Weekly News

Weekly news updates are currently posted on our homepages, weekly news pages and sent directly to your inbox to provide up-to-date information on what has been covered in the news regarding hepatitis C and complementary health & wellness in the previous week.

My Choices News Update

NASH Patients Suffer Liver Symptoms and Bureaucratic Dysfunction “Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis patients, health care providers and researchers must feel like they are navigating their way toward effective medications and better outcomes at a frustrating ratio of one step forward, two steps back. Every piece of good news seems to trigger an accompanying setback.” These 4 healthy eating patterns are associated with a lower risk of death, study finds “Your dietary pattern may help predict how long you live. This is the conclusion from a new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association assessing diet quality and mortality. The study found that individuals that consumed a more nutrient-dense diet were less likely to die early.” Omega-3 fatty acids from seafood may lower the risk of chronic kidney problems “A new study suggests that by including fish-rich omega-3 fatty acids in their diet, people can reduce their risk of chronic kidney disease.” Mindfulness exercises can help relieve anxiety as effectively as medications like Lexapro “If you’re looking for a way to treat your anxiety without medication, a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that mindfulness-based interventions such as breath awareness exercises, body scans, and mindful movement, like stretching, may be as effective as taking medication.” Adding one handful of walnuts to the diet can provide good nutrition “A new study from researchers at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington has found that adding one ounce of walnuts (or one handful) to the diet of children and adults who do not normally eat nuts improves diet quality and intake of some under-consumed nutrients of public health importance. Consistent evidence shows that walnuts as a snack or within a meal can provide good nutrition and be part of a healthy diet for life.” Massive study uncovers how much exercise is needed to live longer “Consistent exercise is good for a person’s health and well-being—that is well known. But how many minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity are needed to lower the risk of premature mortality? A study published in the journal Circulation defines that number and shares guidance on what level of physical activity is needed to maintain health and improve fitness.” Non-invasive Neurotechnology Reduces Symptoms of Insomnia and Improves Autonomic Nervous System Function “Newswise — WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Jan. 27, 2023 – A good night’s sleep is crucial to health and well-being. Numerous research studies have shown that insomnia can increase the risk of cardiovascular events, obesity, diabetes and other illnesses. Now, a new study from researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine shows significant improvements in not only sleep quality, but also in improved autonomic nervous system function using a closed-loop, acoustic stimulation neurotechnology.” UW-Madison: Following pandemic, educators are not all right, but meditation could ease burden “MADISON – Approaching the 3-year anniversary of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many can attest to the mental health challenges that came with the sudden changes to everyday life as the disease took hold. In schools, teachers and support staff were forced to revamp lesson plans for virtual and hybrid learning environments, all while toggling between remote and in-person duties and supervising at-home learning. How did these stressors affect school system employees? Not well, confirms a newly published study from researchers at University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for Health Minds.”

Hepatitis C News Update

Fewer Medi-Cal patients got crucial treatment for hepatitis C amid pandemic “Fewer people have gotten crucial medication for hepatitis C under Medi-Cal in recent years, troubling advocates who have pushed to expand the lifesaving treatment. Hepatitis C, a slow-moving virus that can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis and death, can now be cured in most cases with a few months of direct-acting antiviral medication. California has taken steps to dismantle barriers to obtaining the pills under Medi-Cal, the California Medicaid program, including eliminating requirements for prior authorization.” Just 1 Out of 4 Medicaid Enrollees with Opioid Use Disorder Screened for HIV, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C “Injection drug users are at higher risk of getting HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Yet most Medicaid enrollees with opioid use disorder are not screened for these viruses. WESA’s Sarah Boden reports.” New WHO study: Making diagnosis of hepatitis C more accessible and closer to the community using point-of-care HCV viral load assays “Today, Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology published a key new WHO-led study in collaboration with the University of Bristol showing the benefit of using a quick clinic-based diagnostic test for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection over a standard laboratory-based test.” New Cherokee program helps people battling addiction “A new “harm-reduction” program launched by the Cherokee Nation was designed to help people battling opioid addiction. The program also should help prevent diseases like AIDS and hepatitis C fanned by transmission of blood-borne pathogens, health officials say.” Hepatitis C During Pregnancy Linked to Worse Outcomes “Active hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection during pregnancy is associated with premature birth, and a high viral load increases the risk of vertical transmission, according to findings published in the Journal of Hepatology. However, only a minority of infants born to mothers with HCV are screened for the infection, as is recommended by treatment guidelines.” FDA moves to ease rules for blood donations from gay men “The U.S. is moving to further ease restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men and other groups that typically face higher risks of HIV. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday announced draft guidelines that would do away with the current three-month abstinence requirement for donations from men who have sex with men. Instead, all potential donors would be screened with a new questionnaire that evaluates their individual risks for HIV based on sexual behavior, recent partners and other factors.”

