December 15, 2010

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

1 Happy People Are More Creative

Watching funny videos, telling jokes or engaging in upbeat conversation at work is not necessarily wasting time, say researchers at the U of W Ontario who undertook a study to show the relationship between creative thinking and mood. Researchers manipulated participants’ moods through videos or music and then had them try to learn to recognize a pattern. Results indicate that happy people were better at learning a rule to classify the patterns than sad or neutral volunteers. "If you have a project where you want to think innovatively, or you have a problem to carefully consider, being in a positive mood can help you to do that," says researcher Ruby Nadler who adds that apparent time-wasting at work may actually be good news for employers. Hamster on a Piano, anyone?

More at ScienceDaily.com | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Access to Internet Brings Happiness

Tags: Creativity, Happiness, Mood, University of Western Ontario, Ruby Nadler

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

System Flawed

2 Rates of Adult Vaccinations Below Recommendations

Adult immunizations are far below what they should be, says data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite CDC recommendations that everyone over six months of age get a flu shot, one-third of people over the age of 18 were immunized last year. The CDC recommends that all adults over 60 get a shingles vaccine, but only 10 percent of that group received it. Says Dr. William Schaffner, president, Natl Foundation for Infectious Diseases, "the system is uncoordinated, meager and, it turns out, quite unsatisfactory." While the new healthcare law makes adult immunizations a priority, it’s not perfect. For example, in 2011, Medicare beneficiaries will receive some preventive services for free, but not vaccines. This issue is under review with a study due next spring.

More at LATimes.com | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Experts Urge US to Stockpile Cholera Vaccine

Tags: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Flu, Flu Vaccine, Health Care Bill, Medicare, Vaccination, Immunization, Adult Vaccine, Dr. William Schaffner, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Crib Deaths and Alcohol

3 SIDS Rate Increases on New Year's Day

Alcohol consumption by caretakers is suspected to be the cause of a sharp New Year's Day spike in the number of infants who die from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), also known as "crib death" or "cot death." The SIDS rate surges by 33 percent on New Year's Day, say researchers from the University of California, San Diego. According to sociologist David Phillips and his coauthors, that spike is beyond the normal winter SIDS increase. The researchers, who analyzed 129,090 SIDS cases from 1973 to 2006, published their findings in the journal Addiction. SIDS is the leading cause of death for babies ages 1 month to 1 year. The syndrome, which affects seemingly normal babies while they sleep, is diagnosed when other causes of death are ruled out.

More at EureakAlert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Preventing SIDS

Tags: journal Addiction, University of California, Cot Death, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Causes, SIDS Causes, Sociologist David Phillips, Winter SIDS Increase

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

States to Get Money

4 Dannon Pays for Health Claims for Activia

Dannon will pay $21 million for making health claims about Activia yogurt and DanActive drink. The company agreed to pay the settlements with state and federal regulators after the Federal Trade Commission said that there's not enough evidence to back the health claims on packaging and marketing for the products. Dannon has claimed that Activia aids in relieving irregularity and DanActive boosts immunity. As part of the settlement, Dannon is prohibited from making certain claims that aren't approved by the FDA. MSNBC reports that the case represents the biggest ever "attorney general consumer protection multi-state settlement ever reached with a food producer." Two lead states, Oregon and Tennessee, will receive $1.06 million, and the rest of the money will be divided among other states.

More at MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Activia Calorie Counter

Tags: Does Activia Work, Dannon Makes Unsupported Health Claims, Dannon Pays for Activia Health Claims, DanActive Health Claims, FTC Fines for Health Claims, Attorney General Consumer Protection, Annoying Activia Commercials

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (62%) / No! (38%)

Chances Are Rare, Even with GERD

5 GERD? You Don't Need Throat Cancer Screening

While having chronic acid reflux is a risk factor for developing throat (esophageal) cancer, researchers say that screening is unnecessary. Researchers point out that 15 million people have daily symptoms of acid reflux, but only 16,600 in the U.S. will likely be diagnosed with throat cancer this year. According to the study in American Journal of Gastroenterology, the risk of throat cancer is so low that risks of screening outweigh the benefits. Throat cancer screening involves an upper endoscopy, which carries small risk of perforation of the esophagus or drug reaction. A woman's risk of throat cancer is similar to a man's risk for breast cancer. Only older men have an elevated risk. The yearly rate of throat cancer for 70-year-old men with weekly heartburn is 61 per 100,000.

