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Notes: HealthNews RoundUp - 1st Week of December, 2019


Bosses Who Bully Kill Their Own Bottom Lines - Reprise 



Abusive bosses who rule with a heavy hand are managing their own failure.  This is the conclusion of a 427 study meta-analysis completed by researchers at Portland State University and published in the Journal of Management.


Managers perceived as unfair, unhelpful, and impersonal trigger counterproductive and passive-aggressive work behaviors including work slow-downs, delayed arrivals in the morning,  extended breaks during the work day, calling-in sick, and frank workplace sabotage.  Obnoxious leaders create a toxic work environment, staff stress, and departures of valuable team members.


The most successful managers walk around the workplaces to kindle personal work relationships with their staff.  Once bosses know their subordinates as people, they can better function as facilitators to help everyone on the team shine and in so doing burnish their own reputations.


Yucheng Zhang, Xin Liu, Shan Xu, Liu-Qin Yang, Timothy C. Bednall. Why Abusive Supervision Impacts Employee OCB and CWB: A Meta-Analytic Review of Competing Mediating Mechanisms. Journal of Management, 2019; 014920631882393 DOI: 10.1177/0149206318823935


#Managers #bullies #sabotage #toxicenvoronment #work #bosses

Managers, bullies, sabotage, toxicenvoronment, work, bosses



Environmental Music Synchronizes Everyone’s Brainwaves - Reprise 



Music can keep groups of people engaged by synchronizing and pacing their brainwaves, but not all types of music have this effect.  Engineers at the City College of New York studied the neural responses of audiences in response to various forms of music.


Their research shows that unfamiliar scores synchronize communal brains most effectively, and the positive effects recur even with repetition.  On the other hand, familiar pieces failed to drive audience brain synch even with repetition.   Music-induced brain synch does work best for those audiences with some pre-formed appreciation for music.


Speaking as a surgeon, I’ve always found that music in the operating room helped to establish an efficient yet safe work pace.   Relying on my team to help choose the music reduced stress and optimized group satisfaction.



Jens Madsen, Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, Rhimmon Simchy-Gross, Lucas C. Parra. Music synchronizes brainwaves across listeners with strong effects of repetition, familiarity and training. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-40254-w


#Music #audiences #engagement #brainsynchronization #musicappreciation

Music, audiences, engagement, brainsynchronization, musicappreciation



Snoring And Sleep Apnea May Lead to Young Athletes’ Sudden Death - Reprise 



Stocky, young athletes often experience disordered sleep snd breathing patterns that could predispose them to heart attack and sudden death.  Exercise scientists from Japan’s Showa University explored this situation by studying 42 male rugby players 18-19 years of age.


After formal sleep studies were completed, 43% of the players experienced significant sleep disordered breathing with snoring, dangerous pauses in their breathing, higher than normal heart rates, and lower than normal oxygen levels.  Further studies of these athletes’ hearts revealed rhythm abnormalities suggesting they had potentially lethal cardiac damage already.


If you have a teen or a spouse, male or female,  “sawing wood at night,” don’t ignore it.  Push for a formal sleep study to determine if the noisy breathing is accompanied by dangerous oxygen level dips and heart rate abnormalities.


Yoshitaka Iso, Hitomi Kitai, Etsushi Kyuno, Fumiyoshi Tsunoda, Naoya Nishinaka, Masahiko Funato, Eiichi Nishimura, Shuichi Akihiro, Hiroyuki Tanuma, Toru Yonechi, Eiichi Geshi, Takeyuki Sambe, Hiroshi Suzuki. Prevalence and significance of sleep disordered breathing in adolescent athletes. ERJ Open Research, 2019; 5 (1): 00029-2019 DOI: 10.1183/23120541.00029-2019


#Snoring #apnea #hypoxia #sleepdisorderedbreathing #teens #athletes

Snoring, apnea, hypoxia, sleepdisorderedbreathing, teens, athletes



Napping Controls Blood Pressure - Reprise 



A one-hour midday nap can help you control your blood pressure as well as taking medications or changing your diet.  Greek cardiologists will be presenting their data demonstrating this effect next week at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Sessions.


