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February 23, 2009, 10:11 PM CT

Are women more generous?

Are women more generous?
Why would women give more to the victims of Hurricane Katrina than to the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami? A newly released study in the Journal of Consumer Research sheds light onto the way gender and moral identity affect donations.

Authors Karen Page Winterich (Texas A&M University), Vikas Mittal (Rice University), and William T. Ross, Jr. (Pennsylvania State University) focused their research on how people choose among charities. With so a number of worthy charities soliciting donations, the scientists wanted to understand how people make these critical decisions.

"We gave people in the United States $5 that they could allocate to Hurricane Katrina victims, Indian Ocean tsunami victims, or themselves," explain the authors. "On average, people kept $1.10 for themselves and donated the rest. However, the actual amount donated to each charity depended on people's gender and moral identity".

The authors described moral identity as the extent to which being moral, fair, and just is part of someone's self-identity. Gender identity (which generally correlates with biological sex) is defined by how much a person focuses on communal goals, like considering the welfare of others (considered "feminine") versus "agentic" goals, like assertiveness, control, and focus on the self (considered "masculine").........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 23, 2009, 10:08 PM CT

Drug could help drinkers stay sober

Drug could help drinkers stay sober
A drug prescribed for male and female infertility and menstrual disorders could hold the key to a more effective therapy for alcoholism, as per a research studyby scientists at the UCSF-affiliated Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center.

The study showed that "alcoholic" rodents, when injected with the drug cabergoline, decreased their alcohol consumption and alcohol-seeking behavior and were less likely to relapse.

Cabergoline, which is marketed under the trade name Dostinex, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration in pill form to treat conditions caused by excess of the hormone prolactin.

The study, led by Dorit Ron, PhD, a principal investigator at the Gallo Center and associate professor of neurology at UCSF, is now on line (February 20, 2009), in the journal "Biological Psychiatry." (See end of news release for link to paper.).

Notably, cabergoline did not impact the rats' consumption of sucrose and, in a subgroup of binge-drinking mice, the drug did not appear to significantly affect intake of water or saccharin.

"This is encouraging," says Ron, "because it demonstrates that cabergoline is specific for alcohol, but does not affect general reward or pleasure. One of the problems with some existing drugs to treat alcoholism is a side effect that decreases pleasure, making compliance an obstacle to sobriety".........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


February 20, 2009, 6:24 AM CT

Number of fast-food restaurants and stroke risk

Number of fast-food restaurants and stroke risk
The risk of stroke increases with the number of fast-food restaurants in a neighborhood, as per research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2009.

After statistically controlling for demographic and socioeconomic factors, scientists found:
  • Residents of neighborhoods with the highest number of fast-food restaurants had a 13 percent higher relative risk of suffering ischemic strokes than those living in areas with the lowest numbers of restaurants.
  • The relative risk of stroke increased 1 percent for each fast-food restaurant in a neighborhood.

    However, the scientists said the discovery of increased risk only demonstrates an association, it does not prove that fast-food restaurants raise stroke risk.

    "The data show a true association," said Lewis B. Morgenstern, M.D., main author of the study and director of the University of Michigan's stroke program and professor of neurology and epidemiology in Ann Arbor. "What we don't know is whether fast food actually increased the risk because of its contents, or whether fast-food restaurants are a marker of unhealthy neighborhoods".

    Neighborhoods with large numbers of the restaurants are prime areas for stroke prevention programs, Morgenstern said. "We need to consider targeting communities that have a lot of fast-food restaurants as places where we can improve health".........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


  • February 20, 2009, 6:22 AM CT

    Breast feeding may reduce multiple sclerosis relapses

    Breast feeding may reduce multiple sclerosis relapses
    Women who have multiple sclerosis may reduce their risk of relapses after pregnancy if they breastfeed their babies, as per a research studyreleased recently that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25 to May 2, 2009.

    For the study, scientists followed 32 pregnant women with MS and 29 pregnant women without MS during each trimester and up to a year after they gave birth. The women were interviewed about their breastfeeding and menstrual period history.

