Monday, April 18, 2022

What's behind South Africa's flood disaster

 

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220418-what-s-behind-south-africa-s-flood-disaster

 

Issued on: 18/04/2022 - 12:34


South Africa, the continent's most industrialised country, has largely escaped the tropical cyclones that regularly hit its neighbours.
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But last week, storms pummelled the east coast city of Durban, triggering heavy floods and landslides that killed more than 440.

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If the storm system itself is a known phenomenon, the difference this time was the intensity of the the deluge.

Here, experts point the finger at climate change -- warmer seas charge the atmosphere with more moisture, which then gets dumped as rainfall.

"We've seen in Durban three (severe) floods in less than 10 years. Does it have to do with climate change? Definitely," said Mary Galvin of the University of Johannesburg.

"We are feeling the impact of what will certainly be unpredictable, more frequent, severe and extreme weather events."

A recent UN report says what was once considered a one-in-a-hundred-year flood event could end up happening several times a year by 2050.

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Brazilian study finds COVID-19 cases and deaths higher in areas with electoral support for President Bolsonaro

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949744

 

 News Release 14-Apr-2022
Study of 853 counties in Minas Gerais state finds counties that voted for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in the 2018 election are more likely to have higher incidence and death rates from COVID-19
Reports and Proceedings
European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

 

In a study to be presented at this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Lisbon, Portugal (23-26 April), researchers from Sociedade Mineira de Infectologia and Associação Mineira de Epidemiologia e Controle de Infecções show a correlation between the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s denialist attitude to COVID-19 and higher COVID-19 incidence and mortality.

The study, involving 853 counties in Minas Gerais (the second most populous state located in southeastern Brazil), finds that in Bolsonaro voting counties, COVID-19 cases and deaths were substantially higher than in counties where Bolsonaro lost the 2018 presidential election vote.

“The role of politics had a critical impact on COVID-19 responses to the pandemic in Brazil from the outset”, say Dr Carlos Starling from Sociedade Mineira de Infectologia. “President Jair Bolsonaro has denied COVID-19 severity, promoted treatments without evidence of efficacy, and discouraged social distancing, the use of masks, local lockdowns and other protective measures, which has likely resulted in higher infection rates and deaths from COVID-19 among his supporters.”
The death toll from Covid-19 in Brazil has passed 659,000, the third highest reported toll of any country in the world [1].

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Comprehensive care program helped reduce some racial disparities after hip and knee replacement

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949973

 

 News Release 18-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Wolters Kluwer Health

 

A "bundled care" Medicare program to improve care for patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery has led to reductions in some outcome disparities for Black compared with White patients, suggests a study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio in partnership with Wolters Kluwer.

The introduction of Medicare's Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Model coincided with a reduction of racial differences in hospital readmission rates after hip or knee replacement surgery, according to new research by Calin Moucha, MD, Jashvant Poeran, MD, PhD, and other colleagues at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.

Despite gains, racial differences persist in patient characteristics and outcomes.

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Youth development program helps kids get out of poverty in adulthood

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949982

 

 News Release 18-Apr-2022
Study measured outcomes after 33-year follow-up with program alumni
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

 

A free youth development program serving Black children and teens living in a low-income segregated community demonstrated positive long-term educational and financial outcomes in its alumni, according to a study from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago published in the journal BMC Public Health.

A 33-year follow-up revealed that alumni graduated from college at twice the rate of their peers who did not participate in the youth development program. For each year of program enrollment, alumni were 10 percent more likely to complete college. Alumni also were more likely to save money at the end of the month and to report a better standard of living than their parents.

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Study: Black kidney transplant patients exhibit faster clearance rates of key immunosuppressive medicine tacrolimus

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/950019

 

 News Release 18-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University at Buffalo

 

Kidney transplant survival is shorter, on average, in Black recipients compared to white recipients receiving similar treatment. Although Black people make up only 13% of the population, they represent 35% of patients with kidney failure in the United States, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

A variety of factors influence kidney transplant survival in Black recipients, including socioeconomics, genomics and attaining adequate blood concentrations of prescribed immunosuppressive medications.

Black kidney transplant recipients have a faster clearance rate of the immunosuppressive drug tacrolimus than white recipients, according to a new study led by Kathleen Tornatore, PharmD, professor of pharmacy practice in the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The study, published earlier this year in Pharmacotherapy, is one of the first to examine how both race and sex influence tacrolimus pharmacokinetics (the study of how drugs move throughout the body). 

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Variable schedules harm workers and businesses

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/950022

 

 News Release 18-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Cornell University

 

Variable work schedules – which employers increasingly use to maximize profits amid unpredictable market conditions – can actually undermine organizational performance, especially in crisis periods such as the pandemic, according to Cornell University research.

