If You’re Black, Alzheimer’s Blood Tests Won’t Work As Well
New research into efforts to diagnose Alzheimer's using blood tests shows they aren't as accurate for African Americans, with a higher risk of misdiagnosis and thus incorrect treatments. Meanwhile, a separate study suggests some racial and ethnic groups should be screened earlier for diabetes.
St. Louis Public Radio:
Alzheimer’s Blood Tests Perform Worse In Black Patients
Several blood tests used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease are less accurate for African Americans than white patients, according to research from Washington University. The gold standard for Alzheimer’s diagnosis typically involves brain imaging and spinal fluid testing, but in recent years, biotech companies have developed an array of cheaper, less invasive blood tests to detect early signs of the disease. The tests measure concentrations of specific proteins that form sticky plaques and tangles in the brain, causing the memory-robbing disease. But when Washington University researchers tested the accuracy of leading Alzheimer’s blood tests, they found three out of four performed differently depending on the patient’s race. Black patients were more likely to be misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, putting them at risk of receiving the wrong medical treatment. (Farzan, 5/10)
Study: Certain Racial, Ethnic Groups Should Be Screened Earlier For Diabetes
Widely used physician guidelines that ignore patients’ race and ethnicity could be doing more harm than good when it comes to catching diabetes in people of color. New research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday, suggests that people from certain racial and ethnic groups should be screened for diabetes at lower body mass index than non-Hispanic white people — a recommendation that contradicts recent guidelines from the United States Preventive Services Task Force. (Cueto, 5/9)
Financial Training Linked To Health Improvement, Study Finds
Educating low-income single mothers about consumer finances led to lower stress and healthier lifestyle choices, a new study shows. Researchers from Creighton University tracked health metrics such as blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, perceived quality of life, hopefulness and lifestyle behaviors among women aged 19 to 55 who completed the academic institution's Financial Success Program , which provides personal finance training. (Hartnett, 5/9)
Overweight, Obesity Rose 18% In Kids Early In Pandemic, Study Finds
In the first 3 to 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of overweight or obese children and teens from low-income families in Ohio climbed from 38% to 45%, suggests a study presented last week at the European Congress on Obesity in the Netherlands. (Van Beusekom, 5/9)
Unexplained Hepatitis In Kids: Should Parents Worry?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating cases of unexplained hepatitis in children. As many as 109 cases are under investigation. On Friday, the CDC reported that these cases have affected children in 25 states and territories. Nearly all the children needed to be hospitalized; five children have died, the CDC said. The rise in these severe and mysterious cases has led the CDC to issue a health advisory to clinicians so that health care providers can be on the lookout and report cases accordingly. What should parents know about the cases of hepatitis in kids? How worried should they be, and what are the symptoms they should be looking out for? Is there a link between the cases of hepatitis and Covid-19? (Hetter, 5/9)