Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Optimal blood pressure helps our brains age slower

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/931264

 

 News Release 12-Oct-2021
Optimal blood pressure helps our brains stay at least six months younger than our actual age
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Australian National University

 

People with elevated blood pressure that falls within the normal recommended range are at risk of accelerated brain ageing, according to new research from The Australian National University (ANU).

The research also found optimal blood pressure helps our brains stay at least six months younger than our actual age. The researchers are now calling for national health guidelines to be updated to reflect their important findings.

The ANU study, published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, found participants with high blood pressure had older and therefore less healthy brains, increasing their risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia.  

Participants with an elevated blood pressure, but within the normal range, also had older looking brains and were at risk of health problems.  

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Nearly 6 million children are driven into severe hunger by the hot, dry shifts of a strong el Niño

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/931018

 

 News Release 12-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Chicago

 

Over the last year and a half, the 1-in-100-year Covid-19 pandemic drove millions of children into hunger. But every four to seven years, an El Niño causes weather patterns to shift across the tropics, leading to warmer temperatures and precipitation changes and widespread impacts on agriculture, infectious diseases, conflicts and more. During a single bad El Niño, nearly 6 million children are driven into undernutrition as a result, according to a study in Nature Communications. That’s at least 70 percent and perhaps up to three times the number of children who have gone hungry because of the pandemic.

“It would have been very difficult to prepare the world for a pandemic that few saw coming, but we can’t say the same about El Niño events that have a potentially much greater impact on the long-term growth and health of children,” says Amir Jina, an author of the paper and assistant professor at the Harris School of Public Policy. “Scientists can forecast an approaching El Niño up to 6 months in advance, allowing the international community to intervene to prevent the worst impacts. Our study helps to quantify those impacts on child nutrition to guide global public investments in food insecure areas.”

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 While it is unclear whether climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of El Niño, climate change will cause hot areas to become hotter and dry areas to become drier. When El Niño is layered on top of these overall shifts, there is no doubt that the impacts during El Niño years will be worse than they are now.  For example, as areas expect to lose crops with climate change, those same areas will likely lose even more crops during El Niño years.

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Exposure to childhood adversity is linked to early mortality and associated with nearly half a million annual US deaths

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/931290 


 News Release 12-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health


The findings of a new study suggest that childhood adversity is a major contributor to early and preventable causes of mortality and a powerful determinant of long term physical and mental health.  Researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Harvard University found that childhood adversity is associated with elevated risk for chronic disease including heart disease and cancer. 

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Sex matters when it comes to immune responses against infection and disease, study shows

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/931345

 

 News Release 12-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

 

 

A University of Alberta-led study shows that when it comes to susceptibility to infections and other health conditions, sex matters.

The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, was led by U of A immunologist Shokrollah Elahi. Elahi and his team looked at how anemia — a condition in which a person lacks enough mature red blood cells to carry oxygen in the body — can be due to an iron deficiency or loss of blood, and can generate different immunological responses in males versus females. 

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Combined treatments are the most effective to stop smoking, study finds

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/931328

 

News Release 12-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Bristol


Combination therapies, particularly varenicline and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) combined, are the most effective tobacco cessation pharmacotherapies, the largest review to examine the effectiveness and safety of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and medicines that people use to quit tobacco has found. 

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How many people get 'long COVID?' More than half, researchers find

 

I might have had this.  When I was sick in the spring of 2020, I had a flat tire on the way to the Covid testing place, never got tested.  It was a relatively mild case, I've felt a lot sicker from the flu.  For almost a year and a half after I recovered,  I kept having one or more days of needing to sleep 12 hours and also have to take a nap.  I don't think I went as much as a week between these episodes.  They finally cleared up after I was vaccinated.


https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/931397


 News Release 13-Oct-2021
Half of COVID survivors experience lingering symptoms six months after recovery
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Penn State


More than half of the 236 million people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 worldwide since December 2019 will experience post-COVID symptoms — more commonly known as “long COVID” — up to six months after recovering, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The research team said that governments, health care organizations and public health professionals should prepare for the large number of COVID-19 survivors who will need care for a variety of psychological and physical symptoms.

During their illnesses, many patients with COVID-19 experience symptoms, such as tiredness, difficulty breathing, chest pain, sore joints and loss of taste or smell.

Until recently, few studies have evaluated patients’ health after recovering from the coronavirus. To better understand the short- and long-term health effects of the virus, the researchers examined worldwide studies involving unvaccinated patients who recovered from COVID-19. According to the findings, adults, as well as children, can experience several adverse health issues for six months or longer after recovering from COVID-19.

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The investigators noted several trends among survivors, such as:

    General well-being: More than half of all patients reported weight loss, fatigue, fever or pain.
    Mobility: Roughly one in five survivors experienced a decrease in mobility.
    Neurologic concerns: Nearly one in four survivors experienced difficulty concentrating.
    Mental health disorders: Nearly one in three patients were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorders.
    Lung abnormalities: Six in ten survivors had chest imaging abnormality and more than a quarter of patients had difficulty breathing.
    Cardiovascular issues: Chest pain and palpitations were among the commonly reported conditions.
    Skin conditions: Nearly one in five patients experienced hair loss or rashes.
    Digestive issues: Stomach pain, lack of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting were among the commonly reported conditions.

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Data supports early COVID-19 vaccination for essential workers

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930706

 

 News Release 13-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
PLOS

 

In areas where COVID-19 vaccines are limited, vaccinating essential workers before older adults can reduce infections and deaths, according to a modeling study published this week in the new open-access journal PLOS Global Public Health by Nicola Mulberry of Simon Fraser University, Canada, and colleagues.

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Stanford-led research underscores pollution’s impact on child health

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/931510

 

 News Release 13-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Stanford University

 

Studies have shown air pollution is a major risk factor for respiratory infection – the leading cause of death among children under five – but bad air’s specific impacts on developing bodies have remained somewhat of a mystery.

A Stanford-led study reveals a link between tiny airborne particles and child health in South Asia, a region beset with air pollution and more than 40 percent of global pneumonia cases. The analysis, published in Environmental Pollution, estimates the effect of increased particulate on child pneumonia hospitalizations is about twice as much as previously thought, and indicates a particular industry may play an outsized role in the problem.

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 Prior studies by researchers at the Atomic Energy Centre, Dhaka found that biomass burning contributed the most to outdoor PM2.5 levels, followed by brick kiln emissions and soil dust. However, on days when brick kilns contributed a heavier than-usual amount of PM2.5 to the mix of bad air, the link between PM2.5 and child pneumonia was stronger.

The findings are among the first evidence that communities and policymakers can point to that suggests a measurable impact of brick kilns on child health. 

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Formula milk trials are not reliable, warn experts

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/931111

 

 News Release 13-Oct-2021
Recent trials lack scientific rigour; substantial change needed to protect participants from harm and protect consumers from misleading information
Peer-Reviewed Publication
BMJ

 

 Formula milk trials have a high risk of bias, authors almost always report favourable conclusions, transparency is lacking, and findings are selectively reported, finds a review of evidence from recently published trials in The BMJ today.

The researchers say their findings “support the need for a substantial change in the conduct and reporting of formula trials to adequately protect participants from harm and protect consumers from misleading information.”

Formula milk is consumed by most European and North American infants, and new formula products need to be tested in clinical trials. But concerns have been raised that formula trials are biased and could undermine breastfeeding.


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High intake of fatty acid in nuts, seeds and plant oils linked to lower risk of death


https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/931110

 

 News Release 13-Oct-2021
BMJ

 

A high intake of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) - found mainly in nuts, seeds, and plant oils - is associated with a lower risk of death from all causes, and specifically from diseases of the heart and blood vessels, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Higher ALA intake was associated with a slightly higher risk of death from cancer, but the researchers say further studies are needed to confirm this.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a type of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid found in plants, such as soybean, nuts, canola oils and flaxseed.

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Monday, October 04, 2021

The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax

 

 https://www.propublica.org/article/the-secret-irs-files-trove-of-never-before-seen-records-reveal-how-the-wealthiest-avoid-income-tax

 

by Jesse Eisinger, Jeff Ernsthausen and Paul Kiel

June 8, 5 a.m. EDT

 

In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.

Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.

ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years.

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Taken together, it demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most. The IRS records show that the wealthiest can — perfectly legally — pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, their fortunes grow each year.

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 In recent years, the median American household earned about $70,000 annually and paid 14% in federal taxes. The highest income tax rate, 37%, kicked in this year, for couples, on earnings above $628,300.

The confidential tax records obtained by ProPublica show that the ultrarich effectively sidestep this system.

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To capture the financial reality of the richest Americans, ProPublica undertook an analysis that has never been done before. We compared how much in taxes the 25 richest Americans paid each year to how much Forbes estimated their wealth grew in that same time period.

We’re going to call this their true tax rate.

The results are stark. According to Forbes, those 25 people saw their worth rise a collective $401 billion from 2014 to 2018. They paid a total of $13.6 billion in federal income taxes in those five years, the IRS data shows. That’s a staggering sum, but it amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%.

It’s a completely different picture for middle-class Americans, for example, wage earners in their early 40s who have amassed a typical amount of wealth for people their age. From 2014 to 2018, such households saw their net worth expand by about $65,000 after taxes on average, mostly due to the rise in value of their homes. But because the vast bulk of their earnings were salaries, their tax bills were almost as much, nearly $62,000, over that five-year period.

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 Our analysis of tax data for the 25 richest Americans quantifies just how unfair the system has become.

By the end of 2018, the 25 were worth $1.1 trillion.

For comparison, it would take 14.3 million ordinary American wage earners put together to equal that same amount of wealth.

The personal federal tax bill for the top 25 in 2018: $1.9 billion.

The bill for the wage earners: $143 billion.

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Prescribed blood thinners can help reduce hospitalizations related to COVID-19

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930337

 

  News Release 1-Oct-2021
U of M Medical School-led study finds that having a protocol to use blood thinners for COVID-19 patients reduces patient COVID-19 mortality by almost half
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Minnesota Medical School


The NIH has reported that many individuals with COVID-19 develop abnormal blood clots from high inflammation, which can lead to serious health complications and mortality. To find ways to decrease clotting related to COVID-19, researchers from the University of Minnesota and Basel University in Switzerland looked at reducing hospitalizations by using prescribed blood thinners.

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Published in Lancet’s Open Access EClinical Medicine, the study found that:

    patients on blood thinners before having COVID-19 were admitted less often to the hospital, despite being older and having more chronic medical conditions than their peers;

    blood thinners — regardless of if they are being used before being infected with COVID-19 or started when admitted to the hospital for treatment of COVID-19 — reduce deaths by almost half; and,

    hospitalized COVID-19 patients benefit from blood thinners regardless of the type or dose of the medication used.

“Unfortunately, about half of patients who are being prescribed blood thinners for blood clots in their legs, lungs, abnormal heart rhythms or other reasons, do not take them. By increasing adherence for people already prescribed blood thinners, we can potentially reduce the bad effects of COVID-19,” Hozayen said. “At M Health Fairview and most centers around the world now, there are protocols for starting blood thinners when patients are first admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 — as it is a proven vital treatment option. Outside of COVID-19, the use of blood thinners is proven to be lifesaving for those with blood coagulations conditions.”

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Glycerin is safe, effective in psoriasis model

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930236

 

 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

 

Patients with psoriasis have reported that glycerin, an inexpensive, harmless, slightly sweet liquid high on the list of ingredients in many skin lotions, is effective at combatting their psoriasis and now scientists have objective evidence to support their reports.

They found that whether applied topically or ingested in drinking water, glycerin, or glycerol, helps calm the classic scaly, red, raised and itchy patches in their psoriasis model, Dr. Wendy Bollag, cell physiologist and skin researcher at the Medical College of Georgia and Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center and her colleagues report in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

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Almost one-in-three people globally will still be mainly using polluting cooking fuels in 2030, research shows

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930272

 

 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Exeter

 

Almost one-in-three people around the world will still be mainly using polluting cooking fuels and technologies– a major source of disease and environmental destruction and devastation – in 2030, new research warned.

This rises to more than four-in-five in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of people mainly using polluting fuels is growing at an alarming rate.

A new study, carried out by UK researchers and the World Health Organization (WHO), has estimated that just under 3 billion people worldwide – including more than one billion in Sub-Saharan Africa - will still mainly be using polluting fuels such as wood fuels and charcoal at the end of the decade.

These ‘dirty’ fuels are a source of major health risks as they produce high levels of household air pollution – chronic exposure to which increases the risk of heart disease, pneumonia, lung cancer and strokes, amongst others.  

While the overall percentage of the global population mainly using polluting cooking fuels has been steadily decreasing since 1990, this trend is already showing signs of stagnation. Six in in ten people in rural areas are still reliant on biomass fuels such as wood and charcoal.

Reports by the WHO and others have attributed household air pollution from these fuels to millions of deaths per year – comparable to the death toll from outdoor air pollution. At the same time, fuel collection is often tasked to women and children, reducing opportunities for education, or income generation.

Polluting fuels are also an important cause of environmental degradation and climate change, with the black carbon from residential biomass cooking estimate to account for 25% of anthropogenic global black carbon emissions each year.

The researchers insist the pivotal new study shows that, although progress has been made, the quest to deliver universal access to clean cooking by 2030 is “far off track”. 

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Earlier onset of high blood pressure affects brain structure, may increase dementia risk

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929951


 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Hypertension Journal Report
Peer-Reviewed Publication
American Heart Association


Individuals who are diagnosed with high blood pressure at ages 35-44 had smaller brain size and were more likely to develop dementia compared to people who had normal blood pressure, according to new research published today in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.

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When the western US burns, the east also gets sick

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930440


 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Pollution from smoke is responsible for a higher percentage of health problems in the Western U.S. but affects a greater number of people in the East.
Peer-Reviewed Publication
American Geophysical Union


While most of the largest U.S. wildfires occur in the Western U.S., almost three-quarters of the smoke-related deaths and visits to the emergency room for asthma occur east of the Rocky Mountains.

Smoke exposure, whether from wildfires or local burning, contributes to health problems across the U.S., but the impacts vary by region. A new study finds that smoke contributes to a larger percentage of health problems in the West, but affects greater numbers of people in the East — possibly when they aren't even aware of the smoky air.

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In the West, where population density is generally lower and smoke concentrations are typically higher, smoke played a larger role in the number of asthma complaints and ER visits, contributing to more than 1% of annual visits in some years. In the East, with its high population density and lower smoke concentrations, there were a higher number of visits overall, even though a smaller percentage were related to smoke (0.3% to 0.6%).

The researchers estimate that long-term smoke exposure results in about 6,300 extra deaths each year, with the highest numbers occurring in the most populous states. Only 1,700 of those deaths occurred in the West.

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O'Dell emphasized that their study didn’t determine the source of the smoke affecting each region and that local burning and Canadian fires also contribute to smoky air in the Eastern U.S. She said that establishing the source of the smoke impacting health in each region is an important next step.

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The case of the aquarium's disappearing medicine

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930455

 

  News Release 4-Oct-2021
Hungry microbes found responsible for stealing from Shedd Aquarium’s animals
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Northwestern University


For months, veterinarians put medicine into the animals’ quarantine habitats at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, ensuring that animals entering the building did not bring dangerous pests or pathogens with them. And for months, the medicine consistently kept disappearing. Where was it going? Who was taking it? And what was their motive?

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After conducting microbial and chemical analyses on samples from the saltwater aquarium systems, the team found it was not just one culprit but many: A family of microbes, hungry for nitrogen.

“Carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorous are basic necessities that everything needs in order to live,” said Northwestern’s Erica M. Hartmann, who led the study. “In this case, it looks like the microbes were using the medicine as a source of nitrogen. When we examined how the medicine was degraded, we found that the piece of the molecule containing the nitrogen was gone. It would be the equivalent to eating only the pickles out of a cheeseburger and leaving the rest behind.”

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Facing compounding stressors, many American workers plan to change jobs in coming year

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930458

 

 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Low salaries, long hours and lack of opportunity for growth are most likely to contribute to work-related stress, says APA survey
Reports and Proceedings
American Psychological Association

 

As the pandemic grinds on through a second year, many American workers are feeling the pressure, and many say they intend to leave their jobs within a year, according to a new survey from the American Psychological Association.

