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Preventing COVID at Camp; Risks of Bisphenol A: It’s TTHealthWatch!

TTHealthWatch is a weekly podcast from Texas Tech. In it, Elizabeth Tracey, director of electronic media for Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Rick Lange, MD, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, look at the top medical stories of the week. A transcript of the podcast is below the summary. This…



TTHealthWatch is a weekly podcast from Texas Tech.

This week’s subjects include making camps more secure from COVID, a new death rating relative to COVID mortality, dangers of bisphenol A, and high blood pressure management over the last years.

Program notes:

0: 43 Trends in high blood pressure management

1: 45 Blood pressure control at first increased

2: 46 Maybe don’t need to be so tight

3: 40 Risk rating for mortality in COVID

4: 40 Level of awareness and other factors

5: 40 Low, intermediate, high and extremely high threat groups

6: 40 Confess right now to ICU

7: 27 Making over night camps safer

8: 27 Evaluating before arrival

9: 27 Major concern is adherence

10: 00 Direct exposure to bisphenol A and mortality

11: 00 Possibly related to obesity, CVD, diabetes

12: 01 More than 90%of United States population affected

13: 20 End


Elizabeth Tracey: A new risk rating for patients who are admitted to the medical facility with COVID-19

Rick Lange: Avoiding COVID transmission in overnight camps.

Elizabeth: What is the effect of bisphenol A on individuals’s health?

Rick: And trends in high blood pressure control in grownups with hypertension.

Elizabeth: That’s what we’re discussing this week on TT HealthWatch, your weekly look at the medical headlines from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso. I’m Elizabeth Tracey, a Baltimore-based medical journalist.

Rick: And I’m Rick Lange, president of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, where I’m likewise Dean of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.

Elizabeth: Rick, why don’t we mix it up just a little bit and turn very first to the Journal of the American Medical Association, this look at high blood pressure– plainly something that has actually been recognized as a threat element for COVID-19– and what are the patterns in management for about 10 years of data.

Rick: I know it appears like we yapped about high blood pressure over the 18 years we’ve been doing the podcast, however in fact there are more cardiovascular events in the U.S. attributed to high blood pressure than any other modifiable danger factor. Worldwide, there are over 874,000,000 individuals that have high blood pressure.

What we know is when we began to concentrate on high blood pressure that the percentage of U.S. adults with hypertension who became mindful of it and had managed hypertension improved from the mid-1980 s and 1990 s to the early 2000 s. From 1998 to2009 The genuine question is, what’s been happening over the last decade? Because there’s been some concern that the control and the awareness of it truly hasn’t been rather as good.

It looked at over 51,000 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Assessment Study information. Of those, about 18,000 had hypertension. High blood pressure control increased from 32%in the late 1990 s to as much as 54%in 2013-2014 Regrettably, what’s occurred over the last 5 to 6 years is that blood pressure awareness and control has actually declined. It’s declined from 54%to 44%. There were particular groups in which the high blood pressure control was even worse: those over age 75, Blacks, those without health insurance, and those who had actually not had a health care visit in the past year. Only 8%had actually controlled blood pressure.

Elizabeth: I think I’m finding this a little bit inexplicable since in the middle of all this we’ve had Obamacare and much more individuals enrolled in health insurance, therefore I’m having a hard time to really try to represent why awareness would have decreased over that time.

Rick: In some cases we just get blasé about things, especially if we do not recognize the significance. That’s Top. Second, particularly in the older population, we had the Joint National Committee (JNC) 7 and 8. Those were two different time spans. [JNC] 7 recommended tight control of blood pressure in the elderly. [JNC] 8 stated, “Well, we’re not so sure it needs to be quite so great. As long as we get it listed below 140/90, we’re doing okay.”

However in fact what the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology advised after that was, “No, no, we need to have more rigorous blood pressure control, specifically in the elderly.” There were some people that anticipated when the JNC 8 recommendations came out is that we would have relaxed the high blood pressure control and it wouldn’t be quite as great. In reality, it looks like the statistics bear that out.

Elizabeth: Plainly, we have talked before about senior folks and whether it requires to be that securely controlled and we have had clashing data relative to it.

Rick: It probably doesn’t require to be in the 100 or 110 variety, however it needs to plainly be listed below 140, at the exact same time avoiding hypotension and the consequences of that.

Elizabeth: Since we’re discussing danger aspects, let’s rely on the British Medical Journal We know, naturally, high blood pressure is a danger factor for more serious COVID-19 illness. This research study takes a look at, “If you’re admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, how can we stratify your danger for an alarming outcome while you exist?”

They developed something that they’re calling the 4C Death Rating. Firstly, I have to comment that people must take a look at this paper simply to take a look at the sheer number of authors who are cited in this paper. Actually, it goes on for two pages. It’s amazing.

They had more than 35,000 patients who are consisted of in what they call the derivation dataset, and after that they had a validations dataset of over 22,000 patients, all of whom were admitted to the hospital with COVID-19

They had eight variables that were easily available when they were initially brought into the health center: age, sex, number of comorbidities, respiratory rate, peripheral oxygen saturation, level of consciousness, urea level, and C-reactive protein rating. When they examined all of those elements and they put them together, they wound up with a score that might predict, “This is how most likely you are to die.”

They cited, naturally, that most patients with serious COVID-19 have a clinical picture that everyone, I think, is pretty acquainted with right now– pneumonitis, profound hypoxia, systemic inflammation that affects numerous organs– and their objective was to develop a pragmatic and medically pertinent danger stratification rating because the ones that have been established so far, they think, are not really very good.

When they took an appearance at all of these folks, their average age of the patients in their associate was 73 years.

