Health News

Researchers uncover diabetes as a potential risk factor for COVID-19, and possible mechanisms

Researchers from the School of Biomedical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) have recently applied an advanced statistical approach to analyze risk factors that may be causally related to COVID-19 infection. Results suggested that diabetes may be a risk factor leading to increased susceptibility to or severity of COVID-19 infection through changes in ACE2 expression, which is a key receptor for the virus. A substantial proportion of COVID-19 death cases in Hong Kong suffered from diabetes. There is an urgent need to confirm risk factors and the mechanisms in order to protect the susceptible groups and identify effective treatments. The current study results were recently published in the international scientific journal Diabetes Care.

High ACE2 receptor expression in diabetes patients may lead to increased susceptibility to or severity of COVID-19 infection

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than a hundred countries or regions worldwide, and more than 11 million confirmed cases have been reported. It is urgent to seek solutions to control the spread of the disease to susceptible groups, and to identify effective treatments. A better understanding of its pathophysiology is also desperately needed.

A research team at the School of Biomedical Sciences at CU Medicine applied an advanced statistical approach known as Mendelian randomisation to analyze risk factors that may be causally related to the disease. The team made use of “big data” from genome-wide association studies to explore diseases and blood proteins causally linked to altered ACE2 expression in the lung. There is sound evidence that ACE2 is a key receptor for COVID-19, and high expression of ACE2 may increase susceptibility to infection.

Through a screen of over 500 diseases or traits, the most consistent finding was tentative evidence of an association between diabetes-related traits and increased ACE2 expression. Significant and positive associations with ACE2 expression were observed across multiple diabetes datasets and analytic methods for type 1 and 2 diabetes as well as related traits including early start of insulin. The results suggest that diabetes may be a risk factor leading to increased susceptibility to or severity of COVID-19 infection through changes in ACE2 expression.

Study results may guide drug repositioning in the future

As an exploratory analysis, blood proteins linked to altered ACE2 expression were also found and examined by the team, which may help elucidate potential molecular mechanisms, and serve as potential biomarkers and guide drug development or repurposing in the future.

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Moms Still Social-Distancing Feel More Alone Than Ever

If you can remember as far back as this March, you might recall our collective attitude about staying at home. Televised spring breakers aside, most of us felt like we were all in this social-distancing thing together, so there was little fear of missing out on social gatherings. My how things have changed, despite the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. So much so, that one Virginia mom on Reddit wondered if she’s the only one still keeping her toddler at home.

“I have a 2.5 year-old ,and prior to March, we went to toddler classes, activities, and playdates just about every day,” ohtooooodles wrote on the Toddler subreddit. “I was just getting to know some new moms, and those relationships have basically fizzled out. I see other parents visiting friends, going to public spaces, basically going back to normal, and it makes me feel very guilty and anxious for still saying no to all of that. Is anyone else in my boat? It would really help to hear that I’m not alone.”

She is most definitely not alone. More than four months into this, and guidance on how to keep our children (and ourselves) safe is about as clear as mud. Sure, a lot of this is people selfishly deciding they’re bored and tired of staying at home. But just as often parents have been forced to go back to work and put their kids in daycares and camps. In between, there are many of us who are hoping that the latest studies about virus transmission means that outside playdates and park visits are OK — as long as masks, handwashing, and hand sanitizer are at the ready — because we’re worried for our kids’ mental health if we isolate them for much longer.

There is nothing lonelier than feeling like the only one following the rules, though — especially when you’re also saddled with the guilt that doing so means you’re depriving your child of social contact and enrichment. It’s all the worse if you pass by a playground with your kids and they see that others are playing there.

Thanks to this Reddit thread, hundreds of parents are learning that they’re not the only ones.

“You are not alone,” verablue said. “We are the silent group, not shown in the news or social media. I too have a 2.5 yr old. We’ve been home since early March. My husband and I take turns on grocery trips and otherwise WFH.”

“I live in a townhouse and all of my neighbors spend their days socializing, having their kids play together, etc,” NopeMcNopeface wrote. “I just stand, holding my screaming 16-month-old as I watch from the window. I feel so isolated too. … We have no backyard, only a crappy porch. My son is so bored. Time seems like it’s standing still, and my depression is getting worse and worse (he’s a very difficult kid). What a horrible time.

