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July 17, 2008, 9:14 PM CT

Bullying-suicide link explored in new study

Bullying-suicide link explored in new study
Scientists at Yale School of Medicine have found signs of an apparent correlation between bullying, being bullied and suicide in children, as per a new review of studies from 13 countries reported in the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

"While there is no definitive evidence that bullying makes kids more likely to kill themselves, now that we see there's a likely association, we can act on it and try to prevent it," said review lead author Young-Shin Kim, M.D., assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine's Child Study Center.

In the review, Kim and colleague Bennett Leventhal, M.D., analyzed 37 studies that examined bullying and suicide among children and adolescents. The studies took place in the United States, Canada, several European countries (including the United Kingdom and Gera number of), South Korea, Japan and South Africa.

Almost all of the studies found connections between being bullied and suicidal thoughts among children. Five reported that bullying victims were two to nine times more likely to report suicidal thoughts than other children were.

Not just the victims were in danger: "The perpetrators who are the bullies also have an increased risk for suicidal behaviors," Kim said.

However, the way the studies were designed made it impossible for scientists to determine conclusively whether bullying leads to suicide, Kim said. In addition, the authors report that most of the studies failed to take into account the influence of factors like gender, psychiatric problems and a history of suicide attempts.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 16, 2008, 9:05 PM CT

Low-fat diets not best for weight loss

Low-fat diets not best for weight loss
A two-year study led by scientists from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) reveals that low-carbohydrate and Mediterranean diets may be just as safe and effective in achieving weight loss as the standard, medically prescribed low-fat diet, as per a new study reported in the prestigious New England Journal (NEJM)

The study was conducted by BGU and the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, Israel, in collaboration with Harvard University, The University of Leipzig, Gera number of and the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

In the two-year study, 322 moderately obese people were intensively monitored and were randomly assigned one of three diets: a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet; a Mediterranean calorie-restricted diet with the highest level of dietary fiber and monounsaturated/saturated fat; or a low-carbohydrate diet with the least amount of carbohydrates, highest fat, protein, and dietary cholesterol. The low-carb dieters had no caloric intake restrictions.

Eventhough participants actually decreased their total daily calories consumed by a similar amount, net weight loss from the low-fat diet after two years was only 6.5 lbs. (2.9 kg) in comparison to 10 lbs. (4.4 kg) on the Mediterranean diet, and 10.3 lbs. (4.7 kg) on the low-carbohydrate diet. "These weight reduction rates are comparable to results from physician-prescribed weight loss medications," explains Dr. Iris Shai, the lead researcher.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 16, 2008, 8:58 PM CT

Men and women may need different diets

Men and women may need different diets
Diet can strongly influence how long you live and your reproductive success, but now researchers have discovered that what works for males can be very different for females.

In the first study of its kind, the scientists have shown that gender plays a major role in determining which diet is better suited to promoting longer life or better reproductive success.

In the evolutionary "battle of the sexes", traits that benefit males are costly when expressed in females and vice versa. This conflict may have implications for human diet, aging and reproduction, says a team of researchers from UNSW, the University of Sydney and Massey University.

"When it comes to choosing the right diet, we need to look more closely to the individual, their sex and their reproductive stage in life," says Associate Professor Rob Brooks, Director of the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. "It may be, for example, that women in their child-bearing years need a different diet to those who are post-menopausal.

"It also underlines the important lesson that what we want to eat or, if you like, what we're programmed to eat, is not necessarily best for us." The scientists are conducting long-term studies on Australian black field crickets and have discovered that the lifespan of both males and females is maximised on high-carbohydrate, low-protein diets, they say in the latest issue of Current Biology........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 16, 2008, 8:36 PM CT

Many Patients In A Fog After ER Visit

Many Patients In A Fog After ER Visit
Every year, more than 115 million patients enter emergency rooms at hospitals around the nation. And more than three-quarters of them leave with an impression of what happened or what should happen next that doesn't match what their emergency care team would want.

