The week in brief

August 28th – September 1st

Congratulations for making it through another week! Here are your recent updates in the world of medical research and policy.


A trial published last weekend during the 2017 European Society of Cardiology congress found that a blood thinner, rivaroxaban (Xarelto), failed to outperform aspirin at preventing cardiovascular death, stroke, or heart attack for patients who had hardened arteries.

The combination of rivaroxaban + aspirin did do better than aspirin alone, but also came at higher risk for uncontrolled bleeding.


In July 2017, the Trump Administration announced funding cuts and an end to its Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.

In a commentary, the potential consequences of these cuts are laid bare: Lowering the age of first intercourse, increasing the rate of premarital sex among teens, increasing the number of unintended pregnancies, and increasing the number of abortions.


A new study found that taking excessive amounts of vitamins B6 and B12 is linked to significantly elevated risk of lung cancer in men.

It doesn’t mean B6 and B12 causes cancer, but the data showed signs that men who intentionally seek B6 and B12 supplementation may be at increased risk of lung cancer.


Graft-vs-host disease (aka GVHD) is where the stem cell transplant develops into white blood cells that “rejects” the recipient.

To help predict what happens after an acute GVHD, a new study turned to some common biomarkers which are simple to test. Their risk score, EASIX, also came with an online calculator.


TB (or tuberculosis) is a potentially lethal infection which is particularly serious for patients living with HIV.

To circumvent the high cost of genetic tests used to screen for active TB, a new study showed that a simple finger-prick test for CRP may do the job at less than a fifth the cost.


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