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October 17, 2007, 8:29 PM CT

Height affects how people perceive their quality of life

Height affects how people perceive their quality of life
Your height in adult life significantly affects your quality of life, with short people reporting worse physical and mental health than people of normal height. This large, peer evaluated study, which appears in Clinical Endocrinology, shows that adult height is associated with how good a person thinks their health is. Short people judge their state of health to be significantly lower than their normal height peers do.

The data for this study came from the 2003 Health Survey for England, carried out by the UK Department of Health(1). In this survey, participants filled out a health-related quality of life (HRQoL) questionnaire and a nurse measured their height. Researchers, led by Senior Health Economist Torsten Christensen at Novo Nordisk A/S in Denmark, used this data to assess the relationship between height and HRQoL. A persons health-related quality of life refers to their perceived physical and mental health over time. The questionnaire does not measure how good a persons health actually is; it measures how good a person thinks their health is. The questionnaire examined five areas of well-being: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression. The scientists controlled the results in the study for the effects of other well-known indicators of HRQoL such as age, gender, body weight, long-standing illness and social class. In total, this study used the results from 14 416 respondents.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 17, 2007, 8:12 PM CT

Young toddlers think in terms of the whole object

Young toddlers think in terms of the whole object
Seeing through a child's eyes can help parents better introduce new words to young toddlers, as per research from Purdue University.

"This new research shows that as young toddlers learn language, they are more likely to focus on objects rather than parts," said George Hollich, an assistant professor of psychological sciences. "Because of this bias, children automatically assume you are talking about an object. So, when labeling more than just an object, adults need to do something special such as pointing at the part while saying its word or explaining what the item does".

For example, when introducing a young toddler to a dog, the child automatically thinks of the object as a dog. If adults want to talk about the dog's tail or its bark, then they need to be more explicit when communicating with the child. If adults do not make this effort, it can hinder the child's understanding, said Hollich, who also is director of Purdue's Infant Language Lab.

The study appears in the fall issue of the journal Developmental Psychology. Hollich studied 12- and 19-month-olds because their vocabularies are still in the beginning stages of development. Forty-eight children took part in the study. During the experiments, the young toddlers were introduced to familiar objects, such as a cup with a lid and a shoe with laces, as well as two made up objects that were wood cutouts and could be separated. One part of these wood cutouts was designed to be more attractive to a child. Even with the part's visual appeal, Hollich found the children paid more attention to the entire object than to the part.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 17, 2007, 4:49 AM CT

Study shows reducing class size may be more cost-effective

Study shows reducing class size may be more cost-effective
Reducing the number of students per classroom in U.S. primary schools may be more cost-effective than most public health and medical interventions, as per a research studyby scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Virginia Commonwealth University. The study indicates that class-size reductions would generate more quality-adjusted life-year gains per dollar invested than the majority of medical interventions. The findings would be reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

The scientists estimated the health and economic effects of reducing class sizes from 2225 students to 1317 students in kindergarten through grade 3 nationwide, based on an intervention tested in Project STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Ratio), a large multi-school randomized trial that began in 1985. Project STAR is considered the highest quality long-term experiment to date in the field of education.

The study shows that a student graduating from high school after attending smaller-sized classes gains an average of 1.7 quality-adjusted life-years and generates a net $168,431 in lifetime revenue. Higher earnings and better job quality enhance access to health insurance coverage, reduce exposure to hazardous work conditions, and provide individuals and families with the necessary resources to move out of unfavorable neighborhoods and to purchase goods and services, says Peter A. Muennig, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School. Regardless of class size, the net effect of graduating from high school is roughly equivalent to taking 20 years of bad health off of your life."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 15, 2007, 6:12 PM CT

Consumption of raw fish: potential health concerns

Consumption of raw fish: potential health concerns
Two case studies from Japan presented at the 72nd Annual Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology point to a potential health problem in the United States, as more Americans consume raw fish in the form of sushi and sashimi. Anisakiasis (round worm) is a human parasitic infection caused by the consumption of raw or undercooked seafood containing Anisakis larvae. Consumers should be aware that while larvae for the parasitic worm Anisakis cannot survive in a human host, the ingested larvae can produce severe intestinal problems warranting a visit to the emergency room.