More at Yahoo! News | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Esophageal Cancer, Throat Cancer, Risks for Throat Cancer, GERD Raises Throat Cancer Risk, Throat Cancer Screening Unnecessary, Who Is at rIsk for Throat Cancer, When to Screen for Throat Cancer, American Journal of Gastroenterology

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Doctor Shouldn't Friend Patient

6 Patients Affected by Doctor's Facebook Habit

It's possible that the doctor-patient relationship may be compromised by a doctor's presence on Facebook. Researchers, writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, claim that doctors may not be using sufficient privacy settings to prevent patients from finding them. Study authors say that "... public availability of information on a doctor's private life may threaten the mutual confidence between doctor and patient if the patient accesses information not intended for them." Research findings reveal that 85 percent of doctors surveyed would automatically refuse a friend request from a patient, but 15 percent said they'd decide on a case by case basis. Only 6 percent of doctors had received a friend request from a patient, and just four of them accepted the request.

More at EureakAlert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Facebook Triggers Asthma Attack

Tags: Doctors on Facebook, Should Doctors Friend Patients, Friend Requests from Patients, Journal of Medical Ethics, Medical Ethics, Doctor and Patient Relationship Compromised

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (61%) / No! (39%)

Income Also a Factor

7 Obesity Linked to Lower Education in Women

A lower socioeconomic status – income and education – is often linked to an increased risk of obesity whether through lack of access to fresher and healthier foods or from a lack of knowledge about nutrition and physical activity. But researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics say that this association is primarily seen in women, and that, among men, there is not a statistically significant difference in obesity based on income or education. Overall, about one in three US adults are obese, which carries a risk for diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. For the study, the researchers found that 23 percent of women with a college degree are obese versus 42 percent of women with less than a high school education.

More at USA Today | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: More Education Lowers Dementia Risk, Another Study Shows Obesity Hurts the Pocketbook

Tags: Education, National Center for Health Statistics, Obese Men, Obese Women, Obesity

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Healthier Looking Too

8 A Good Night’s Sleep Makes You Beautiful

“Sleep is a cheap and effective beauty treatment,” says the lead author of a new study that finds that when a person is well-rested, they are more likely to be viewed as healthy and attractive. Researchers from Sweden tested the association by taking photographs of 23 men and women between the ages of 18 and 31 who had slept for at least eight hours. Afterward, they only allowed the volunteers a five-hour night’s sleep, then kept them up for 31 hours straight and photographed them again. The photos were shown to 65 unrelated people who scored the first set of pictures to be higher in the realms of tiredness, healthfulness, and attractiveness. Sleep deprivation can impact a person’s facial features, such as the eyes not opening as wide and the muscles in the face to seem drawn.

More at CNN | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Many Americans Too Tired for Sex

Tags: Insomnia, Sleep, Sleep Deprivation, Beauty

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Talk with Your Doctor First

9 Aspirin May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Researchers from the University of Dundee have presented findings from a study at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium suggesting that a daily aspirin may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. The Scottish study included 116,181 women between the ages of 51 and 70. Those who took aspirin for three to five years were 30 percent less likely to develop cancer. Those who took the painkiller for more than five years were 40 percent less likely. They did not look at what dosages work best, but the aspirin had to be taken at least twice a week for benefits. Long-term aspirin use does carry the risk of serious side effects, warns specialist Steven Isakoff MD PhD. These include stomach bleeding and ulcers. But as a public health measure, he notes, “aspirin is cheap and easy.”

More at WebMD | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Calcium Supplements May Lower Breast Cancer Risk, Debunking Breast Cancer Myths

Tags: Aspirin, Breast Cancer, Women's Health

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Cancer Causing or Not?

10 Saccharin Pulled from Hazardous Substance List

The US Environmental Protection Agency has dropped saccharin, an artificial sweetener used in diet drinks and chewing gum, from their list of hazardous substances. Despite being cleared by the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer back in the late 1990’s, the chemical has remained on the EPA’s list due to being declared a potential cancer-causing agent back in 1980. The EPA was requested to remove saccharin from the list by the Calorie Control Council who argued that the scientific basis for remaining there no longer applied. The move will cut back on paperwork and reporting requirements for manufacturers who use the chemical. In addition to foods, saccharin is also used in toothpaste, mouthwash and as a coating for pills.

More at Reuters | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Tags: Diet Drinks, Environmental Protection Agency, Sugar, Sugar Substitute, Saccharin

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (42%) / No! (58%)

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