Parabens, and a heat wave
Plus, Evusheld and drought
A massive, early season heat wave across India caused failing electricity when people need it the most and dozens of deaths. The weather pattern also devastated much of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and surrounding regions in recent weeks. With such severe heat, dust and ozone levels have increased, leading to higher air pollution rates, melting glaciers and flash floods. Wheat production is in jeopardy in the midst of a global supply chain crisis, and residents are being forced to rely on fossil fuels and coal-based electricity grids for cooling.
Completing the cycle, these consequences have caused more greenhouse gas emissions and worsened the impacts of climate change which often leads to—you guessed it—early season heat waves. We predict more funding will be allocated to respond to these events on an international level, but few effective policies will be implemented to target the biggest causes of climate change: 100 companies causing 71% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Don’t forget to email us at email@example.com for all your health questions. Here’s what our scientists are looking ahead to this week:
Antibiotic use linked to IBD in older adults
A recent study in people over 60 found that any antibiotic use was associated with a 64% increase in developing the major components of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. A research team completed a record analysis of 2.3 million adults ranging in age from 60 to 90 found the link between antibiotic usage and IBD. Researchers also found that every additional dose of prescribed antibiotics increased the risk of IBD in this population, potentially helping explain newer cases of the diagnosis in adults which had not yet been identified. In adults who received more than five courses of antibiotics, the risk of IBD rose by 135% with the highest risks among those who had been prescribed the medications 1 to 2 years prior to diagnosis. As more people around the world live longer and develop infections requiring this class of drugs, we expect to find links between medications, conditions, and the development of new diagnoses.
Drought in the Horn of Africa; a hunger crisis falls on deaf ears
The constant influx of negative news makes it hard for audiences to try to keep up with global occurrences. When a new poll found that only two out of ten Britons were aware of the worst drought in forty years taking place in parts of Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, few analysts were surprised. Three failed rainy seasons in the region have caused the deaths of livestock, forced migration to new regions, starvation, and increasing levels of child malnutrition. Twenty million people face hunger in the region, causing global experts to reevaluate funding and media attention paid to the Ukrainian people amid hopes some may be diverted to drought-stricken regions. We predict that while climate change solutions have yet to be enacted at the pace necessary to stomach these types of weather events, more and more dramatic impacts will hurt those most vulnerable.
And now, here’s what our scientists are unpacking for you…
Evusheld is a combination of drugs manufactured by AstraZeneca, designed to prevent COVID-19 infection in vulnerable and immunocompromised people. It is the first of its kind approved for COVID-19. There are two antibodies that make up Evusheld – tixagevimab and cilgavimab. These two antibodies are administered as two separate, consecutive injections in a muscle.
“Until recently, two other monoclonal antibody drugs: 1) casirivimab-imdevimab and 2) bamlanivimab-etesevimab, were used to prevent COVID-19 infection in people who were recently exposed to COVID-19. Unfortunately, however, both drugs have been shown to be ineffective against the omicron variant which is now the dominant variant globally. As a result, they are no longer currently approved for use.”
Parabens are synthetic chemicals that are used as preservatives in beverages, foods, drugs, and cosmetics. Parabens can enter the body by ingestion or absorption through the skin, and they have a half life of less than 24 hours, meaning they are out of the body quickly. However, regular application or ingestion of paraben-containing products could result in chronic, low levels of paraben in the body.
“In U.S. population studies, parabens have been detected in the urine of most people, indicating that most of the U.S. population is exposed to parabens. However, this widespread detection does not imply negative health effects. In fact, the safety of parabens is controversial.”
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