That's the finding of a new study led by University of Michigan Health System researchers, and published early online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine The results suggest that emergency room teams need to do a better job of making sure patients go home with clear information and instructions and that patients and their loved ones shouldn't leave until they fully comprehend their situation.

The scientists carried out detailed interviews with 140 English-speaking patients who visited one of two emergency departments, and were released to go home. They compared those interviews with the patients' medical records, and found a serious mismatch between what doctors and nurses found or advised, and what patients comprehended.

What's worse, patients were pretty sure of what they "knew" 80 percent of the time even if what they knew wasn't quite right.

"It is critical that emergency patients understand their diagnosis, their care, and perhaps most important, their discharge instructions," says lead author Kirsten Engel, M.D., a former U-M emergency medicine fellow and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar who is now at Northwestern University. "It is disturbing that so a number of patients do not understand their post-emergency department care, and that they do not even recognize where the gaps in understanding are. Patients who fail to follow discharge instructions may have a greater likelihood of complications after leaving the emergency department".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 16, 2008, 8:10 PM CT

Ways Circadian Disruption Affects Human Health

Ways Circadian Disruption Affects Human Health
The Daysimeter, shown above, measures an individual's daily rest and activity patterns, as well as exposure to circadian light - short-wavelength light, particularly natural light from the blue sky, that stimulates the circadian system.

Photo Credit: Rensselaer/Dennis Guyon
Growing evidence indicates that exposure to irregular patterns of light and darkness can cause the human circadian system to fall out of synchrony with the 24-hour solar day, negatively affecting human health - but researchers have been unable to effectively study the relationship between circadian disruptions and human maladies.

A study by scientists in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center (LRC) provides a new framework for studying the effects of circadian disruption on breast cancer, obesity, sleep disorders, and other health problems.

Light and dark patterns are the major synchronizer of circadian rhythms - the biological cycles that repeat approximately every 24 hours - to the solar day. Inadequate or irregular light exposure can cause circadian rhythm disruptions that are believed to manifest into a variety of health ailments. However, ecological studies to measure human light exposure are virtually nonexistent, making it difficult to determine if, in fact, light-induced circadian disruption directly affects human health.

LRC scientists have created a small, head-mounted device to measure an individual's daily rest and activity patterns, as well as exposure to circadian light - short-wavelength light, especially natural light from the blue sky, that stimulates the circadian system. The device, called the Daysimeter, was sent to 43 female nurses across the country to measure their daily exposure to circadian light, as per Mark Rea, director of the LRC and principal investigator on the project.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 16, 2008, 7:48 PM CT

Teen smokers struggle to kick the habit

Teen smokers struggle to kick the habit
Most teenagers who smoke cigarettes make repeated attempts to quit but most are unsuccessful, as per new research from the Universit de Montral and funded by the Canadian Cancer Society.

"The study observed that teen smokers make their first serious attempt to quit after only two and a half months of smoking, and by the time they have smoked for 21 months they have lost confidence in their ability to quit," says Dr. Jennifer O'Loughlin, the study's lead author and a researcher from the Universit de Montral's department of social and preventive medicine.

Dr. O'Loughlin analyzed data from 319 Montreal teens who completed reports on their smoking habits every three months for five years. The study, published online (today) in the American Journal of Public Health, observed that teen smokers progress through stages or milestones in their attempts to stop smoking. These stages are:.
  • Confidently declaring that they have stopped smoking forever, one to two months after their first puff;
  • Expressing a conscious desire to quit with a growing realization that quitting requires serious effort;
  • Over the next two years, as cravings and withdrawal symptoms increase, gradually losing confidence in their ability to quit;
  • A year later, they are smoking daily and now realize they still smoke because it is very hard to quit;
........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 15, 2008, 10:43 PM CT

Cognitive Behavior Therapy For Chronic Fatigue

Cognitive Behavior Therapy For Chronic Fatigue
Cognitive behaviour treatment is effective in treating the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, as per a recent systematic review carried out by Cochrane Researchers.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a potentially long-lasting illness that can cause considerable distress and disability. Some estimates suggest it may affect as a number of as 1 in 100 of the population globally. There is no widely accepted explanation for the disease and patients are currently offered a variety of different therapys. Cognitive behaviour treatment (CBT) uses psychological techniques to balance negative thoughts that may impair recovery with more realistic alternatives. In treating CFS, these techniques are combined with a gradual increase in activity levels.