In a new study, doctoral student Hyesook Chung found that managers who rely on less stable variable work schedules experience higher turnover, due to the negative impact on workers’ economic security, health and work–life balance.

Additionally, Chung found the effect is likely to be more striking during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, since household financial and health-related distress is likely to be higher, and social systems that provide support are under duress. This higher store-level turnover, in turn, reduces the store’s financial performance, increasingly so as the crisis unfolds, she said.

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COVID-19 vaccine protects kids and teens from severe illness

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/950026

 

 News Release 18-Apr-2022
Study evaluated Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine effectiveness during the Delta and Omicron periods in children 5-18 years of age
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

 

Results of a new multicenter study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that vaccination with a primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine reduced the risk of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in children ages 5–11 years by two-thirds during the Omicron period. Among adolescents ages 12–18 years who were vaccinated with a primary series of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, protection against COVID-19-associated hospitalization during the Omicron period was lower than during the Delta period, similar to what has been previously shown among adults. Levels of protection against critical COVID-19 requiring life-supporting interventions remained high in vaccinated adolescents during both the Delta and the Omicron periods. 

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Voting against sick people

 

https://twitter.com/TheDemocrats/status/1516110568612061184

1:45 PM · Apr 18, 2022

 

Why did 193 House Republicans vote against a standalone bill to cap the cost of insulin at $35/month?

Being intelligent

 

 

Intelligence is "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills."

To do that requires the ability and willingness to acknowledge that we don't already know everything, and that some of what we already know is not accurate.  I would say that morality also requires this.


Double standard on inflation

 

https://twitter.com/DanPriceSeattle/status/1515846130390781956

 Dan Price
@DanPriceSeattle

8:14 PM · Apr 17, 2022


if corporations are "forced to raise prices" because of inflation how come they weren't forced to lower prices when they got $1.9 trillion in tax cuts?

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Vegan diets for dogs may be linked with better health, and could be less hazardous, than meat-based diets

 


Not true for cats.

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948887

 

  News Release 13-Apr-2022
Survey findings may support nutritionally complete vegan dog diets over raw or conventional meat diets
Peer-Reviewed Publication
PLOS


A survey study of the guardians of more than 2,500 dogs explored links between dog diet and health outcomes, suggesting that nutritionally sound vegan diets may be healthier and less hazardous than conventional or raw meat-based diets. Andrew Knight of the University of Winchester, U.K., and colleagues present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on April 13, 2022.

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Further research is needed to confirm whether a raw meat or a vegan diet is associated with better dog health outcomes. The researchers suggest that large-scale, cross-sectional, and longitudinal studies of dogs, maintained on different diets, which utilizes data such as results of veterinary clinical examinations and veterinary medical histories, could yield results of greater reliability. Still, prior research has linked raw meat diets to increased risk of pathogens and nutritional deficiencies. In light of both the new and prior findings, the researchers suggest that a nutritionally sound vegan diet may in fact be the healthiest and least hazardous choice for dogs.

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Healthy lifestyle associated with more years without Alzheimer’s

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949405

 

 News Release 13-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
BMJ

 

 A US study published by The BMJ today suggests that a healthy lifestyle is associated with a longer life expectancy among both men and women, and they lived a larger proportion of their remaining years without Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings show that a healthy lifestyle is associated with longer life expectancies, but crucially the extra years did not mean extra years lived with Alzheimer’s.

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 Participants completed detailed diet and lifestyle questionnaires and a healthy lifestyle score was developed based on: a hybrid Mediterranean-DASH Diet (a diet rich in whole grains, green leafy vegetables and berries and low in fast/fried food, and red meats); late-life cognitively stimulating activities; at least 150 minutes a week of physical activity; not smoking; low to moderate alcohol consumption.

Cognitive activities included reading, visiting a museum or doing crosswords.

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Exercise during pregnancy reduces the risk of Type-2 Diabetes in offspring, study finds

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949762

 

 News Release 14-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Tohoku University

 

A new study has demonstrated that maternal exercise during pregnancy improves the metabolic health of offspring, even when the mother is obese or on a high-fat diet. Physical exercise by the mother induces the placenta to secrete the key protein SOD3, resulting in a lowered risk of diabetes for the offspring. The findings in the paper identified the mechanisms behind this process.

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New study shows increase in black lung disease in coal miners

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949740

 

 News Release 14-Apr-2022
Provides rationale for the mine safety and health administration to develop a more protective occupational standard for silica.
Peer-Reviewed Publication
American Thoracic Society

 

Higher levels of  silica dust can be found in the lung tissue of contemporary coal miners compared to the lung tissue in previous generations of coal miners, according to a new study in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.  The study helps explain the recent increase in severe pneumoconiosis – often referred to as black lung disease – concentrated in central Appalachia (West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky) miners.

