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April 11, 2006, 11:00 PM CT

Older Children Not Smarter Than Their Younger Sibs

Older Children Not Smarter Than Their Younger Sibs
A recent study provides some of the best evidence to date that birth order really doesn't have an effect on intelligence.

The findings contradict a number of studies over the years that had reported that older children are generally smarter than their younger siblings.

This new study, based on a large, nationwide sample, suggests a critical flaw in that prior research, said Aaron Wichman, lead author of the new study and a teaching fellow in psychology at Ohio State University.

Most prior studies compared children from different families, so what they were finding were differences between large and small families, not differences between siblings, as per Wichman.

"Third- and fourth-born children all come from larger families, and larger families have disadvantages that will impact children's intelligence," he said.

"In reality, if you look at these larger families, the fourth-born child is just as intelligent as the first-born. But they all don't do as well as children from a smaller family."

Wichman conducted the study with Joseph Lee Rodgers of the University of Oklahoma and Robert MacCallum of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and professor emeritus of psychology at Ohio State. Their findings were published in a recent issue of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


April 11, 2006, 10:56 PM CT

Paramedics Save More Lives When They Don't Follow The Rules

Paramedics Save More Lives When They Don't Follow The Rules
Survival rates following the most common form of cardiac arrest increased three-fold when emergency medical personnel used a new form of CPR developed at The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center. The new approach, called Cardiocerebral Resuscitation, is dramatically different from guideline-directed CPR procedures.

Because of its importance, the editors of the American Journal of Medicine chose to publish the report online in advance of the journal's April print issue.

"Cardiocerebral Resuscitation eliminates certain previously recommended procedures and reprioritizes the order of actions the emergency medical services deliver," said Michael J. Kellum, MD, leading author of the study report.

Under the new approach, first responders skipped the first steps of the standard protocol: intubating the patient for ventilation and delivering a shock using a defibrillator. While still attaching the victim to a defibrillator, they did not wait for the device to analyze the patient's heart rhythm, but started fast, forceful chest compressions.

"Intubating the patient and waiting for the defibrillator to do its analysis takes time - time a cardiac arrest victim doesn't have," said Gordon A. Ewy, MD, director of the Sarver Heart Center and co-author of the study. "I am convinced that Cardiocerebral Resuscitation will have a world-wide impact."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


April 11, 2006, 10:52 PM CT

Linking Epstein-barr Virus To Multiple Sclerosis

Linking Epstein-barr Virus To Multiple Sclerosis
Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health, Kaiser Permanente, and a team of collaborators have found further evidence implicating the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) as a possible contributory cause to multiple sclerosis (MS). The study appears in the advance online edition of the June 2006 issue of Archives of Neurology.

MS is a chronic degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Women are more likely than men to get the disease and it is the most common neurologically disabling disease in young adults. Eventhough genetic predisposition plays an important role in determining susceptibility, past studies have shown that environmental factors are equally important.

EBV is a herpes virus and one of the most common human viruses worldwide. Infection in early childhood is common and commonly asymptomatic. Late age at infection, however, often causes infectious mononucleosis. In the U.S., upwards of 95% of adults are infected with the virus, but free of symptoms. EBV has been associated with some types of cancer and can cause serious complications when the immune system is suppressed, for example, in transplant recipients. There is no effective therapy for EBV.

The study population was made up of more than 100,000 members of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) health plan, who provided blood specimens as part of medical examinations between 1965 and 1974. The KPNC maintained the medical records of all its members, including those who provided specimens, in electronic databases. Between 1995 and 1999, those databases were searched for evidence that would indicate a possible diagnosis of MS.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


April 11, 2006, 10:45 PM CT

Why Do We Lie?

Why Do We Lie?
Though explicit talk of money may be considered gauche, we are frequently confronted with the dreaded query "How much did you pay for that?" Our response to being put on the spot? Lies. But a new study in the recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Research found that we are more likely to muddle the truth with our coworkers than with perfect strangers. Interestingly, the scientists also found that people are most likely to lie and claim they got a bargain than to inflate the price they actually paid.