Work stress related to low salaries, long hours and a lack of opportunity for growth and advancement has increased since the start of the pandemic. More than 4 in 10 workers said they plan to switch jobs in the coming year, which could impact many industries already facing a shortage of workers, particularly the hospitality and healthcare sectors.

However, there are actions that employers can take to improve employee well-being and support mental health.

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Convalescent plasma futile as treatment for critically ill COVID-19 patients

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930459

 

 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Pittsburgh

 

In the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical community turned to a century-old treatment: Take blood from recovered patients and give it to the sick. The hypothesis was that components in the so-called “convalescent plasma” that fought off the disease once could do it again, something that has worked in other diseases, such as Ebola.

Today, an international research team, which included University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine physician-scientists and UPMC patients, effectively put an end to that practice with a clinical trial that concluded convalescent plasma is “futile” as a COVID-19 treatment for most critically ill patients. The results are published in JAMA concurrent with presentation at the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine’s annual meeting.

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Researchers reveal the growing threat extreme heat poses to urban populations

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930495

 

 News Release 4-Oct-2021
The team from UC Santa Barbara and Columbia University found that exposure to dangerous temperatures has doubled since the mid 1980s
Reports and Proceedings
University of California - Santa Barbara

 

Between global warming and the urban heat island effect, many of the world’s cities are heating up. In fact, extreme heat already affects almost two billion urban residents worldwide, according to a new study led by former UC Santa Barbara graduate student Cascade Tuholske.

The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to examine in fine detail global trends in extreme heat exposure across urban areas. The study spanned more than 13,000 settlements over nearly three and a half decades. The authors found that exposure to dangerous temperatures increased by 200% since the mid 1980s, with poor and marginalized people particularly at risk.

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Medicaid expansion closed health gaps for low-income adults across racial and ethnic groups, study shows

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930482


 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Michigan data show improvements in access to care and overall health, and could inform non-expansion states
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan


Michiganders from multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds say their health has improved and they have access to regular care through a doctor’s office, after enrolling in the state’s Medicaid expansion for low-income adults, a new study finds.

The improvements were especially pronounced among low-income white, Black and Latino Michiganders. Some improvements were seen among low-income members of the state’s sizable Arab-American and Chaldean population, and among those of other backgrounds.

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Dialysis facility closures linked to patient hospitalizations and deaths

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930515

 

 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
American Society of Nephrology

 


    Patients with kidney failure who were affected by dialysis facility closures between 2001 and 2014 experienced 7% to 9% higher rates of hospitalizations compared with similar patients at facilities that did not close.
    Also, patients affected by closures may have faced an 8% higher risk of dying within 6 months.
 

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Oesophageal cancer cases have tripled in under 50s over the past 30 years

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929950

 

 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Reports and Proceedings

emotive

 

(Vienna, October 5, 2021) Oesophageal cancer cases have tripled in under 50s over the past 30 years, a new study presented today at UEG Week Virtual 2021 has found2.

The research, conducted in the Netherlands on almost 60,000 patients, found new cases of oesophageal adenocarcinoma had risen from 0.34 to 0.92 per 100,000 population between 1989 and 2018. There was an average increase of 1.5% in males and 3% in females. The dramatic increases were seen in patients under the age of 50 years old with oesophageal adenocarcinoma.

Experts believe that the rise in cases of oesophageal adenocarcinoma reflect changes in lifestyle-related risk factors for the disease, with increases in unhealthy habits including smoking, poor diet and reduced physical exercise.

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Depressed COVID patients respond better than expected to antidepressants

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930295

 

 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Reports and Proceedings
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology

 

The COVID pandemic has led to a significant increase in mental health problems. Now, in some good news, a pilot study has shown that depressed patients who have suffered from COVID respond better to standard antidepressants than do people who have not had COVID.

Around 40% of COVID sufferers report the development of depression within 6 months of infection. The inflammation caused by COVID is believed to be the main reason for the development of depression. Now new research has shown that around 90% of patients who have suffered from COVID respond to SSRIs, significantly more than would be expected.

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Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are highly effective against COVID-19 hospitalizations for at least six months

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930441

 

 News Release 4-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
The Lancet

 

Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) are 90% effective against COVID-19 hospitalizations for all variants, including delta, for at least six months, confirms a new study from Kaiser Permanente and Pfizer published in The Lancet

Effectiveness against all SARS-COV-2 infections declined over the study period, falling from 88% within one month after receiving two vaccine doses to 47% after six months. However, effectiveness against hospitalizations remained at 90% overall and for all variants.

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For unvaccinated, reinfection by Covid-19 is likely

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930359

 

 News Release 1-Oct-2021
For unvaccinated, reinfection by SARS-CoV-2 is likely
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much uncertainty about how long immunity lasts after someone who is unvaccinated is infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Now a team of scientists led by faculty at Yale School of Public Health and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte have an answer. Strong protection following natural infection is short-lived.

“Reinfection can reasonably happen in three months or less,” said Jeffrey Townsend, the Elihu Professor of Biostatistics at the Yale School of Public Health and a lead author of the study. “Therefore, those who have been naturally infected should get vaccinated. Previous infection alone can offer very little long-term protection against subsequent infections.”

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COVID-19 may trigger hyperglycemia and worsen disease by harming fat cells

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930271

 

 News Release 1-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Weill Cornell Medicine

 

 COVID-19 may bring high risks of severe disease and death in many patients by disrupting key metabolic signals and thereby triggering hyperglycemia, according to a new study from researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian.

In the study, reported Sept. 15 in Cell Metabolism, the researchers found that hyperglycemia—having high blood sugar levels—is common in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and is strongly associated with worse outcomes. The researchers also found evidence suggesting that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, can induce hyperglycemia by disrupting fat cells’ production of adiponectin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. 

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Revealing the logic of the body’s ‘second brain’

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930287

 

 News Release 1-Oct-2021
Scientists discover new science in the gut and, potentially, new leads on how to treat irritable bowel syndrome and other disorders
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Michigan State University

 

Researchers at Michigan State University have made a surprising discovery about the human gut’s enteric nervous system that itself is filled with surprising facts. For starters, there’s the fact that this “second brain” exists at all.

“Most people don’t even know that they have this in their guts,” said Brian Gulbransen, an MSU Foundation Professor in the College of Natural Science’s Department of Physiology.

Beyond that, the enteric nervous system is remarkably independent: Intestines could carry out many of their regular duties even if they somehow became disconnected from the central nervous system. And the number of specialized nervous system cells, namely neurons and glia, that live in a person’s gut is roughly equivalent to the number found in a cat’s brain.

“It’s like this second brain in our gut,” Gulbransen said. “It’s an extensive network of neurons and glia that line our intestines.”

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Parental beliefs on child development and child outcomes go hand-in-hand—and those beliefs can be shifted

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930169

 

 News Release 1-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Chicago Medical Center

 

In a paper published October 1 in Nature Communications, University of Chicago Medicine pediatrician Dana Suskind, MD, along with University of Chicago economists John List, PhD, and Julie Pernaudet, PhD investigate one potential source of discrepancy in child skill level: disparity in parents’ beliefs about their influence over their children’s development.

Through experimental studies involving hundreds of families across the Chicagoland area, the researchers show parental knowledge and beliefs differ across socioeconomic status. But these beliefs can, with the right intervention, be changed. Moreover, these changes can have measurable effects on child outcomes. The results may offer policymakers insights into addressing an important contributor to disparities in child skill development.

“Neuroscience clearly shows that building early brain connections in children relies on the nurturing ‘serve and return,’ meaning the interactions between adult and child,” said Suskind, Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics and Co-Director of the TMW Center for Early Learning and Public Health.

For this reason, differences in parental engagement can lead to differences in children’s brain development and their capabilities later on.

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 On average, the more education a parent had, the more their knowledge and beliefs were aligned with what the science shows. The more aligned their beliefs were with the science, the more facilitative behavior there was,” said Suskind.

However, within six months of starting the experiments, the beliefs of the treatment groups had shifted significantly from those of the control groups, although both were made up of parents of similar demographics. Moreover, the more intensive home visiting program saw more than twice the impact.