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Food insecurity doubled likelihood of foregoing or delaying medical care during first year of COVID-19 pandemic in U.S.

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949800

 

 News Release 14-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

 

Individuals experiencing food insecurity—a household’s lack of consistent access to adequate food resources—in the U.S. during the first year of the pandemic were more than twice as likely to forego or delay medical care due to cost concerns compared to food-secure households, according to a survey led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Conducted in December 2020, the survey also found that racial and ethnic minority groups and lower-income individuals were significantly more likely to face food insecurity compared to whites and higher-income individuals.

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Investigating the connections between medicaid and cancer survival

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949822

 

 News Release 14-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

 

At first blush, the numbers aren’t great: Cancer patients who are covered by Medicaid tend to have later-stage disease and higher rates of mortality.

But when Cathy Bradley, PhD, deputy director of the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center, started digging into the data a little deeper, she found some of the reasons for the dire statistics. Many people with cancer enroll in Medicaid only after they are diagnosed, suggesting they may have been uninsured prior to diagnosis and had limited access to cancer screening and treatment.

“What some researchers have done in the past is looked at Medicaid and observed that people who are insured by Medicaid and diagnosed with cancer have late-stage disease and greater mortality rates,” she says. “What I was able to show is that Medicaid is actually picking up people who were otherwise uninsured or underinsured. They get diagnosed with cancer, and enroll in Medicaid afterward. By then, they have late-stage cancer because they most likely did not have health insurance that would have given them access to screening and treatment prior to cancer diagnosis.”

 

Tennessee state senator offers Hitler as inspiration to homeless

 

 https://thehill.com/news/state-watch/3267283-tennessee-state-senator-offers-hitler-as-inspiration-to-homeless/

 

by Lauren Vella - 04/14/22 10:56 AM ET

 

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Tennessee state Sen. Frank Niceley (R) made his remarks on the Senate floor during a debate on a bill to make camping or soliciting along state highways or exit ramps a misdemeanor.

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“Hitler decided to live on the streets for a while. So for two years, Hitler lived on the streets and practiced oratory and his body language and how to connect with the masses, and then went on to lead a life that got him into history books,” he said.

“So a lot of these people, it’s not a dead end. They can come out of this, these homeless camps and have a productive life, or in Hitler’s case, a very unproductive life,” he continued. “I support this bill.” 

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Opponents of the bill say it is unfair and argue that the way to combat homelessness is with more housing.

“The answer to homelessness and we’ve said it over and over is more housing. We need to put the resources that we are spending making more laws that are clearly inhumane into the resources we need to build more housing units,” said Paula Foster, a nonprofit homelessness advocate, according to the outlet. 

 

 

For the first time, wind power eclipsed both coal and nuclear in the U.S.

 

https://www.npr.org/2022/04/14/1092806582/wind-power-energy-source

 

April 14, 202211:36 AM ET
Deepa Shivaram
 

 

Wind power in the United States reached a new milestone last month.

On March 29, wind turbines produced more electricity than coal and nuclear, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an agency that collects energy statistics for the government, says.

In the past, wind-powered electricity has gone beyond coal and nuclear on separate days, but this was the first time wind surpassed both on the same day. Natural gas is still the largest source of electricity generation in the country. 

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But wind taking the No. 2 spot may be short-lived.
Environmental laws can be an obstacle in building green energy infrastructure

The agency says electricity generation from wind on a monthly basis has been lower than natural gas, coal and nuclear generation. According to EIA projections, wind is not expected to surpass any other method in any month of 2022 or 2023.


Saturday, April 09, 2022

Avoiding Covid is intelligent

 

Saw this on Quora:

 

 Do you believe that the media’s display of evocative images of a pandemic led people to value conformity and obedience over eccentricity or rebellion?

No.

Listen, this should be simple. If ten people walk down the street, and all ten of them walk around the huge steaming pile of dog turds in the middle of the road, it’s not because they’re all conformist sheep.

And the guy who walks right through the pile of dogshit and then tracks it all over his house is not a brave, independent maverick. He’s a moron with dogshit all over his carpet.

Study finds decrease in racial disparity and increase in survival rates in metastatic breast cancer patients due to Medicaid expansion

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949291

 gen

 News Release 8-Apr-2022
Findings from study led by Susan G. Komen scholars published in JAMA Oncology
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Susan G. Komen

 

A new study led by Susan G. Komen® Scholars indicates that patients diagnosed with de novo stage 4 breast cancer – also called metastatic breast cancer– had improved survival rates and decreased mortality rates when those patients had access to care. De novo means the breast cancer was stage 4 at the time of diagnosis and had already spread to distant parts of the body.

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New study reveals that healthy plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948960

 

 News Release 8-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Diabetologia

 

 New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) finds that the consumption of healthy plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, and legumes, is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) in generally healthy people and support their role in diabetes prevention.

