July Newsletter
July, 2021
Welcome to the July newsletter. This newsletter aims to provide information and analysis of timely topics from recent articles published in the medical literature. I hope you find this information useful and helpful in your health journey. If you have comments or questions, please let us know!

The Delta variant has become more prevalent. This variant seems to be causing more problems for people who are vaccinated than previous versions. However, despite breathless media reports, as of July 19, the CDC had received reports of 5,914 COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths out of more than 161 million fully vaccinated people in the United States. That is around 3/100,000 vaccinated people ending up hospitalized (all comers) and certainly, those with few risk factors (higher age, immunocompromised status, obesity) are at much lower risk. Vaccination takes the risk of an 80-year-old to that of a healthy 50-year-old, and 50-year-olds are now at similar risk to 20-year-olds. Vaccination continues to be the best way moving forward and these vaccines are still remarkably effective. This will likely be a wave similar to others (around 12 weeks). Note that India is now back to near baseline prior to their surge of Delta from mid-March to mid-June.

I am happy to announce that I have secured access to one of the newest diagnostic tests available. The Galleri test is a blood test that can detect over 50 types of cancer before they are apparent through regular screening testing (and many cancers don't have a screening test). The test detects methylation patterns of cell-free DNA which can indicate cancer and thus has the potential to detect cancer at the earliest stages. If you are interested in learning more about this test please let us know.
Triglycerides & Cardiac Risk
Triglycerides are fats in your bloodstream that the body either immediately burns for fuel or stores in fat cells for later use. When there is plenty of food around, they move food energy into fat stores. When food is not available, they are burned for energy. But do triglyceride levels matter in people who are at low risk of cardiac disease? What level of triglycerides should cause concern? What can we do about it?  
Coffee For Your Liver
Coffee is a morning habit many of us share. There has been a lot published about coffee over the years debating if it is bad for us or good for us. Does the type of coffee we drink matter? Do we need to drink only freshly ground beans? The incidence of chronic liver disease is increasing worldwide so this recent article reviewed specifically the effect coffee has on our liver, whether or not coffee consumption was beneficial for chronic liver disease, and which types of coffee were beneficial. So is it drip, French press, or cold brew? Read on for your answer.

Incredible Egg?
For decades we have been told to avoid eggs due to their dietary cholesterol content. The thought was that dietary cholesterol would contribute to plaque formation in arteries resulting in increased heart disease. But is this the case? Does what you eat automatically go into the walls of your arteries? This study investigated egg consumption in 23 prospective studies involving over 1.4 million individuals with 157,324 cardiovascular events comparing those who ate more than one egg daily with people who ate one egg or less daily. The findings may surprise you. 

To Your Health...
Thank you for taking the time to read through this newsletter. We hope you have found this information useful. Feel free to pass this on to anyone you think would benefit from this newsletter.

Mark Niedfeldt, M.D.

Old-fashioned medicine with 21st Century convenience and technology