The Scan by 2 Minute Medicine® is a new pop-culture medical newsletter designed to bring a physician perspective to trending topics. The Scan by 2 Minute Medicine® is an exclusive benefit for 2 Minute Medicine Plus subscribers, but enjoy the first few on us as we roll out! Issues are published twice per month.
A New Era for Tennis
The story: Take it from us, this month has been a rollercoaster in the world of tennis! On one hand, two legends of the game have announced their retirement from Tennis and on the other, we’ve got to keep our eyes out for the rising star and champion of the US Open, Carlos Alcaraz, who broke numerous records on his way to becoming the world No 1 last week.
So who is retiring?
We hope that you were more prepared for this than we were- Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
Just a few days ago, Roger Federer published a heartfelt message announcing his plans to retire from tennis. The 41 year old tennis legend will play his last game this month, marking the end to an illustrious career of 20 Grand Slam singles titles, 310 weeks ranked as the world number 1 and over 1500 matches. For Federer, unfortunately, the past three years have been full of injuries and surgeries. And it hasn’t been an easy ride for Serena either.
In her Vogue essay Serena references her health struggles including her near-death experience “I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a grand slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression.” She states that she is looking forward to taking a step back from Tennis in order to shift her priorities, focus on her family and devote more time to Serena Ventures, her firm that is focused on health, wellness and athletics. Of note, in the past, Serena has been vocal about health disparities with respect to maternal mortality rate. As this report published by UCLA Health states “Black women die from pregnancy-related complications at more than three times the rate of white women, regardless of income or education level.” Unfortunately, despite advances in both education and medicine, this statistic has remained constant for decades.
On September 9th, the longest serving monarch of the UK, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away at age 96 after reigning for seven decades. As the world continues to mourn her loss, at the age of 73, King Charles III has become the oldest monarch to ascend the throne.
But it is not just this news that has gone viral.
This week, photographs of the King’s puffy ‘sausage fingers’ have spread like wildfire through social media. Doctors have speculated that it is likely due to edema, or water retention which leads to swelling and puffiness. For most people with edema, the prognosis is excellent and there can be a wide range with respect to the severity, location and associated symptoms. Generally, exercise, compression and proper elevation and dietary changes can help to reduce swelling but it might also be a sign of something more. We’ve linked some more information here if you’re interested!
When Your Own Immunity Backfires
The slap that broke the internet at the 2022 Oscars gained 50 million views in a single day, led to a record breaking number of Google search results for ‘Alopecia’. September is Alopecia awareness month. This autoimmune disease that nearly 2% of people in the general population, including Jada Pinkette Smith, have causes a person’s white blood cells to mistakenly attack their own body including their hair follicles, which then causes hair loss and visible bald spots on their face including eyebrows , eyelashes and/or scalp. Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine published results from two Phase 3 trials using Baricitinib. The goal was to try and see if there is a difference between using Baricitinib versus a placebo for the treatment of Alopecia. The study showed that hair growth at 36 weeks was superior in patients using oral Baricitinib and more studies are recommended to assess the long term efficacy and safety of using this medication. More information can be found via the National Alopecia Areata Foundation and articles we have published on hereditary-pattern baldness and hair loss.
A Latte New Changes
Three days ago an FDA enforcement report announced a recall of Stabucks’ popular Vanilla Espresso Triple Shot drink, affectionately called starbies by TikTokers across seven states. The drink, manufactured by PepsiCo is being recalled due to contamination by metal fragments shortly after Stabucks recalled more than 250,000 Doubleshot Espresso drinks. In other news, Starbucks is pouring $450M into a reinvention plan and has announced a new CEO, Laxman Narasimhan, who will begin in April 2023. You may recognize him from his previous role as the CEO of health and hygiene at Reckitt. By fiscal year 2025, Starbucks expects to open ~200 stores in the US and increase technology and automation which will allow them to prepare complicated drinks more efficiently and boost their profits by 20%. If you’re wondering how to keep track of all of these recalls, we’ve got you back and have linked the FDA Database here.
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