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August 31, 2007, 5:11 AM CT

Cannabis Use On Vacation And Daily Life

Cannabis Use On Vacation And Daily Life
One particular brand of "deviance tourism" that may be gaining in popularity, Santos said, is travel to such locales as Amsterdam and Morocco to consume marijuana or hashish.

Photo by Yaniv Belhassen
Don't be surprised if some of your colleagues and acquaintances aren't exactly forthcoming about how they spent their summer vacations.

Those who appear to have a don't-ask, don't-tell policy when it comes to discussing details of their trips to certain locations in Asia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, South America and elsewhere abroad may be among a sub-set of travelers engaging in so-called "deviance" tourism.

According to Carla Santos, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism at the University of Illinois, "deviance tourism refers to a phenomenon in which travelers engage in behaviors that would be considered illicit, illegal or counter-normative in their countries of origin".

One particular brand of such tourism that may be gaining in popularity, Santos said, is travel to such locales as Amsterdam and Morocco to consume marijuana or hashish. Santos is a co-author with her doctoral student, Yaniv Belhassen, and Natan Uriely of "Cannabis Use in Tourism: A Sociological Perspective," published in the recent issue of the journal Leisure Studies. The article is based on work Belhassen completed for his master's thesis at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, with Uriely, a professor of hotel and tourism management at Ben-Gurion.

"The study focuses on the relationship between cannabis use in tourism and everyday life," said Belhassen, who completed his doctoral requirements this summer and has accepted a faculty position at Ben-Gurion.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

August 31, 2007, 4:54 AM CT

Underage drinking starts before adolescence

Underage drinking starts before adolescence
As schools reopen around the country, a new study finds that parents and teachers should pay attention to alcohol prevention starting as early as fourth grade.

A review of national and statewide surveys conducted over the last 15 years shows that among typical 4th graders, 10% have already had more than a sip of alcohol and 7% have had a drink in the past year. While the numbers are small in the fourth grade, the surveys show that the percent of children who have used alcohol increases with age, and doubles between grades four and six. The largest jump in rates occurs between grades five and six, as per John E. Donovan, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is author of the study, Really Underage Drinkers: The Epidemiology of Childrens Alcohol Use in the United States, reported in the recent issue of Prevention Science, a peer-evaluated journal of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR).

Dr. Donovan said that eventhough there are a number of published national surveys of alcohol use among adolescents, national surveys and those conducted by state governments that have looked at alcohol use among young children are often unpublished. He observed that 39 of the 50 states have conducted statewide surveys that included children in the 6th grade or younger. His study summarized the results of the available national surveys as well as the statewide surveys conducted by Arizona, Delaware, New York, Ohio and Texas, which included fourth and fifth graders. Several of the surveys conducted on a regular basis since 1990 show that the numbers of elementary school children who have ever used alcohol, who have used alcohol in the past year, and who have used alcohol in the past month have all decreased significantly over time. But the numbers are still alarming because of the correlation between early alcohol consumption and negative outcomes later during both adolescence and young adulthood. It is this linkage that argues most strongly for preventing alcohol use previous to adolescence, Donovan said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

August 31, 2007, 4:52 AM CT

Children stressed 6 months before starting school

Children stressed 6 months before starting school
The first few days at school can be an anxious time as children face the challenge of a new environment and making new friends but as per new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, children show signs of stress three to six months before term even starts.

The researchers, led by Dr Julie Turner-Cobb at the University of Bath, were studying the effect of childrens temperament and behaviour on how stressful they found the experience of starting school.

To do this, they measured the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in children two weeks after they had started primary school and then measured them again six months later. They also took cortisol measurements three to six months before the children started school to provide baseline levels for comparison.

But the scientists were surprised to find that, far from providing a baseline, childrens cortisol levels were already high several months before the start of the school term. This suggests that stress levels in anticipation of starting school begin to rise much earlier than we expected, says Dr Turner-Cobb.