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Thursday, April 07, 2022

Exercise shown to release protein reducing bowel cancer risk

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949052

 

 News Release 7-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Newcastle University

 

Experts have identified for the first time exactly how exercise can lower your risk of getting bowel cancer and slow the growth of tumours.

Scientists at Newcastle University have shown that physical activity causes the cancer-fighting protein, interleukin-6 (IL-6), to be released into the bloodstream which helps repair the DNA of damaged cells.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Cancer, sheds new light on the importance of moderate activity in the fight against the life-threatening illness and could help develop treatments in the future.

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U.S. insurance claims show strong link between ED medications and vision problems

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948814

 

 News Release 7-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of British Columbia

 

The risk of developing one of three serious eye conditions increases by 85 per cent for regular users of common erectile dysfunction (ED) medications such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Stendra, new UBC research has found.

Two of the three conditions had previously been linked to ED medications only by anecdotal case studies. Those links are now confirmed for the first time by a large, epidemiological study, published today in JAMA Ophthalmology.

"These are rare conditions, and the risk of developing one remains very low for any individual user. However, the sheer number of prescriptions dispensed each month in the U.S.—about 20 million—means that a significant number of people could be impacted," said Dr. Mahyar Etminan (he/him), an associate professor in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the UBC faculty of medicine. "Regular users of these drugs who find any changes in their vision should take it seriously and seek medical attention."

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COVID-19 alters levels of fertility-related proteins in men, study suggests

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/949125

 

  News Release 7-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
American Chemical Society


Many people who recover from COVID-19 experience long-term symptoms, such as brain fog or heart problems. Increasing evidence suggests that the virus can also impair fertility. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Omega have analyzed protein levels in semen of men who have recovered from COVID-19. The pilot study suggests that even mild or moderate illness could change the levels of proteins related to male reproductive function, the researchers say.

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Smokers with heart disease could gain five healthy years by quitting

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948779

 

 News Release 7-Apr-2022
Reports and Proceedings
European Society of Cardiology

 

Smoking cessation adds the same number of heart disease-free years to life as three preventive medications combined, according to research presented at ESC Preventive Cardiology 2022, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1

“The benefits of smoking cessation are even greater than we realised,” said study author Dr. Tinka Van Trier of Amsterdam University Medical Centre, the Netherlands. “Our study shows that kicking the habit appears to be as effective as taking three medications for preventing heart attacks and strokes in those with a prior heart attack or procedure to open blocked arteries. Patients could gain nearly five years of healthy life.”

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Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Exercise could help reduce severity of serious cancer complication

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/947467

 

 News Release 3-Apr-2022
Mice that exercised before developing cancer showed slower tumor growth and better heart function
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Experimental Biology

 

A new study has identified yet another benefit of keeping up your exercise routine. In experiments performed with mice, researchers found that exercising prior to developing cancer was associated with slower tumor growth and helped reduce the effects of a cancer complication known as wasting syndrome, or cachexia.

 

Cachexia is a metabolic wasting disorder that affects up to 80% of patients with advanced cancer and is associated with about a third of all deaths from cancer. People with cachexia experience severe progressive muscle wasting, a decline in heart structure and function and an overall poorer quality of life.

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 Previous research has shown that exercise could have anti-inflammatory effects and might positively impact cancer cachexia by slowing its development and preserving cardiac structure and function. However, very few studies have focused on preconditioning.

 

“Our preclinical study indicated that preconditioning — or exercise prior to tumor bearing —   appears to play an important cardioprotective role during cancer cachexia by preserving cardiac structure and function,” said Tichy. “It also helped stunt tumor growth, even when animals did not exercise during the tumor-bearing period.”

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The researchers found that mice with cancer and a sedentary lifestyle had poorer heart function — as measured with echocardiography — than the mice that exercised prior to cancer induction. Also, mice in the exercised group had a smaller tumor volume and a 60% smaller tumor mass than mice in the sedentary group.

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In food safety study, 25% of participants contaminated salad with raw chicken

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948619

 

 News Release 4-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
North Carolina State University

 

In a study aimed at assessing the impact of washing poultry on kitchen contamination, researchers found that more than a quarter of study participants contaminated salad with raw poultry – including many study participants who did not wash the poultry. The study highlights the importance of hand-washing and cleaning and sanitizing the kitchen in order to reduce the risk of foodborne illness when cooking at home.

Washing raw poultry is not recommended, due to concerns about inadvertently contaminating other foods and surfaces – and increasing the risk of foodborne illness.

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 However, the researchers were surprised to see that people who did wash the chicken and people who didn’t wash the chicken had similar levels of contamination from the raw chicken in their prepared salads.

So what gives?

