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Health News Results - 59

Blood plasma transfusions from people who have developed antibodies to the new coronavirus appear to be safe for many COVID-19 patients, a large study suggests.

The experimental treatment -- called convalescent plasma therapy -- is popular because no drug has been approved specifically to treat coronavirus infection.

A week after 20,000 COVID-19 patients deemed at risk for ...

A mainstay of 18th-century medicine -- the lowly leech -- has made something of a comeback in the 21st century. That's largely due to powerful blood thinners the parasitic worm secretes naturally.

Now, genetic research could give a major boost to the medical use of leeches, scientists say.

An international team sequenced the genome of a European leech called Hirudo medici...

The American Red Cross will test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies so donors can learn whether they've been exposed to the new coronavirus.

"We recognize that individuals and public health organizations desire more information about COVID-19, and as an organization dedicated to helping others, the Red Cross is fortunate to be able to help during this pan...

Teens who donate blood are at significant risk for long-term iron deficiency, a new study warns.

The concern comes as 16- to 18-year-olds have emerged as one of the fastest-growing groups of blood donors nationwide. But this study of nearly 31,000 teens who gave blood more than once between 2016 and 2018 found that roughly one in 10 were already iron-deficient when they donated for t...

The blood plasma of people who have recovered from the new coronavirus infection may help critically ill COVID-19 patients recover, a new study finds.

Of 25 sick patients given plasma transfusions, 19 improved and 11 left the hospital, the researchers reported. None of the patients had side effects from the transfusion.

"While physician scientists around the world scrambled ...

As U.S. hospitals resume procedures put on hold by the coronavirus outbreak, there's an urgent need for blood and platelet donations, the American Red Cross says.

Following a sharp decline in demand for blood products that began in early April, hospitals' needs have recently spiked 30%.

"Blood donors are essential to ensuring the continued health of their community by ma...

A new blood test might help doctors predict whether someone's multiple sclerosis may soon get worse.

The test looks for a substance called neurofilament light chain. It's a nerve protein that can be detected when nerve cells die. People with higher levels of it were more likely to have worsening MS effects within the next year.

"In a disease like MS that is so unpredictabl...

Could blood plasma drawn from people who've recovered from COVID-19 help prevent new coronavirus infections or ease symptoms in those already infected?

Two groups of researchers aim to find out.

One clinical trial, from doctors at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, will try to determine whether ...

The severity of COVID-19 illness may be influenced by what researchers call "cytokine storms."

In a new study, investigators assessed 522 COVID-19 patients, aged 5 days to 97 years, who were admitted to two hospitals in Wuhan, China, in December and January. The study also included a "control group" of 40 healthy people.

Compared to the control group, 76% of COVID-19 pat...

Domenico Piccininni is one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have had a COVID-19 infection and recovered after a bit of misery, but with no lasting complications.

What sets him apart from many other survivors is that Piccininni is trying to help people who now have more severe COVID-19 infections.

On Thursday, the Atlanta-area resident donated his plasma. Plasma i...

Pancreatic cancer is known as a "silent killer" because it's often detected far too late. But there's hope a new blood test may be able to spot the most common type of pancreatic tumor in its early stages.

In a small study, the test also appeared to be able to accurately identify the stage of pancreatic cancer in patients -- helping to determine the most appropriate treatment, researc...

America is in urgent need of blood donations during the coronavirus pandemic, so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will relax donor restrictions placed on gay and bisexual men and others.

Specifically, the FDA has changed the abstinence period required for gay and bisexual blood donors from 12 months to 3 months.

"We know that reducing the deferral peri...

As concerns about the new coronavirus escalate, the American Red Cross urges healthy, eligible people to give blood or platelets to help prevent blood shortages.

"We're asking the American people to help keep the blood supply stable during this challenging time. As communities across the country prepare for this public health emergency, it's critical that plans include a readily avail...

Gastrointestinal bleeding in patients taking blood thinners for an irregular heartbeat should prompt doctors to check for colon cancer, a new study advises.

Researchers looked at more than 125,000 patients in Denmark with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (a-fib). They reported that those with gastrointestinal bleeding were 11 to 24 times more likely than others to be diag...

People with blood types A and B may have higher risks for developing dangerous blood clots compared to people who have type O blood. That's according to new research that also showed a slightly higher risk for certain types of heart disease among the A and B groups.

Past research has shown a likely link between heart disease and the ABO gene that exists in people with A, B or AB bloo...

Patients taking the blood thinner warfarin have been told that it should be taken at night, but a new study found the time of day doesn't matter.

"Whether warfarin is taken in the morning, or the evening, its therapeutic effect is the same," said lead researcher Dr. Scott Garrison, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

...

Want free tickets to Super Bowl LIV in Miami? Roll up your sleeve and give blood this week.

The American Red Cross has an urgent need for all blood types, but especially for type O.