Hepatitis C News Update

Demographics Factor in Heavily for Patients With Advanced HCC “New research suggest various factors, including race, sex, and where they live, are risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A team, led by Xiaohan Ying, MD, NewYork Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical College, identified the impact of neighborhood characteristics on patients with viral hepatitis and cirrhosis, particularly for patients with advanced HCC.” Public Health investigating ‘cluster’ of reported hepatitis C cases at local pain clinic “The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is working with Universal Pain Management on Kelly Johnson Parkway to notify a group of patients about a possible hepatitis C virus exposure. Public Health is notified any time someone tests positive for hepatitis C, Lance Jackson, CEO of the pain clinic, said in a phone interview Wednesday. He said the facility notified approximately 140 clients, sending them a letter that was drafted by Public Health, regarding the situation. The Department of Public Health issued a statement Wednesday that said everyone who came through UPM’s doors between July 7 and Aug. 5 should get tested.” County extends syringe exchange program for 2 years ANDERSON — With no opposition expressed, the needle exchange program in Madison County has been extended for two years. The Madison County Commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to extend the program administered by Aspire Health Indiana until March 2, 2025.” Tennessee set to end HIV grant that funds Chattanooga nonprofit programs “Chattanooga nonprofit organizations that provide HIV services are scrambling to figure out how to keep those programs as Tennessee plans to forfeit millions in federal dollars used to support their work.” Federal Register Notice for Hepatitis C Testing Among Perinatally Exposed Infants and Children On November 22, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a Federal Register Notice (FRN) #CDC-2022-0116 to obtain comment on proposed perinatal hepatitis C testing recommendations. The recommendations supplement CDC’s 2020 universal hepatitis C screening recommendations by including testing recommendations for perinatally exposed infants and children. Testing exposed infants with a nucleic acid test (NAT) for HCV ribonucleic acid (RNA) at age 2-6 months is expected to identify more perinatally exposed children and increase opportunities for linkage to care and curative treatment. The Federal Register Notice, docket number CDC-2022-0116, is open for public comment through January 27, 2023.

My Choices News Update

About That ‘Lucky Charms Are Healthier than Steak’ Food Pyramid “We looked for the truth behind claims that the U.S. government funded a new “food pyramid” chart that said the kids’ cereal is healthier than beef.” Basics of Energy-Based Aesthetic Treatments: What You Need To Know “In the last decade or two, technical advancements in medical aesthetics have propelled the business and expanded the range of non-invasive treatments available to a greater variety of patients. This fast growth has made energy-based therapies far more affordable for medical aesthetic operations. In reality, non-surgical procedures provide a far more accessible starting point for exploring medical aesthetic treatments.” A Novel Disability Advocacy and Awareness Program for Training Future Healthcare Professionals on Care for Patients with Disabilities “In a poll of 714 US physicians, it was revealed that only 40.7% felt very confident in their ability to provide the same quality of care, overall, to patients with disabilities (PWDs) compared with patients without disabilities. It was also found that only 56.5% strongly agreed that they welcomed PWDs into their practice as healthcare providers. This suggests a systemic issue of inequity in medicine, which affects both physicians and patients. If this problem is not corrected, our healthcare system will continue to lack in providing adequate care to PWDs.” Updated online tool first to assess risk of cancer, heart disease using family data “COLUMBUS, Ohio – A cutting-edge upgrade of an online tool developed by genetic experts and data scientists at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is the first to fully assess an individual’s hereditary risk for cancer or heart disease using personal and family health history.” Vitamin D benefits linked to body weight “New research finds vitamin D may metabolize differently in those considered overweight, resulting in diminished health benefits.” Acupuncture, acupressure may benefit women undergoing gynecologic cancer surgery “Women who underwent surgery for gynecologic cancers experienced decreased symptoms of anxiety and pain with the use of acupressure before surgery and acupuncture during surgery, according to study results published in Cancer.” I don’t look like I have an eating disorder “As we move further into January, we are entering the peak season for promoting dieting, wellness and fitness plans. In the midst of this media frenzy, it is vitally important to maintain a critical lens on “diet culture” and to remember that eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. Many fad diets are not actually sustainable or healthy — and some can lead to unhealthy obsessions and dangerous eating disorders.” Multitasking Destroys Your Ability To Communicate-3 Mindfulness Steps That Help “Stop for a minute and think back to the last time you were having a conversation with someone in person. Chances are they were also looking at their phone or their laptop, at least periodically. How did that feel?” King County, here’s what to know about that CDC letter in your mail “If you live in King County and recently received a letter from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking questions about your personal health, don’t be alarmed. Inside the letter is a request for a favor, asking you to participate in a nationwide survey that collects critical health data for future policies and programs. Each year, just 5,000 people in the U.S. are included — and local public health leaders are encouraging you to be one of them.”