“We think the salad contamination stems from people doing a poor job of washing their hands after handling the raw chicken, and/or doing a poor job of sanitizing the sink and surrounding surfaces before rinsing or handling the salad,” Shumaker says.

“Regardless of whether people washed their chicken, the kitchen sinks became contaminated by the raw chicken, while there was relatively little contamination of nearby counters,” Shumaker says. “This was a little surprising, since the conventional wisdom had been that the risk associated with washing chicken was because water would splash off of the chicken and contaminate surrounding surfaces. Instead, the sink itself was becoming contaminated, even when the chicken wasn’t being washed.

“Washing the chicken is still not a good idea, but this study demonstrates the need to focus on preventing contamination of sinks and emphasizing the importance of hand-washing and cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.”

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Vaccine resistance comes from childhood legacy of mistrust

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948633

 

 News Release 4-Apr-2022
Encouraging the vaccine-resistant will take more than advertising
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Duke University

 

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The researchers turned to their database, the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has been tracking all of the nearly 1,000 people born in 1972 and 1973 in a single town in New Zealand. Since childhood, the researchers have measured multiple social, psychological and health factors in each of the participants’ lives, resulting in a steady stream of research publications offering deep insights into how childhood and its environment forms the adult.

They ran a special survey of their participants in the middle of 2021 to gauge vaccination intentions shortly before the vaccines became available in New Zealand. Then they matched each individual’s responses to what they know about that person’s upbringing and personality style.

The Gallup organization estimated last year that about one in five Americans was vaccine resistant. The Dunedin data showed that 40 years ago in childhood, many of the participants who said they were now vaccine-resistant or hesitant had adverse childhood experiences, including abuse, neglect, threats, and deprivations.

“That suggests to us that they learned from a tender age ‘don't trust the grownups,’” Moffitt said. “If anyone comes on to you with authority, they're just trying to get something, and they don’t care about you, they’ll take advantage. That's what they learned in childhood, from their experiences growing up at home. And that kind of learning at that age leaves you with a sort of a legacy of mistrust. It's so deep-seated that it automatically brings up extreme emotions.”

The survey also showed that “the mistrust was widespread, extending not only to institutions and influencers, but also to family, friends and co-workers,” according to the paper.

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At ages 13 and 15, the vaccine-resistant group had tended to believe that their health was a matter of external factors beyond their control.

At age 18, the teens who became the vaccine-resistant and hesitant groups also were more likely to shut down under stress, more alienated, more aggressive. They also tended to value personal freedom over social norms, and being nonconformist.

The resistant and hesitant groups had scored lower on mental processing speed, reading level, and verbal ability as children. At age 45, before the pandemic, these people were also found to have less practical everyday health knowledge, which suggests they may have been less well-equipped to make health decisions in the stress of the pandemic. None of these observations changed when the survey findings were controlled for the participants’ socioeconomic status.

Wood, a marketing professor who specializes in health messages, said many healthcare workers who have been pouring their hearts into fighting the pandemic have taken resistance to vaccines personally and literally cannot comprehend why patients refuse so adamantly. “Doctors and hospitals have been asking us ‘Why would people be so resistant? Why can’t we convince them with data?’”

Unfortunately, Wood said, the fear and uncertainty of the pandemic triggers a fight to survive in some of these people, an ancient response that reaches back decades in their past and is grounded firmly in their own sense of self. “The root of this is, you can’t change this as a healthcare provider,” Wood said. “And it’s not about you. It’s not a diminution of your service and your warm intent.”

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“The best investments we could make now would be in building children’s trust and building stable environments, and ensuring that if the individual caregiver fails them, society will take care of them,” Wood said.

“Preparing for the next pandemic has to begin with today's children,” said co-author Avshalom Caspi, the Edward M. Arnett Distinguished Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke. “This isn’t a contemporaneous problem. You can't combat the hesitancy and the reluctance with adults who have been growing up to resist it their entire lives.”

“It’s also the case that pro-vaccination messaging is not operating in a vacuum,” Moffitt added. “It’s competing against the anti-vax messaging on social media. The anti-vaxxers are winding people up with mistrust and fear and anger. It creates a situation where their audience is very distressed and upset and then can't think clearly. They're manipulating emotions, which reduces cognitive processing.”

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tags: child abuse,

Vegan diet eases arthritis pain, finds new study

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948672

 

 News Release 4-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

 

 A low-fat vegan diet, without calorie restrictions, improves joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. Study participants also experienced weight loss and improved cholesterol levels.

“A plant-based diet could be the prescription to alleviate joint pain for millions of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis,” says Neal Barnard, MD, lead author of the study and president of the Physicians Committee. “And all of the side effects, including weight loss and lower cholesterol, are only beneficial.”

Rheumatoid arthritis is a common autoimmune disease that typically causes joint pain, swelling, and eventually permanent joint damage.

