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Suicide is Leading Cause of Physician Death in the U.S.

   Burnout has taken a huge toll on physicians over the last five years and will continue to do so. Physicians aren’t invincible and job strain, low reimbursement, and payer impediments to care have led to terrible job satisfaction and despair. Add to that the detrimental effects imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and physicians are ripe for emotional exhaustion, strained relationships, and suicidal thoughts. The Mayo Clinic Proceedings reports that of 5,197 physicians surveyed, 6.5% had suicidal thoughts last year. Those doctors were 9.4% less likely to seek help for their symptoms, as well. From March 2020 to December 2021, 4,511 physicians died, amounting to 622 more deaths than expected. After April 2021 when COVID-19 vaccines became available, zero extra deaths occurred. 

COVID-19 Prevention Protocols Are Highly Effective

   The JAMA Internal Medicine publication contained an article supporting the use of preventive measures like PPE (personal protection equipment), vaccines, adequate staffing, and infection prevention protocols as highly effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

Study Indicates Long COVID Symptoms Can Linger For Two Years

   A study published in Nature Medicine showed that patients who had COVID-19 severe enough to be hospitalized are especially vulnerable to persistent health problems and death two years after they were first infected. At two years after, lung problems, fatigue, diabetes, and  “certain other health problems” were typical of long COVID. Even mild or moderate cases were at increased risk of having two dozen medical conditions. 

Adolescent E-Cigarette Users Had Higher Risk For Bronchitis Symptoms, Shortness Of Breath

   The journal Thorax reports that adolescent e-cjgarette users had a greater risk for shortness of breath and symptoms of bronchitis than non-users. Plus they were more likely to smoke regular cigarettes and marijuana.

Dietary Patterns Increase Risk for Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

   High intake of chocolate, butter, added sugars, high-fat cheese, and milk-based desserts along with low intake of fruits and vegetables was linked to a greater risk for depression and anxiety symptoms. This data was published August 15th in BMC Medicine

CDC Announces Annual Flu Shot Recommendations

   The CDC recommends everyone 6 years or older receive a flu vaccination annually unless they have a medical contraindication. September and October are the best months in which to receive influenza vaccine.

COVID-19 Subvariant BA.2.86 May Lead to More Breakthrough Infections

   The CDC says currently the new BA.2.86 variant is not the cause of a recent surge in cases, but may be more capable, than other variants, of causing infections in patients with previous COVID infection or have been vaccinated. So far there have been only two cases documented to be caused by BA.2.86.

Experts Recommend Vulnerable People Resume Masking Due to Recent Uptick in COVID-19 Infections

   Older adults with diabetes, cancer, or immunocompromised conditions are recommended to start wearing N95 masks once again. The recent increase in infections and hospitalizations has warranted this move.

Antibiotics for Patients with Acute Appendicitis Help Half Of Them for 25 Years

   More than half of the patients treated for acute appendicitis with antibiotics avoided surgery for 25 years! According to JAMA, initial antibiotic treatment was successful in 88% to 95% of patients, and at 25 years, 60% of those treated with antibiotics had not undergone appendectomy.

FDA Regulators Warn Consumers Not To Use Certain Eye Drops Because of Contamination

   Dr. Berne’s MSM Drops 5% Solution and LightEyez MSM Eye Drops—Eye Repair may be contaminated with bacteria, fungus, or both. To date, no one has experienced an adverse event from using the drops. 

Reasons for COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

   A British Medical Journal Open Paper stated that concerns about safety and efficacy were reasons why Black and Latino communities were hesitant to take COVID-19 vaccines.

Uptick in COVID-19 Leads Some Entities to Reinstate Mask Mandates 

   Some areas of the U.S. have seen recent increases in COVID-19 cases. This has led “a handful of entities around the co untry” to reinstate mask mandates. The CDC data still show hospitalization rates for COVID-19 were low in 97% of the country. 

Risk Tool Can Identify People From Age 50 Onward at Risk For All-Cause Dementia

   As reported in the online publication, BMJ Mental Health, eleven predictive variables help to identify people over age 50 at risk for dementia of any cause. The variables are age, education,family history of dementia, material deprivation, diabetes, stroke, depression, hypertension, high cholesterol, living alone, and gender. Each factor is valued and incorporated into a “risk score.”

New COVID-19 Vaccines the Available in Mid-September

   COVID-19 vaccines have been “tweaked to teach the body how to fend off the current crop of circulating variants.” This new vaccine should be available to patients in mid-September.

References: Murtha J. 2023 Update: Top Causes of Death Among Doctors.

AAFP Family Medicine Today: Study Indicates Long COVID Symptoms Can Linger For Two Yrs.

   Adolescent E-Cigarette Users Had Higher Risk for Bronchitis Symptoms, Shortness of Breath

   Study Examines Association of Dietary Patterns with Risk for Depression, Anxiety Symptoms

       2023 August 22.

   CDC Announces Annual Flu Shot recommendations 2023 August 24.

   Experts Recommend Vulnerable People Resume Masking Due to Recent Uptick in COCID-19 

      Infections 2023 August 24.

   FDA Regulators Warning Consumers Not to Use Certain Eye Drops due to Contamination   

      Concerns 2023 August 24.

   Paper Explores Reasons Behind COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy 2023 August 25

   Uptick in CIVID-19 Leads Some Entities to Reinstate Mask Mandates 2923 August 25

   Risk Tool Can Help Identify People from Age 50 Onward at Risk for All-Cause Dementia 2023

      August 25.

AAFP Family Medicine Today: New COVID-19 Vaccines To Be Available in Mid-September 2023 August 28.

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