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What do horror flicks and exercise have in common?

Cardiology   Patient Care   Management & Treatment

Today’s Read: 3.5 minutes

One thing that horror flicks and exercise have in common is that they both build resilience. Plus, we look at different ways to treat opioid addiction and prevent heart disease. 

There are even flowers at the end.


Love horror flicks?

If so, you may have been more prepared for the reality of 2020 than those who prefer to stray away from zombie apocalypses for entertainment, according to research published in Personality and Individual Differences.

Penn State University researchers found that the more movies about zombies, alien invasions, and apocalyptic pandemics people had seen prior to COVID-19, the better they dealt with the current pandemic. These kinds of movies apparently serve as mental rehearsal for actual events.

Note: This was only after factoring out personality traits which were stronger indicators for who is able to handle the adversity of a pandemic. Still, we think it could be an interesting way to build resilience.

Partnering with pharmacist could help treat opioid use disorder

Buprenorphine is a safe and effective opioid addiction treatment for nearly two decades, but providers must complete training and receive a special waiver in order to prescribe the medication—creating a barrier to treatment. Fewer than 10% of primary care providers are authorized to prescribe buprenorphine, and more than 20 million people in the U.S. live in a county without a buprenorphine-waivered physician.

However, there might be a potential way to scale treatment. Collaborations between waivered HCPs and community pharmacists to treat opioid use disorder could increase adherence and participant satisfaction, according to a report in Addiction. Investigators recruited 71 adults currently receiving office-based buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder in the Raleigh-Durham area, N.C., from March to December 2018. Six physicians and six community pharmacists took part in the trial.

How did it work? The initial treatment phase—when the buprenorphine dose is gradually increased until a satisfactory daily dose is reached, was carried out under the care of a waivered physician. Then, participants attended monthly maintenance visits with pharmacists who dispensed buprenorphine, assessed how well the medication was working, and provided counseling and referrals to specialists as needed. Pharmacists then provided feedback to the partnering physician to adjust buprenorphine dosage as needed.

Nearly 89% of participants remained in the study and 95.3% adhered to the daily medication regimen. During the 6-month trial, no opioid-related emergencies or hospitalizations were reported. The proportion of opioid-positive urine drug screens was less than 5% at month 6 among participants who completed all urine drug screens in the study. Participants, physicians, and pharmacists alike reported high rates of satisfaction with the program, so this could be a program to consider if you’re a waivered healthcare provider.

Exercise is the best medicine

The American College of Medicine has a saying, and global health initiative: Exercise is Medicine. Now, there’s a study that may drive that home. Research published this week in PLOS Medicine has found that not only is physical activity associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but there is no threshold for that association for the most active people.

The study used data from 90,211 participants without prior cardiovascular disease who wore an accelerometer to measure their activity for a week in 2013 through 2015. Overall, 4% were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease during the approximately 5.2 years of follow-up. People in every increasing quartile of physical activity, for moderate-intensity activity, vigorous-intensity activity, and total physical activity, were less likely to have cardiovascular disease.

This study adds weight to the new WHO physical activity recommendations of at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week may prevent cardiovascular disease. Are you moving that much?



The increased risk of atrial fibrillation caused by regular consumption of a modest amount of alcohol, specifically one alcoholic drink a day. This is based on a study of nearly 108,000 people nearly 14 years published in European Heart Journal.


Frolic with this baby.

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