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Notes: HealthNews RoundUp - 4th Week of October, 2019


REPRISE: Acupuncture Damps Hot Flashes


A Danish study published in BMJ Open reports that short, standard acupuncture sessions will significantly reduce moderate to severe menopausal symptoms.


Investigators at the University of Copenhagen using a crossover protocol administered weekly acupuncture therapy for 5 consecutive weeks to a treatment group while the controls received no treatment.  Then, the controls received the acupuncture and the initially treated subjects were merely observed.  


The assessors who questioned participants about their symptoms were unaware of the treatment received.  The tabulated results showed that the acupuncture therapy significantly diminished hot flashes, sweats day and night, sleep issues, emotional symptoms, skin, and hair complaints.


If you are suffering from menopause-related symptoms and are unable to get relief from conventional Western medicine, do seek out a qualified acupuncture specialist.  Complementary and alternative therapy can be very effective.


Lund KS, Siersma V, Brodersen J, et al Efficacy of a standardised acupuncture approach for women with bothersome menopausal symptoms: a pragmatic randomised study in primary care (the ACOM study) BMJ Open 2019;9:e023637. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023637


#acupuncture #menopause #hotflushes #sweating

acupuncture, menopause, hotflushes, sweating



REPRISE: Firstborn Children Bully Their Sibs



As our families add children, we parents turn to our older children and encourage them to be the new arrival’s big brother or sister.  The latest intelligence from psychologists at Britain’s University of Warwick reveals the worrisome intelligence that the older siblings instead tend to bully the younger ones.


The researchers tabulated data from nearly 6900 British children who were studied at ages 5, 7 and 12 years.  A total of 28% of the children were involved in sibling bullying, and many were both bullies and victims.  Bullying occurred more often in families with 3 or more children, and the eldest child or older brothers were most often the bullies.


Bullying tends to be rampant in any situation where humans live in close proximity, know which buttons to push, and compete for parental attention and other limited resources.  Older children often resent the younger ones who came along to rob them of their only child privilege.  


Parents must guard against sibling violence by insuring equal resources for each child.   They should nurture an abundance of self-esteem in each child.  Most of all, parents should emphasize that family members are on a team and should work together, play together, and have each other’s back. 


Slava Dantchev, Dieter Wolke. Trouble in the nest: Antecedents of sibling bullying victimization and perpetration.. Developmental Psychology, 2019; DOI: 10.1037/dev0000700


#family #bullying

family, bullying



REPRISE: Smoking May Kill Your Color Vision



Regularly smoking more than one pack a day may reduce your ability to see colors.  A study from New Jersey’s Rutgers University compared the visual prowess of more than 60 regular smokers with a similar number of controls who smoked fewer than 15 cigarettes in their whole lives.


Those smoking 20 plus cigarettes a day, every day, reported significant degradation in their red-green and blue-yellow color vision and could not easily see contrasting images.  The researchers have not yet pinpointed which chemical toxins in cigarettes damage the retina, but they also point out that a cigarette smoking habit yellows your eye lenses and doubles the risk of age-related macular degeneration.


Here is yet more proof that smoking is bad for your body.  If it doesn’t kill you, and it will, it may suffocate and blind you.


Thiago P. Fernandes, Steven M. Silverstein, Natalia L. Almeida, Natanael A. Santos. Visual impairments in tobacco use disorder. Psychiatry Research, 2019; 271: 60 DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.11.024


#colorvision #blindness #smoking #blindness

colorvision, blindness, smoking, blindness



REPRISE: Shoulder Replacement Surgery Needs Repeating



Our shoulders take a lot of abuse, and the latest statistics reveal a 6-fold increase in shoulder replacement surgery over the past 20 years.  You’re probably what.  We can replace any joint at will, and there is already a good track record for hip and knee replacements.


The problem is that joint replacements don’t last.  They wear out, like any mechanical device.