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In addition to reductions in pain and swelling, body weight decreased by about 14 pounds on average on the vegan diet, compared with a gain of about 2 pounds on the placebo diet. There were also greater reductions in total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol during the vegan phase.


Medicare beneficiaries without low-income subsidies were less likely to fill important prescriptions, new study finds

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948687


 News Release 4-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Medicare Part D beneficiaries who did not receive federal subsidies to lower their out-of-pocket costs were nearly twice as likely as others to not fill prescriptions for serious health conditions like cancer or hepatitis C treatment, according to a new study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers.

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The authors found that among patients without subsidies, 30% did not fill their prescribed cancer treatments. Twenty-two percent of patients without subsidies did not fill curative treatments for hepatitis C, and more than 50% did not fill disease-modifying therapies for immune disorders.

“Overall, we found that a very large percentage of Medicare beneficiaries who are prescribed a new and expensive drug for treating conditions like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and hepatitis C are not filling these drugs,” Dusetzina said. “The rate of not filling is nearly twice as high for beneficiaries who lack subsidies, which is the case for most Medicare beneficiaries. These beneficiaries face very high costs when starting a drug and unlimited out-of-pocket spending over the year.”

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Childhood emotional trauma linked to heightened MS risk among women

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948355

 

 News Release 4-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
BMJ

 

Childhood trauma may be linked to a heightened risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) in later life among women, finds research published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

The observed associations were strongest for sexual abuse and for experience of several categories of abuse, the findings show.

The evidence suggests that childhood trauma can alter the immune system and may increase the risk of autoimmune disease. Abuse, neglect, and a chaotic home life are also associated with a heightened risk of poor mental and physical health in adulthood. But it’s not known if these experiences might also increase susceptibility to MS.

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 This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause. And other environmental factors, such as diet, nutrition, physical activity levels, and parental smoking, which weren’t accounted for, might all be independently important, acknowledge the researchers.

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But there may be plausible biological explanations for the associations found, say the researchers. Childhood abuse can disrupt brain and glandular signalling—the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis—prompting a proinflammatory state, they say.

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 tags: child abuse,

 

 

Autism-associated brain differences can be observed in the womb

 

 https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/947458

 

 News Release 5-Apr-2022
Study is the first to analyze prenatal MRI scans of children later diagnosed with autism
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Experimental Biology

 

 A new study using prenatal brain scans revealed significant differences in brain structures at around 25 weeks’ gestation between children who were later diagnosed with ASD and those who were not. The study adds to mounting evidence that autism begins in early development and suggests possible opportunities to identify the disorder at an earlier age.

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Good news: People can recover and thrive after mental illness and substance-use disorders


https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948843


 News Release 5-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Association for Psychological Science


Past research on mental illness has focused mostly on chronic and recurring mood, anxiety, and substance-use disorders that keep people from thriving and enjoying life. New research published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, however, reports that many people who have suffered from mental illness are able to thrive and lead a high-functioning life.

“Our research tells us how many people can recover from a mental illness and go on to experience a life with high levels of well-being and functioning,” said Andrew Devendorf, a researcher at the University of South Florida and lead author of the article. “Contrary to traditional clinical wisdom, we found that mental illness and substance-use disorders may reduce but do not prevent the possibility of thriving.”

The researchers also found that having longer episodes of mental illness or experiencing multiple mental illnesses in one’s lifetime reduces, but does not eliminate, the chances of thriving.

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Republican-controlled states have higher murder rates than Democratic ones: study

 

https://news.yahoo.com/republican-controlled-states-have-higher-murder-rates-than-democratic-ones-study-212137750.html

 

Ben Adler·Senior Editor
Mon, April 4, 2022, 5:21 PM


Republican politicians routinely claim that cities run by Democrats have been experiencing crime waves caused by failed governance, but a new study shows murder rates are actually higher in states and cities controlled by Republicans.

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The study found that murder rates in the 25 states Trump carried in 2020 are 40% higher overall than in the states Biden won. (The report used 2020 data because 2021 data is not yet fully available.) The five states with the highest per capita murder rate — Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama and Missouri — all lean Republican and voted for Trump.

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Those findings are consistent with a pattern that has existed for decades, in which the South has had higher rates of violent crime than the nation as a whole.

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Yahoo News
Republican-controlled states have higher murder rates than Democratic ones: study
Ben Adler
Ben Adler·Senior Editor
Mon, April 4, 2022, 5:21 PM·6 min read
In this article:

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
45th President of the United States

    Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States

Republican politicians routinely claim that cities run by Democrats have been experiencing crime waves caused by failed governance, but a new study shows murder rates are actually higher in states and cities controlled by Republicans.