    A total of 52 percent of the women with MS did not breastfeed or began supplemental formula feedings within two months of giving birth. Of those, 87 percent had a relapse after pregnancy in comparison to 36 percent of women with MS who breastfed exclusively for at least two months after pregnancy.

    Sixty percent of the women reported their main reason for not breastfeeding exclusively was to start taking MS therapys again. Women who began taking MS therapys within the first two months after giving birth had significantly higher risk of suffering a relapse than women with MS who did not start taking medications early, regardless of whether they breastfed. Those who breastfed exclusively got their menstrual periods back later than the women who did not breastfeed or began early supplemental feedings.........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


    February 20, 2009, 6:10 AM CT

    Alleviating your child's fears of dental visit

    Alleviating your child's fears of dental visit
    For a number of children, a trip to the doctor or dentist is a stressful experience. The sensory environment (i.e., the sounds, smells, and lights linked to the clinical setting) can cause a child's anxiety levels to rise. This is particularly true in children with developmental disabilities who may have difficulty understanding the unfamiliar clinical environment. A newly released study soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics explores the relationship between the sensory environment and anxiety levels in children.

    Dr. Michele Shapiro of the Issie Shapiro Educational Center and his colleagues from Hebrew University in Israel studied the effects of the sensory environment on a child's anxiety levels during two separate routine cleaning visits to the dentist. The scientists observed 35 children between the ages of 6-11 years, 16 of whom were developmentally disabled. They measured the anxiety levels of the children during each visit using a behavior checklist and monitored each child's electro-dermal activity, an objective measure of arousal.

    The first trip included the typical sensory experiences of a dental office, including fluorescent lighting and the use of an overhead dental lamp. During the second trip, however, the scientists created a sensory adapted environment that modified the experience of the children. No overhead lighting was used, a slow moving repetitive color lamp was added, and the dental hygienist wore a special LED headlamp that directed the light into the child's mouth. The children listened to soothing music and were wrapped in a heavy vest that created a "hugging" effect. The dental chair itself was also modified to produce a vibration.........

    Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


    February 19, 2009, 6:04 AM CT

    Samples from underwater nuclear bomb target reveal cancer link

    Samples from underwater nuclear bomb target reveal cancer link
    During a research trip to Puerto Rico, ecologist James Porter took samples from underwater nuclear bomb target USS Killen, expecting to find evidence of radioactive matter instead he found a link to cancer. Data revealed that the closer corals and marine life were to unexploded bombs from the World War II vessel and the surrounding target range, the higher the rates of carcinogenic materials.

    "Unexploded bombs are in the ocean for a variety of reasons some were duds that did not explode, others were dumped in the ocean as a means of disposal," said Porter. "And we now know that these munitions are leaking cancer-causing materials and endangering sea life." .

    These findings will be presented at the Second International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions on February 25-27 in Honolulu. Data has been gathered since 1999 on the eastern end of the Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico a land and sea area that was used as a naval gunnery and bombing range from 1943-2003. Research revealed that marine life including reef-building corals, feather duster worms and sea urchins closest to the bomb and bomb fragments had the highest levels of toxicity. In fact, carcinogenic materials were found in concentrations up to 100,000 times over established safe limits. This danger zone covered a span of up to two meters from the bomb and its fragments.........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


    February 18, 2009, 6:23 AM CT

    Cancer survivors more likely to be unemployed

    Cancer survivors more likely to be unemployed
    An analysis of prior studies finds an association between being a cancer survivor and being unemployed, in comparison to healthy individuals, particularly for survivors of breast and gastrointestinal cancers, as per an article in the February 18 issue of JAMA

    Long-term medical and psychological effects of cancer or its therapy may cause impairments that effect social functioning, including the obtainment or retention of employment. Almost half of all cancer survivors are younger than 65 years. "A number of cancer survivors want and are able to return to work after diagnosis and therapy," the authors write. "Relatively few studies have assessed the association of cancer survivorship with unemployment." They add there are several factors that may promote unemployment after the diagnosis and therapy of cancer, including job discrimination, difficulty combining therapy with full-time work and physical or mental limitations.