Why a preschool child should be anxious about an event so far in the future is something of a mystery but Dr Turner-Cobb speculates that parents were getting stressed about their children starting school and that their stress was being passed on to the children.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

August 29, 2007, 9:53 PM CT

You're likely to order more calories at a 'healthy' restaurant

You're likely to order more calories at a 'healthy' restaurant
An important new study from the Journal of Consumer Research explains the American obesity paradox: the parallel rise in obesity rates and the popularity of healthier food. In a series of four studies, the scientists reveal that we over-generalize healthy claims. In fact, consumers chose beverages, side dishes, and desserts containing up to 131% more calories when the main dish was positioned as healthy.

In our black and white view, most food is good or not good, explain Pierre Chandon (INSEAD, France) and Brian Wansink (Cornell University). When we see a fast-food restaurant like Subway advertising its low-calorie sandwiches, we think, Its OK: I can eat a sandwich there and then have a high-calorie dessert, when, in fact, some Subway sandwiches contain more calories than a Big Mac.

In one study, Chandon and Wansink had consumers guess how a number of calories are in sandwiches from two restaurants. They estimated that sandwiches contain 35% fewer calories when they come from restaurants claiming to be healthy than when they are from restaurants not making this claim.

The result of this calorie underestimation" Consumers then chose beverages, side dishes, and desserts containing up to 131% more calories when the main course was positioned as healthy in comparison to when it was noteven though, in the study, the healthy main course already contained 50% more calories than the unhealthy one.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

August 29, 2007, 9:52 PM CT

New Nurses Report Significant Job Stress

New Nurses Report Significant Job Stress
What keeps a newly licensed nurse on the job? Answers to that question are important to hospitals across the U.S., a number of of which are confronting serious nursing shortages.

Based on results of a study would be reported in the September 2007 issue of American Journal of Nursing, the top two priorities for hospitals to address the retention issue are improving nursing management and taking steps to reduce on-the-job stress.

The study surveyed the work experience of nurses from 35 states who obtained their first license between Aug. 1, 2004, and July 31, 2005, and had been employed for up to 18 months. Of the 3,226 respondents, 610 had already left their first job -- 41.8 percent due to poor management, and 37.2 percent because of stressful work conditions. Another 34 percent changed jobs because they wanted to get experience in a different clinical area.

Carol S. Brewer, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University at Buffalo, was co-principal investigator on the study. Christine T. Kovner, Ph.D., professor at New York University's College of Nursing and senior fellow at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, was first author and principal investigator.

"This study helps to establish baseline data about a population that is especially important both to the nursing profession and our health-care system," said Brewer. "There is much conventional wisdom about the experiences of newly licensed nurses, but little fact. This study helps to fill that void, and provide insight into their career choices."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

August 29, 2007, 9:43 PM CT

Injuries of Football Season

Injuries of Football Season
Football Fever is upon the nation once again. The soaring of the pigskin signals the start of the "busy" season for cheerleaders, marching bands, and inevitably, sports medicine physicians.

"After only a few days of practice at UB we've had three players with ACL injuries, a medial collateral ligament tear, a dislocated shoulder and a dislocated elbow," said Marc Fineberg, M.D., chief of sports medicine in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

University Sports Medicine doctors serve as team physicians for the Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo Sabres and Western New York's major collegiate football teams -- the UB Bulls, the Buffalo State Bengals and the Erie Community College Kats. They also treat a number of of the area's high school teams.

Prevention is the primary goal of everyone involved in the sport, but when large, highly charged males engage in bodily contact, injuries are inevitable. Knee and ankle sprains are the most common injuries treated during football season, followed by concussion and shoulder sprains, said Fineberg.

The knee injury most common in football is a sprained medial collateral ligament, or MCL, one of four ligaments that support the knee joint. MCL injuries, which commonly occur during a tackle or block -- sometimes because of an illegal hit -- heal on their own without surgery, said Fineberg.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

August 28, 2007, 9:47 PM CT

We Remember The Bad Times Better Than The Good

We Remember The Bad Times Better Than The Good
Do you remember exactly where you were when you learned of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks? Your answer is probably yes, and scientists are beginning to understand why we remember events that carry negative emotional weight.