The latest study from the University of Oxford’s orthopedic surgeons reveals that nearly one in four young men will require ultimately a revision of their shoulder surgery, and the artificial shoulders fail most often during the first 5 years after placement.  Trying to revise shoulder replacements can be complicated and risky.  Living bone and metal replacement parts don’t always play nice with each other.


Shoulder replacements aren’t the only artificial joints that fail or wear out.  Hip and knee replacements each only last about 10-20 years.  


The overwhelming driver of replacement joint failure is being overweight or obese, and the extra pressures on the prosthesis cause the bone around it to break down.  Once that occurs, repair is difficult if not impossible.


Since replacement joints will not carry you through a long life, protect your own joints while you are younger.  Avoid excess weight-bearing exercise such as stair climbing or jogging on hard surfaces without protective footgear.  The best way to keep your joints in tip top shape at any age is by controlling your weight.


Craig, RS, Lane, JCE, Carr, AJ, teal.  Serious adverse events and lifetime risk of reoperation after elective shoulder replacement: population based cohort study using hospital episode statistics for England.  BMJ 2019; 364: 1298 doi:


#shoulderreplacement #revisionsurgery #obesity,

shoulderreplacement, revisionsurgery, obesity




REPRISE: Exercise Helps Your Body Take Out The Trash



Our cells, like our homes, fill up with garbage very fast.  The latest research from Harvard Medical School reveals that vigorous exercise and even some fasting will help our cells with their housekeeping duties of removing damaged, toxic, and unnecessary proteins.


Previous studies have shown that the signal for flushing your cells is the messenger molecule cyclic-AMP.  This new discovery that exercise triggers the dumping junk proteins from the cell is almost certainly explained by that fact that exercise bumps up your adrenalin and that, in turn, triggers a burst of cyclic-AMP.


Since cell garbage plays a key role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well as storage diseases like amyloidosis, it may well be that prevention of these dread diseases can be added to the list of exercise’s benefits.


#exercise #cellcleansing #cAMP #Alzheimers #Parkinsons


Jordan J. S. VerPlank, Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy, Jinghui Zhao, Alfred L. Goldberg. 26S Proteasomes are rapidly activated by diverse hormones and physiological states that raise cAMP and cause Rpn6 phosphorylation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019; 201809254 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1809254116


#exercise #cellcleansing #cAMP #Alzheimers #Parkinsons

exercise, cellcleansing, cAMP, Alzheimers, Parkinsons




REPRISE: Junk Food Will Drive You Crazy



Food with lots of sugar and fat is associated with significant psychologic distress.  This conclusion comes from a study of nearly quarter million Californians participating in the California Health Interview Survey.


The study showed that nearly 17 percent of Californians had psychological distress associated with frequently consuming unhealthy foods.  Other factors such as gender, age, and socioeconomic status were less important.


This represents more proof that “you are what you eat.”  To maintain your weight and your health, stick with clean foods: fruits and vegetables with the addition of chicken and fish as protein sources.


Jim E. Banta, Gina Segovia-Siapco, Christine Betty Crocker, Danielle Montoya, Noara Alhusseini. Mental health status and dietary intake among California adults: a population-based survey. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1080/09637486.2019.1570085


#junkfood #fats #sugars #neurosis #psychologicdistress

junkfood, fats, sugars, neurosis, psychologicdistress



REPRISE: An Urban Park Will Lift Your Spirits



Want a mental boost in 20 short minutes?  It’s a simple as getting off your couch and visiting a nearby park.  If you prefer, you don’t even need to exercise to get the benefit.


Researchers at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s Department of Occupational Therapy document a significant improvement in emotional well-being for those who choose to visit one of three local parks.  They tabulated the results and found that the benefits would accrue even to those unable to pursue physical activities due to disability.


If you think about it, you’ll be surprised to find just how close a green space is to your home or work.  Get over there, clear your mind, and take a 20 minute or longer mental vacation.


