Alcohol-Cancer Link; Mpox and Women; Hearing Aids and Dementia

Most US Adults Unaware of Alcohol Cancer Link

Less than one third of US adults are aware that alcohol use is associated with higher cancer risk, according to a new survey. Only 31.2% of survey respondents thought that consuming liquor is associated with the risk; only 24.9% thought the same about drinking beer, and only 20.3% about wine. More than half of US adults report not knowing how alcoholic beverages affected cancer risk. The nationally representative survey reports responses from 3865 adults.

Opposite results: Some 10.3% of respondents thought drinking wine decreased cancer risk; 2.25% thought the same for drinking beer, and 1.7% thought that for drinking liquor.

Consistent results: The survey echoes a previous national survey that also found that the majority of US adults are not aware that alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk for a variety of cancers.

Few Women Tracked for Monkeypox

Studies that surveil patients with monkeypox include few women, and those that do don’t distinguish among cisgender women, transgender women, or nonbinary persons assigned female at birth, according to a new study. As a result, monitoring has missed the differences in how cis women and nonbinary people seek care for monkeypox and how that is associated with misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses.

Most monkeypox surveillance studies focus on men who have sex with men; almost 98% of confirmed monkeypox cases occur in gay or bisexual men, 41% of whom are also living with HIV, according to one of the largest global case studies, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Where they go: About 66% of trans women with monkeypox present to sexual health or HIV clinics, whereas cis women and nonbinary peers with monkeypox present to a wider range of settings, including emergency departments (35%), sexual health or HIV clinics (24%), and other hospital departments or primary care.

Wrong diagnoses: Misdiagnosis occurs in 34% of cis women and nonbinary individuals compared with 10% of trans women, the study finds. Diagnosis was delayed in as many as 37% of these populations compared with trans women, 77% of whom received a diagnosis on their first visit.

Hearing Aids Reduce Dementia Risk

Hearing aids significantly reduce the risk for cognitive decline and dementia and even improve short-term cognitive function in individuals with hearing loss, a new study suggests. Use of the devices is associated with a 19% reduction in cognitive decline, according to the study in JAMA Neurology.

The protective benefits of hearing aids accrue over time; even when those with some dementia begin wearing hearing aids, improvement is seen. The new study is a large meta-analysis that pools data from 31 studies with 137,484 participants whose average age ranged from 64 to 86 years. The studies followed participants for 2-25 years.

Strongest evidence yet: Hearing loss is a known risk factor for dementia. But the few studies that looked at the potential benefits of hearing aids were small and yielded conflicting results.

Benefits are expansive: Patients who already have early dementia benefited from hearing aids, with about a 20% lower risk for progression to full-blown dementia.

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