When ingested by humans, the larvae attach themselves to the tissues lining the stomach and intestines, resulting in sudden abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Since the larvae cannot survive in humans and eventually die, intestinal anisakiasis commonly resolves on its own.

Scientists in Japan examined two cases of intestinal anisakiasis presenting as an obstruction of the small intestine. In each case, both patients, ages 64 and 70, were rushed to the emergency room with sudden abdominal pain and vomiting after eating raw sardines as sashimi two days earlier. The diagnosis of anisakiasis in the stomach can easily be confirmed by endoscopy. However, small intestinal anisakiasis is difficult to diagnose. Both patients had abdominal X-rays showed air-fluid levels suggesting a small intestinal obstruction. Using a multidetector-row computed tomography (MDCT), doctors obtained high quality images of the small bowel, and found the intestinal blockage was caused by the presence of Anisakis larvae. Fluid replacement and resting immediately relieved the patients symptoms.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 12, 2007, 5:12 AM CT

Rejection sets off alarms for folks with low self-esteem

Rejection sets off alarms for folks with low self-esteem
Researchers used paintings to stimulate a variety of emotions, with the paintings reflecting (clockwise from top left) inclusion, rejection, positive and negative themes.
Few can tolerate such romantic or professional rebuffs as "It's not you, it's me" and "we regret to inform you that your application was not successful." But while a healthy dose of self-esteem can absorb the shock of rejection, poor self-esteem can trigger the primal fight-or-flight response, as per a new study from the University of California, Berkeley.

That doesn't mean people with low self-esteem are doomed to respond defensively to criticism and rejection. The UC Berkeley study suggests that those among them who are better at controlling their impulses are less vulnerable to rejection. This lays the groundwork for further investigation into what people who feel they don't measure up can do to cope with disappointment and maintain close relationships.

"Social rejection is inevitable in society," said Anett Gyurak, a graduate student who co-authored the study with Ozlem Ayduk, a UC Berkeley assistant professor of psychology. "But our findings suggest that if people with low self-esteem can improve their attention control skills, they might feel less terrible about themselves and counter the negative effects of rejection."

While remedies to improve attention control require further study, scientists speculate that training the mind to focus for extended time periods and behavioral treatment that teaches people with low self-esteem to take a more positive or contextual approach to disappointment may help.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 12, 2007, 4:58 AM CT

Patients can't recall their medications to tell doctors

Patients can't recall their medications to tell doctors
Doctors rely on patients to accurately tell them what prescription medications and what dosages -- they are taking in out-patient visits. (A patient's chart may not always be available or complete.) That information is essential for physicians to monitor whether a drug is working, and whether it may have adverse interactions with any new medications prescribed.

Depending on patients recall of their drugs, however, may be dangerous to their health.

New research from Northwestern Universitys Feinberg School of Medicine has observed that nearly 50 percent of patients taking antihypertensive drugs in three community health centers were unable to accurately name a single one of their medications listed in their medical chart. That number climbed to 65 percent for patients with low health literacy.

It was worse than we expected, said lead author Stephen Persell, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine, and of the Institute for Healthcare Studies at the Feinberg School, and a doctor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. It means doctors cant ask patients to tell them the medications they are taking for their chronic conditions like hypertension. Its very hard to get at the truth of what medications the patient is actually taking.

The study would be reported in the recent issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 11, 2007, 10:53 PM CT

Welders at risk for loss of sense of smell

Welders at risk for loss of sense of smell
PHILADELPHIA Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have observed that professional welders who work in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation may be at risk for loss of sense of smell. The study appears in Neurology.

This is the first study to clearly demonstrate that welders who work in confined spaces without adequate respiratory protection are at risk for damaging their sense of smell, says Richard Doty, PhD, Director, Smell & Taste Center, Professor, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, and senior study author. Eventhough underappreciated, loss of smell function significantly alters quality of life. This important sense not only determines the flavors of foods and beverages, but serves as an early warning system for the detection of fire, dangerous fumes, leaking gas, spoiled foods, and polluted environments.

