care group.

Dr. Edgar Marcuse,

Enclara Pharmacia Announces the Appointment of Mark Morse as CEO

Enclara Pharmacia, the market leader in comprehensive pharmacy management services to the hospice community, announced today the appointment of Mark Morse as Chief Executive Officer. He will assume day-to-day leadership of Enclara and work in partnership with its current leadership team to help reduce pharmacy costs for hospices, improve patient care, and support caregivers through digital innovation, medication access, clinical care and more.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201014005070/en/

Mark Morse, Chief Executive Officer, Enclara Pharmacia (Photo: Business Wire)

Mark succeeds Andy Horowitz, Enclara founder and CEO, who made plans to move into a strategic advisor role as part of Humana’s acquisition of the pharmacy services provider in February. In the months since, Horowitz has provided direction and leadership throughout the integration process to help bring the two companies together and ensure a smooth transition. He will continue to act as a strategic advisor as part of the Humana-Enclara agreement, and remain involved in the long-term success of the company.

“A key part of our strategic plan, established when Humana agreed to acquire Enclara, was that I would transition into an advisory role when it made the most sense,” Horowitz said. “I believe we have reached a point where it is time for a new leader to execute on the roadmap we have established. I’m really proud of the entire Enclara team and the company we have built together, and I am confident in how Mark will lead Enclara into the future.”

Before joining Enclara, Morse most recently served as Humana’s vice president of Pharmacy Service Operations, overseeing a team of approximately 3,000 associates in 16 domestic and overseas locations. Under his leadership, Humana was named the best in Mail Order Pharmacy Customer Satisfaction in the J.D. Power U.S. 2020 Pharmacy Study, the third consecutive year Humana received this honor. Throughout his over 30-year career, Morse has also led the strategy and operations for many large-scale sales, systems and customer-focused initiatives.

“Andy and his team have built an amazing company, which serves a critical and noble need in the market and for the patients it serves,” Morse said. “I care deeply about advancing both Enclara’s growth and hospices’ capacity to provide quality end-of-life care. My goal is to leverage Humana’s scale and resources to help Enclara deliver timely and cost-effective pharmacy solutions while maintaining what makes Enclara uniquely Enclara.”

Morse’s previous roles at Humana include serving as practice leader for pharmacy benefit management sales, generating an additional $50M in annual revenue. He was also sales director for national and major accounts. Prior to joining Humana in 2001, Morse spent six years with United Healthcare, serving as the business owner for its consumer portal and operations director for health plan and systems migrations. Morse holds a Bachelor of Science in Management Systems from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, America’s first technological research university.

About Enclara Pharmacia

Enclara Pharmacia is a national full-service PBM and mail order supplier of medications and clinical services developed specifically for the

Health systems, govt responses linked to virus tolls

BERLIN (AP) — Scientists say a comparison of 21 developed countries during the start of the coronavirus pandemic shows that those with early lockdowns and well-prepared national health systems avoided large numbers of additional deaths due to the outbreak.

In a study published Wednesday by the journal Nature Medicine, researchers used the number of weekly deaths in 19 European countries, New Zealand and Australia over the past decade to estimate how many people would have died from mid-February to May 2020 had the pandemic not happened.

The authors, led by Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London, then compared the predicted number of deaths to the actual reported figure during that period to determine how many likely occurred due to the pandemic. Such models of ‘excess mortality’ are commonly used by public health officials to better understand disease outbreaks and the effectiveness of counter-measures.

The study found there were about 206,000 excess deaths across the 21 countries during the period, a figure that conforms to independent estimates. In Spain, the number of deaths was 38% higher than would have been expected without the pandemic, while in England and Wales it was 37% higher.

Italy, Scotland and Belgium also had significant excess deaths, while in some countries there was no marked change or even — as in the case of Bulgaria — a decrease.


While the authors note that there are differences in the compositions of populations, such as age and the prevalence of pre-existing conditions that contribute to mortality rates, government efforts to suppress transmission of the virus and the ability of national health systems to cope with the pandemic also played a role.

Amitava Banerjee, a professor of clinical data science at University College London who wasn’t involved in the study, said it was well designed and had used standardized methods.

He noted that the comparison between death rates in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, where the age of the population and the rates of pre-existing conditions such as obesity are similar, supports the argument that other factors contributed to the differing mortality figures.

“Even if vaccines and better treatments for severe (COVID-19) infection are developed, the way to minimise excess deaths is to reduce the infection rate through population level measures,” said Banerjee.

These include lockdowns, protecting high risk groups,and establishing effective “test, trace and isolate” systems, he said.

Germany, which like the United States was not among the 21 countries examined in the study, has seen fewer deaths so far in 2020 than in some recent years, according to the head of the country’s disease control agency.

While the reasons for this are complex and may take time to fully understand, a decline in hospital infections and the absence of any reported measles cases in Germany since March indicate that social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing play a role.