The researchers studied more than 200 middle aged subjects comparing the blood pressures of those who napped with those who did not.  The napping group enjoyed an average of 5 mmHg lower systolic pressure and an average of 3 mmHg lower diastolic pressure.  These numbers don’t sound impressive but they are.


A midday napping “reset” relaxes both the cardiovascular system and the brain.  A regular nap certainly beat popping blood pressure pills or disgusting, restrictive diets.



American College of Cardiology. "A nap a day keeps high blood pressure at bay: Catching some midday shut-eye linked to similar drops in blood pressure seen with other lifestyle changes, some medications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2019.


#Napping #hypertension #diet #stress

Napping, hypertension, diet, stress



Hookah Smoking More Dangerous Than Cigarettes - Reprise



Hookah smoking is considered safe and fun.  It attracts teens and young adults by the droves.   This cavalier attitude is drawing alarm from the American Heart Association, and it is time to set the record straight.


Water pipe smoking is industrial strength tobacco smoking.  A one hour hookah session exposes the smoker to the nicotine and tar equivalent of 100 cigarettes.


Then consider the additional dangers.  The flavoring chemicals added to the tobacco mix themselves have toxicity.  Then we have the charcoal that is used to burn the flavored tobacco that adds its own carcinogens and carbon monoxide.   Beyond that, you can contract a nasty infection from the shared mouthpiece.


Here’s the hooker: the water through which the smoke bubbles cools the smoke but does not filter the toxic chemicals.


Hookah smoking is popular because it is a social activity and seems cool.  Pass on this information to your teens so that they understand the risks to the heart and lungs from hookah as well as e-cigarette vaping and tobacco smoking.


#Hookah #tobacco #nicotine #charcoal #carbonmonoxide #carcinogens

Hookah, tobacco, nicotine, charcoal, carbonmonoxide, carcinogens



Eggs or No Eggs: Can You Eat Them Safely? - Reprise



The poor ole egg is again under attack again.  Numerous studies over the past 30 years have declared the egg to be innocent of being an accessory before the fact when it comes to driving artery hardening, heart attacks, and strokes.  Many nutrition experts have stated that the majority of the cholesterol in our body is synthesized in the liver from the fats that we ingest.  They state that limiting your intake of saturated and trans- fats will keep your cholesterol and other lipids in control.


Now a study from Northwestern University suggests that a higher cholesterol intake, 300 mg or more per day, is associated with a 17% higher risk of cardiovascular disease and an 18% higher risk of death from all causes.  The cholesterol comes in egg yolks, red meat, and high fat dairy products such as cream, cheese, and butter.  


The study was a meta-analysis of 6 other studies covering nearly 30,000 adults with nearly 18 years of followup on average.  Experts reviewing the data and the study methodology have concerns about blaming the egg.  The study only surveyed the dietary habits of subjects as they entered the study and not again during the followup period.  The subjects were also consuming large amounts of red and processed meats that could confuse the results.


I wouldn’t totally ignore the study.  The best rule in nutrition, as in everything else, is moderation.   An egg breakfast everyday is a bad idea, but that omelet during any weekend brunch definitely won’t kill you.  If you do have the eggs, don’t overload them with bacon, eggs, or steak.


Victor W. Zhong et al. Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality. JAMA, 2019 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2019.1572


#eggs #cholesterol #redmeat #processedmeat #heartattack #stroke

eggs, cholesterol, redmeat, processedmeat, heartattack, stroke



Digital Devices Do Not Reduce Family Time - Reprise



Smartphones and tablets have not reduced the 90 minutes a day that children and teens traditionally spend with other family members.  Sociologists at the British Universities of Oxford and Warwick reviewed journals from nearly 2500 children 8 to 16 years of age and journals from their parents as well.   