Using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) a self-administered standardized test incorporating 40 scratch-and-sniff odors with multiple choice options to identify the odor the scientists quantitatively reviewed the olfactory function of 43 professional welders who worked in confined spaces on the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge, and compared their test scores with those of matched normal controls.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 10, 2007, 5:10 AM CT

Prostate cancer more likely to return in blacks

Prostate cancer more likely to return in blacks
African-American men are more likely to have their prostate cancer return after therapy, but their disease is no more aggressive when it does recur than that of their white counterparts, as per a research studyled by Duke Prostate Center researchers.

Our study observed that African-American men have a slightly higher risk of what is known as PSA recurrence, which is a blood test that indicates the presence of cancer based on the levels of a certain biomarker known as prostate-specific antigen, said Stephen Freedland, M.D., a urologist at Duke and senior researcher on the study. We were encouraged, however, to see that their disease is not necessarily more aggressive than that of white men, once it has recurred.

African-American men tend to have higher PSA levels at initial diagnosis of prostate cancer, as well, despite being diagnosed at younger ages. This suggests that there may be an underlying genetic and biologic component that predisposes African-American men to prostate disease, Freedland said, highlighting the need for black men to have prostate screening early and often.

The team's findings would be reported in the November 15, 2007 print edition of the journal Cancer, but also appeared early in the journals September 17, 2007 online edition. The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Prostate Cancer Research Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, the Georgia Cancer Coalition and the American Urological Association Foundation.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 10, 2007, 5:07 AM CT

Married men have lower testosterone levels

Married men have lower testosterone levels
A fascinating new study is the first outside of North America to observe lower testosterone levels among married men. Supporting a growing body of research, the study reveals that even married men who are considered aloof spouses and provide minimal parenting have much lower testosterone levels than single, unmarried men.

In the recent issue of Current Anthropology, Peter B. Gray (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Peter T. Ellison (Harvard University), and Benjamin C. Campbell (Boston University) investigated the links between male testosterone levels and marital status among modern-day pastoralists in northern Kenya of whom less than 1.5 percent consider their wives a source of emotional support. The Ariaal males serve as herd boys until they reach puberty, at which point they are initiated, become warriors, and accumulate livestock. They do not marry and have children until around 30, and, the scientists suggest, value social bonds with male peers more than spousal bonds or familial bonds.

These findings add to the cross-cultural scope of published data on the topic of human pair bonding, parenting and testosterone, explain the researchers. While many North American studies have shown lower testosterone levels among monogamously married men compared with their single counterparts, no study outside North America had observed this.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 8, 2007, 11:18 AM CT

Got calcium?

Got calcium?
Laura Peracchio, professor of marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Credit: Peter Jakubowski, UWM Photo Services
Current food labeling leads to under-consumption of calcium, as per this study. Those who were taught how to translate the information consumed more. Scientists believe the same is true for other beneficial nutrients.

A woman at risk for osteoporosis is told by her doctor to get 1,200-1,500 milligrams of calcium every day. But when she looks at the Nutrition Facts panel on a carton of yogurt or a jug of milk, she finds that calcium is only listed by Percent Daily Value (%DV).

How does she convert that to milligrams?.

If shes like most of usshe cant. And neither can her doctor.

Those were among the findings of research conducted by Laura A. Peracchio, professor of marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), and Lauren Block, professor of marketing at Baruch College (CUNY). The results were so compelling that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added information to its Web site on how to translate %DV to milligrams.



The problem


The research, which involved three separate studies and a follow-up, is discussed in The Calcium Quandary: How Consumers Use Nutrition Labels for Daily Diet, reported in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. Peracchio and Block observed that:.
  • In Study 1, only two of 37 respondents correctly translated the calcium information on a carton of yogurt from %DV to milligrams.
........

Posted by: JoAnn      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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