A California mom perfectly summed up the push and pull of social obligations and motherhood, especially, but not only, in a pandemic: “Ever since becoming a mom, I feel like I’ve had to make a lot of tough decisions and hurt a lot of people’s feelings to keep my daughter’s best interests at the forefront,” barnettjm2 wrote. “This is probably one of the hardest decisions we’re continually having to make – do we go see X, do we go do X, do we send her back to daycare, etc. In the process, people’s feeling are going to get hurt and/or we might be seen as paranoid or overly cautious. I just keep telling myself we are doing this to keep her and ourselves safe and healthy. We would absolutely hate ourselves if we intentionally did something and put her in harm’s way. We know the virus doesn’t seem to affect kids as badly (with a few sad examples to the contrary), but there’s still a lot we DON’T know about the long-term effects of exposure. And we aren’t willing to take the risk to find out just to attend a BBQ.”

Some moms described a few ways they have expanded their quarantine bubbles or played and walked with others outside, and others wrote in justifying the calculated risks they’re taking. But this isn’t a thread for those parents, who will find each other just fine offline.

The ones at home needed this online connection so much more. They also found it helpful to remind each other why they’re doing this.

“We weren’t grounded and now we got the car keys back,” boxingsharks wrote. “This is still going on, and no abating. I’ll take the ‘paranoid’ over ‘positive’ any day, especially with small children.”

When you do take your kids out into the world, consider buying their face masks from one of these Black-owned companies.

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Health News

Wearing a mask cuts own risk of novel coronavirus by 65 percent, experts say

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Health experts have stressed the importance of wearing a mask to limit the possibility of infecting others with COVID-19, but a range of new research now suggests they also protect the wearer, according to a report Monday.

With many states implementing policies to make face coverings mandatory in both indoor and outdoor spaces, one doctor says that masks also reduce the risk of infection to the wearer by 65 percent.

"We've learned more due to research and additional scientific evidence and now we know [that] not only wearing a mask prevents the person wearing the mask to transmit to others, but wearing the mask protects the person who's wearing it," said Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.


"So the wearer of the mask, even the standard rectangular surgical masks … will decrease the risk of infection by the person wearing the mask by about 65 percent."

He added that N95 masks do an even better job at protecting people from the virus, but they are in short supply and are needed for healthcare professionals.

Blumberg and William Ristenpart, a professor of chemical engineering at UC Davis, appeared on UC Davis Live: Coronavirus Edition to discuss the topic of transmission. Ristenpart's lab at UC Davis has studied how people emit small droplets while breathing or talking that could carry the virus.

The pair highlighted two primary methods of transmission. The first being visible droplets a carrier expels, which are roughly one-third the size of a human hair. They said masks create an effective barrier against those types of droplets.

“Everyone should wear a mask,” Blumberg said. “People who say, ‘I don’t believe masks work,’ are ignoring scientific evidence. It’s not a belief system. It’s like saying, ‘I don’t believe in gravity.’"

The second is via the aerosol particles we expel when we talk. They are about 1/100th the size of a human hair and are more difficult to defend against. He said that's because the smaller particles could still sneak through a gap in rectangular or homemade cloth masks.

Social distancing and staying outdoors, are helpful for staying clear of the small particles because there is more airflow, Blumberg and Ristenpart said.


Close up white surgical face mask on a blue-green background.

“Studies in laboratory conditions now show the virus stays alive in aerosol form with a half-life on the scale of hours. It persists in the air,” Ristenpart added. “That’s why you want to be outdoors for any social situations if possible. The good airflow will disperse the virus. If you are indoors, think about opening the windows. You want as much fresh air as possible.”

He said that's why enclosed areas like bars — seen as hotspots for contracting the virus – are particularly dangerous: “The louder you speak, the more expiratory aerosols you put out."


“So we don’t know who might spread it,” Blumberg said. “We do know social distancing reduces the risk of transmitting the virus by 90 percent, and wearing masks decreases the risk by 65 percent."

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Personal Health

More Diabetes in C-section babies

People who have come through caesarean section on the world that later as adults are not only more obese, but also have a significantly higher risk for type 2 Diabetes. The data from the American "Nurses Health Study" out.

