Attacks

fitness

Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought ‘9/11 attack was 7/11 attack’

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenObama slams Trump in Miami: ‘Florida Man wouldn’t even do this stuff’ Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Brad Pitt narrates Biden ad airing during World Series MORE (D) defended his mental acuity and took shots at President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: ‘Florida Man wouldn’t even do this stuff’ Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence’s chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE during an interview airing Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

Anchor Norah O’Donnell asked Biden about claims from the Trump campaign that he suffers from dementia, a general catch-all medical term for symptoms ranging from memory loss to impairment of problem-solving abilities.

“[You are] 78 years old. [You’ll be] 82 after four years. Donald Trump says you have dementia and it’s getting worse,” O’Donnell told Biden.

“Hey, the same guy who thought that the 911 attack was a 7-Eleven attack,” Biden responded, jokingly. “He’s talking about dementia?”

“All I can say to the American people is watch me, is see what I’ve done, is see what I’m going to do. Look at me,” Biden continued. “Compare our physical and mental acuity. I’m happy to have that comparison.”

The Trump campaign has sought to suggest in recent months that videos showing Biden speaking unclearly at times are evidence of the former vice president’s mental decline. Biden’s campaign has accused the Trump campaign in response of making light of the stutter from which the former vice president has suffered since he was a child.

“Did something happen to Joe Biden?” the text of an ad questioning his mental faculties produced by the Trump campaign asked in August.

Biden, who would be the oldest president ever elected, at 77, has frequently dismissed criticism on the manner from the Trump campaign. Trump himself was the oldest president ever elected upon his victory in 2016, when he was 70 years old.

“I’ve been tested and I’m constantly tested,” Biden said in June. “Look, all you gotta do is watch me, and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”

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health

Work by Minnesota researchers reveals deadly combo: COVID and major heart attacks

Complications from COVID-19 can make the most dangerous kinds of heart attacks even more deadly, according to a new study.

The finding has special implications for African American and Hispanic residents, as well as diabetics, since those three groups are at greater risk of having severe heart attacks and contracting COVID-19.

In a first-of-its-kind effort, a group of North American heart hospitals examined nearly 600 patients and found a surprisingly high death rate among COVID-19 patients with the most severe heart attacks, caused by complete blockage of an artery supplying oxygen to the heart muscle.

“These patients are at very high risk,” said interventional cardiologist Dr. Santiago Garcia, primary investigator at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, where the data are being analyzed. “Mortality for heart attack patients … should be in single digits. We’re seeing mortality here that is 32%.”

The findings, announced at a medical conference this month, were the public’s first glimpse of results from the ongoing project known as NACMI, an international consortium compiling data from COVID-19 patients who have a so-called “STEMI” heart attack involving a completely blocked blood vessel.

The study examined 594 STEMI patients treated at 64 hospitals during the pandemic in Canada and the U.S. through Oct. 4 and found those with confirmed cases of COVID died in the hospital at almost triple the rate as those who tested negative for the viral illness.

About 20% of all heart attacks are thought to be STEMI.

The study also documented an increased risk of in-hospital strokes among COVID-positive heart-attack patients.

The NACMI findings aren’t published in a journal yet, but the initial data were presented Oct. 14 at the annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference.

Scientists widely believe COVID makes heart attacks and strokes more likely, and more dangerous, by causing changes in the heart, lungs and blood. The NACMI research can’t prove COVID triggers heart attacks and strokes — only that mortality rose when both were present.

But doctors say the correlation is noteworthy.

“Those are stunning numbers,” said Dr. Mladen Vido­vich, an interventional cardiologist and associate journal editor in Chicago who was not involved in the research. He said the death rate in the COVID group was similar to what was seen among heart-attack patients 50 years ago.

The risks are especially significant for African American and Hispanic patients, who tested positive for COVID more often than white and Asian patients in the first release of NACMI data. Organizers will be adding patients in Mexico and South America and tracking long-term outcomes.

Cardiologists say the early results underscore the longstanding recommendation that people feeling heart-attack signs should go to the hospital — even with hospitalizations for COVID-19 on the rise.

In Minnesota, 500 people have been admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 in the past week, including 106 cases sent to intensive care, the Minnesota Department of Health reported.

On Sunday, the Health Department added 1,684 new cases to the state’s tally, which now stands at 133,802. The deaths of 2,335 Minnesotans have

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health

Young women may be likelier to die after heart attacks than men

Younger women may be more likely to die in the decade following a heart attack than men of the same age, a new study suggests. 

In general, women under age 50 experience fewer heart attacks than men in the same age range. The new study, published Oct. 13 in the European Heart Journal, also reflects this trend; of 2,100 heart attack patients treated at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston between 2000 and 2016, only about 400 were women. The average age of all the patients in the study was 44 years old. 

But over the long-term, these young women were more likely to die than young men. The study authors followed the patients for a median of 11 years, and found that women were 1.6 times more likely to die from any cause than men during that time. 

Related: 9 new ways to keep your heart healthy 

“Notably, the differences in mortality in our study were primarily driven by non-cardiovascular death,” meaning deaths not caused by a heart condition, study author Dr. Ersilia DeFilippis, a cardiology fellow at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Irving Medical Center, told Live Science in an email. Examples of these non-cardiovascular causes of death included cancer and sepsis, a kind of overblown immune response to an infection. 

Unfortunately, “there were no clear explanations as to why women had lower survival,” DeFilippis noted, though the study revealed a number of factors that may be at play.

“The risk factors for disease of other organs overlap with risk factors for heart disease,” Dr. Marysia Tweet, an assistant professor in Cardiovascular Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, who was not involved in the study, told Live Science in an email. “A heart attack and the ramifications of a heart attack may affect the health of other organs. Long-term mortality is likely due to a combination of multiple factors.”

