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National and local policies have led to large reductions in lead poisoning cases overall in the U.S., but severe cases are still common among children. Recently, researchers at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) investigated sources of exposure, risk factors, and … Read more

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An abundance of events are afoot around the world to mark Rare Disease Day 2020 on Feb. 29. The activities are focused on heightening awareness about rare diseases and the hundreds of millions of individuals they are thought to affect. Patients, caregivers, and advocates worldwide will sport denim ribbons and zebra stripes, paint their faces, contact lawmakers, flood social media platforms, participate in academic and community discussions, and hold fundraisers — all in the name...

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African-Americans with sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease have a significantly faster decline in kidney function than their unaffected peers with normal hemoglobin, a study suggests. Men, people with diabetes, and those with good kidney function to start saw kidney function decline fastest, according to the study. The findings support the need for further studies evaluating these potential risk factors and their underlying mechanisms, the researchers said. The study, “Kidney Function Decline among Black...

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Living with sickle cell disease is not easy. It affects every area of one’s life. An important part of managing the challenges that come with the disease is having a solid support system. I do not have any close friends with sickle cell, but I have amazing friends who help me in any way they can when it comes to my health. I appreciate them so much. It took me a while to start sharing...

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The Howard University College of Medicine has been awarded a $42,000 grant to support its “LIFE (Learning Is Fundamental for Everyone) with Sickle Cell Disease” project for youth with the inherited blood disorder and their families. The grant, from the Walter Brownley Trust, was awarded to the College of Medicine’s department of pediatrics and child health. The LIFE project is designed to enhance educational and other support services for school-age children with sickle cell disease (SCD) who...

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Pediatric patients with sickle cell disease complicated by acute kidney injury (AKI) were more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), had longer hospital stays, accumulated greater hospitalization costs, and had a higher rate of readmission, a large-scale analysis found.  Increasing age at hospital admission and a history of high blood pressure and blood in the urine were identified as risk factors for AKI. The study also found that those receiving hydroxyurea...

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My hospital also is a university full of medical students. Trainees follow their supervisors from patient to patient to get a sense of how their work applies to real-life situations. Nine times out of 10, I love interacting with students. I love to discover the person behind the uniform, and I am always interested in learning about their motivations.  Occasionally, however, my encounters with medical students are unpleasant. For example, last November, an encounter with a...

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a vast government bureaucracy, employs about 17,500 people and had a budget of $5.7 billion in 2019. Yet even with its enormous resources, the FDA these days relies more and more on patients to provide feedback on therapy development, set regulatory priorities, and contribute to patient-reported outcomes. Starting with an HIV/AIDS patient group in the late ’80s, further expanding into oncology and other life-threatening health issues in the...

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More than a quarter of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged, most often due to sickle cell crisis, according to a recent U.S. nationwide study. This high rate of readmissions was associated with a significant financial burden on the healthcare system, the researchers said in the study, titled “Epidemiology and Predictors of all-cause 30-Day readmission in patients with sickle cell crisis” and published in...

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The gleaming new Dutch headquarters of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), fronting Domenico Scarlattilaan in Amsterdam’s suburban Zuidas business district, finally opened for business last month — just over two years after the European Union decided to relocate the EMA to the Netherlands in the wake of Brexit. “A year ago, we lowered the flags in our London offices with a heavy heart,” Guido Rasi, EMA’s executive director, said Feb. 3 as the flags of...