“With these different tiers of intervention,” said Suskind, “we could shift what parents know and believe and by doing so, shift their behavior in the positive direction.”

As parents began to believe their investments mattered, they began to invest more heavily in their children’s development. Suskind and her team saw statistically significant improvements in parent-child interactions over the span of both experiments.

These results were also correlated with improvements in child outcomes, such as vocabulary, math skills and social-emotional skills. Both experiments saw gains in outcomes, but the more intensive program again had a stronger effect.

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Cannabis users at ‘much higher’ risk of developing poor mental health

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930258

 

 News Release 1-Oct-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Birmingham

 

Those with a recorded history of cannabis use in general practice records are at a much higher risk of developing mental ill health problems such as anxiety or depression as well as severe mental illnesses, new research shows.

-----

 

tags: drug use, drug abuse,

When a free cancer check finds something, could cost keep patients from following up?


https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930204


Two new studies show potential out-of-pocket costs for tests in patients after initial screening for lung and cervical cancer
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan


Eleven years ago this month, the scans and exams that hold the most power to spot the early signs of cancer became available for free to many American adults.

Now, two new studies show that when those screening tests reveal potentially troubling signs, patients could face hundreds of dollars in costs for follow-up tests.

The studies, by teams from the University of Michigan and Duke University, could inform efforts to ensure that patients follow up on abnormal test results and don’t delay care due to cost. Such delays could lead to cancer going undiagnosed and progressing, potentially leading to worse patient outcomes and high medical costs.

-----


Preventing child malnutrition and promoting healthy development

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930154

 

 News Release 30-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of California - Davis

 

A small sachet of a fortified food-based supplement added to young children’s daily diets in low- and middle-income countries has shown remarkable results in preventing child mortality and malnutrition, while also promoting healthy development. The new findings from researchers at the University of California, Davis, based on an analysis combining data from 14 trials, were published in a series of four papers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study examined randomized trials in which children, ages 6 to 24 months old, were given about 4 teaspoons (20 grams) per day of a lipid-based nutrient supplement, which is a paste that typically includes oil, peanut butter, milk powder, vitamins and minerals. The trials were conducted in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa as well as Bangladesh and Haiti.

“This is the first intervention for children to show beneficial effects across four different outcomes of child health, including growth, development, anemia and mortality,” said project leader Kathryn Dewey, distinguished professor emerita in the UC Davis Department of Nutrition and Institute of Global Nutrition. Dewey played a key role in a collaborative research group that developed various formulations of the small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements starting in 2003.

The study included more than 37,000 children. Those who received the supplements had a 12% to 14% lower prevalence of stunted growth and of being underweight for their height, and a 16% to 19% lower prevalence of adverse language, social-emotional and motor development outcomes. The children also had a 16% lower prevalence of anemia and a 64% lower prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia. This builds on previous research demonstrating a 27% reduction in mortality between 6 and 24 months of age among children provided with the supplements.

-----

 

New research shows learning is more effective when active

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929505

 

 News Release 30-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Carnegie Mellon University

 

Engaging students through interactive activities, discussions, feedback and AI-enhanced technologies resulted in improved academic performance compared to traditional lectures, lessons or readings, faculty from Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute concluded after collecting research into active learning.

The research also found that effective active learning methods use not only hands-on and minds-on approaches, but also hearts-on, providing increased emotional and social support.

-----

 

 

Bigleaf maple decline tied to hotter, drier summers in Washington state

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930076

 

 News Release 30-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Washington

 

As its name suggests, the bigleaf maple tree’s massive leaves are perhaps its most distinctive quality. A native to the Pacific Northwest’s wet westside forests, these towering trees can grow leaves up to 1.5 feet across — the largest of any maple.

But since 2011, scientists, concerned hikers and residents have observed more stressed and dying bigleaf maple across urban and suburban neighborhoods as well as in forested areas. Often the leaves are the first to shrivel and die, eventually leaving some trees completely bare. While forest pathologists have ruled out several specific diseases, the overall cause of the tree’s decline has stumped experts for years.

A new study led by the University of Washington, in collaboration with Washington Department of Natural Resources, has found that bigleaf maple die-off in Washington is linked to hotter, drier summers that predispose this species to decline. These conditions essentially weaken the tree’s immune system, making it easier to succumb to other stressors and diseases. The findings were published Sept. 16 in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

“These trees can tolerate a lot, but once you start throwing in other factors, particularly severe summer drought as in recent years, it stresses the trees and can lead to their death,” said co-author Patrick Tobin, associate professor in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

In addition to warmer, drier weather, the researchers found that bigleaf maple are more likely to decline near roads and other development — especially in hotter urban areas. Across multiple years and sites in Western Washington, they weren’t able to find any single pest or pathogen responsible for the mass decline; rather, all signs point to climate change and human development as the drivers behind the regional die-off.

-----

 

End of employment benefits kills immunocompromised woman

 

From Twitter

 https://twitter.com/BreRVA/status/1443390574695002113


Justice looks like abolition.
@BreRVA
My friend rec’d pandemic unemployment as an independent contractor & stayed home safely, until that ran out. When it did, she was forced to return to work & w/in less than a month she contracted COVID-19 & died. She was immunocompromised.

Our gov’t failures killed my friend.
9:41 PM · Sep 29, 2021

Sibling bullying associated with poor mental health outcomes years later, new study finds

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929741

 

 News Release 29-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of York

 

Young people who are repeatedly bullied by siblings are more likely to suffer from poor mental health and wellbeing issues later in adolescence, a new study has suggested.

The new research, which analysed data from over 17,000 participants, found that as the frequency of bullying increased in early-to-middle adolescence, so did the severity of mental health outcomes in their late teens 

-----

“Of particular note was the finding that even those who bullied their siblings, but weren’t bullied themselves (ie the bullies) had poorer mental health outcomes years later”, Dr Toseeb added.

-----


Tobacco and alcohol may increase likelihood of using illegal drugs, new study shows

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929324

 

 News Release 30-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Society for the Study of Addiction

 

The use of legal drugs (tobacco and alcohol) may lead to the use of cannabis, a new study led by the University of Bristol and published in the journal Addiction has found. The study also found evidence that cannabis use may lead to smoking initiation, and opioid dependence could lead to increased alcohol consumption. Additionally, there might be shared risk factors that influence the use of multiple substances.

-----

 tags: drug use, drug abuse,

Stress of COVID-19 pandemic caused irregular menstrual cycles, study found

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/930024

 

 News Release 29-Sep-2021
Northwestern University

 

Women and people who menstruate experienced irregularities in their menstrual cycle because of increased stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Northwestern Medicine study has found. 


-----


Former Trump staffer says she is 'terrified' of a 2024 Donald Trump presidential run

Stephanie Grisham says she is 'terrified' of a 2024 Donald Trump presidential run

 

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/04/politics/stephanie-grisham-donald-trump-2024/index.html

 

 By Kate Bennett, CNN
Updated 10:16 AM ET, Mon October 4, 2021


Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who worked for Donald Trump for more than five years, now says she fears another four years with Trump in the White House.
"I am terrified of him running for president in 2024," said Grisham, who also served as East Wing chief of staff, in an interview Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America," a promotional appearance for her memoir, "I'll Take Your Questions Now," which is scheduled for release this week. "I don't think (Trump) is fit for the job."
Grisham's take on the former President's fitness for the job came as she was asked by George Stephanopoulos whether she herself contributed to a White House "culture of casual dishonesty," to which Grisham answered, "Yes."

"I now want to, in whatever way I can, educate the public about the behaviors within the White House, because it does look like he's going to run in 2024," said Grisham.

Grisham said a second term for Trump in her opinion would mean a president driven by "revenge" for his political adversaries.

"He will probably have some pretty draconian policies," she added, noting another term would mean less concern about reelection and more emboldened opportunities to put forth policy shaped by Trump's base.
Asked why she was coming forward now, after so many years as a senior Trump loyalist, Grisham said her mind was changed after she spent time working in the West Wing.

"I do believe he gave voice to a lot of people who did feel forgotten, but I think that many of us, myself included, got into that White House, and got heady with power," said Grisham. "We didn't think about serving the country anymore, it was about surviving."

