Today’s Read: 3.5 minutes
Healthcare workers will be the first in line for the Covid-19 vaccine, a greener Mediteranean diet can deliver more heart benefits, plus don’t vilify your phone just yet. And, strange clues to risky health conditions.
A Covid-19 vaccine may be only weeks away for healthcare workers
On Tuesday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to prioritize Covid-19 vaccine access to healthcare workers and nursing home patients, reports the Associated Press. The two groups together encompass 23 million Americans—mostly made up of healthcare workers.
Unfortunately, with an estimated 20 million doses of a vaccine reportedly available by the end of the year and two doses required to achieve full vaccination, states will need to prioritize populations within these groups. For instance, ED or ICU medical staff may be ahead of other staff if supplies are low.
As for vaccine approval, Britain approves Pfizer’s vaccine today. While the FDA is scheduled to meet about emergency-use authorization for vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna, December 10 and December 17, respectively. Both companies have said that they are able to start distributing the vaccine immediately after approval is received.
A greener Mediterranean diet may lead to better heart health
Have you heard of the green Mediterranean diet, aka green Med diet? It serves more plants and very little red meat or poultry, which could be better for cardiovascular health than the original, according to a study published in the journal Heart. Participants who ate a green Med diet lost more weight and improved heart health markers more than participants who ate either a healthy diet or a traditional Mediterranean diet. Read more about the study here.
Why your smartphone usage shouldn’t be a thing
How much time you spend on your phone does not increase anxiety and depression; but worrying about the amount of screen time you’re logging does, concludes a Technology, Mind, and Behavior study.
British researchers measured the time spent on smartphones by 199 iPhone users and 46 Android users for one week. Participants were also asked about their mental and physical health, completing clinical scales that measure anxiety and depression symptoms. They also completed a scale that measured how problematic they perceived their smartphone usage to be.
Surprisingly, the amount of time spent on the smartphone was not related to poor mental health. Instead, the study found that mental health was associated with concerns and worries felt by participants about their own smartphone usage.
The connection between sunbathing and endometriosis
If you or your patients enjoy sunbathing, know that melanoma isn’t the only consequence of this risky behavior—endometriosis is. According to a study of 116,000 women published in Human Reproduction, the risk of endometriosis increased the more women used tanning beds, got sunburnt, or used sunscreen during their teenage and young adulthood years.
However, the study also found that women living in parts of the country with high levels of ultraviolet light throughout the year, such as southern parts of the US, were less likely to be diagnosed with the painful condition.
Researchers weren’t able to identify the mechanisms between sun exposure and tanning beds and endometriosis since it was an observational study. But the authors point out that high-intensity exposure to UV light is associated with DNA damage, cell damage, inflammation, and risk of melanoma. All of which has been linked to an increased risk of endometriosis.
ONE BIG NUMBER
The proportion of women who experience a non-displaced fracture to the ulna bone of the forearm who may be victims of intimate partner violence, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
We should all be having as much fun as this pup.