Showing: 1 - 3 of 3 RESULTS

Sleep Apnea Aid Eases Heart Problems in People With Prediabetes | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Continuous positive airway pressure treatment, commonly known as CPAP, can lower heart disease risk in people with prediabetes, according to a new study.

In prediabetes, blood sugar levels are above normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. CPAP is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. A CPAP machine uses a mask to deliver steady air pressure into a person’s airway.

This new study found that, among people with prediabetes and sleep apnea, those who used CPAP for two weeks saw their resting heart rate fall by four to five beats per minute, compared to those who didn’t use CPAP.

With optimal CPAP treatment, heart rates were not only lower at night but also during the day, according to the report published Oct. 1 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“That’s significant,” said study author Dr. Esra Tasali, director of sleep research at University of Chicago Medicine.

Even a drop of one beat per minute in resting heart rate can lower the future risk of heart disease and death, she noted in a university news release.

“A four- to five-beat-per-minute drop in heart rate that we observed is comparable to what you would get from regular exercise,” Tasali said. “Our breakthrough finding is the carryover of the lowered resting heart rate into the daytime and the cardiovascular benefit of that.”

About one billion people worldwide have obstructive sleep apnea, and more than 60% of them have prediabetes or diabetes. About 80% of people with apnea are undiagnosed, the researchers noted.

The findings are especially timely because people with diabetes or heart problems are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, the study authors pointed out.

“Any way we can improve cardiovascular health is more important than ever these days,” Tasali said.

The findings show the need for people who have prediabetes, diabetes or sleeping problems to be screened for sleep apnea, said study author Dr. Sushmita Pamidi, a sleep physician-scientist at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on prediabetes.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Source Article

As lockdown eases, Kenyan doctors warn Covid still lurking

Kenya is reporting a decline in coronavirus cases, and hospital admissions for Covid-19 have fallen sharply, but some frontline health workers say infections are going undetected and could even be rising.

For several weeks, the health ministry has been recording between about 50 and 250 new infections every day, a sudden and considerable slump from highs approaching 900 in just late July.

The government has responded by easing some of the strictest measures imposed to contain the pandemic. 

This week, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the reopening of bars, increased capacity for weddings, funerals and religious services, and relaxed an evening curfew in force since March.

In Nairobi, which has recorded more than half of Kenya’s nearly 39,000 official cases, intensive care units bracing for the worst just weeks ago are operating below capacity.

Elijah Ongeri, director of nursing at the private Metropolitan Hospital, said the isolation unit was “almost closed” and the ICU had just two patients.

“From the first week of August, it went down sharply. Everyone experienced the same (thing), it was so sudden. July was so sharp, and suddenly people were not showing up,” he told AFP.

Demand for tests has also plunged, said Ahmed Kalebi, director of one of Nairobi’s main private laboratories, Lancet.

“At the peak, at the beginning of July, we had 1,700 requests per day. Today it’s between 200 and 400,” he said.

– Less testing –

Doctors and frontline health workers interviewed by AFP said the rate of transmission could very well be slowing, reflected in less cases and hospital admissions — but warned that other factors could be at play.

The government no longer requires positive patients to be hospitalised but instead encourages them to stay at home. It also stopped covering treatment costs for lower-income families, discouraging many from going to hospital. 

A pervasive stigma, too, around Covid-19 dissuades many from getting tested or requesting medical assistance, health professionals say.

“People have realised you don’t die, so are not coming out if (they have) symptoms. They prefer to stay home until it’s a severe case,” says Jeremy Gitau, who coordinates the response team at Covid-19 at Kenyatta Hospital. 

“(The) number of infections are high, but people requiring admission? No.”

Kenya has recorded about 700 deaths from Covid-19, and only a small number of positive cases have evolved into a severe form of the disease.

The overwhelming majority of cases in Kenya — 93 percent, according to the health ministry in August — are asymptomatic. 

The 50-million strong population is also young: just 2.4 percent of Kenyans are aged above 65, according to World Bank data from 2019.

The total number of tests has also plummeted from around 8,000 per day in July to around 3,000 today. 

Joanne Hassan, a microbiologist from the state-run Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), said they tested as few as 200 per day now compared to highs of 3000 in July-August.

The government has also abandoned mass testing, focusing instead on symptomatic people and

New Orleans eases pandemic restrictions on bars

NEW ORLEANS — Starting this weekend, New Orleans bars will be allowed to sell drinks to go and restaurants may operate at 75% indoor capacity instead of 50% since a number of coronavirus indicators have stayed low, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said.

The limit for restaurants and other businesses matches the state limit set weeks ago. If all goes well, New Orleans could match all state reopening levels by Oct. 31, with two more possible groups of changes, Cantrell said Thursday at a livestreamed news conference.

Those will depend on public response “ensuring we are a healthy city not only to live in but to visit,” she said.


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards let some bars reopen and restaurants and other businesses move to 75% of indoor capacity on Sept. 11. New Orleans, which had shut down bars in July, did not follow suit.

French Quarter and downtown stores cannot sell package liquor outside bars’ state-set hours of 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. because when bars were allowed to reopen earlier, “crowds continued drinking package liquor” after 11 p.m., the mayor said.

Cantrell said the city had closed six businesses as of Wednesday for flouting pandemic restrictions.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Push to bring coronavirus vaccines to the poor faces trouble

— In Appalachia, people watch COVID-19, race issues from afar

— NFL postpones Steelers-Titans game after more positive tests

— The White House is backing a $400 per week pandemic jobless benefit and possible COVID-19 relief bill with a price tag above $1.5 trillion.

— France’s health minister is threatening to close bars and ban family gatherings, if the rise in virus cases doesn’t improve.

— Americans seeking unemployment benefits declined last week to a still-high 837,000, suggesting the economy is struggling to sustain a tentative recovery from the summer.

___

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky reported 17 more coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, one of its highest one-day totals as the state combats an escalating outbreak.

The latest deaths included a 29-year-old woman from Clark County who had “significant underlying health conditions,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. Her death marked the first coronavirus-linked fatality of someone in their 20s to be reported in Kentucky, he said.

The 17 deaths were the fifth-highest daily total in Kentucky since the start of the pandemic, he said.

The state also reported 910 new cases of COVID-19, down from the prior two days when daily case counts topped 1,000, the governor said. The spike in cases is hitting rural and urban areas, and Beshear said the state remains on course to set another record for the number of cases in a week.

“When we have a lot of cases, sadly a lot of death follows,” Beshear said at a news conference.

The Democratic governor continued to stress the need to wear masks in public, maintain social distancing and follow other health guidelines to contain