-----


Saturday, October 02, 2021

How mercury gets into the sea

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929647

 

 News Release 29-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Basel

 

Mercury released into the atmosphere by industry enters the sea and from there makes its way into the food chain. Now, an analysis by the University of Basel has revealed how the harmful substance enters seawater in the first place. This is not primarily via rainfall, as previously assumed, but rather also involves gas exchange. Measures to reduce mercury emissions could therefore take effect faster than previously thought.

-----

 

Study provides more evidence of how COVID-19 changed Americans’ values, activities

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929978

 

 News Release 29-Sep-2021
University of California - Los Angeles

 

A new UCLA-led study decisively confirms findings of research published earlier this year, which found that American values, attitudes and activities had changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The earlier study, published in February, was based on an analysis of online behavior — Google searches and phrases posted on Twitter, blogs and internet forums. The latest research, published in the open-access journal Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology, is based on a survey of 2,092 Americans — about half in California and half in Rhode Island.

Patricia Greenfield, a UCLA distinguished professor of psychology and senior author of both studies, said the results indicate that Americans’ activities, values and relationships have begun to resemble those found in small, isolated villages with low life expectancy — such as an isolated Mayan village in Chiapas, Mexico, that she has studied since 1969.

For example, according to the survey, people said that compared with pre-pandemic times, they are now more likely to be growing and preparing their own food, conserving resources, demonstrating less interest in financial wealth and showing greater appreciation for their elders. The researchers found all of those shifts are a function of Americans’ increased focus on survival and their isolation during the pandemic.

The study also found that during the pandemic parents expected their children to help out around the home — for example, by cooking for the family — more than they did before the pandemic.

The fact that the latest findings aligned with those of the earlier research on online trends provides additional support for both studies.

-----

 

Science backs nature as key to children’s health

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929890

 

 News Release 29-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Washington State University

 

 The presence of greenspaces near homes and schools is strongly associated with improved physical activity and mental health outcomes in kids, according to a massive review of data from nearly 300 studies.

Published online Sept. 29 in the journal Pediatrics, the review conducted by Washington State University and University of Washington scientists highlights the important role that exposure to nature plays in children’s health. Importantly, some of the data examined the effects for kids from historically marginalized communities and showed that the benefits of nature exposure may be even more pronounced for them.

-----


Study links air pollution to nearly 6 million preterm births around the world

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929399


 News Release 28-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of California - San Francisco


Air pollution likely contributed to almost 6 million premature births and almost 3 million underweight babies in 2019, according to a UC San Francisco and University of Washington global burden of disease study and meta-analysis that quantifies the effects of indoor and outdoor pollution around the world.  

The analysis, published September 28, 2021, in PLOS Medicine, is the most in-depth look yet at how air pollution affects several key indicators of pregnancy, including gestational age at birth, reduction in birth weight, low birth weight, and preterm birth. And it is the first global burden of disease study of these indicators to include the effects of indoor air pollution, mostly from cook stoves, which accounted for two-thirds of the measured effects.

A growing body of evidence points to air pollution as a major cause of preterm birth and low birthweight. Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality worldwide, affecting more than 15 million infants every year. Children with low birthweight or who are born premature have higher rates of major illness throughout their lives.  

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 90 percent of the world’s population lives with polluted outdoor air, and half the global population is also exposed to indoor air pollution from burning coal, dung and wood inside the home.  

-----


Happiness in early adulthood may protect against dementia

 

 https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929745

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of California - San Francisco

 

While research has shown that poor cardiovascular health can damage blood flow to the brain increasing the risk for dementia, a new study led by UC San Francisco indicates that poor mental health may also take its toll on cognition.

The research adds to a body of evidence that links depression with dementia, but while most studies have pointed to its association in later life, the UCSF study shows that depression in early adulthood may lead to lower cognition 10 years later and to cognitive decline in old age.

The study publishes in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease on Sept. 28, 2021. 

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Looking to lose weight? Diet drinks might not be the sweet spot, according to new USC study


https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929587


 News Release 28-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Keck School of Medicine of USC


A synthetic aftertaste might not be the only side effect of switching to diet soda, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

Drinks that contain the artificial sweetener sucralose may increase food cravings and appetite in woman and people who are obese, according to a new study by led by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Just published in JAMA Network Open, the study is one of the largest to-date to examine the effects of an artificial sweetener, also called a nonnutritive sweetener (NNS), on brain activity and appetite responses in different segments of the population.

-----




USPSTF recommendation on aspirin use to prevent preeclampsia

 

 https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929512

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2021
JAMA
Peer-Reviewed Publication
JAMA Network

 

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends the use of low-dose aspirin (81mg/d) as preventive medication for preeclampsia after 12 weeks of gestation in individuals who are at high risk for preeclampsia. A multisystem inflammatory syndrome that is often progressive, preeclampsia is one of the most serious health problems that affect pregnant individuals. It is a complication in approximately 4 percent of pregnancies in the United States. The USPSTF routinely makes recommendations about the effectiveness of preventive care services and this statement updates and is consistent with its 2014 recommendation and is strengthened by new evidence from additional trials demonstrating reduced risks of perinatal death with low-dose aspirin use.

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Deadly auto crashes more likely during pandemic lockdown

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929789

 

  News Release 28-Sep-2021
Study finds less traffic, more speeding and reckless driving
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Ohio State University
 

  With fewer people on the road during the early days of the pandemic, more drivers were speeding and driving recklessly, resulting in more crashes being deadly, a new study found.

 -----

While the total number of collisions declined after the lockdown, the proportion of those crashes that were incapacitating or fatal more than doubled, results showed.

 

“More of the crashes that did occur were severe, not just because of less congestion, but also because of drivers who were speeding, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said Jonathan Stiles, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher in geography at Ohio State.

 

Pandemic driving also led to far fewer rear-end collisions and more single-vehicle crashes, findings revealed.

-----

The results reveal a disturbing fact about urban road design, said study co-author Harvey Miller, a professor of geography at Ohio State.

 

“This is more evidence that our streets are designed for speed, not safety,” said Miller, who is also director of Ohio State’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis.

 

“What is keeping crashes from being more severe during normal times is higher volumes of traffic, and once traffic goes away, people speed and crashes have more serious consequences.”

 -----


Largest trial of antibiotic amoxicillin for treating chest infections in children finds little effect

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929798

 

 News Release 28-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Bristol

 

The largest randomised placebo-controlled trial of the antibiotic amoxicillin for treating chest infections in children - one of the most common acute illnesses treated in primary care in developed countries, has found it is little more effective at relieving symptoms than the use of no medication. The study, published in The Lancet and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), was led by researchers from the University of Southampton and supported by centres at the Universities of Bristol, Oxford and Cardiff.

Although viruses are believed to cause many of these infections in children, whether or not antibiotics are beneficial in treatment of chest infections in children is still debated. While research so far in adults has shown that antibiotics are not effective for uncomplicated chest infections until now, there has not been the same level of research in children.

-----

 

Children who eat more fruit and veg have better mental health

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929312

 

 News Release 27-Sep-2021
Peer reviewed / observational study / children
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of East Anglia

 

Children who eat a better diet, packed with fruit and vegetables, have better mental wellbeing – according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

A new study published today is the first to investigate the association between fruit and vegetable intakes, breakfast and lunch choices, and mental wellbeing in UK school children.

It shows how eating more fruit and veg is linked with better wellbeing among secondary school pupils in particular. And children who consumed five or more portions of fruit and veg a day had the highest scores for mental wellbeing.

-----

 We also found that the types of breakfast and lunch eaten by both primary and secondary school pupils were also significantly associated with wellbeing.

“Children who ate a traditional breakfast experienced better wellbeing than those who only had a snack or drink. But secondary school children who drank energy drinks for breakfast had particularly low mental wellbeing scores, even lower than for those children consuming no breakfast at all.

“According to our data, in a class of 30 secondary school pupils, around 21 will have consumed a conventional-type breakfast, and at least four will have had nothing to eat or drink before starting classes in the morning.

“Similarly, at least three pupils will go into afternoon classes without eating any lunch. Thchils is of concern, and likely to affect not only academic performance at school but also physical growth and development.

