Medical updates in 2019
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO and HCFI
A WHO report has shown that the confirmed cases of measles have increased from 716 in 2018 to 2719 in the first 11 months of 2019 in Turkey. Out of the 2,719 confirmed cases some 1,800 were children under five years of age, with over 900 unvaccinated children.
There is growing tensions between two approaches in medical research: the effort of finding treatments that are consistently effective in large populations versus the notion of "precision medicine, which favours therapy that we closely tailor to an individual's very personal needs.
In March this year, experts affiliated with the European Resuscitation Council by analyzing the data of more than 60,000 people, saw that nifedipine, appeared to increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
A study, appearing in JAMA Internal Medicine in June, found that anticholinergic drugs may increase a person's risk of developing dementia. The research from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom looked at the data of 58,769 people with and 225,574 people without dementia.
In August, the FDA issued a warning against an allegedly therapeutic product available online sold under the names Master Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, Chlorine Dioxide Protocol, or Water Purification Solution that contained no less than 28% sodium chlorite, an industrial bleach.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine in July, which involved around 1.3 million people, suggested that, when it comes to predicting the state of a person's heart health, both blood pressure numbers are equally important. The study found that older individuals with lower systolic blood pressures actually faced a 40% higher risk of death than peers with elevated blood pressure values.
Research in the Journal of the American Heart Association in August showed that people who adhered to plant-based diets had a 32% lower risk of death (also 25% lower risk of all-cause mortality).
A study from April in the journal Nutrients warned that people who follow a ketogenic diet may experience blood vessel damage.
According to Google Trends, some of the top searches in the United States this year included intermittent fasting diets, the Noom diet, and the 1,200 calorie diet.
One intriguing study, in Nature Metabolism in May, pointed that muscle building protein shakes, contain mostly whey proteins, which have high levels of the essential amino acids leucine, valine, and isoleucine. In mice a high intake of these amino acids led to overly low levels of serotonin in the brain. It also led to obesity and a shorter life span.
A WHO study appearing in The Lancet in January took into account the findings of 185 observational studies and 58 clinical trials, covering almost 40 years, concluded that to lower their death risk, as well as the incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer, a person should ideally consume 25–29 grams of fiber per day.