A caesarean section can have a long term impact on the health of the child. As previous studies had shown that after a caesarean the risk for Obesity cut-up into adulthood is increased by about 20 to 30 percent. As this is a risk factor for type 2 Diabetes, U.S. researchers at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, the observations from the "Nurses Health Study" with 33.226 women, of which 1.089 by caesarean section were born.

Study participants, who arrived by caesarean section on the world that had a 10 percent higher risk for Obesity than women who were vaginally born. For type-2 Diabetes, a significantly larger difference: taking account of BMI, the risk was cut in a Kaiser childbirth was still 30 percent higher. At the beginning of the study, the women an average of 33.8 years old.

Since in the analysis only those women were included, the results on the entire population. Also the fact that nowadays, more and more people come by caesarean sections in the world, might lead to different results.


Health News

Covid-19: carer affected particularly often

Health care workers were from March to may 2020, most often because of Covid-19 on sick leave. The analysis of the disability data of the AOK-shows Insured by the Scientific Institute of the AOK (WIdO).

According to the latest analysis have failed in the three months from March to may 1.283 per 100,000 persons Employed in the care of the elderly because of Covid-19 in your workplace. Thus, the concern is in this industry, more than 2.5 times above the average value of 474 cases of illness per 100,000 Employees. At the same time there were employed in the care of the elderly also more often hospital treatments due to Covid-19: Per 100,000 Employed in the care of the elderly were treated 157 people with this diagnosis in a clinic. The comparison value of all AOK members is 91 per 100,000.

"Certain groups of Employees, which are also gone in pandemic times to work, seem to be more of Covid-to-be 19 affected. These are mainly occupations with contact to other people. But also professions in the meat processing or the warehouse management were severely affected,” says Helmut Schröder, Deputy managing Director of WIdO.

Home Office and Outdoor work schüprotects against Covid-19

The lowest illness-related absenteeism in connection with Covid-19 show the Occupations in the higher education teaching and research (110 Affected per 100,000 Workers) and in agriculture (121 Affected per 100,000 Employees). Accordingly, the times are incorrect due to the Coronavirus in Occupations more likely to be where employees come in despite the lock downs with a variety of people in contact. Activities that are more likely to be exercised in the home office or in the outdoors, were associated with a lower risk of infection.


An Overview of all the messages you get on current.

Health News

Quality of the diet with a new urine test to determine – Naturopathy naturopathy specialist portal

The perfect diet by means of the urine test find

Unique as a fingerprint, a new urine test provides an overall impression of the food habits of a Person. The Test can reveal individual Strengths and weaknesses in the diet.

Researchers from the Imperial College London presented recently, a urine test that is able to assess the diet of a person. The Test measures the content of 46 various so-called metabolites in the urine. Metabolites are intermediate products of metabolism, which allow to draw conclusions on the diet. The results of the study were recently presented in the journal “Nature Food”.

Effect of diet yet difficult to measure


“The diet is a key factor for the health of the people, although it is a measure known to be difficult to say exactly because it depends on the ability of Individuals to remember what and how much he has eaten,” says study author Dr. Joram Posma. Often the reports do not correspond to exactly what and how much is actually eaten was.

Metabolites do not lie

The measured metabolites are considered to be an objective indicator of the quality of the food, because of certain metabolites occur only when certain foods are digested in the body. “This technology helps to provide detailed information about the quality of the diet of a Person and whether it is the right kind of diet for your individual biological composition,” explains nutrition researcher.

The Test also measures alcohol and meat consumption


In the context of the study, the Test was tested of 1,848 people in the United States. The results show a connection between the 46 metabolites in the urine and the types of food or nutrients which were consumed by the people. Certain metabolites correlate with the consumption of alcohol, while others are associated with the consumption of citrus fruits, fructose, glucose and Vitamin C in combination.

The Team also found metabolites in the urine, which are associated with the consumption of red meat, other meats such as chicken and nutrients such as calcium in combination. Some of the metabolites even provide information on health conditions, such as high blood pressure.

Interaction between nutrition and health

“By careful measurement of the dietary habits of the people and Collecting their urine from the patient, we were able to establish correlations between food intake and Urine collection of metabolites, which may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of our diet on health,” concludes study co-author Professor Paul Elliott.