“Another interesting thing that we found was that nutrition had as much or more of an impact on wellbeing as factors such as witnessing regular arguing or violence at home.

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Major weight loss may reverse heart disease risks associated with obesity, US study finds

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929493

 

News Release 27-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Diabetologia

 

Major weight loss appears to reverse most of the cardiovascular risks linked with obesity, according to a cross-sectional analysis of the US adult population being presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), held online this year (27 Sept-1 Oct).

The findings indicate that the risk of high blood pressure and dyslipidemia (unhealthy levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood) were similar in Americans who used to have obesity (but were now a healthy weight) and those who had always maintained a healthy weight. However, although the risk of current type 2 diabetes lessened with weight loss, it remained elevated in people who formerly had obesity compared to those who had never had obesity.

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Study of nearly 3 million people finds ‘healthy’ obese people more likely to develop heart failure than those of normal weight—but are not at greater risk of heart attack or stroke

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929491


 News Release 27-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Diabetologia

 

Adults who are obese but appear healthy (without common metabolic abnormalities such as high blood pressure, abnormal blood fats, or diabetes) are not at greater risk of heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death than healthy individuals of normal weight, but they are around 33% more likely to develop heart failure and the heart rhythm condition, atrial fibrillation, according to a nationwide study from France that followed nearly 3 million hospital patients (aged 18 and older) for at least 5 years.

-----

 Our findings also highlight the importance of preventing poor metabolic health, and suggest that even normal weight individuals may benefit from early behavioural and medical management to improve their diet and increase physical activity in order to guard against stroke.”

-----

Importantly, the analysis also showed that men face higher risks than women—compared to normal weight men with no metabolic abnormalities, men with metabolically healthy obesity had a 61% higher risk of cardiovascular events; while women with metabolically healthy obesity were 50% less likely to suffer heart attack than those of normal weight.

The authors acknowledge that their findings show observational associations rather than cause and effect. They note some limitations, including that the study included people taken from one country with a predominately white Caucasian population, so the findings cannot be generalised to all ethnic groups in other countries. They also note that they were unable to account for some potential confounders such as socioeconomic status, physical activity, diet, and metabolic control (eg, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, BMI), that may have influenced the results.




Men at greater risk of dying following weight-loss surgery than women, data spanning 10 years suggests

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929490

 

 News Release 27-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Diabetologia

 

Men who undergo bariatric (obesity) surgery are five times as likely to die within 30-days of the procedure compared to women, and their long-term mortality is almost three times higher, according to an analysis of national data from Austria spanning 10 years.

-----

Between January 2010 and April 2020, less than 2% (367/19,901; 176 men and 191 women) of bariatric surgery patients died. Nevertheless, overall postoperative mortality rates (per year of observation) were almost three times higher among men than women (0.64% vs 0.24%)—although deaths were rare in absolute terms; whilst 30-day mortality was five-fold higher in men compared to women (25 deaths, 0.5% vs 12 deaths, 0.1%).

Among those who died, cardiovascular diseases (84% of men, 80% of women) and psychiatric disorders (51% of men, 58% of women) were the most common comorbidities. Type 2 diabetes was more common in men than women who died (43% vs 33%), and cancers were more common in women than men (41% vs 30%).

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Smoking highly likely to worsen COVID-19 severity and risk of associated death

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929403

 

 News Release 27-Sep-2021
BMJ

 

Smoking is highly likely to worsen the severity of COVID-19 and the risk of dying from the infection, finds a large UK Biobank study published online in the respiratory journal Thorax.

It is the first study of its kind to pool observational and genetic data on smoking and COVID-19 to strengthen the evidence base.

-----

 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Stronger regulations needed on common obesity-promoting chemicals

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/928964

 

 News Release 24-Sep-2021
conference abstract, systematic review, people
Reports and Proceedings
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology

 

Everyday exposure to obesity-promoting chemicals (obesogens) represents a significant risk to public health, and needs stronger regulation to minimise exposure and protect people’s health, according to evidence presented today at the 59th Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting. Dr Leonardo Trasande is an internationally renowned leader in environmental health, who will draw together the amassing evidence for the serious impact of these chemicals on childhood and adult obesity, as well as the global economy. He will make recommendations for simple policies that safely reduce people’s exposure, whilst having economic benefit.

The long-held mindset that diet and physical activity are the sole determinants of body weight has now been overturned, and it is understood that genetics and environmental factors also have an important role. However, the damaging influence of hormone-disrupting chemicals on the increasing incidence of obesity has been greatly underappreciated. A rapidly growing body of evidence indicates that these chemicals can scramble our normal metabolism and undermine our natural processes for using calories, predisposing us to weight gain. 

-----

In his presentation, he will present compelling evidence from these and other studies on the seriousness of exposure to obesogens, including the dangers of three very common chemicals that we often encounter in our everyday lives.

    Bisphenols, found in aluminium can lining and thermal receipts, make fat cells larger and predispose us to store fat.


    Phthalates, found in personal care products and food packaging, can reprogramme how our bodies metabolise protein, pushing it to store fat, regardless of our physical activity level or diet.


    PFOS, found on non-stick cookware and water-resistant clothing, have been shown to misprogramme the body to store fat, even when external conditions indicate you should burn fat calories, such as in cold temperatures. In adults that lost weight following a healthy diet with physical activity, higher PFOS levels were associated with more regain of weight later.

-----

It is estimated that endocrine-disrupting chemicals cost Europe €163 billion a year, around 1.2% of its gross domestic product, obesogens are a large part of that.

-----


Monday, September 27, 2021

A Boy Went to a COVID-Swamped ER. He Waited for Hours. Then His Appendix Burst.

I suggest reading the whole article.

 

https://www.propublica.org/article/a-boy-went-to-a-covid-swamped-er-he-waited-for-hours-then-his-appendix-burst

 

by Jenny Deam
Sept. 15, 5 a.m. EDT

-----

Hours passed and 12-year-old Seth’s condition worsened, his body quivering from the pain shooting across his lower belly. Osborn said his wife asked why it was taking so long to be seen. A nurse rolled her eyes and muttered, “COVID.”

Seth was finally diagnosed with appendicitis more than six hours after arriving at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health North Hospital in late July. Around midnight, he was taken by ambulance to a sister hospital about a half-hour away that was better equipped to perform pediatric emergency surgery, his father said.

But by the time the doctor operated in the early morning hours, Seth’s appendix had burst — a potentially fatal complication.

As the nation’s hospitals fill and emergency rooms overflow with critically ill COVID-19 patients, it is the non-COVID-19 patients, like Seth, who have become collateral damage. They, too, need emergency care, but the sheer number of COVID-19 cases is crowding them out. Treatment has often been delayed as ERs scramble to find a bed that may be hundreds of miles away.

-----

The federal government’s latest data shows Alabama is at 100% of its intensive care unit capacity, with Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Arkansas at more than 90% ICU capacity. Florida is just under 90%.

It’s the COVID-19 cases that are dominating. In Georgia, 62% of the ICU beds are now filled with just COVID-19 patients. In Texas, the percentage is nearly half.

-----



 

Today’s kids will live through three times as many climate disasters as their grandparents, study says

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/09/26/change-disasters-kids-science-study/

 

By Sarah Kaplan
Sept. 26, 2021 at 7:01 p.m. EDT

-----

If the planet continues to warm on its current trajectory, the average 6-year-old will live through roughly three times as many climate disasters as their grandparents, the study finds. They will see twice as many wildfires, 1.7 times as many tropical cyclones, 3.4 times more river floods, 2.5 times more crop failures and 2.3 times as many droughts as someone born in 1960.

-----

Unless world leaders agree on more ambitious policies when they meet for the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, this fall, the study says, today’s children will be exposed to an average of five times more disasters than if they lived 150 years ago.

-----

 

The changes are especially dramatic in developing nations; infants in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to live through 50 to 54 times as many heat waves as someone born in the preindustrial era.

-----

“Young people are being hit by climate crisis but are not in position to make decisions,” he said. “While the people who can make the change happen will not face the consequences.”