People who donate blood or platelets by Jan. 19 will be entered automatically in a drawing for two tickets to this year's big game.

It's part of an effort by the Red Cross and the Nat...

A condition called lymphopenia -- low levels of lymphocyte blood cells -- could be an early warning for illness, a new study suggests.

Danish researchers linked the condition to a 60% increased risk of death from any cause during the study period.

A low lymphocyte count was also associated with a 1.5- to 2.8-fold increased risk of death from cancer, heart disease, respir...

Imagine a blood test that could spot whether you are aging too quickly.

New research suggests it's not the stuff of science fiction anymore.

The scientists analyzed plasma -- the cell-free, fluid part of blood -- from more than 4,200 people between the ages of 18 and 95, and found a link between 373 proteins and aging.

"We've known for a long time that measuring ce...

If you ever get a blood transfusion, that supposedly pure blood is likely to contain something more: caffeine, cough medicine and an anti-anxiety drug, a new study suggests.

Oregon State University (OSU) researchers analyzed 18 batches of human blood serum pooled from multiple donors, and every batch tested positive for caffeine.

In addition, 13 batches contained the anti-an...

People with inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes or blood clots may be at increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis -- and people with rheumatoid arthritis are at added risk for heart disease, blood clots and sleep apnea, researchers say.

Their findings could improve understanding of how rheumatoid arthritis (RA) develops and also lead to earlier detection and screening for other...

How much pain you feel when blood samples are taken could depend on how nice the person wielding the needle is, new research suggests.

Patients were 390% more likely to say their pain was well-controlled when the person taking their blood was courteous, according to a study presented recently at the Anesthesiology annual meeting, in Orlando.

"It's not surprising that a c...

There's early promise in the quest for a blood test that might spot breast cancer up to five years before clinical signs of the disease appear, researchers say.

The test identifies specific immune system "autoantibodies," British researchers explained. The immune system produces the antibodies when it comes into contact with tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), which are produced by brea...

Men who are on the blood-thinning drug warfarin have more difficulty taking the medication if they live alone, but the same is not true for women, a new study finds.

Warfarin (brand-name Coumadin) is a common anti-clotting treatment to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart rhythm disorder.

Continuous bloo...

Sepsis is a life-threatening infection that lands its victims in the hospital, but the dangers don't end for survivors who have high levels of inflammation long after being discharged, a new study finds.

"Sepsis is the leading cause of death among hospitalized patients. Patients discharged from the hospital aren't out of the woods yet. Approximately one out of every three sepsis survi...

If a close relative has had blood cancer, you're more likely to get it, a large new study reports.

The researchers analyzed data from 16 million people in Sweden, including more than 153,000 diagnosed with blood cancer and more than 391,000 of their first-degree relatives: parents, siblings or children.

Patients with a family link accounted for 4.1% of all blood cancer ...

Pregnant women should keep in mind that donating their umbilical cord blood could save lives, a clinical cell therapy expert says.

Cord blood is the blood collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a healthy baby, said Fabio Triolo. He is director of the Cellular Therapy Core laboratories at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Cord bl...

Even mild anemia -- low levels of hemoglobin in the blood -- may raise a person's odds for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, a new study finds.

The same Dutch research also found a correlation between heightened dementia risk and high blood levels of hemoglobin.

"With around 10% of people over age 65 having anemia in the Americas and Europe, and up to 45...

Red blood cell donations from women who have been pregnant won't cause fatal reactions in patients who get the blood, a new study finds.

Earlier studies have suggested that women who have been pregnant shouldn't give blood, because antibodies that develop during pregnancy could cause a potentially deadly complication in recipients of their blood. That complication is called transfusi...

Older age raises the odds of many ills, but for adults with gout, it's the younger ones who have the highest risk for developing a serious blood clot, new research indicates.

Gout patients of any age have a 25% greater risk of developing a blood clot deep in the veins in the first 10 years after diagnosis, the British study found.

But "the risk was 79% higher in gou...

More than 1 million Americans have a genetic condition that pushes their cholesterol to dangerously high levels, but many don't know it.

Now, researchers offer a possible way to get more people with so-called familial hypercholesterolemia into treatment for this potentially life-threatening problem.

"The blood donor system could be a portal to understand who has genetic chol...

Let's say you're one of the millions of older adults who takes a low-dose aspirin religiously, in the belief that it will guard against heart disease and heart attacks.

Now, a new review suggests your risk of a brain bleed outweighs any heart benefit that a daily aspirin might bring you.

Researchers said the findings support a recent change to guidelines on low-dose aspirin:...

Could you -- or your teenage daughter -- have an iron deficiency and not know it? If you're getting enough sleep, but still feel tired, running low on iron could be the problem.

Iron is our most common nutrient shortfall. A serious deficiency can lead to anemia. That's when you have fewer red blood cells than normal or when those cells don't have enough hemoglobin, a protein that carr...