It, the study showed that healthy diets are associated with Patterns of metabolites in the urine indicate healthy conditions, whereas an unhealthy diet led to Patterns of metabolites that are associated with painful conditions.

Simple Precision Nutrition

The Test can be used by medical personnel to assess within five minutes of the eating habits of a Person. As a result of which that person too much, or eats too little. On the basis of the Tests can be done quickly an individual consultation to a healthy diet.

Why nutrition recommendations are not flat can be

“Here we show how different people metabolize the same food in a very individual way,” adds Professor John Mathers from the research team. This had an impact on both the understanding of diet-related diseases, as well as on individual nutrition consultations for the improvement of health. (vb)

Read also: nutrition: the inflammation-inducing ingredients in food.

Authors and source of information

Health News

Shoppers Say These Face Masks Are So Breathable, ‘It’s Easy to Forget’ You’re Wearing One

Buy It! Nxtstop Bamboo Face Mask, $14; or; Nxstop Cotton Face Mask, $10; or

While there haven’t been any major studies done on the filtration effectiveness of a bamboo fabric face mask, bamboo “has shown to be a good breathable alternative” to cotton, according to Parikh. “Ideally, if double layered, tightly knit, and with a good fit, protection should be comparable,” she said. 

Nxtstop’s bamboo masks are currently in the top five best-selling cloth masks on Amazon. Shoppers say that they’re soft and “much better” than cotton ones.

“They fit like a second skin around the edges without being tight, form around your nose to seal well at the top, have a gusset to make them fit under your chin, and they are stretchy,” one shopper wrote. “It is easy to forget you have it on, it is so comfortable. The soft knit bamboo is very smooth. The ear straps are smooth, thin elastic with an easy slide adjustment. They are very thin and compact for storage.”

Sounds like the Nxtstop Bamboo Face Mask is a must-have for anyone spending a lot of time outdoors this summer.

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Health News

Five million begin lockdown in Australian city

Five million people in Australia’s second-biggest city began a new lockdown Thursday, returning to tough restrictions just weeks after they ended as Melbourne grapples with a resurgence of coronavirus cases.

Residents have been told to stay at home for six weeks after other measures to contain a spike in COVID-19 failed to prevent the virus spreading.

The state of Victoria, which announced a further 165 new cases Thursday, has been effectively sealed off in an effort to preserve the rest of Australia’s success in curbing the virus.

However, a rush of travellers across the border into neighbouring New South Wales on Wednesday has raised concerns those efforts could be torpedoed. Police said some 30,000 cars made the crossing in less than 36 hours.

“A few cases coming over the border from Victoria (can) tip that magic number into outbreaks that are going to be very hard to control,” epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws told public broadcaster ABC.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said two cases of COVID-19 had been identified in the border town of Albury and she warned against travel to or from communities on the state frontier.

“We want to make sure that we’re flushing out any potential seeding that occurred prior to that spike in cases becoming evident,” she told reporters in Sydney.

Queensland state announced Thursday it would turn away all travellers from Victoria—removing an option that had allowed them to spend 14 days in quarantine on arrival.

In Melbourne, there are concerns over the economic and mental health impacts of the second lockdown, which officials estimate will cost the economy Aus$6 billion ($4.2 billion).

Restaurants and cafes are limited to serving takeaway food, while gyms, beauty salons and cinemas have been forced to close again.

Residents are restricted to their homes except for work, exercise, medical care or to buy essentials.

Despite the harsh measures, many said they support the restrictions.

“I think it is a very good thing,” resident Don Sherman told AFP.

“Everybody has to be aware of their rights and what they have to be in this critical situation.”

Authorities are waiting for more test results from high-rise public housing estates where roughly 3,000 people have been confined to their apartments since a cluster emerged Saturday, unable to leave for any reason in Australia’s strictest lockdown.

There are fears the virus has spread across the towers, which officials have likened to “vertical cruise ships” and where many residents are reportedly in poor health.

So far, 111 tower residents have tested positive during the multi-day rollout of testing while another similar-sized cluster has emerged at a school in Melbourne’s west.

New cases were also detected among staff at several hospitals and aged care facilities in the city Thursday, sparking concerns for the sick and elderly patients.

Melbourne resident Monica Marshall said the most difficult part of the new lockdown was being separated from her 91-year-old mother, who recently entered a care home.