“We’re seeing murders in our cities, all Democrat-run,” former President Donald Trump asserted at a March 26 rally in Georgia. “People are afraid to go out.”
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In February, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., blamed Democrats for a 2018 law that reduced some federal prison sentences — even though it was signed by Trump after passing a GOP-controlled Congress. “It’s your party who voted in lockstep for the First Step Act that let thousands of violent felons on the street who have now committed innumerable violent crimes,” Cotton said during a speech in the Senate.

Last December, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, told Fox News viewers, “America’s most beautiful cities are indeed being ruined by liberal policies: There’s a direct line between death and decay and liberal policies.”
Former President Donald Trump at a rally at a rally on March 26 in Commerce, Georgia, in front of a sign reading
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at a rally on March 26 in Commerce, Ga. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

But a comparison of violent crime rates in jurisdictions controlled by Democrats and Republicans tells a very different story. In fact, a new study from the center-left think tank Third Way shows that states won by Trump in the 2020 election have higher murder rates than those carried by Joe Biden. The highest murder rates, the study found, are often in conservative, rural states.

The study found that murder rates in the 25 states Trump carried in 2020 are 40% higher overall than in the states Biden won. (The report used 2020 data because 2021 data is not yet fully available.) The five states with the highest per capita murder rate — Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama and Missouri — all lean Republican and voted for Trump.

There are some examples of states Biden won in 2020 that also have high per capita murder rates, including New Mexico and Georgia, which have the seventh- and eighth-highest murder rates, respectively. And there are Trump-supporting states with low murder rates, such as Idaho and Utah. Broadly speaking, the South, and to a lesser extent the Midwest, has more murders per capita than the Northeast, interior West and West Coast, the study found.

Those findings are consistent with a pattern that has existed for decades, in which the South has had higher rates of violent crime than the nation as a whole.
Demonstrators march in Atlanta in 2021 to protest the shooting death of Daunte Wright.
Demonstrators march in Atlanta on April 14, 2021, to protest the shooting death of Daunte Wright three days earlier. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

“We as criminologists have known this for quite some time,” Jennifer Ortiz, a professor of criminology at Indiana University Southeast, told Yahoo News. “States like Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama have historically had high crime rates.”

Criminologists say research shows higher rates of violent crime are found in areas that have low average education levels, high rates of poverty and relatively modest access to government assistance. Those conditions characterize some portions of the American South.

“They are among the poorest states in our union,” Ortiz said of the Deep South. “They have among the highest rates of child poverty. They are among the least-educated states. They are among the states with the highest levels of substance abuse. All of those factors contribute to people engaging in criminal behavior.”

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The higher national murder rate is naturally causing public concern, although violent crime does remain far below its early 1990s high point. “Using the FBI data, the violent crime rate fell 49% between 1993 and 2019,” from 757 incidents per 100,000 people to 379 per 100,000, the Pew Research Center noted last November. Between 2019 and 2020, the murder rate jumped from 6 homicides per 100,000 people to 7.8 homicides per 100,000, but that was still 22% below the rate in 1991 of 10 homicides per 100,000.

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Saturday, April 02, 2022

Microplastics found in human blood for first time

 

 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/24/microplastics-found-in-human-blood-for-first-time

 

Damian Carrington Environment editor
@dpcarrington
Thu 24 Mar 2022 07.00 EDT 


Microplastic pollution has been detected in human blood for the first time, with scientists finding the tiny particles in almost 80% of the people tested.

The discovery shows the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. The impact on health is as yet unknown. But researchers are concerned as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year.

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“It is certainly reasonable to be concerned,” Vethaak told the Guardian. “The particles are there and are transported throughout the body.” He said previous work had shown that microplastics were 10 times higher in the faeces of babies compared with adults and that babies fed with plastic bottles are swallowing millions of microplastic particles a day.

“We also know in general that babies and young children are more vulnerable to chemical and particle exposure,” he said. “That worries me a lot.”

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A recent study found that microplastics can latch on to the outer membranes of red blood cells and may limit their ability to transport oxygen. The particles have also been found in the placentas of pregnant women, and in pregnant rats they pass rapidly through the lungs into the hearts, brains and other organs of the foetuses.

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112 million Americans struggle to afford healthcare

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948093

 

 News Release 31-Mar-2022
High prices, low value -- Two new composite scores from West Health and Gallup illustrate America’s healthcare cost crisis
Reports and Proceedings
West Health Institute

 

An estimated 112 million (44%) American adults are struggling to pay for healthcare, and more than double that number (93%) feel that what they do pay is not worth the cost. The findings come from two new composite scores developed by the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization West Health and Gallup, the global analytics and advice firm, to assess the healthcare cost crisis.

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National health spending is over $4 trillion in this country, and current projections indicate it will continue to grow at an annual rate of 5.4%, topping $6.2 trillion by 2028.