Aggressive efforts to curb fossil fuel use and other planet-warming activities can still dramatically improve the outlook for today’s children, he added. If people manage to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, newborns’ risk of extreme heat exposure will fall almost by half. They could see 11 percent fewer crop failures, 27 percent fewer droughts and almost a third as many river floods than if emissions continue unabated.

But the world is nowhere near meeting that 1.5 degree target. 

-----

 

These findings, published this week in the journal Science, are the result of a massive effort to quantify what lead author Wim Thiery calls the “intergenerational inequality” of climate change.

-----

The Science paper was partly inspired by Thiery’s three sons, who are 7, 5 and 2. But its implications are not restricted to children. Anyone under 40, he said, is destined to live a life of unprecedented disaster exposure, experiencing rates of extreme events that would have just a 1 in 10,000 chance of happening in a preindustrial world.

-----

The numbers provided in the study are almost certainly an underestimate, said co-author Joeri Rogelj, director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London. Data limitations, and the complexity of the analysis, meant the scientists didn’t assess the increased risk of some hazards, such as coastal flooding from sea level rise. The study also doesn’t take into account the increased severity of many events; it only looks at frequency.

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Fires are lasting longer into the night, and researchers may have found out why

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2021/09/25/fires-burning-longer-night-west/

 

By Kasha Patel
September 25, 2021 at 8:12 a.m. EDT 


Firefighters in the western U.S. have noticed a disturbing trend in recent years: fires are intensifying earlier in the morning and burning longer into the night.

“Firefighters are still fighting the fire at 10:00 or 11:00 at night when historically they thought they could stop at 8:00,” said Brian Potter, a research meteorologist with the U.S. Forest Service at the Pacific Northwest Research Station. “What that means is the fire managers don’t get a break.”

Satellite data and ground reports indicate wildfire activity has increased at night in recent decades, meaning firefighters have less time to rest and regroup overnight. This year, the Caldor fire southwest of Lake Tahoe, which has consumed more than 220,000 acres as of Sept. 24, more than doubled overnight early on. The Windy fire also experienced significant overnight growth as it burned in the Sequoia National Forest.

Potter and his colleagues investigated why firefighters are seeing more nighttime fire activity now than at the beginning of their careers. In a recent study, they found air over most of the western U.S. has become drier and warmer at night over the past 40 years, influencing the rate at which vegetation and other fuels for fire will dry out and burn.

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Europe experiences warmest year on record in 2020

 

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/press-office/news/weather-and-climate/2021/europe-experiences-warmest-year-on-record-in-2020


Author: Grahame Madge
16:00 (UTC+1) on Wed 25 Aug 2021
 

The latest edition in an annual series of global climate reports shows that Europe experienced its warmest year in 2020 by a considerable amount.

The report showed that 2020 in Europe was 1.9 °C [3.4F] above the long-term average of 1981-2010. 

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2020 was the seventh year in succession where the Arctic recorded an annual average temperature more than 1.0 °C  [1.8F] above the average for 1981-2010. 

[And of course the average for 1981-2010 was above pre-industrial temperature.]

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How the US vaccine effort derailed and why we shouldn’t be surprised

 

 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/27/us-vaccine-effort-derailed

 

Jessica Glenza
@JessicaGlenza
Mon 27 Sep 2021 02.00 EDT

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The story is one example of how the United States purchased enough vaccines to inoculate its entire population, and even potentially embark on a round of booster shots, but health professionals found lacking another essential element essential to a successful vaccination campaign: trust.

That lack of confidence garnered the United States an unenviable distinction – in mid-September it became the least vaccinated member of the world’s seven most populous and wealthy democracies, or “G7,” which includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Now, a surge of the Delta Covid-19 variant has killed on average more than 2,000 Americans per day and forced the US death toll past the symbolic milestone of 675,000 deaths, the estimated number of Americans who perished in the 1918 influenza pandemic, even as hospitalization and death from Covid-19 are largely preventable.

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“When I look at this I do see a very familiar pattern,” said Dr Steven Woolf, a prominent population health researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University. “When Operation Warp Speed came out I thought I was just seeing a modern example of this old problem where the scientific community developed the vaccine at ‘warp speed,’ but the implementation system for getting it out into the community was inadequate.”

Woolf calls this “breakthrough without follow-through”. In that light, the plodding vaccination campaign could be seen as one more aspect of the American “health disadvantage”.

The phrase describes a paradox: the US houses among the most advanced medical and research centers in the world, but performs poorly in basic health metrics such as maternal mortality and infant mortality; accidental injury, death and disability; and chronic and infectious disease.

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An important piece of research in this area is a 2013 report by a panel chaired by Woolf, directed by Aron, and funded by the National Institutes of Health. Called US Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health, the report describes how Americans spend more than double per person on healthcare compared with 17 peer nations, but rank near the bottom in health outcomes.

The phenomenon is described as “pervasive”, affecting all age groups up to 75, with life expectancy declining especially for women. In just a few examples, Americans have the highest infant mortality, children are less likely to live to age five, and the US has the worst rates of Aids among peer nations.

The US also has the highest or among the highest rates of cardiovascular disease, obesity, chronic lung disease and disability. Together, these risk factors culminate in Americans having the worst or second worst probability of living to age 50.

Americans know intuitively that their healthcare is expensive, frustrating and often unfair. Remarkably, even amid the pandemic, roughly 30 million Americans went without health insurance, exposing them to potentially ruinous medical debt. [Many can't afford health insurance.]

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Even people relatively well insulated from societal ills live shorter, sicker lives than their counterparts in Europe.

“That is, Americans with healthy behaviors or those who are white, insured, college-educated, or in upper-income groups appear to be in worse health than similar groups in comparison countries,” the 2013 report found.

Research since this report was published has elaborated on these findings, notably recent research showing that American life expectancy has declined while peer nations saw continued gains.

“To some extent, we feel that reflects the tendency of Americans to reflect the role of government, and insist on their freedoms,” said Woolf. However, it is an attitude that can be taken to extremes, “and there’s no better example than Covid-19”.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the biggest decrease in life expectancy since World War II

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929486

 

 News Release 26-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Oxford

 

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered life expectancy losses not seen since World War II in Western Europe and exceeded those observed around the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc in central and Eastern European countries, according to research published [27 September], led by scientists at Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science.

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 Across most of the 29 countries, males saw larger life expectancy declines than females. The largest declines in life expectancy were observed among males in the US, who saw a decline of 2.2 years relative to 2019 levels, followed by Lithuanian males (1.7 years).

According to co-lead author, Dr Ridhi Kashyap, ‘The large declines in life expectancy observed in the US can partly be explained by the notable increase in mortality at working ages observed in 2020. In the US, increases in mortality in the under 60 age group contributed most significantly to life expectancy declines, whereas across most of Europe increases in mortality above age 60 contributed more significantly.’

In addition to these age patterns, the team’s analysis reveals that most life expectancy reductions across different countries were attributable to official COVID-19 deaths.

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Life expectancy, also known as period life expectancy, refers to the average age to which a newborn live if current death rates continued for their whole life. It does not predict an actual lifespan. It provides a snapshot of current mortality conditions and allows for a comparison of the size of the mortality impacts of the pandemic between different countries and populations.


Healthy changes in diet, activity improved treatment-resistant high blood pressure

 

For me, gaining 5 pounds can mean an increase of 30 points in my systolic blood pressure.

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929045

 

 News Release 27-Sep-2021
Circulation Journal Report
Peer-Reviewed Publication
American Heart Association

 

People with treatment-resistant hypertension successfully reduced their blood pressure by adopting the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, losing weight and improving their aerobic fitness by participating in a structured diet and exercise program at a certified cardiac rehabilitation facility, according to new research published today in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure (130/80 mm Hg or higher) despite the use of three or more medications of different classes including a diuretic to reduce blood pressure is a condition known as resistant hypertension. Although estimates vary, resistant hypertension likely affects about 5% of the general global population and may affect 20% to 30% of adults with high blood pressure. Resistant hypertension is also associated with end-organ damage and a 50% greater risk of adverse cardiovascular events, including stroke, heart attack and death.

Diet and exercise are well-established treatments for high blood pressure. In June 2021, the American Heart Association advised that physical activity is the optimal first treatment choice for adults with mild to moderately elevated blood pressure and blood cholesterol who otherwise have low heart disease risk.