This design really ended up being truly proficient at forecasting. They had 4 threat groups that were specified with the matching death rates. Low-risk was 0 to 3 and a mortality rate of 1.2%. Intermediate risk score was 4 to 8, 9.9%. High-risk, 9 to 14, was 31.4%, and really high threat, higher than or equivalent to 15, 61.5%, nearly 62%, mortality.

The information, especially when it’s presented in a graphic style, show this extremely linear relationship and it’s quite engaging. Among my concerns about this study was I didn’t see where they employed this scientifically to impact their decision-making.

Rick: By the way, the 4C refers not to ball game, but to the truth it’s called the Coronavirus Scientific Characterization Consortium. What they did is they derived ball game with one mate and after that verified it with the next, subsequent accomplice.

How could you utilize this? All of these qualities that they obtained were things that you get when the individual initially provides to the hospital, that is, the emergency department, so you don’t need to wait wish for those things. If their danger score is low– that is the threat of death is going to be 1.2%– those patients can probably be looked after at home. If you know the danger is going to be really high– and that is a there’s 70%chance of [death]– then those individuals require to get admitted to the medical facility and most likely to the extensive care system.

Now, the next step is, can you decrease the death based upon this threat score? We don’t understand that, but I believe it can drive the hospitalization. There were a couple things they didn’t determine. We’ve stated prior to that a low lymphocyte count and a high lactate dehydrogenase level (LDH) likewise predicts who’s going to do inadequately. Sadly, they didn’t measure that in most of these patients so they didn’t consist of that in their model, however the things they did consist of are quickly accessible when the person first presents on admission to the health center.

Elizabeth: Well, clearly, the follow-up for this is going to be let’s see it in action. Let’s see how it does anticipate who winds up having to go to the ICU, who might be on the flooring, or who needs high-flow nasal cannula, and all the remainder of the things that individuals are making choices about when somebody’s admitted.

Let’s turn to your next one that remains in Morbidity and Death Weekly Report A while ago we discussed a camp in Georgia where they had an actually bad result with regard to the transmission of COVID-19 In this case, a much better result.

Rick: Right. This is sort of interesting and I didn’t realize the magnitude of the modifications that occurred with COVID. For example, quickly after we stated the pandemic in the U.S., 124,000 public and private schools were affected– which’s 55.1 million students– throughout the academic year. There are practically 9,000 U.S. overnight camps and about 82%of them didn’t run because of the COVID.

Now, apropos to what took place in Georgia, where a substantial variety of campers and personnel caught the COVID infection, what they performed in Maine was they took an extremely various method. There were 4 overnight camps that had actually, combined, over 1,022 guests. They stated, “What can we do to potentially make this safe?”

They did pre-arrival quarantine– that people had to be quarantined for 14 days– they had actually testing done prior to they arrived at camp, and then after they got here at camp. They cohorted the campers into small groups.

When they did that, of these campers that came, they were from 41 various states and some from different nations. During the time in camp, just 0.3%of the personnel and campers tested, they were asymptomatic, and they isolated them, and there was no other secondary spread.

Elizabeth: I believe it’s actually great that we can show that these examples can be done. How useful would you state these measures are for promulgation to other settings like schools, for instance?

Rick: Elizabeth, the significant problem is not, “Do the procedures work?” It’s whether people stick to them. In this specific study, if you were a camper, and they demanded testing in advance, and you didn’t have actually testing done, you pertained to camp, they isolated you till your test results were available. If everyone purchased into it– the students, instructors, and most importantly, the parents– and we did these things, we could make any kind of activity much more secure.

Elizabeth: That is an essential thing and I truly hope that that’s really how the entire thing ends up. Let’s turn to the final one that we’re going to talk about, something that is emerging, a minimum of for me, as a public health threat is this concept of bisphenol A direct exposure and– in this case, in JAMA Network Open— a look at all-cause and cause-specific death in U.S. adults.

Bisphenol A is common. The stuff is all over. It’s a chemical that’s used for great deals of various things. One of the important things that especially I focus on– because every time I get a receipt, I don’t desire it all over my fingertips– is thermal printed invoices really use this. It’s also found in all sort of plastics and epoxy resins. Those are used in pipes, inside of food and drink cans, as I stated, those thermal documents that offer us sales receipts, generally. BPA has endocrine-disrupting impacts.

Other research studies in animals have revealed that it likewise influences on weight problems and metabolic conditions, heart arrhythmias. It might speed up atherosclerosis, reduce atrial contraction rate and force, and result in heart renovation. So it could be associated with weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, all of which are increasing in our population.

This is a cohort study that had 3,800- plus adults aged 20 years and older, about half of whom were women. They did see that there was a relationship in between higher urinary bisphenol A levels and greater risk for death.

Rick: As you have actually noted, it’s an association and it does not show causality, however certainly there is some concern because there’s some biologic plausibility in animal research studies.

Here are a couple of the issues. Despite the fact that it increased all-cause mortality, the majority of us believed it increased the threat of cancer, but it actually didn’t increase the threat of cancer at all. There was some thought that possibly it increased cardiovascular mortality, and it did, but it wasn’t statistically significant. What we do not have yet is what is the cause for the boost in all-cause mortality.

As you understand, BPA’s usage has been decreasing and exposure in the population has actually been reducing, and some of it’s been changed by bisphenol F and bisphenol S.

Elizabeth: No, but I believe it’s certainly an environmental element that deserves taking notice of, especially if it can be modified.

Rick: It certainly necessitates more examination. We need to see if we can reproduce these findings in other populations, and more significantly, if we can figure out the underlying system.

Elizabeth: Very excellent.

Rick: And I’m Rick Lange. Y’ all listen up and make healthy choices.

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