The scientists looked at data from 15 studies involving a total of 1,043 patients with CFS. The studies compared the effects of CBT with those of usual care and other psychological therapies and suggest that in both cases CBT is more effective at reducing the severity of symptoms, provided patients persist with therapy.

Further research is mandatory to determine whether CBT is more beneficial than other forms of therapy, such as exercise and relaxation therapies. The scientists also suggest that CBT could be more effective if used as part of a combination therapy approach.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 15, 2008, 10:40 PM CT

Caesarean section: no consensus on best technique

Caesarean section: no consensus on best technique
Despite the routine delivery of babies by caesarean section, there is no consensus among medical practitioners on which is the best operating method to use. In a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library, scientists call for further studies to establish the safest method for both mother and infant.

"Caesarean section is a very common operation, yet there is a lack of high quality information available to inform best practice," says researcher Simon Gates of the Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Warwick.

Techniques used during caesarean section operations depend largely on the preferences of individual surgeons. Their personal preference can affect the length of the operation, amount of blood lost, risk of infection and the level of pain experienced by a woman following surgery.

The review includes 15 trials that together involved 3,972 women. Eventhough results from several of these trials suggest that single layer closure of the uterus after delivery reduces blood loss and operation times in comparison to double layer closure, there was no information on other important outcomes such as infection and subsequent complications. The scientists found only very limited data on incision techniques and instruments, as well as methods used to close the uterus. They were therefore unable to make recommendations as to the most appropriate surgical procedure.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


July 15, 2008, 10:29 PM CT

Peers important for nutrition education

Peers important for nutrition education
A systematic literature review conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Connecticut, the Hispanic Health Council (Hartford), and the Connecticut Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos assessed the impact of peer education/counseling on nutrition and health outcomes among Latinos living in the United States. The results, reported in the July/recent issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, provide evidence that peer nutrition education has a positive influence on diabetes self-management and breastfeeding outcomes, as well as on general nutrition knowledge and dietary intake behaviors, among Latinos in the US.

"Overall, these nutrition education demonstration studies suggest that peer education has the potential to change dietary behaviors among Latinos," commented lead investigator Rafael Prez-Escamilla, PhD. "There is a need to better understand how nutrition peer educators can be formally incorporated into the health care system within the Chronic Care Model community health worker (CHW) framework." Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States, accounting for more than 12% of the population, and they are expected to be nearly 25% of the population by 2050. Latinos also have less access to nutritionally adequate and safe foodin comparison to 7.8% of non-Latino white individuals, almost 20% of Latinos are food insecure.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 15, 2008, 10:19 PM CT

Men and women are wired differently

Men and women are wired differently
Temptation may be everywhere, but it's how the different sexes react to flirtation that determines the effect it will have on their relationships. In a new study, psychology experts determined men tend to look at their partners in a more negative light after meeting a single, attractive woman. Conversely, women are likelier to work to strengthen their current relationships after meeting an available, attractive man.

Men may not see their flirtations with an attractive woman as threatening to the relationship while women do, as per findings from a study in the recent issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association. Scientists observed that women protect their relationship more when an attractive man enters the picture but men look more negatively at their partner after they've met an available, attractive woman. Men can learn to resist temptation when trained to believe that flirting with an attractive woman could destroy their relationship, said lead author John E. Lydon, PhD, of McGill University in Montreal.

Scientists conducted seven laboratory experiments using 724 heterosexual men and women to see how college-aged men and women in serious relationships react when another attractive person enters the mix.........

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.

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