"We found that consumer's willingness to lie is correlation to not only a desire to protect their public selves, or the impressions they convey to others, but also [their] private selves, or their sense of self worth," explain Jennifer J. Argo (University of Alberta), Katherine White (University of Calgary), and Darren W. Dahl (University of British Columbia).

The first study to use social comparison theory to explain why and when we lie, the scientists argue that our willingness to lie is directly correlation to perceived threats to our self-esteem and self-image. People feel threatened by the possibility of being suckers and lie more readily when they overpaid for an item. However, people are less likely to lie if they know that a better deal is attainable, say, with a short-term gym membership.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


April 11, 2006, 7:06 AM CT

Social Isolation Has Its Toll In Breast Cancer

Social Isolation Has Its Toll In Breast Cancer
A new research has found that women who have few close friends or family members at the time of a breast cancer diagnosis are more likely to die from breast cancer compared to those who have better social support structure.

Study author Dr. Candyce H. Kroenke, of the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco says that social support is very important in breast cancer. Social isolation can lead to a limitation of access to health care, and can lead to inadequate care and may affect the breast cancer outcome.

Research findings from Kroenke and his colleagues appear in the latest issue of Journal of clinical oncology. The scientists painstakingly analyzed the data from nearly 3,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study to come to this conclusion. These women completed periodic questionnaires, including items correlation to their social networks, such as marital status and number and frequency of contacts with close friends and relatives, and their social-emotional support, or their having a confidant.

The scientists found that socially isolated women, including those with few relatives or friends and who did not belong to any church or community groups, were 66 percent more likely to die from all causes and twice as likely to die from breast cancer than those who were the most socially integrated.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink


April 10, 2006, 8:21 PM CT

Infant snoring linked to parental snoring

Infant snoring linked to parental snoring
Young children born to parents who snore have an increased risk of snoring. New research reported in the recent issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), shows that infants, who had at least one parent who snored frequently, were three times more likely to snore frequently than children with no parental history of snoring. In addition, children who tested positive for atopy, an early indicator for the development of asthma and allergies, were twice as likely to be frequent snorers as compared to nonatopic children.

"Our study shows that children with a parent who frequently snores have a three-fold risk of habitual snoring, supporting the role of hereditary factors in the development of snoring ," said the study's lead author Maninder Kalra, MD, MS, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH. "Snoring is the primary symptom of sleep-disordered breathing, which, in children, is associated with learning disabilities and metabolic and cardiovascular disorders. Early detection and therapy can potentially reduce the incidence of morbidity due to sleep-disordered breathing in children."

Dr. Kalra and his colleagues from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati evaluated 681 children (median age 12.6 months) and their atopic parents to determine the prevalence of habitual snoring in infants born to atopic parents and to assess the relationship between habitual snoring, atopic status, and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Parents also completed a questionnaire pertaining both to their snoring and snoring in their child.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


April 10, 2006, 8:13 PM CT

Hormone Therapy May Increase Risk Of Blood Clots

Hormone Therapy May Increase Risk Of Blood Clots
Estrogen treatment may increase the risk of venous thrombosis, the formation of blood clots in the veins, among postmenopausal women who have had their uterus removed, as per a research studyin the April 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Venous thromboembolism (VT), which includes the conditions deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in a deep vein) and pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that travels to the lungs), affects about one adult per 1,000 years of life, as per background information in the article. Scientists suspect that hormone treatment may increase a woman's risk of developing VT. The largest study analyzing the relationship between hormone treatment and VT is the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), which included two large clinical trials. One WHI trial examined the effects of estrogen plus progestin and found that this combination of hormones appeared to increase the risk of VT.