“The measures that were introduced because of COVID have further effects, and they’re positive, that much is clear” Lothar Wieler, who heads the Robert Koch Institute, told

COVID Cases Climbing in 36 States | Health News

By Robin Foster and E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporters

(HealthDay)

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Coronavirus outbreaks in the Midwest and Western United States have driven the national case count to its highest level since August, fueling fears of what the coming winter will mean for the country.

COVID-19 cases are starting to climb in 36 states, including parts of the Northeast, which is starting to backslide after months of progress, The New York Times reported. More than 820 new deaths and more than 54,500 new cases were announced across the country on Tuesday, the newspaper said. Idaho and Wisconsin set single-day records for new cases.

About 50,000 new cases are being reported each day in the United States for the week ending Monday, the Times reported. That is still less than in late July, when the country was seeing more than 66,000 cases each day.

But the trajectory is worsening, and experts fear what could happen as cold weather drives people indoors, where the virus can spread more easily, the newspaper said. The latest spike in cases shows up just before the increased mingling of people that comes with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Sixteen states each added more new cases in the seven-day period ending Monday than they had in any other weeklong stretch of the pandemic. North Dakota and South Dakota are reporting more new cases per person than any state has previously, the Times reported.

“A lot of the places being hit are Midwest states that were spared in the beginning,” William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious diseases researcher, told the Washington Post. “That’s of particular concern because a lot of these smaller regions don’t have the ICU beds and capacity that the urban centers had.”

COVID-19 hospitalizations have already begun rising in almost a dozen states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, raising the probability that increasing death counts will soon follow, the Post reported.

Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN that he hopes the numbers “jolt the American public into a realization that we really can’t let this happen, because it’s on a trajectory of getting worse and worse.” He called the rising numbers “the worst possible thing that could happen as we get into the cooler months.”

It is unclear what is driving the climbing case count, but it could be the long-feared winter effect already taking place, or the reopening of businesses and schools, or just people letting down their guard on social distancing efforts, the Post reported.

Second COVID vaccine trial paused

A second coronavirus vaccine trial was paused this week after an unexplained illness surfaced in one of the trial’s volunteers.

Johnson & Johnson, which only began a phase 3 trial of its vaccine last month, did not offer any more details on the illness and did not say whether the sick participant had received the vaccine or a placebo. The trial pause was first reported by the health news website STAT

Taysha Gene Therapies Receives Rare Pediatric Disease Designation and Orphan Drug Designation for TSHA-102 as a Treatment for Rett Syndrome

Program leverages novel miRARE platform technology used to control transgene expression on a cellular basis

TSHA-102 anticipated to submit Investigational New Drug application in 2021

Taysha Gene Therapies Inc. (Nasdaq: TSHA), a patient-centric gene therapy company focused on developing and commercializing AAV-based gene therapies for the treatment of monogenic diseases of the central nervous system in both rare and large patient populations, today announced that it has received rare pediatric disease designation and orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for TSHA-102, an AAV9-based gene therapy in development for the treatment of Rett syndrome. Taysha anticipates that it will submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for TSHA-102 to the FDA in 2021.

Rett syndrome is one of the most common genetic causes of severe intellectual disability worldwide, with a prevalence of over 25,000 cases in the U.S. and European Union (EU). It is an X-linked disease that primarily occurs in females, but it can be seen very rarely in males. It is usually recognized in children between six to 18 months of age as they begin to miss developmental milestones or lose abilities they had developed. Individuals with Rett syndrome also show symptoms that include loss of speech, loss of purposeful use of hands, loss of mobility, seizures, cardiac impairments, breathing issues and sleep disturbances.

“Patients with Rett syndrome are currently managed with symptomatic treatments as there are no therapies approved to treat the underlying cause of disease,” said Berge Minassian, M.D., Chief Medical Advisor of Taysha and Chief of Pediatric Neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern). Dr. Minassian is credited with describing the CNS isoform of the MECP2 gene which is responsible for neuronal and synaptic function throughout the brain. “Gene therapy offers a potentially curative option for patients suffering with Rett syndrome.”

Rett syndrome is caused by mutations in the MECP2 gene. TSHA-102 is designed to deliver a healthy version of the MECP2 gene as well as the miRNA-Responsive Auto-Regulatory Element, miRARE, platform technology to control the level of MECP2 expression. “TSHA-102 represents an important step forward in the field of gene therapy, where we are leveraging a novel regulatory platform called miRARE to prevent the overexpression of MECP2,” said Steven Gray, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Advisor of Taysha and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern. “In collaboration with Sarah Sinnett, Ph.D. to develop miRARE, our goal was to design a regulated construct that allowed us to control MECP2 expression to potentially avoid adverse events that are typically seen with unregulated gene therapies.”

The FDA defines a rare pediatric disease as a serious or life-threatening disease in which the disease manifestations primarily affect individuals aged from birth to 18 years. Pediatric diseases recognized as “rare” affect under 200,000 people in the U.S. The Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher Program is intended to address the challenges that drug companies face when developing treatments for these unique patient populations. Under this program, companies are