For instance, women in the study had higher rates of diabetes than the men, as well as higher rates of diseases such rheumatoid arthritis , where joint pain and inflammation are often triggered by an immune system attack. This persistent inflammation may drive the formation of fatty plaques in blood vessels, which can block arteries and lead to a heart attack, according to a 2012 report in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. That same inflammation may also affect how patients recover.

In addition, the women showed higher rates of depression than men in the study. “Depression impacts adherence to healthy lifestyle recommendations and medications,” which could impact women’s long-term survival after a heart attack, Tweet wrote in a commentary also published in the European Heart Journal about the research. But it’s also possible that the physiological changes that coincide with depression independently worsen outcomes; for instance, elevated levels of stress hormones and inflammatory molecules called cytokines could worsen a patient’s prognosis, she wrote.

In general, women are about twice as likely as men to experience stress-induced reduction in blood flow to

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health

U.S. Diplomats and Spies Battle Trump Administration Over Suspected Attacks

WASHINGTON — The strange sound came at night: a crack like a marble striking the floor of the apartment above them.

Mark Lenzi and his wife had lightheadedness, sleep issues and headaches, and their children were waking up with bloody noses — symptoms they thought might be from the smog in Guangzhou, China, where Mr. Lenzi worked for the State Department. But air pollution could not explain his sudden memory loss, including forgetting names of work tools.

What began as strange sounds and symptoms among more than a dozen American officials and their family members in China in 2018 has turned into a diplomatic mystery spanning multiple countries and involving speculation about secret high-tech weapons and foreign attacks.

One of the biggest questions centers on whether Trump administration officials believe that Mr. Lenzi and other diplomats in China experienced the same mysterious affliction as dozens of diplomats and spies at the American Embassy in Cuba in 2016 and 2017, which came to be known as Havana Syndrome. American employees in the two countries reported hearing strange sounds, followed by headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and memory loss.

But the government’s treatment of the episodes has been radically different. The State Department, which oversaw the cases, has produced inconsistent assessments of patients and events, ignored outside medical diagnoses and withheld basic information from Congress, a New York Times investigation found.

In Cuba, the Trump administration withdrew most of its staff members from the embassy and issued a travel warning, saying U.S. diplomats had experienced “targeted attacks.” President Trump expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington and started an independent review, though Cuba denied any involvement.

The administration took a softer approach with China. In May 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was the C.I.A. director during the Cuba events, told lawmakers that the medical details of one American official who had fallen ill in China were “very similar and entirely consistent” with the syndrome in Cuba. The administration evacuated more than a dozen federal employees and some of their family members.

The State Department soon retreated, labeling what happened in China as “health incidents.” While the officers in Cuba were placed on administrative leave for rehabilitation, those in China initially had to use sick days and unpaid leave, some officers and their lawyers say. And the State Department did not open an investigation into what happened in China.

The administration has said little about the events in China and played down the idea that a hostile power could be responsible. But similar episodes have been reported by senior C.I.A. officers who visited the agency’s stations overseas, according to three current and former officials and others familiar with the events.

That includes Moscow, where Marc Polymeropoulos, a C.I.A. officer who helped run clandestine operations in Russia and Europe, experienced what he believes was an attack in December 2017. Mr. Polymeropoulos, who was 48 at the time, suffered severe vertigo in his hotel room in Moscow and later developed debilitating migraine headaches that forced

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fitness

Biden Pitches to Older Americans, and Trump Attacks His Fitness

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. turned his attention on Tuesday to older Americans, making a case in South Florida that seniors were paying the price for the president’s poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The only senior that Donald Trump cares about — the only senior — is senior Donald Trump,” Mr. Biden said in a speech at a community center in Pembroke Pines, a city in the vote-rich Democratic stronghold of Broward County.

Older people are a crucial voting bloc in Florida, a haven for retirees, and they were an important part of President Trump’s winning coalition in 2016 across the nation’s battleground states. But waning support from seniors now poses a serious threat to the president’s re-election bid, and Mr. Biden’s pitch to them on Tuesday was his latest attempt to maximize his standing with those voters.

Mr. Biden, who wore a mask during his speech, offered an unsparing critique of Mr. Trump’s management of the nation’s monthslong public health crisis, assailing the president over his response to the virus as well as his own behavior.

“I prayed for his recovery when he got Covid, and I had hoped at least he’d come out of it somewhat chastened,” Mr. Biden said. “But what has he done? He’s just doubled down on the misinformation he did before, and making it worse.”

He went on to say that Mr. Trump’s “reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis is unconscionable.”

“The longer Donald Trump is president, the more reckless he seems to get,” Mr. Biden said. “Thank God we only have three weeks left to go.”

And he alluded to the Rose Garden ceremony held at the White House last month for Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Some of those in attendance, including Mr. Trump and the first lady, later tested positive for the virus.

“While he throws super-spreader parties at the White House where Republicans hug each other without concern of the consequences, how many of you have been unable to hug your grandkids in the last seven months?” Mr. Biden said.

He told the crowd that two of his grandchildren lived near his Delaware home, adding that he bribed them during socially-distanced visits with Häagen-Dazs bars. “I can’t hug them,” he said. “I can’t embrace them. And I’m luckier than most, because they’re nearby.”

Mr. Trump also invoked older Americans on Tuesday, declaring at an evening rally near Johnstown, Pa., that “Biden’s agenda would be a catastrophe for seniors” and asserting that Mr. Biden “cares more about illegal aliens than he cares about your senior citizens.”

The president later undercut his own outreach to seniors by tweeting a meme that mocked his rival’s age, with Mr. Biden’s head superimposed on a picture of people at a nursing home.

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