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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,

Trump dodges tough questions on his health during rambling interview on Tucker Carlson’s show

Donald Trump; Tucker Carlson
Donald Trump; Tucker Carlson

Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, less than a week since the president returned from being hospitalized for COVID-19, revealed very little about Trump’s health or infectiousness. Yet unintentionally,  the president seems to have dropped some clues about the seriousness of his condition during the rambling, tangent-ridden interview.

The interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was conducted by Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News contributor who has defended Trump’s poor handling of the American coronavirus outbreak, compared the pandemic to the flu and in 2016 raised concerns about the neurological health of then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton despite never having examined her in person.

Carlson set a hagiographic tone for the segment at the beginning, describing Trump’s supposed “remarkable turnaround” before allowing Siegel to conduct the interview. The two were not in the same room: Siegel was in a studio and Trump was in the White House, being filmed separately. Trump and Siegel’s conversation wandered, from Trump blaming China for the virus and repeatedly mentioning Regeneron (a company that gave him an experimental drug and with which he has personal ties) to describing himself as “very strong,” offering to donate his plasma and claiming that he has improved faster and better than others who have had COVID-19.

Despite these attempts to project that he was “virile,” Trump admitted that the disease had made him feel “tired,” adding that “my life is based a little bit on energy and I didn’t have it.” While downplaying his symptoms, however, Trump promised to freely give away the drugs that he has previously claimed constituted a “cure” for him. (Curiously, Trump has been consistently opposed to universal healthcare policies that might make such drugs free and accessible, though he was treated by the military healthcare system that has been likened to an exclusive form of universal healthcare).

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Trump also stated that was “medication-free.” “I’m not taking any medications as of eight hours ago,” he claimed.

Trump also claimed that his Secret Service agents did not mind his Walter Reed hospital drive-by, which involved close physical contact with the security detail. Some current and former Secret Service agents interviewed by CNN were “frustrated” by Trump’s publicity stunt. “We’re not disposable,” one said.

Trump declined to say if he had received a test for the virus today that might definitively say if he had cleared the virus from his system. “I have been retested and I haven’t even found out numbers or anything yet …. I’m at either the bottom of the scale or free,” the president said. Based on reports of infections, the CDC recommends that those who have had COVID-19 refrain from being around others until at least 10 days since their first symptoms appeared and 24 hours since their fever waned without the use of “fever-reducing medications.”

Trump also denied experiencing any of the psychological symptoms that frequently accompany dexamethasone, the steroid that he

Trump’s use of Regeneron treatment creates ‘tough situation’: CEO

President Donald Trump’s use of Regeneron’s experimental coronavirus treatment creates “a very tough situation” for the drugmaker since it hasn’t been cleared for broader use, CEO Dr. Leonard Schleifer told CNBC on Monday.

The president, who announced Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, was given an 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment, his doctors said.

The company said it provided the drug to the president in response to a “compassionate use” request from Trump’s doctors, which allows for expanded access to experimental drugs for “immediately life-threatening” illnesses, according to the Food and Drug Administration. It allows patients to access an investigational drug outside of clinical trials in lieu of adequate other treatments.

That means that while the president’s doctors were confident enough of the drug’s benefit to administer it to Trump, the treatment remains unavailable to most Americans.

“We have tried to take a principled approach until there is a broader authorization,” Schleifer told CNBC’s Meg Tirrell on “Squawk Box.” “Asking somebody like the president to go into a clinical trial just wasn’t practical.”

Until the FDA takes a look at all the available data on the benefits and risk of the drug for Covid-19 patients, patients who want to receive the treatment should enroll in a clinical trial, Schleifer said. He added that patients in clinical trials are closely monitored so that researchers can understand how the drug affects the disease, but at least a third of patients will receive a placebo.

“Giving it to [Trump] or to others who might not be able or don’t qualify for clinical trials is the right use of compassionate use. That’s for small numbers of people, for these exceptions,” he said. “We want everybody to be potentially able to benefit. We understand we don’t make that decision. This is a decision the FDA has to make.”

Schleifer added that he thinks the treatment meets “a lot of” the FDA’s standards for an emergency authorization. But he said the company needs to continue to collect data in controlled clinical trials to better understand the treatment. But as trials continue, the virus continues to infect more than 40,000 people every day across the U.S.

“This is all very complicated because it’s real lives at stake” he said. “If it’s my loved one or your loved one, … yes, we want to give this if we can help them. Of course, we want to get definitive evidence, so it’s a tough act to balance.”

Shares of the company were up more than 5% in early trading Monday.

Some analysts have speculated that the use of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail to treat the president is a tacit endorsement of the drug and could signal a swift approval by the FDA. Schleifer, however, tried to assure the public in the CNBC interview that the FDA has its own standards for authorization and the White House does not play a role. 

The class of drug has long been used to

Tough menopause may signal future heart issues, study says

As if the misery of hot flashes, night sweats and sleep troubles weren’t enough, now new research suggests that women who routinely experience moderate to severe menopausal symptoms have a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.

“This analysis assessed various menopausal symptoms and their association with health outcomes. Women with two or more moderate to severe menopausal symptoms had an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease,” said study author Dr. Matthew Nudy, a cardiology fellow at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

This study didn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship, it only showed an association between menopausal symptoms and stroke and other heart and blood vessel diseases. It’s possible that menopause symptoms might not be a cause of these problems at all. It may be that other factors, such as obesity or diabetes, may lead to both menopausal symptoms and poor health outcomes.

Nudy also noted that past research has shown that women with menopausal symptoms often have other risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. They also may have poorer blood vessel health and increased levels of inflammation.

The latest research used data from a previous trial of more than 20,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79. The average follow-up time for the study was seven years.

The study looked for symptoms that included:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeats, such as a racing heartbeat or a feeling of skipped beats
  • Tremors
  • Feeling restless or fidgety
  • Feeling tired
  • Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness
  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache or migraine
  • Waking up multiple times at night.

The researchers found that when two or more of these symptoms were moderate to severe, the odds of stroke increased by 41%. The odds of any cardiovascular disease increased by 37% in women with two or more moderate to severe symptoms compared to women who had none.

Women who have multiple or more moderate to severe symptoms from menopause may be more likely to see a doctor for relief of those symptoms. Nudy said that’s a good opportunity for doctors to assess their heart disease and stroke risk.

Dr. Eugenia Gianos, director of women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, reviewed the study and said it reaffirms previous studies on potentially negative effects associated with menopausal symptoms.

“Many cardiac syndromes are unique to women and hormonal differences may explain the differences noted,” Gianos said.

“Unfortunately, supplementation with calcium and vitamin D did not improve outcomes,” she added.

Future research needs to determine what factors may be responsible for the negative effects of menopause and menopausal symptoms on women’s health, and find ways to ease menopausal symptoms and any poor outcomes linked to them, Gianos noted.

The findings were presented this week at the virtual meeting of the North American Menopause Society. Findings presented at meetings are typically viewed as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

Learn more about menopausal symptoms from the U.S.

Health Issues For Men That Can Make Intercourse Over 60 Tough

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Even though psychological health and substance abuse are massive and profitable businesses due to the quantity of individuals in need of a lot of these providers, the United States faces issues with psychological health parity when it comes to providing the help these individuals need.…