J. David Curb, M.D., University of Hawaii and Pacific Health Research Institute, Honolulu, and his colleagues analyzed data from the other WHI trial, in which the effect of estrogen alone was studied in 10,739 women aged 50 to 79 years. The participants were randomly assigned to take either combined equine estrogens (a mix of several estrogens) or placebo. They were followed for an average of 7.1 years, during which 197 women developed VT, including 144 with deep vein thrombosis, 91 with pulmonary embolism and 38 with both.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


April 10, 2006, 8:10 PM CT

Hormone Use Linked To Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Hormone Use Linked To Increased Breast Cancer Risk
Hormone treatment appears to be associated with increased risk of breast cancer among black women, with a stronger link for leaner women, as per a research studyin the April 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Prior research has suggested that the long-term use of female hormone treatment is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer, as per background information in the article. However, most of the women in the largest studies have been white, and few studies have looked at the risks specifically in black women.

Lynn Rosenberg, Sc.D., of Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, and his colleagues examined the association in 23,191 women age 40 years or older who were part of the Black Women's Health Study, conducted by researchers at Boston University and Howard University, Washington, D.C. The participants filled out an initial questionnaire about medical history, menopausal status and hormone use when they enrolled in the study in 1995. Follow-up questionnaires that also included questions about the development of breast cancer were completed every two years through the year 2003. The women's body mass index (BMI) was calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


April 10, 2006, 8:02 PM CT

Ace Inhibitors May Reduce Death, Heart Attack

Ace Inhibitors May Reduce Death, Heart Attack
Angiotension-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, medications usually used to treat high blood pressure (high blood pressure), may reduce cardiovascular risk and the risk of death in patients with coronary artery disease, as per a new analysis of previously conducted clinical trials published in the April 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Several medications are available to treat patients with coronary artery disease, characterized by blockages in the vessels that supply blood to the heart, as per background information in the article. Scientists continue to examine the effectiveness of each medicine in different patient groups. Prior research has shown that ACE inhibitors can help treat patients with coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure, which occurs when the heart loses its ability to pump blood efficiently, if that patient also has problems with the left ventricle, the lower left chamber of the heart. However, studies on the use of ACE inhibitors in patients with coronary artery disease but without heart failure or left ventricle dysfunction have had conflicting results.

Nicolas Danchin, M.D., F.E.S.C., Hôpital Europeen Georges Pompidou, Paris, and his colleagues analyzed seven prior randomized and controlled trials of ACE inhibitors in patients with coronary artery disease. The studies tested five different ACE inhibitors and included a total of 33,960 patients, who were followed for a minimum of two years and an average of 4.4 years. In each trial, some patients were randomly selected to receive ACE inhibitors and others to receive placebos.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


April 10, 2006, 7:57 PM CT

Macular Degeneration May Lead To Cognitive Impairment

Macular Degeneration May Lead To Cognitive Impairment
Older patients with advanced age-related macular degeneration and reduced vision may be more likely to also have cognitive impairment, or problems with thinking, learning and memory, as per a research studyin the recent issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) develops when the macula, the portion of the eye that allows people to see in detail, deteriorates. AMD is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in elderly Americans, as per background information in the article. Cognitive impairment also affects a number of elderly adults, reducing their ability to function independently.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) Research Group examined the relationship between vision problems and cognitive impairment in 2,946 patients enrolled in AREDS, an 11-center study of AMD and age-related cataracts. Between July 2000 and March 2004, the patients took a series of six tests to gauge their cognitive function. Participants' visual acuity (sharpness) was measured every year, and the progression of AMD was assessed and categorized at regular intervals throughout the study using photographs of the retina. Category 1 indicates no AMD and Category 4 is the most advanced stage.

At the time they took the test, 23 percent of the participants were classified as AMD Category 1, 29 percent Category 2, 26 percent Category 3 and 22 percent Category 4. In addition, 72 percent had 20/40 vision or better, 18 percent had worse than 20/40 vision in one eye and 10 percent had an overall visual acuity of less than 20/40. Those who had more severe AMD had poorer average scores on the cognitive tests, an association that remained even after scientists considered other factors, including age, sex, race, education, smoking, diabetes, use of cholesterol-lowering medications and high blood pressure. Average scores also decreased as vision decreased.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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