My Choices News Update

Eating Almonds Daily Boosts Exercise Recovery Molecule by 69% Among ‘Weekend Warriors’ “Summary: Adding 57g of almonds to the diet every day for a month increases levels of the beneficial fat, 12,13-DiHOME in blood samples immediately after a session of intense exercise.” Low-carb diet reverses type 2 diabetes in 51% of participants to new study “A recent study published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health showed that a low-carbohydrate diet was effective in achieving glycemic control in people living with type 2 diabetes.” Variety of healthy eating patterns linked with lower risk of premature death “Boston, MA—A variety of healthy eating patterns are linked to reduced risk of premature death, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers. They found that participants who scored high on adherence to at least one of four healthy eating patterns were less likely to die during the study period from any cause and less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or respiratory disease, compared with people with lower scores. The findings are consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend multiple healthy eating patterns.” How to Stop the Pain of Wishing People Were Different “Sometimes it’s hard to just accept people for who they are. Here’s how to be at peace with someone, faults and all.” Not Just Waistlines: Exercise Can Change the Very Molecules in the Human Body That Influence How Genes Behave “According to a new study, twins who engage in high levels of physical activity (defined as more than 150 minutes of exercise per week) show epigenetic changes in certain DNA methylation regions that are associated with lower body mass index and waist circumference.” The 7 Best High-Fiber Snacks, According to a Dietitian “Though it might not be as trendy as some other nutrients, fiber is a critical part of a healthy eating pattern. It provides several benefits, like supporting healthy digestion, increasing beneficial gut bacteria, lowering risk of chronic disease and even promoting healthy weight management. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend getting between 28 and 34 grams daily, but most Americans are missing the mark.” Sitting all day can be deadly. 5-minute walks can offset harms “If you sit at your computer all day and then lounge on the sofa for more screen time in the evening, your health can take a hit. A body of evidence links sedentary lifestyles to an increased risk of diabetes, dementia and death from heart disease. And here’s a wake-up call: One study found, irrespective of whether a person exercised, if they sat for more than 12-13 hours a day, they were more than twice as likely to die early, compared to people who sat the least. A new study finds you can cut that risk with strikingly small amounts of activity.” Fast-Food Fans May Face Liver Damage “Jan. 13, 2023 – A new study that shows the harm to the liver of eating fast food might provide people with motivation to eat less of it in the new year. The study found that eating at least 20% of total daily calories from fast food can increase the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a potentially life-threatening condition where fat builds up in the liver. The disease can lead to cirrhosis and its complications, including liver failure and liver cancer.” Does health literacy moderate the psychological pathways of physical activity from guideline awareness to behavior? A multi-group structural equation modeling “Awareness, knowledge, beliefs, and behavioral intentions of physical activity (PA) guidelines may be important mediating factors for promoting PA. However, these pathways of the psychological process to PA behavior have not been examined. These pathways may differ depending on health literacy levels. This study investigated the pathways to PA, from guideline awareness to behavior, and further examined whether they differed by health literacy.”

