What We’re Reading: Premature Death Risk Factors; Pfizer Vaccine Efficacy; CVD Symptom Disparities

People who experienced childhood poverty and other adversities are at greater risk of premature death in adulthood; Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is 73% effective in protecting children younger than 5 years; women experience more symptoms of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases than men.

Poverty, Adversity Linked to Increased Risk of Premature Death

People who experienced poverty during childhood, combined with other types of adversity, are at greater risk of premature death in adulthood compared with people who experienced other adversities or none at all, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health. The study included more than 46,000 people and found early poverty combined with crowded housing or separation from a parent was associated with a 41% and 50% increased risks, respectively, for premature death vs children who did not experience significant adversity. Parental harshness and neglect was linked to a 16% increased risk of premature death and family instability, a 28% higher risk. The number of early adverse experiences also plays a role, with 2, 3, and 4 adverse experiences linked to 27%, 29%, and 45% increased risks of premature death in adulthood.

Study Finds Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Highly Effective in Infants

Pfizer announced its COVID-19 vaccine is 73% effective in protecting children younger than 5 years, The Associated Press reports. In an ongoing study of the 3-dose vaccine, there were 21 COVID-19 cases among 351 infants who received placebo vaccination vs 13 cases among 794 infants who received 3 doses. Pfizer noted the cases that did occur were caused by the BA.2 Omicron variant. As of mid-August, approximately 6% of infants have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Symptoms of Cardiovascular Diseases Vary Between Men, Women

The most common symptoms of 6 cardiovascular diseases—heart failure (HF), heart attack, valve disease, stroke, rhythm disorders, and vein and artery disease—vary between men and women, according to research reported by Medical News Today. The most notable difference was how many HF symptoms women are more likely to report than men and that women tend to experience more physical symptoms, including nausea, palpitations, general pain and pain below the ribs, nervousness, edema, and sweating. Research also suggests women with HF experience higher levels of depression and anxiety and lower quality of life vs men with HF. For heart attack, women are more likely than men to experience nausea, shoulder pain, upper back pain, and generally more symptoms.