U.S. Adults Who Should Take Statins For Heart Disease Prevention Fail To Do So
Only 42% of the 26.8 million adults for whom statins are recommended to prevent heart disease actually take the medications, according to an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) study. Statin use rates have remained flat in the last decade, despite evidence that they reduce death from heart disease. In 2016, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released new recommendations on statin use to prevent heart disease, the leading cause of death among adults age 40 and older. Using data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to assess the size and characteristics of the population that meets the USPSTF criteria for statin use, researchers found that among adults recommended for statin use, women, Hispanics and individuals living in the South or without health insurance were less likely to receive them. A conclusion reached is that new USPSTF recommendations may result in decreased personal costs and expanded access to statins.

Fast Food Consumption By U.S. Adults
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reveal that during 2013–2016, 36.6% of adults consumed fast food on a given day. The percentage decreased with age: 44.9% aged 20–39, 37.7% aged 40–59, and 24.1% aged 60 and over. A higher percentage of non-Hispanic black adults consumed fast food than non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic adults. The percentage of adults who consumed fast food increased with more family income. Among those who consumed fast food, men were more likely than women to eat fast food at lunch, but women were more likely to report eating fast food as a snack. Fast food is a part of the American diet and has been associated with high caloric intake, and poor diet quality. Time, financial resources, price, and availability influence fast food consumption, which was based on 24-hour recall.


Use Of Biological Swimmers As Cargo Delivery Agents In Blood
Nature presents intriguing biological swimmers with innate energy harvesting abilities from their local environments. Use of natural swimmers as cargo delivery agents presents an alternative strategy to transport therapeutics inside the body to locations otherwise difficult to access by traditional delivery strategies. A manuscript published on September 25, 2018 in the journal Advance Materials describes a biocompatible biohybrid microswimmer powered by a unicellular freshwater green microalga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Nontoxic and biodegradable, it moves by lashing a propeller-like tail. The researchers outfitted individual algal cells with magnetic polymer beads that could hold drugs in small amounts and allowed the researchers to steer the algae by applying a magnetic field to them. In the laboratory, these microswimmers darted through bodily fluids such as blood at more than 100 micrometres per second and successfully deposited payloads onto mammalian cells.

Novel Devices For Studying Acute And Chronic Mechanical Stress In Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells
Macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of adult blindness in developed countries. Physical changes within the retina are an important factor in its development. As reported in a study published on October 8, 2018 in the journal Lab on a Chip, researchers at Utah State University aimed to mimic changes in cells and find the mechanisms for the initiation and progression of diseases. Their study examines the effects of mechanical stress on elevated protein levels and abnormal development of new blood vessels. They were able to develop new devices to stress human cells in the lab mechanically. One device is designed to mimic slow and continuous stress levels and a second one is used for mimicking high levels of stress. They discovered that mechanical stress results in the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, a protein that can cause disease initiation and progression. Besides AMD, mechanical stress can occur in other diseases including diabetic retinopathy and even cancer.

More Articles from TRENDS October 2018


Patricia Prelock, Professsor and Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Vermont, is featured in this issue of TRENDS. Read More


The three branches of the federal government function cooperatively in many instances to meet the needs of the populace. Read More



Discusses how proposed rules are aimed at providing health coverage to employees, how medical needs are addressed in the Medicaid program, and survey results of workers’ views on their health care coverage. Read More



The U.S. Department of Education announced negotiated rulemaking for accreditation and innovation, while final Department regulations for borrower defense and gainful employment are delayed. Read More



  • 2017 National Healthcare Quality And Disparities Report

  • Interoperability Among Health Care Technologies

  • Enhancing High Schools As A Driver Of Individual Mobility And Community Progress Read More



Peer gender composition in the training process of stem doctoral degrees is discussed. Read More


An American College of Sports Medicine Survey describes top fitness trends for 2019, with wearable technology being in the first position. Read More