In the recent issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Boston College psychology expert, Elizabeth Kensinger and his colleagues, explain when emotion is likely to reduce our memory inconsistencies.

Her research shows that whether an event is pleasurable or aversive seems to be a critical determinant of the accuracy with which the event is remembered, with negative events being remembered in greater detail than positive ones.

For example, after seeing a man on a street holding a gun, people remember the gun vividly, but they forget the details of the street. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), studies have shown increased cellular activity in emotion-processing regions at the time that a negative event is experienced.

The more activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and the amygdala, two emotion-processing regions of the brain, the more likely an individual is to remember details intrinsically associated with the emotional aspect of the event, such as the exact appearance of the gun.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

August 28, 2007, 8:58 PM CT

Innovative Surgery For Sleep Apnea

Innovative Surgery For Sleep Apnea
Sleep disorder and ear, nose and throat specialists at Thomas Jefferson University are examining an innovative procedure to treat obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

In the procedure, known as Genial Bone Advancement Trephine (GBAT), a small portion of the lower jaw which attaches to the tongue is moved forward, to pull the tongue away from the back of the airway, increasing the airway space. It is considered an option for patients when medications or a continuous positive airway pressure (C-PAP) device, which increases the supply of oxygen and reduces the work of breathing, have proven to be ineffective.

Even immediately after the procedure patients have an easier time breathing, noted Maurits Boon, M.D., Clinical Instructor in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. We have also found that in a select group of patients high blood pressure drops off.

This procedure is often employed as an adjunct to more conventional surgery and can be very effective at treating OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when there is collapse of upper airway structures that prevent normal airflow. This essentially, results in cessation of breathing with resultant decreases in oxygen in the blood stream. The consequence is that this pattern of breathing causes interruptions in the normal sleep cycle and makes it difficult to get a restful night of sleep.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

August 28, 2007, 8:49 PM CT

Not all risk is created equal

Not all risk is created equal
A camper who chases a grizzly but won't risk unprotected sex. A sky diver afraid to stand up to the boss. New research shows that not all risk is created equal and people show a mixture of both risky and non-risky behaviors.

The survey also shows that men are significantly riskier than women overall.

The University of Michigan research refutes the standard theories of risk that group people as either risk-seeking or risk-avoiding, and suggests that we can have a mix of both risky and non-risky behavior depending on the type.

The study appears in the journal Evolutionary Psychology. Daniel Kruger, a research scientist at the U-M School of Public Health, and his colleagues X.T. Wang, University of South Dakota, and Andreas Wilke, UCLA, identified areas of risk taking (risk domains) based on the types of challenges that our ancestors faced during a number of thousands of years of human evolution.

"People are complex," said Kruger. "Just because somebody seems to be a big risk taker in one area doesnt mean they will take risks in all areas."

The types of risks identified include competition with other individuals; competition with other groups; mating and allocating resources for mate attraction; environmental risks (chasing a bear or skydiving); and fertility risks. The study showed that our tendencies for risk taking follow these different types of challenges.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

August 25, 2007, 6:25 AM CT

Those student-athletes at risk for developing OSA

Those student-athletes at risk for developing OSA
For most children and teens, the beginning of a new school year is just around the corner. Not only will they be hitting the books again after a three-month-long summer break, but a number of of them will also participate in after-school activities. More research is emerging that sheds light on a serious problem affecting student-athletes nationwide: the number of children and teens who are considered obese is rising dramatically. As per the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), obesity raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems, and also increases the likelihood of developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

William Kohler, MD, medical director of the Florida Sleep Institute in Spring Hill, director of pediatric sleep services at University Community Hospital in Tampa, and an AASM pediatric sleep expert, warns that the health problems brought on by obesity, such as OSA, should serve as a wake-up call to not only student-athletes and their parents, but also to their instructors and coaching staff.

OSA can increase the risk for stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, says Dr. Kohler. When the child or teen puts on weight, the throat can narrow, and anything which narrows the posterior pharynx can lead to the development of OSA. OSA is a serious disorder that can be harmful, or even fatal, if it is not recognized and treated.........

Posted by: Janet      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. Archives of society medical news blog

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