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Best Of - 4th - Week of April 2023


Balloon Labor Induction Bests Hormonal Cream



A multi-site meta-analysis by Australian obstetricians provided the necessary statistical power to demonstrate the superior safety profile of balloon cervical dilatation over prostaglandin drug cervical ripening.  The investigators analyzed the data from 5460 women who participated in 12 studies.


While use of balloon cervical dilatation did not produce a significantly lower incidence of mandatory caesarean section deliveries or adverse maternal outcomes, the babies delivered after balloon cervical therapy experienced significantly fewer adverse perinatal events.


The conclusion: balloon cervical ripening seems a better option.


#cervicalripening #balloon #prostaglandin #perinatal

cervicalripening, balloon, prostaglandin, perinatal



Bad Dreams Linked To Later Dementia



If you experience nightmares during middle age, you are about 4 times more likely to develop dementia as you age.  Neurologic researchers from Britain’s University of Birmingham studied 605 adults aged 44 to 57 years who were followed up for as long as 13 years with cognitive testing.


The analysis also showed that this tendency toward dementia was more prominent in men than in women.  The men having nightmare-disrupted sleep were nearly 5 times more likely to suffer eventual dementia while women with similar nighttime scares were only 41% more likely.


#nightmares #dementia #dreams

nightmares, dementia, Dreams



Child Melatonin Poisonings On The Rise



Over the past decade, the numbers of melatonin poisonings in children and adolescents have soared more than 5-fold.  As of 2020, melatonin was the most frequently ingested substance by children.  


These are just 2 of the startling findings by a CDC study that reviewed cases between 2012 and 2021.  Also during the same time span, 4,000 children required hospitalizations and 287 landed in the intensive care unit for melatonin overdoses.


The American Academy of Sleep Medicine advises against self-medicating your kids when they won’t waft off to dreamland.  More effective is a regular bedtime and waking schedule and the elimination of excess screentime as well as blue light during the evening hours.


#melatonin #sleep #overdose #insomnia

melatonin, sleep, overdose, insomnia



Blueberry Consumption May Thwart Dementia



University of Cincinnati researchers show that adding blueberries to the diet of mid-life adults may reduce their chances of developing dementia later in life.  Blueberries contain a high level of antioxidants known as anthocyanin.


#blueberries #dementia #antioxidants #anthocyanins

blueberries, dementia, antioxidants, anthocyanins



Delaying Premie Umbilical Cord Clamping May Be Lifesaving



Waiting even a minute before clamping the umbilical cord of a just-born premature infant can reduce that child’s risk of death before the age of 2 by 30%.  Researchers at the University of Sydney now publish their followup results on some 15,310 Australian and New Zealand premies half of whom had the clamping of their umbilical cords delayed for 60 seconds and half had their cords clamped within 10 seconds of birth before 30 weeks of gestation.


Those extra seconds permit the just born baby to receive vital supplies of red and white blood cells as well as stem cells from their placentas.  This mini auto-transfusion helps the baby maintain better oxygenation levels, fight infection, and foster tissue and organ development.


Immediate cord clamping had been the norm for premies since the prevailing theory was that these frail neonates required immediate artificial respiratory support in a setting away from the delivery table.  In fact, most do not.


#prematurity #cordclamping #umbilicalcord #pediatrics #neonatology

prematurity, cordclamping, umbilicalcord, pediatrics, neonatology



Asthmatics Should Not Use Melatonin



Those suffering from bronchial asthma can experience a severe, sometimes fatal, exacerbation of their asthma at night.  Japanese pulmonary physiologists now report that the sleep hormone melatonin may be the culprit.


The investigators found that higher doses of melatonin trigger the MT2 receptor in airway smooth muscle that causes the bronchial channels to constrict.  They also found that melatonin can reduce the therapeutic effects of the bronchodilator medications used by asthmatics to stop their attacks.


While natural levels of melatonin produced by the body seem to cause more subtle exacerbations of asthma, higher levels of this hormone taken to induce sleep and reduce jet lag could trigger life-threatening attacks.  Asthmatics beware!


#melatonin #asthma #sleep #bronchoconstriction #bronchodilators

melatonin, asthma, sleep, bronchoconstriction, bronchodilators



Dogs Help Heart Patients Live Longer



If you’ve had a heart attack, living with a dog can lower your risk of dying prematurely by up to 35%.  A Canadian meta-analysis just published in the journal Circulation tabulated the data from more than 3.8 million participants over 10 years.