Hon K. Yuen, Gavin R. Jenkins. Factors associated with changes in subjective well-being immediately after urban park visit. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1080/09603123.2019.1577368


#greenspace #urbanpark #relaxation

greenspace, urbanpark, relaxation




REPRISE: Teen High Blood Pressure Leads To Later Kidney Failure



Teen hypertension doubles the risk of end stage renal failure later in life.  A study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at more than 1.5 million candidates for Israeli military service.  Of this group, nearly 8000 were found to have elevated blood pressures.


Those with hypertension were predominately male and half were overweight or obese.  They were followed for nearly 20 years.  Teen hypertension doubled the risk of eventual kidney failure, a need for dialysis, and a possible kidney transplant even for those who were not overweight.


Elevated blood pressures in children have become more common as the rate of childhood and adolescent obesity skyrockets.  Pediatricians now recommend that every child over the age of 3 years should have their blood pressures checked annually.  


If their pressures are elevated, they should be measured at every visit and treated aggressively initially with lifestyle changes such as weight reduction, dietary modification, exercise, an stress management.  For severe or persisting elevations, a regimen of anti-hypertensive medication should be prescribed.


Leiba A, Fishman B, Twig G, et al. Association of Adolescent Hypertension With Future End-Stage Renal Disease. JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 25, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.7632


Riley M, Hernandez AK, Kuznia AL. High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents.

Am Fam Physician. 2018 Oct 15;98(8):486-494.


#teen #hypertension #obesity, bloodpressure

teen, hypertension, obesity, bloodpressure



REPRISE: Birth Complications Higher Nights, Weekends, and Holidays



If you are having a baby, try to do it during the day on a weekday.  A new study from the Colorado State University reviews data from more than 2 million Texas births over a 5 year period and pinpoints the riskiest times to give birth.


Obstetric complications are nearly 30% higher on holidays, about 20% higher during night shifts,  and 9% higher on weekends.  If you deliver in a teaching hospital in July when the new residents first arrive, the complication risk is an average of 28% higher. 


Hospitals are sites where medical miracles occur, but, given the nature of human frailty and exhaustion, so too can medical mishaps.  When you or a family member is hospitalized, keep your eyes open and advocate for your own best interests in a friendly way.  Then, if you can, try to avoid those holidays, nights, and weekends.


Sammy Zahran, David Mushinski, Hsueh-Hsiang Li, Ian Breunig, Sophie Mckee. Clinical Capital and the Risk of Maternal Labor and Delivery Complications: Hospital Scheduling, Timing, and Cohort Turnover Effects. Risk Analysis, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/risa.13273




#birthcomplications #obstetriccomplications #nights #weekends #holidays

birthcomplications, obstetriccomplications, nights, weekends, holidays



REPRISE: Soccer May Lead To ALS



Soccer playing seems to increase the risk of developing ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This is the conclusion of an Italian study that reviewed the medical records of all professional soccer players in the Italian leagues between 1959 and 2000.   Players were followed for at least 16 years after their playing days ended.


The data showed that nearly twice as many soccer players as expected  developed ALS, and nearly 5 times as many younger players 45 years or less fell ill.  The average age at ALS diagnosis in the general population is just over 62 years but the average age at which soccer players developed the disease is age 40.


Since ALS development is associated with a history of head injury, soccer heading is the likely

culprit.  Parents, please listen up!  If your child is playing soccer at any age, insist that they not do any heading.  Ask their coaches to enforce a strict no-heading rule.  


Soccer is called football in Europe and for good reason.  Ball handling should be restricted to the feet.  


Your child’s brains are worth more than some grandstanding with fancy heading during a game.  With accomplished foot-play, your team’s score may actually be higher.


#Soccer #heading #headinjury #ALS #amyotrophiclateralsclerosis

Soccer, heading, headinjury, ALS, amyotrophiclateralsclerosis

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