Hepatitis C News Update

South Dakota plans major ramp-up of hepatitis C treatment in prison “WASHINGTON — The head of South Dakota prisons is pledging to dramatically overhaul how the system treats hepatitis C in the coming year. South Dakota’s new hepatitis C policy for incarcerated people, which is not yet final or public, will treat all people with hepatitis C for the virus, regardless of the stage of their infection, Corrections Secretary Kellie Wasko told STAT in an interview Monday. The policy will also mandate that all people being booked into prison be tested for the virus, she added. “Everybody will be treated,” Wasko said. “That is the goal.”” Daily Dose: Universal DAA Therapy for all Persons with HCV “On January 6, 2023, we reported on a study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine that investigated and compared the risk of liver-related and nonliver complications as well as overall mortality between direct-acting antiviral (DAA)-treated and untreated patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC).” Gut Microbiota Differs in HCV Patients, Healthy Individuals “A better understanding on the gut microbiota for patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) could help explain the evolution of liver disease. A team, led by Biagio Pinchera, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples Federico II, evaluated current knowledge on the gut microbiota in patients with HCV and identified how DAA treatment impacted the progression of liver disease.” Increased Prevalence of STIs Among Patients Undergoing PrEP Testing “Higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were observed in individuals undergoing diagnostic panels to begin pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV when compared with the general population, according to the results of a study presented at the International AIDS Conference 2022.” Smartphone-based scleral imaging can identify jaundice in decompensated cirrhosis “Smartphone-based assessment of jaundice in patients with decompensated cirrhosis is feasible and accurate, mirroring levels of bilirubin and its correlations with clinical parameters, according to a study published online Dec. 27 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.” Hospitalists can help eliminate HCV “Curing hepatitis C virus (HCV) has become remarkably simple, but the drugs can only work their magic when patients with the infection are diagnosed. And that’s where hospitalists come in.” AHF Continues Hammering Gilead CEO over Drug Profiteering “Advocates blast Gilead’s drug pricing and policies, including illegal restrictions the drug company places for certain pharmacies on access to 340B drug pricing for Gilead’s branded hepatitis C treatments.”

My Choices News Update

Mediterranean diet named best overall diet for sixth straight year “For the sixth year in a row, the Mediterranean diet has been named the best overall diet by nutritional experts from U.S. News & World Report, the company announced. According to the American Heart Association, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes a variety of nutrients rather than one food group, including olive oil as a primary fat source, fish, fruits, dairy products, eggs, nuts, legumes, whole grains and vegetables, which can help to reduce CVD risk factors.” This Year, We’re Going to Get Fitness Right. Join Us. “In 2023, we’re trying to understand how working out can achieve one incredibly simple goal: feeling good.” Gut microbes can boost the motivation to exercise “Some species of gut-dwelling bacteria activate nerves in the gut to promote the desire to exercise, according to a study in mice that was led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine. The study is published in Nature and reveals the gut-to-brain pathway that explains why some bacteria boost exercise performance.” Regular aerobic exercise reduces depression in teens “A team of researchers at the University of Hong Kong, working with one colleague from Sun Yat Sen University in China and another from Georgia State University in the U.S., has found that regular aerobic exercise can reduce symptoms in teens found to be suffering from depression.” Food as Medicine: How Providers Are Connecting Patients to Essential Nutrition “Of all the tools available to modern medicine, the most potent intervention is sometimes the simplest: food. Food as medicine programs, often in concert with electronic health records (EHRs) and other data sources, are helping healthcare providers improve outcomes for patients with chronic diseases, especially diabetes.” Shamanism: what you need to know about the fastest-growing ‘religion’ in England and Wales “According to the latest census, an unlikely “religion” is growing in popularity across England and Wales: shamanism. Just 650 people said they subscribed to the belief system in 2011, but that figure has increased more than tenfold over the past decade to 8,000 people in 2022. This makes shamanism the countries’ fastest-growing religion. So what exactly is it?” Food Choices That Impact Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes “Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common diseases Americans live with. The latest figures show about 11 percent of the population has type 2 diabetes and an additional 96 million American adults have prediabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.” 25 Wellness Resolutions That Have Nothing to Do With Dieting or Weight Loss “I know New Year’s resolutions are somewhat controversial, but generally speaking, I’m a fan. I love the idea of taking a little time to think about what you want out of life right now—and what’s no longer serving you—and taking meaningful action to get it. On the other hand, I feel extremely bummed out by the fact that resolutions have become synonymous with “health,” and “health” has become synonymous with diet and weight loss.”