“The idea of not being able to see people that you love and care for is really distressing, really distressing,” she told AFP through tears.

“I hope that people have got the message that they really need to take notice—it’s very disconcerting watching some people on the news where they really don’t care.”

Government workers are going door-to-door in Melbourne urging residents to get tested for the virus, with officials saying about 10,000 people have refused after being influenced by online disinformation.

Australia has recorded just over 9,000 cases of COVID-19 among a population of 25 million, with 106 deaths.

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Health News

5G networks have few health impacts, study finds

Fifth generation or 5G wireless technology, which began being deployed worldwide in 2019, provides faster connectivity and more bandwidth, meaning higher download speeds.

But because 5G technology is so new, little is known about the potential health effects from its radiofrequency radiation, which is higher than the current industry standard 4G. The Oregon State study begins to change that.

“Based on our study, we don’t think 5G radiation is that harmful,” said Subham Dasgupta, a postdoctoral fellow working in the lab of Robyn Tanguay at Oregon State. “It’s predominately benign.”

Researchers conducted the research using embryonic zebrafish, a model organism often used to discover interactions between environmental stressors and biological systems. Zebrafish and humans have similar developmental processes and are similar on a genomic level, meaning zebrafish research can easily be applied to humans.

In the study, published July 9 in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers exposed embryonic zebrafish for two days to 3.5 GHz radiofrequency radiation, the frequency typically used by 5G-enabled cell phones.

They found no significant impacts on mortality, how the embryos formed or the embryos’ behavioral response to light. They did find a modest impact on a test that measures the embryos’ response to a sudden sound that they will investigate further.

Future research will look at the 5G radiation effects on the same zebrafish used in the study at a gene level and as they develop from embryos to adults, Dasgupta said. The researchers also would like to study the impacts of higher frequencies and higher exposure levels on zebrafish to keep pace with the changing cell phone industry.

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Black individuals at higher risk for contracting COVID-19, according to new research

Results of an analysis published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society found that Black individuals were twice as likely as White individuals to test positive for COVID-19. The average age of all participants in the study was 46. However, those infected were on average 52 years old, compared to those who tested negative, who were 45 years old on average.

“Association of Black Race with Outcomes in COVID-19 Disease: A Retrospective Cohort Study” is not the first to examine race. However, it provides further evidence that, while anyone can get COVID-19, race is indeed a factor in the extent to which some populations are affected. Of the 4413 individuals tested, 17.8 percent tested positive. Of those who tested positive, 78.9 percent were Black while 9.6 percent were White.

Study author Ayodeji Adegunsoye, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago,sees logic in the results of the analysis as it relates to the infection rates along racial lines: “I think this really amplifies how pre-existing socioeconomic and health care disparities affect outcomes in the population. We already know that the common comorbidities that have been associated with COVID such as hypertension and diabetes disproportionately affect the Black community. So, it wasn’t too surprising that COVID-19 seemed to more commonly affect Black individuals as well.”

In addition, noted Dr. Adegunsoye, given that Black individuals are overly represented in the service industry, and therefore more likely to be essential workers, their risk of exposure to COVID-19 is greater: “Even during precautionary lockdowns to reduce spread, these jobs were often deemed essential services, and included jobs such as bus drivers, janitors, city sanitation workers, hospital food production personnel, security guards, etc. so it wasn’t too surprising that Black people were disproportionately infected and subsequently hospitalized with the virus.”

The results showing that the individuals who tested positive were older than their counterparts who tested negative is consistent with reports of infection rates in the U.S. and elsewhere. “We have observed that for various reasons, older individuals are more likely to develop severe symptoms when they get infected and therefore they are more likely to get tested for COVID-19,” said Dr. Adegunsoye.

“It’s a vicious cycle of sorts, as older people are more likely to have hypertension and other comorbid diseases, which further increase the risk for hospitalization with COVID. Even after accounting for their older age, Black patients were still at significantly increased risk of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization.”

In addressing the disparity in COVID-19 infection rates, Dr. Adegunsoye proposes making COVID-19 screening free and widely accessible. He hopes that there will be an increase in policy decisions that result in increased funding for community-led prevention efforts as well as “improved public enlightenment campaigns targeted at minorities to reduce the risk of developing hypertension and diabetes.”

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