A gene therapy that tweaks the immune system might offer hope to people with blood cancer that has resisted standard treatments, a new preliminary trial suggests.

The cancer, called multiple myeloma, arises in certain white blood cells. It is currently incurable, but there are treatments that can help people live with the disease for years.

Howeve...

The chances of finding an unrelated bone marrow donor are higher for U.S. patients of European descent than for those of non-European descent, a new study finds.

A bone marrow transplant can sometimes help people with life-threatening blood cancers by replacing the patient's cells with healthy ones from a donor. A brother or sister with the same genetic markers as the recipient is the...

A blood test used to detect a heart attack may often provide some misleading results, British researchers report.

In a new study of patients undergoing blood tests at a hospital in England, one in 20 people had high blood levels of troponin, a protein released into the bloodstream during a heart attack. But most of them had no clinical signs of a heart attack.

"This common b...

A blood test may one day replace invasive tissue biopsies as a pain-free way to guide treatment in lung cancer patients, new research suggests.

The so-called "liquid biopsy" can quickly identify tumor gene mutations that match targeted drug therapies -- potentially boosting patient survival.

The new findings present "a convincing argument for use of the liquid biopsy as a fi...

Giving blood can be a way to help your community, but teenaged girls face special risks when donating, a new study shows.

Specifically, they face a higher chance of developing iron deficiency and anemia, so they require additional measures to protect them, the researchers said.

Blood donation is largely a safe procedure, but the blood loss that happens during menstruation ev...

The U.S. blood supply is expected to drop to dangerously low levels as sub-zero weather in many parts of the country forces cancellation of crucial blood drives, American Red Cross officials warn.

Severe winter weather has already led to 370 cancellations across the country, resulting in the loss of 11,600 anticipated blood donations, the agency said.

Red Cross officials exp...

Heart surgery patients may fare better if they have their own blood "recycled" and given back to them during the procedure, a preliminary study suggests.

The study focused on so-called "intraoperative autologous" blood donation -- where patients have some blood removed at the start of surgery for their own use. The goal is to avoid transfusions of donor blood during surgeries where p...

Newer blood thinners are recommended over warfarin for people with the heart condition called atrial fibrillation (a-fib) in updated treatment guidelines issued by three major American heart groups.

The newer drugs are called non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs). Examples include dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixaban (Eliquis). They don't require the same frequ...

A hormone found in the blood that's commonly linked to heart disease also might signal when someone is more likely to grow weaker or lose their ability to balance before they're 70.

People in their early 60s with higher-than-normal levels of brain natriuretic peptide, or BNP, walked slower and were less able to raise themselves from a chair and balance on one leg up to nine years lat...

The most common genetic disorder among northern Europeans -- called hemochromatosis -- occurs more often than previously thought, according to a new study.

The researchers also found that people with the condition often develop serious health problems.

People with hemochromatosis -- a build-up of iron in the body that can damage the liver, heart and other organs -- have two ...

The holidays, winter weather and the flu season have all prompted a blood shortage, the American Red Cross warns.

The organization said Monday it had about 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than needed over Christmas and New Year's.

People nationwide, especially those with type O blood, are urged to schedule an appointment to donate. This can be done by downloading t...

Researchers say they've identified genetic mutations linked with a blood vessel defect that can lead to deadly brain bleeds in babies.

A rare hereditary condition, called vein of Galen malformation, causes high-pressured blood to be pumped from arteries into veins. The veins aren't meant to handle such pressure and can rupture, spilling blood into the brain.

"The effect is l...

Checking for low hemoglobin in the blood -- otherwise known as anemia -- usually means drawing blood for testing.

But scientists say they've developed a wireless smartphone app that does the same by "reading" a quick photo of your fingernail.

The app converts fingernail colors into quick readings of blood hemoglobin levels, according to researchers at Emory University in Atl...

Older heart attack patients who are frail are at increased risk for bleeding when being treated, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 129,000 heart attack patients older than 65 who were treated at 775 U.S. hospitals between early 2015 and late 2016.

Those who were frail had a 50 percent higher risk of major bleeding than non-frail patients. These frai...

There's an urgent need for blood and platelet donations in the United States because donations during September and October fell 21,000 units short of hospital needs, the American Red Cross says.

That means blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are being made.

"Today, the Red Cross asks the American public for help. As we head into the busy ...

After mass shootings like the one at a Pittsburgh synagogue just last weekend that left 11 dead and six wounded, Americans often rush to donate blood to help the victims.

But new research suggests that some of that blood could end up going to waste.

"There is an emotional desire after these events to immediately donate blood, but that's not always necessary and it's not alwa...

If you're on multiple medications and your high blood pressure is still not under control, you might want to ask your doctor to check the lead levels in your shin bones.

Researchers found a link between the two, and they noted that standard blood tests didn't spot rising lead levels while the shin bone test did.

"Laws limiting lead exposure have been on the books for decades...