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Daily Recap: COVID-19 comorbidity death toll; screen all women for anxiety


Here are the stories our MDedge editors across specialties think you need to know about today:

Comorbidities increase COVID-19 deaths by factor of 12

COVID-19 patients with an underlying condition are 6 times as likely to be hospitalized and 12 times as likely to die, compared with those who have no such condition, according to the CDC.

The most frequently reported underlying conditions were cardiovascular disease (32%), diabetes (30%), chronic lung disease (18%), and renal disease (7.6%), and there were no significant differences between males and females.

The pandemic “continues to affect all populations and result in severe outcomes including death,” noted the CDC, emphasizing “the continued need for community mitigation strategies, especially for vulnerable populations, to slow COVID-19 transmission.” Read more.

Preventive services coalition recommends routine anxiety screening for women

Women and girls aged 13 years and older with no current diagnosis of anxiety should be screened routinely for anxiety, according to a new recommendation from the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative.

The lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders in women in the United States is 40%, approximately twice that of men, and anxiety can be a manifestation of underlying issues including posttraumatic stress, sexual harassment, and assault.

“The WPSI based its rationale for anxiety screening on several considerations,” the researchers noted. “Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorders in women, and the problems created by untreated anxiety can impair function in all areas of a woman’s life.” Read more.

High-fat, high-sugar diet may promote adult acne

A diet higher in fat, sugar, and milk was associated with having acne in a cross-sectional study of approximately 24,000 adults in France.

Although acne patients may believe that eating certain foods exacerbates acne, data on the effects of nutrition on acne, including associations between acne and a high-glycemic diet, are limited and have produced conflicting results, noted investigators.

“The results of our study appear to support the hypothesis that the Western diet (rich in animal products and fatty and sugary foods) is associated with the presence of acne in adulthood,” the researchers concluded.

Population study supports migraine-dementia link

Preliminary results from a population-based cohort study support previous reports that migraine is a midlife risk factor for dementia later in life, but further determined that migraine with aura and frequent hospital contacts significantly increased dementia risk after age 60 years, according to results from a Danish registry presented at the virtual annual meeting of the American Headache Society.

The preliminary findings revealed that the median age at diagnosis was 49 years and about 70% of the migraine population were women. “There was a 50% higher dementia rate in individuals who had any migraine diagnosis,” Dr. Islamoska said.

“To the best of our knowledge, no previous national register–based studies have investigated the risk of dementia among individuals who suffer from migraine with aura,” Dr. Sabrina Islamoska said.

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