This large study shows that dog ownership prolongs lives and builds on previous work that credited dogs with reducing cardiovascular disease risk by lowering blood pressure, improving lipid profiles, and reducing stress.  


Dogs work their magic by making you work your body.  The physical activity associated with walking them, running after them, and yes, cleaning up after them provides enough beneficial exercise to keep your body’s systems working longer and stronger.


Caroline K. Kramer, MD, PhD Sadia Mehmood, BSc Renée S. Suen.  Dog Ownership and Survival: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.  Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2019;12:e005554.


#Dogs #cardiovasculardisease #mortality

Dogs, cardiovasculardisease, mortality 



Make-Up Bags May Harbor Deadly Bacteria



Up to 90% of cosmetics contain the nastiest superbugs on the planet.  A British study just published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology cultured skin foundation blender sponges, mascara, and lip gloss finding grossly unhygienic conditions.


These contaminated products contain Staph aureus, E. Coli, and Citrobacter freundii that can trigger skin infections, eye disease, and even blood-borne sepsis.  The worse offenders seem to be the beauty blender sponges that are reused over and over again without cleaning despite having been dropped on the floor.


If you’re fighting embarrassing skin breakouts, do a deep dive into your make-up bag and consider replacing your products.  To maintain freshness, buy the smallest containers.


A. Bashir, P. Lambert. Microbiological study of used cosmetic products: highlighting possible impact on consumer health. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/jam.14479


#Cosmetics #bacteria #beautyblender #mascara #lipgloss

Cosmetics, bacteria, beautyblender, mascara, lipgloss



The Sleepier You Are, The More You Tend to Buy



Sleep deprivation will drive you to consume a wider variety of products.  Marketing researchers from the University of British Columbia’s business school draw this conclusion from several studies of buying patterns as a function of sleepiness.  


Their experiments included artificial situations such as choosing candy bars on more or less sleep and a look at the consumption patterns of some 60,000 American households whose occupants lost sleep with the shift to daylight savings time.  Their shopping is quantitated in the Nielsen consumer panel data set.  I guess Nielsen watches more than our TV viewing habits.


The results from the various experiments told similar stories.  We human consumers tend to crave variety when we’re tired.  It seems that the search for new products or a variety of the same product helps to stimulate our brains and keep us awake.  It’s shopping as the ultimate form of self-stimulation.


It’s not rocket science to conclude that the search for variety will ultimately lead to more consumption than is probably necessary.  If you want to avoid impulse buying and the ingestion of unwanted calories, avoiding supermarket expeditions and culinary adventures when you are half in the bag or completely exhausted.


Zhongqiang (Tak) Huang, Yitian (Sky) Liang, Charles B. Weinberg, Gerald J. Gorn. The Sleepy Consumer and Variety Seeking. Journal of Marketing Research, 2019; 002224371881133 DOI: 10.1177/0022243718811334


#shopping #dining #consumer #sleep #sleepdeprivation

shopping, dining, consumer, sleep, sleepdeprivation



Baseball For Those With Hearing Problems: Best Of: WBZ Radio: 1/91



Dr. Smith and WBZ Radio sports anchor Alan Segal discuss how Fenway Park helps those with hearing challenges.  The park provides FM earphones and preferential seating.  Other sports venues likely provide similar accessibility provisions.

#hearing #hardofhearing #fmearphones #accessibility #mlb #sports #wbzradio

hearing, hardofhearing, fmearphones, accessibility, mlb, sports, wbzradio



The Dangers of Aerodynamic Bike Handlebars:Best Of: WBZ Radio: 1/91



Dr. Smith and Susan Rist, WBZ Radio news anchor discuss the hazards created by these popular bicycle handlebars.


#bicycle #handlebars #aerodynamic #braking #wbzradio

bicycle, handlebars, aerodynamic, braking, wbzradio



Basal Cell Carcinoma: Best Of: WBZ Radio: 1/91



Dr. Smith speaks with a WBZ Radio caller about the management of her basal cell cancer.


#basalcellcarcinoma #skincancer #mohs #efudex #5fu

basalcellcarcinoma, skincancer, mohs, efudex, 5fu

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