Hepatitis C News Update

Vosevi Is Effective as Salvage Therapy for People With Hepatitis C “More than 90% of people who were not previously cured with direct-acting antiviral therapy for hepatitis C were subsequently successfully treated with Vosevi (voxilaprevir/velpatasvir/sofosbuvir), according to study findings presented at the AASLD Liver Meeting.” Improved Access to Direct-acting Antivirals Lowers Hepatitis C Incidence Rates “Study finds a strong decline in hepatitis C incidence in the years immediately following broad access to direct-acting antiviral drugs. Improving access to direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) was found to reduce incidence rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in people living with HIV (PLHIV), according to a study published in eClinicalMedicine, part of The Lancet Discovery Science. The study noted that better access to DAA could lower the incidence rate of HCV through a treatment as prevention (TasP) effect.” Current drug use does not hinder treatment of hepatitis C virus “WASHINGTON — Active IV or prescription drug use did not affect attainment of sustained virologic response when treatment adherence for hepatitis C virus was already variable, according to a poster presented at The Liver Meeting.” Study highlights ‘substantial need’ to provide DAA therapy to all patients with HCV “Direct-acting antiviral treatment significantly lowered the risk for mortality and liver and non-liver outcomes in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection, regardless of disease stage, researchers reported.” DAAs Less Likely for Hep C Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder “WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), those with current alcohol use disorder (AUD) or a history of AUD are less likely to receive direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in JAMA Network Open.” Research: Screening lack for infectious diseases among Medicaid users with opioid use disorder “According to the study conducted in part with the University of Southern Maine, about 25% of patients are being tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.” Officials in Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma begin to probe prisons’ hepatitis C treatment efforts WASHINGTON — Members of Congress, state legislators, regulators, and legal advocates are calling on prisons to explain their poor hepatitis C treatment rates, after a STAT investigation revealing that more than 1,000 people had died from complications of the curable disease. In South Dakota and Oklahoma, lawmakers have written to their respective departments of corrections about STAT’s reporting. In Nebraska, the state’s inspector general of corrections requested that the prison explain a policy, obtained by STAT, requiring that incarcerated people sign a consent form that misrepresents the benefits of available hepatitis C treatments. Lawmakers in other states are pledging broader probes into the issue, too.” Hepatitis C is a slow-moving killer that can be stopped. What’s getting in the way? “Michael Mendez said that when learned he had hepatitis C, “I didn’t even know what it was.” Mendez, 47, had been homeless for years in Los Angeles, and said he hadn’t gone to a doctor the entire time he was living on the streets. When Mendez got a roof over his head, at the Arroyo Seco Tiny Home Village, he decided to stop at the UCLA Health mobile clinic that rolled weekly to the Highland Park site—and soon learned about the infection that could jeopardize his life.”

Hepatitis C News Update

HEPATITIS C-YA NHS on track for historic elimination of Hepatitis C by 2025 thanks to pioneering drug deal “The NHS is on track to eliminate Hepatitis C in England by 2025 thanks to a pioneering drug deal and campaign to find and help people at risk, health chiefs have said.” Repeated Measurement of FIB-4 to Predict Long-Term Risk of HCC Development Up to 10 Years After SVR “Conclusion: FIB-4 > 3.25 measured at SVR or any time post-SVR was associated with HCC risks. The repeated measurement of FIB-4 revealed a better predictive ability of HCC risks than the simple measurement of FIB-4 at baseline. The additional stratification of patients by combining FIB-4 and cirrhosis leads to more accurately identifying high-risk patients. Surveillance of HCC is recommended for virologically cured patients with a FIB-4 > 3.25 at SVR or anytime afterward and patients diagnosed with cirrhosis.”

My Choices News Update

When ‘letting yourself go’ might actually be good for your health “Do you feel like you’ve “let yourself go”? Or, do you overhear people talking about how so-and-so has “let herself go” (because a woman is usually the object of this statement) and dread someone, someday saying that about you? Do you yourself comment when you think someone in your family or friend circles has “let themselves go?” Good hydration may slow down aging and prolong disease-free life “Adults who stay well-hydrated appear to be healthier, develop fewer chronic conditions, such as heart and lung disease, and live longer than those who may not get sufficient fluids, according to a National Institutes of Health study published in eBioMedicine.” Barnsley: How singers are tackling the loneliness of cancer “Cancer can leave you feeling like you are on your own. But one group of cancer patients in Barnsley has found a way to bring people together through singing. The group, calling themselves We Can Survive Singers, have just released their first single. BBC News’ Kevin Shoesmith found out more.” What Is Noom and Is It Healthy? “Anyone who’s tried losing weight knows it’s easier said than done. That’s why so many people flip-flop between diets trying to figure out how to lose weight sustainably. Yet, a subscription-based app and coaching platform called Noom uses behavioral science to help people track their food intake and exercise habits to achieve weight loss and improve their health.” Another Mediterranean Diet Bonus: Healthier Pregnancies “TUESDAY, Dec. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The Mediterranean diet delivers plenty of health dividends, and new research now discovers it may lower complications during pregnancy.” How Breath Work Can Lower Blood Pressure and Help Those With Hypertension “Practicing this breathing method for 10 minutes a day may lower your blood pressure.” Is My Poop Healthy? What Your Stool Is Telling You About Your Diet “That’s right, folks: Everybody poops. And it says a lot about your health.”

Weekly News Update.
Caring Ambassadors Program provides 3 weekly news updates covering Lung Cancer News, Hepatitis C News, and My Choices© Update. Receive them delivered weekly to your inbox.