    Angela G. E. M. de Boer, Ph.D., of the Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and his colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to determine the risk and factors linked to unemployment among adult cancer survivors compared with healthy control participants. After a search of various databases, the authors identified 26 articles reporting results from 36 studies meeting criteria for inclusion in the analysis. There were 16 studies from the United States, 15 from Europe and 5 from other countries. The 36 studies included 177,969 participants, with 20,366 cancer survivors and 157,603 healthy control participants.........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


    February 18, 2009, 6:13 AM CT

    Benefits of eating egg

    Benefits of eating egg
    The Nutrition Today review analyzes more than 25 protein studies and concludes that the all-natural, high-quality protein in eggs contributes to strength, power and energy in the following ways:
    • Sustained energy: The protein in eggs provides steady and sustained energy because it does not cause a surge in blood sugar or insulin levels, which can lead to a rebound effect or energy "crash" as levels drop. Eggs are a nutrient-rich source of high-quality protein and provide several B vitamins mandatory for the production of energy in the body, such as thiamin, riboflavin, folate, B12 and B6.
    • Muscle strength: Dietary protein intake directly influences muscle mass, strength and function in people of all ages. One egg provides more than six grams of high-quality protein (13 percent of the Daily Value), which can help individuals build and preserve muscle mass, and help elderly adults prevent muscle loss. Eggs are also rich in leucine, an essential amino acid that contributes to the muscle's ability to use energy and aids in post-exercise muscle recovery.
    • Gold-standard protein: The high-quality protein in eggs provides all of the essential amino acids our bodies need to build and maintain muscle mass. In fact, the quality of egg protein is so high that researchers frequently use eggs as the standard for evaluating the protein quality of other foods.(5).........

      Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


    February 16, 2009, 7:25 PM CT

    Resources for off-label prescribing may be incomplete

    Resources for off-label prescribing may be incomplete
    The resources doctors use to get important information about indications and reimbursement for use of cancer drugs off-label appears to be out-of-date and incomplete, as per a research studyled by scientists in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

    The study, which was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), examined compendia the online and hard copy resources that oncologists and pharmacists use when prescribing medications for diseases other than the ones for which they are FDA-approved and observed that they are sometimes unclear and do not appear to follow systematic methods to review or update evidence.

    The scientists published their findings in the February 17, 2009 online issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine

    "Oncologists and pharmacists use the compendia to guide choice of drugs for cancer patients that are not FDA-approved for use in that patient's disease an example would be bevacizumab or Avastin for brain cancer," said Amy Abernethy, M.D., an oncologist at Duke and lead investigator on the study. "Bevacizumab is approved for use in diseases such as colorectal and lung cancer; it is not FDA-approved for brain tumors, but we have evidence that suggests it could be effective in this population, including peer-evaluated studies".........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


    February 16, 2009, 7:23 PM CT

    Sun safety behaviors among pool staff

    Sun safety behaviors among pool staff
    The social environment at swimming pools may be correlation to sun safety behaviors of outdoor pool staff, as per a report in the recent issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

    "Skin cancer accounts for almost half of all cancers diagnosed in the United States, and there is both direct and indirect evidence that sun exposure can cause skin cancer," as per background information in the article. Outdoor lifeguards and aquatic instructors are especially at high risk for overexposure to the sun because they are young and because they work outdoors. Sunburn tends to be common among young adults in high school and college due to poor sun protection habits. "About 50 percent of aquatic staff had a history of severe sunburn and almost 80 percent had experienced sunburn the prior summer".

    "Interventions in the workplace appears to be effective for reducing sun exposure and improving sun protective behaviors of outdoor workers, but there are few published reports of sun protection interventions in occupational settings and inconsistent findings across those reports," the authors note.

    Dawn M. Hall, M.P.H., and his colleagues at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, studied data collected from the Pool Cool skin cancer prevention program to analyze the associations among the pool environment, social norms and outdoor lifeguards' and aquatic instructors' sun protection habits and sunburns in 2001 and 2002. Demographic information was also noted.........

    Posted by: George      Read more         Source



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    Did you know?
    Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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