The data shows that personal electronics actually added about 30 minutes to the amount of time the kids spent at home. This extra time, though, was not social time but rather what the scientists referred to as “alone-together” time.  You know what that is: the child is physically present but the mind is in some other galaxy or medieval castle. 


So there is good and bad news from this study.  It’s good that true family time remains during meals, shared discussions, and communal TV time as long as the devices are not in everyone’s hands.  The news is bad as the the extra 30 minutes at home may be robbing our kids of true social interactions with their peers.  


While some of that 30 minutes may involve texting to friends, the incessant LOLs and OMGs are not as satisfying and emotionally valuable as face-to-face communications.  It’s no wonder that many 20 and 30 somethings seem to lack effective interpersonal skills.


Killian Mullan, Stella Chatzitheochari. Changing Times Together? A Time-Diary Analysis of Family Time in the Digital Age in the United Kingdom. Journal of Marriage and Family, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/jomf.12564


#family #friends #smartphones #tablets #meals #texting

family, friends, smartphones, tablets, meals, texting



The Sleepier You Are, The More You Tend to Buy - Reprise



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




Teen Binge Drinking Permanently Damages The Brain - Reprise



Sporadic over-consumption of alcohol during adolescent years leads to epigenetic alterations in the cells of brain tissue, and that modification forever damages later emotional stability.  Experiments proving this phenomenon from the University of Illinois-Chicago were just published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.


Using an adolescent rat model, the scientists showed that repeated, intense exposures to alcohol early in life led to overt anxiety later in the animals’ lifespans.  Neuroanatomic studies revealed that the binge drinking led to a significant reduction of a protein ARC in the amygdala.  This missing protein was associated with a 40% reduction in critical neuronal connections.  

Worse yet, stopping drinking failed to correct the deficit.


The amygdala is the coordinating center for our emotions, and wiring problems in this zone will create emotional shortfalls including anxiety and depression.  This can lead to a closed loop and a downward spiral where the effects of early alcohol misuse can then lead to frank alcoholism later in life.


Evan J. Kyzar, Huaibo Zhang, Subhash C. Pandey. Adolescent Alcohol Exposure Epigenetically Suppresses Amygdala Arc Enhancer RNA Expression to Confer Adult Anxiety Susceptibility. Biological Psychiatry, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.12.021


#bingeing #alcoholism #adolescence #emotion #depression #anxiety

bingeing, alcoholism, adolescence, emotion, depression, anxiety



Virtual Reality Helps Fine Tune Your Balance - Reprise



If you’re struggling with balance problems due to an accident, an injury, or advancing age, that VR headset laying around the house or on the store shelf may just be the key to your recovery.  Balance specialists and physiotherapists at Sweden’s Lund University now report their results using a virtual reality environment to help subjects train their balance systems. 


Patients with chronic balance system issues often begin to rely almost exclusively on visual input to stabilize their stance.   By repeatedly practicing stabilizing themselves on a postural stability platform while immersed in a VR roller coaster ride, the 20 experimental subjects were able to deploy the non-visual balance sensors in their muscles, joints, and ears to better reach a state of balance equilibration.  


The average number of near fall events diminished 10-fold after 5 VR rides by the female subjects.  The males experienced fewer fall events overall but enjoyed a similar pattern of improvement.


The researchers speculate that VR technology could play a key role in the rehabilitation of both head injury and stroke victims.


Per-Anders Fransson, Mitesh Patel, Hanna Jensen, Michèle Lundberg, Fredrik Tjernström, Måns Magnusson, Eva Ekvall Hansson. Postural instability in an immersive Virtual Reality adapts with repetition and includes directional and gender specific effects. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39104-6


#VR #virtualreality #vestibularsystem #dizzy #balance

VR, virtualreality, vestibularsystem, dizzy, balance

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