According to the Healthcare Affordability Index, respondents are considered “cost desperate” if they report experiencing three key financial challenges:

    Unable to pay for needed medical treatment over the prior three months.
    Skipped prescribed medication due to cost over the prior three months.
    Unable to afford quality care if it was needed today.

Those classified as “cost insecure” have one or two of these affordability challenges, while cost secure individuals report none of these challenges and are able to consistently access and pay for prescription medications and quality care.

Based on these classifications, 36% of Americans are "cost insecure," 8% are “cost desperate" and 56% are “cost secure.” The likelihood of being cost desperate is more than four times greater for those in households earning under $48,000 per year (13%) compared to those earning $90,000+ per year (3%). Men were more likely to be cost secure than women (60% to 53%) and Hispanic adults were less likely to be cost secure than their Non-Hispanic White counterparts (51% to 58%).

Over one-third (35%) of cost desperate adults report that they have cut back on utilities, and half have cut back on food in the past 12 months to pay for necessary healthcare, rates that are 10 times greater than their cost secure counterparts. Another 14% of this group know a friend or family member who has died in the last 12 months after not receiving treatment due to an inability to pay for it—double the rate of “cost insecure” individuals and seven times greater than “cost secure” individuals.  

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Babies exposed to cannabis in the womb may be at risk for obesity, high blood sugar

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/947891


 News Release 31-Mar-2022
Both CBD and THC put children at risk despite CBD being marketed as having health benefits
Peer-Reviewed Publication
The Endocrine Society


Cannabis use among pregnant women is on the rise and may be associated with negative health outcomes in children, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

A 2016 study in Colorado revealed that up to 22% of pregnant women had detectable levels of cannabinoids in their body. Women who use cannabis, both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), during pregnancy could be putting their child at risk for low birth weight and behavioral problems. Exposure to cannabinoids may also increase the child’s future risk of obesity and high blood sugar.

Part of CBD's popularity is that it is marketing as being “nonpsychoactive,” and that consumers can reap health benefits from the plant without the high. CBD is advertised as providing relief for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also marketed to promote sleep.

“We found that cannabis use during pregnancy was linked to increased fat mass percentage and fasting glucose levels in 5-year-old children,” said Brianna Moore, Ph.D., of the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora, Colo. “We would encourage women to refrain from using any cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding to minimize adverse health effects in the offspring.”

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tags: drug use, drug abuse,

Wildfire smoke exposure in early pregnancy affects infant monkey behavior

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948113

 

 News Release 1-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of California - Davis

 

Infant monkeys conceived while their mothers were naturally exposed to wildfire smoke show behavioral changes compared to animals conceived days later, according to a new study from researchers at the California National Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis. The work is published April 1 in Nature Communications.  

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 On assessment, the smoke-exposed infants showed increases in a marker of inflammation, a reduced cortisol response to stress, memory deficits and a more passive temperament than other animals, Capitanio said.

“It’s a mild effect across a variety of domains of psychological function,” Capitanio said. The effects are consistent with those found in studies of prenatal exposure to air pollution, he said. Comparison between the groups and with animals born in other years shows that the results are not due to the timing of conception (earlier versus later in the breeding season).

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Higher blood fats more harmful than first thought

 

 https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948359

 

 News Release 1-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Leeds

 

Increased levels of blood fats in people with type 2 diabetes and obesity are more harmful than previously thought, a new study has found. 

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Exercise improves health markers in young female survivors of childhood trauma

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/947511

 

 News Release 2-Apr-2022
Strategy could alleviate cardiovascular and psychological effects of adverse childhood experiences
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Experimental Biology

 

New research shows a progressive exercise training program mitigates some physiological and psychological effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) in otherwise healthy young women. These experiences are linked to “lasting, negative effects on health, well-being, as well as life opportunities,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Smokers less likely to survive a heart attack

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/947507

 

 News Release 2-Apr-2022
No difference found in hypertensive and non-hypertensive individuals
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Experimental Biology

 

Smokers have a lower chance of surviving a heart attack than non-smokers, according to new data compiled by researchers at Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid.

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Study reveals how reducing sodium intake can help patients with heart failure

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/948235

 

  News Release 2-Apr-2022
Surprising findings show a low-salt diet doesn’t prevent death or hospital visits, but does improve symptoms and quality of life.
Peer-Reviewed Publication

University of Alberta


For the past century people with weak hearts have been told to lower their salt intake, but until now there has been little scientific evidence behind the recommendation.

The largest randomized clinical trial to look at sodium reduction and heart failure reported results simultaneously in The Lancet and at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session over the weekend, and the findings were mixed.

Though reducing salt intake did not lead to fewer emergency visits, hospitalizations or deaths for patients with heart failure, the researchers did find an improvement in symptoms such as swelling, fatigue and coughing, as well as better overall quality of life.

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