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5 studies you may have missed
A team of researchers has developed an intravaginal ring designed to prevent HIV and unwanted pregnancy.
March 7th, 2014
07:27 AM ET

5 studies you may have missed

Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Don't diss canned vegetables
American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine

Researchers at Michigan State University analyzed more than 40 scientific journal studies to see if canned fruits and vegetables provide the same nutritional benefits as fresh and frozen produce. Cans are often cheaper than fresh or frozen products, and therefore easier for low-income families to buy.

The scientists concluded that not only are canned products on par with fresh and frozen produce nutritionally, in some cases they're better. Canned tomatoes, for instance, have more lycopene and more B vitamins.

"By increasing accessibility to key nutrients many Americans need, canned foods are a year-round solution to help families prepare healthier, balanced meals," Steven Miller, lead researcher and assistant professor at MSU's Center for Economic Analysis, said in a press release.

Want to prevent HIV and pregnancy? Put a ring on it
Journal: PLOS ONE

A team of researchers, led by Northwestern University biomedical engineer Patrick Kiser, has developed an intravaginal ring designed to prevent HIV and unwanted pregnancy.

The ring is the first device to deliver an antiretroviral drug (tenofovir) and a hormonal contraceptive (levonorgestrel), both of which are already used on the market. The device has been engineered to deliver specific amounts of the antiretroviral drug and contraceptive every day.

The researchers hope that administering this medication in an intravaginal ring will increase effectiveness and ease of use. The ring will be entered in clinical trials later this year.

“I think it’s a moment in women’s health to be excited about,” says Kiser. “There are a large number of people working very hard to get these kinds of products into the market and into the hands of women.”

Take the TV out of your kid's bedroom
Journal: JAMA Pediatrics

Having a television in his or her bedroom could be increasing your child's weight. A survey of more than 6,000 kids aged 10 to 14 showed those with a TV in their bedroom gained more weight than those who didn't over a four-year time period. This held true even after the researchers adjusted the results for total TV viewing time.

The individual weight difference was small, but close to 60% of children in that age group reported having a TV in their bedrooms. "With the high prevalence of bedroom televisions, the effect attributable to this risk factor among U.S. children and adolescents is excess weight of 8.7 million kg/(year)," the researchers concluded.

We eat better when we're happier
Journal of Consumer Psychology

Anyone who's ever downed a tub of ice cream after a rough day knows bad moods breed bad food choices. But are we more likely to stick to salad when we're in a good mood?

In a series of studies, researchers analyzed the food choices of people in good, bad and neutral moods. They found those in a good mood tended to make better choices, while those in a bad mood chowed down on M&Ms. They hypothesized that this is because people in a good mood are able to see past the immediate benefits of bad mood (mmmm, chocolate) to the long-term benefits of nutritious foods.

“When we think about the future, it's almost as if we are physically taking a step back, enabling us to see our more fundamental values – like health and nutrition," co-author Meryl P. Gardner, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Delaware’s Lerner College, said in a press release. "We can use that to make wiser choices rather than letting our moods dictate our behavior.”

You may want to test both arms
The American Journal of Medicine

When you go to the doctor for your annual checkup, he or she probably takes your blood pressure reading on one arm. But new research suggests checking both arms is a better predictor of whether you'll have a cardiovascular event - i.e. a heart attack or stroke - in the future.

Scientists examined data from 3,390 people over 40. They found participants who had a systolic blood pressure reading (the top number) in one arm that was different by 10 or more digits than the reading in the other arm had a 38% greater risk of a cardiovascular event.

In other words, a person with a 180/90 BP in one arm, and a 200/90 BP in the other would be more at risk than someone who had a 190/90 BP in one arm and a 195/90 BP in the other.


soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Shoggoth

    PLOS One:
    “There are a large number of people working very hard to get these kinds of products into the market and into the hands of women.”

    I don't think it's womens' hands that they are aiming for!

    March 7, 2014 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
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      March 12, 2014 at 11:05 | Report abuse |
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    March 7, 2014 at 10:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. matt bee

    Canned tomatoes may contain more nutrients, but acidic foods also leach more of the chemicals found in the can's lining.

    March 7, 2014 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carol_R

      True but leeching of chemicals from a metallic can isn't an issue if a glass jar is used.

      March 8, 2014 at 00:18 | Report abuse |
    • CoolCMo

      Most cans now have a lining that separates the food from the metal. It was originally designed to prevent off flavors, but has the added benefit of keeping dissolved metallic compounds out of the food.

      March 8, 2014 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
  4. KMFDallas

    A story is needed on The DES Tragedy that has rffected millions of people around the world and now an active concern in Kenya

    March 7, 2014 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Timmy Suckle

    I kissed my way up to CEO at a health insurance company. Now I take over $1,000,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other CEOs, VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easily fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $117,000 level. Now I only pay 1.17% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    March 7, 2014 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phil

      You know, not every CEO/big wig just happened across their position. Many have worked incredibly hard, sacrificed everything and clawed and scratched their way up from the bottom. But I guess ignorance is bliss huh? Don't have what it takes to go get yours so you gotta take it from someone who worked for it....

      March 7, 2014 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
    • MHubbard

      Best thing I've seen here in quite awhile

      March 9, 2014 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
  6. Artemis MA

    Timmy, you are trying to rile people up. Have fun playing.

    March 7, 2014 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. mickinmd

    "In other words, a person with a 180/90 BP in one arm, and a 200/90 BP in the other would be more at risk than someone who had a 190/90 BP in one arm and a 195/90 BP in the other."

    But wouldn't both people be at high risk? If the 180 to 200 person is 10x the avg. risk the 190-195 is probably 9x. What about 110-130 vs 115-125?

    March 9, 2014 at 04:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. SteveF

    The problem with canned vegetables has never been the nutrient content. The problem is the sodium content.

    March 9, 2014 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.