The Rundown | Week of 8.26.2019

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Red Wine Boosts Gut Health

Researchers from King’s College London discovered red-wine drinkers exhibited greater diversity of gut microbiota, a marker of a healthy gut. The study, which was published in Gastroenterology, also suggested that participants who drank red wine were less likely to be obese or have “bad” cholesterol. Participants drank beer, cider, red wine, white wine, and spirits to test the effects on the gut microbiome. Researchers accounted for participants’ age, weight, diet, and socioeconomic status and found similar results among cohorts in the Netherlands, U.S., and U.K. Lead author Tim Spector noted the “high levels of polyphenols in the grape skin could be responsible for much of the controversial health benefits when used in moderation.”
>> Read More: Red Wine Consumption Associated With Increased Gut Microbiota α-diversity in 3 Independent Cohorts

Johnson & Johnson Sued for $572 Million

An Oklahoma judge recently ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 for its role in fueling the state’s opioid crisis. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman ruled the multinational corporation’s “false, misleading and dangerous marketing campaigns have caused exponentially increasing rates of addiction overdose deaths.” The funds would support state treatment and prevention programs. However, Johnson & Johnson representatives stated the company would appeal the decision.
>> Read More: Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $572M over Opioid Crisis

Survey: Americans Trust Doctors with Health Data

Despite the frequency of large-scale healthcare data breaches, researchers found that Americans largely trust “healthcare organizations such as [the] doctor’s office and hospitals” with their data. “Additionally, a quarter of adults say they have set up a patient portal and most use them to see test results and schedule an appointment. Most do not express a great deal of concern when it comes to the potential hacking of patient portals,” according to the poll from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Politico. However, respondents were distrustful of “internet search engines” and believed “health information and products they have searched for privately may harm them in the future by making it more difficult to get a job, health insurance, or medical care.”
>> Read More: Americans’ Views on Data Privacy & E-Cigarettes

Dogs Linked to Cardiovascular Health

A recent study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings indicates pet ownership — and dogs, in particular — may guard against cardiovascular disease (CVD). Researchers noted that dog owners were “more likely to exercise regularly, eat a healthier diet, and have better sugar levels in their blood.” Researchers accounted for participants’ health behaviors, such as diet, blood pressure, and smoking status as well as age, sex, and education level.
>> Read More: Mayo Clinic Minute: Why Having a Dog is Heart-Healthy

USPSTF Continues Guideline Revisions

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently recommended providers screen all adult patients for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The nonprofit group updates the 2013 guidelines, expanding them to include all adults. Treatment advancements, such as direct-acting antivirals, and an “increasing prevalence of HCV among younger adults,” led the group to conclude with “moderate certainty” that screening all adults will be beneficial. The rise of HCV was particularly prominent among “young, white injection drug users, particularly in rural areas, as well as women ages 15-44.” Officials allow public comment on the draft recommendation until September 23.
>> Read More: USPSTF: Screen All Adults for Hepatitis C Infection

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