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Gene variant associated with diabetes disparities; WHO responds to new mpox strain in Africa; Gun violence declared a public health crisis – Morning Medical Update


The top news stories in medicine today.

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Morning Medical Update : Prostock_studio - stock.adobe.com

Gene variant associated with diabetes disparities

According to a report in Nature Medicine, a genetic variation found commonly in people of African ancestry is leading to an increased risk of complications from diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy.

Researchers discovered that the diagnosis of diabetes and treatment needed to prevent the autoimmune disease may be delayed in people who carry the gene variant, G6PDdef, as it linked to reduced levels of HbA1c, a widely used clinical marker of blood glucose levels.

Todd Edwards, PhD, MS, co-author of the report, said, “This discovery could lead to changes in the way diabetes is managed for millions of patients in the U.S. and around the world.”

WHO responds to new mpox strain in Africa

The World Health Organization urged that the spread of mpox in Africa needs to be addressed urgently after scientists warned separately of another dangerous strain spreading throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo.

John Claude Udahekuma from the University of Rwanda has been working on an outbreak in the South Kivu province of Congo, warning that the mpox strain spreading there has fatality rates of 5% in adults and 10% in children.

So far, close to 8,600 mpox cases have been reported in Congo, with 410 deaths. Read more about the widespread outbreak of this new mpox strain around the continent here.

Gun violence declared a public health crisis

Yesterday, US surgeon general Vivek Murthy declared gun violence a public health crisis. The statement comes because of the last few years, as gun violence and gun-related deaths have significantly increased throughout the country.

Murthy called on policymakers to consider gun safety measures, such as bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and universal background checks for all firearm purchases. He also asked for an increase in funding for research on gun-related injuries and deaths, along with greater access to mental health care and trauma-informed resources for victims of gun violence.

In 2022, 132 people a day were killed by guns in the US, with suicides accounting for more than half of those deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Find more information in this article.

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