Aug 28, 2017

Anti-inflammatory drug may decrease heart attack risk

Gerry Broome / AP

Injections of an anti-inflammatory drug called canakinumab has been found to lower the risk of heart attack in people who have already survived one attack, according to a recent study by Brigham and Women's hospital in Boston. The drug is normally used for rare inflammatory conditions.

Why it matters: About half of all heart attacks occur in people who don't have high cholesterol levels. Researchers have suspected inflammation has a role in heart disease and this study confirms the connection. Canakinumab itself may not be useful in treating the condition because of side effects, but the finding offers another avenue for treating heart disease in people who don't respond to cholesterol-lowering statins.

The results: Out of the 10,000 patients in the study, those who were given canakinumab had a 15% lower chance of having a heart attack or stroke and a 30% lower risk of having to have an interventional procedure, such as a bypass.

The cons: Prof Martin Bennett, a cardiologist from Cambridge who did not participate in the study, told the Guardian that he his concerns were: 1.The drug (manufactured by Novartis which sponsored the study) is expensive at $200K a year. 2. It appears to increase the risk of developing a severe infection, which one out of a thousand people in the study died from 3. There was a higher risk of death among those who took the drug.

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School districts are exploring ways to keep their homebound pupils connected to the classroom, even though many students don't have the internet service or devices they need to do assignments.

Why it matters: All teachers face the problem of "summer slide" — when students lose skills during summer breaks. This year will be doubly hard because students are losing between one and three additional months of in-classroom instruction due to coronavirus-driven closures.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 679,977 — Total deaths: 31,734 — Total recoveries: 145,625.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 124,686 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per CDC, those residents should "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska issues a stay-at-home order — New York tries to nearly triple hospital capacity in less than a month and moved presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's initial handling of the virus balk at call for U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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