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 Researchers found:

    The participants in the supervised program had about a 12-point drop in systolic blood pressure, compared to 7 points in the self-guided group. Systolic blood pressure (the first number in a blood pressure reading) indicates how much pressure blood is exerting against artery walls when the heart beats and is recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for adults ages 50 and older.


    Blood pressure measures captured through 24 hours of ambulatory monitoring during a typical day revealed that the group in the supervised lifestyle program had a 7-point reduction in systolic blood pressure, while the self-guided group had no change in blood pressure.


    Participants in the supervised program also had greater improvements in other key indicators of heart health, suggesting that they had a lower risk of a heart event in the future.

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Parental income has long-term consequences for children’s health

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929581


 News Release 27-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences


A family’s socioeconomic status affects children’s health long into adulthood. Individuals growing up in low-income families have much higher risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases later in life. That’s especially true for permanent low-income families, a University of Illinois study shows.

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Permanent income is associated with parents’ general socioeconomic conditions in the long term, while transitory income refers to temporary income peaks or valleys. For example, a peak might occur when a parent receives a bonus at work or gets an inheritance. Peaks and valleys might also be related to macroeconomic conditions. Many families experienced a temporary setback due to the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Xu and her co-author Tansel Yilmazer, Ohio State University, analyzed data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), which followed thousands of families and children over a 47-year period. PSID began collecting parental income information in 1968, and from 1999 included health information about the now-adult children.

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The researchers find the correlation between income and health is strongest for those with lower socioeconomic status, and the likelihood of adult obesity and obesity-related outcomes decreases as parents’ permanent income goes up. Transitory income peaks during adolescence can promote better health, while no other transitory peaks or valleys had a significant effect.

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New form of expanded dialysis improves quality of life, study finds

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929690

 

 News Release 27-Sep-2021
Patients experiencing more energy, better sleep, and improved well-being
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Lawson Health Research Institute


 In a published study, a hospital research team from Lawson Health Research Institute has found that expanded dialysis, a new method that removes a broader range of toxins from the body, can improve quality of life in chronic kidney disease patients who struggle with the side effects of traditional dialysis.

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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Infants have more microplastics in their feces than adults, study finds

 

 https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/928808

 

  News Release 22-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
American Chemical Society

 

Microplastics — tiny plastic pieces less than 5 mm in size — are everywhere, from indoor dust to food to bottled water. So it’s not surprising that scientists have detected these particles in the feces of people and pets. Now, in a small pilot study, researchers reporting in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology Letters discovered that infants have higher amounts of one type of microplastic in their stool than adults. Health effects, if any, are uncertain.

Little is known about the magnitude of human exposure to microplastics or their health effects. Although microplastics were once thought to pass harmlessly through the gastrointestinal tract and exit the body, recent studies suggest that the tiniest pieces can cross cell membranes and enter the circulation. In cells and laboratory animals, microplastic exposure can cause cell death, inflammation and metabolic disorders.

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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Future fertility of obese boys may be protected by early weight loss

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/928960

 

 News Release 23-Sep-2021
Reports and Proceedings
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology

 

Reproductive function in boys with obesity may be improved through weight loss, which could protect their fertility in adulthood, according to research presented today at the 59th Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting. The study suggests that even after short-term weight loss, alterations in reproductive function could be partially reversed in young boys with obesity. This indicates that early management of obesity in childhood could help prevent future fertility problems in men.

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Friday, September 24, 2021

Meeting sleep recommendations could lead to smarter snacking

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/928988

 

 News Release 20-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Ohio State University

 

Missing out on the recommended seven or more hours of sleep per night could lead to more opportunities to make poorer snacking choices than those made by people who meet shut-eye guidelines, a new study suggests.

The analysis of data on almost 20,000 American adults showed a link between not meeting sleep recommendations and eating more snack-related carbohydrates, added sugar, fats and caffeine.

It turns out that the favored non-meal food categories – salty snacks and sweets and non-alcoholic drinks – are the same among adults regardless of sleep habits, but those getting less sleep tend to eat more snack calories in a day overall.

 

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Is your child a fussy eater? Top tips to help your child get back on track

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929049

 

 News Release 20-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of South Australia

 

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Now, new research from USC, the University of South Australia, and the University of Queensland is providing a better understanding of what influences fussy eaters, and what is more likely to increase or decrease picky eating in children under 10.

Reviewing 80 health industry studies, the research found that a range of factors contributed to a child’s likelihood of being a fussy eater.

The study found that pressuring a child to eat, offering rewards for eating, very strict parenting all negatively influenced fussy eaters. Conversely, a more relaxed parenting style, eating together as a family, and involving a child in the preparation if food all reduced the likelihood of fussy eating.

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A sexual assault may jeopardize a woman's brain health

 

 https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/928217

 

 News Release 22-Sep-2021
New study suggests trauma history (especially sexual assault) is associated with greater risk of dementia, stroke, and other brain disorders
Reports and Proceedings
The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

 

Traumatic experiences, including sexual violence, have been linked to poor mental and cardiovascular health in women as they age. A new study suggests they may also be linked to indicators of cerebrovascular risk that may be precursors to dementia, stroke, and other brain disorders. Study results will be presented during The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, September 22-25, 2021.

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Strength training can burn fat too, myth-busting study finds

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929164

 

 News Release 22-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of New South Wales

 

It’s basic exercise knowledge that to gain muscles, you strength train, and to lose fat, you do cardio – right?

Not necessarily, a new UNSW study published this week in Sports Medicine suggests.

In fact, the study – a systematic review and meta-analysis that reviewed and analysed existing evidence – shows we can lose around 1.4 per cent of our entire body fat through strength training alone, which is similar to how much we might lose through cardio or aerobics. 

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COVID-19 infection increases risk for preeclampsia reported by WSU and PRB investigators

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929225

 

 News Release 22-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research

 

A newly published study found that women who contract COVID-19 during pregnancy are at significantly higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia, the leading cause of maternal and infant death worldwide.

 

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Pregnant women who receive COVID-19 vaccination pass protection from the virus to their newborns

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929205

 

 News Release 22-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
NYU Langone Health / NYU Grossman School of Medicine

 

Women who receive the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy pass high levels of antibodies to their babies, a new study finds.

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Corticosteroid injections of hip linked to 'rapidly destructive hip disease'

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929338

 

  News Release 23-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Wolters Kluwer Health


 Corticosteroid injections are a common treatment option for pain and inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip. But a new study adds to concerns that hip steroid injections may lead to increased rates of a serious complication called rapidly destructive hip disease (RDHD), according to a paper in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio in partnership with Wolters Kluwer.

The increased rates of RDHD are especially apparent in patients receiving repeated and/or high-dose corticosteroid hip injections, according to the report by Kanu Okike, MD, MPH, of Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, Honolulu, and colleagues. Their study includes the largest series of patients with post-injection RDHD reported to date.

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Alternative to using race in kidney function test found

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929354

 

 News Release 23-Sep-2021
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Kaiser Permanente

 

Researchers have identified an approach to remove race from equations used to estimate a person’s kidney function. These equations have been criticized for potentially perpetuating racial health disparities. The findings, reported September 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine, are expected to inform National Kidney Foundation–American Society of Nephrology Task Force guidelines on evaluating kidney function.

“Our research showed that if you use a blood cystatin C test, instead of a blood creatinine test, you don’t need to include race to get a similarly accurate estimate of kidney function,” said the study’s co-senior author, Alan S. Go, MD, a senior research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Northern California.

Testing for blood creatinine levels is currently the most commonly used way to measure kidney function. Since the1990s, mathematical equations that include a person’s age, sex, and race along with their creatinine level have been used to determine estimated glomerular filtration rate, known as GFR. Race — classified as Black or non-Black — was added because studies showed that, on average, creatinine levels are higher in people who are self-reported Black versus self-reported non-Black, even when kidney function is the same. Over the past year, the equation’s use of Black race has been used by reporters and activists as a prominent example of possible medical racism.

Cystatin C is a less-widely used test for kidney function. The new study showed that when cystatin C test results were substituted for creatinine test results, race could be taken out of the equation.

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