By Nancy Lapid
(Reuters) – The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that requires further study to confirm the results, and this has yet to be attested by peer review.
Long COVID is rare in college athletes
College athletes who become infected with the coronavirus will most likely not have lasting effects, a large U.S. study suggests. Researchers tracked more than 3,500 athletes from 44 colleges and universities and from more than 20 different sports that tested positive for the virus. Only 1.2% reported symptoms lasting more than three weeks, with 0.06% reported symptoms lasting more than three months, the researchers wrote in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Four percent reported still having problems such as shortness of breath or chest pain when they returned to exercise. Researchers found that one in four athletes with chest pain during exercise was likely to have suffered some side effects from the virus, while no athlete with stress symptoms without chest pain appeared to have heart problems related to COVID-19. “For the vast majority of athletes, this study shows that a return to play is possible without prolonged symptoms of COVID,” study leader Dr. Jonathan Drezner of the University of Washington in Seattle said in a statement. “But any new chest pain or cardiopulmonary symptom should be taken seriously. Even if an initial heart test is negative after COVID-19 disease, chest pain during your exertion should be evaluated.”
Treatment of prostate cancer shows no benefit against COVID-19
Small studies have suggested that common prostate cancer treatment could protect patients with COVID-19 against serious illness. A new, larger study found no benefit, according to a report published Friday on JAMA Network. The treatment blocks the effects of androgen, a male hormone involved in feeding prostate cancer, which also regulates a protein that plays a role in COVID-19 infections. Researchers studied 1,106 COVID-19 patients with prostate cancer, 24% of whom received androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Thirty days after COVID-19 diagnosis, there was no difference in COVID-19 severity or death rates among men who had or experienced ADT. The result was the same when researchers limited the analysis to 477 men who were closely matched based on similar health status and risk factors. “These findings do not support the hypothesis that ADT may be useful” for patients with COVID-19, the researchers concluded. But this observational study, they point out, cannot definitively demonstrate whether or not ADT reduces the severity of COVID-19. The answer to that question will come from large random trials that are currently taking place.
A third vaccine dose is safe for at-risk patients
Giving a third full dose of mRNA vaccine to people with diseases that impair the response of their immune system to the usual two-shot regimen seems to be safe in terms of side effects, new data shows. Immunocompromised individuals were advised by medical authorities to receive a third full dose as an accelerator. While studies have generally shown improved antibody levels after the third dose, data on side effects have been limited. For a report posted Tuesday on medRxiv ahead of a peer review, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota reviewed electronic health records of nearly 48,000 people who received three full doses of the Modern or Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. There were slightly higher rates of fatigue, nausea, headache, joint and muscle aches, upset stomach and chills after the third dose than after the second shot. But “reporting of severe adverse events remained low” after the third dose, with rates at or below 0.01%, the researchers said. “This study provides support for the safety of third-party vaccine doses from individuals at high risk of severe COVID-19 and new infection,” they concluded.
Click for Reuters chart https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl on vaccines in development.
(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Bill Berkrot)