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5 studies you may have missed
February 7th, 2014
09:18 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, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Yogurt may lower diabetes risk
Journal: Diabetologia

Type 2 diabetes is a big public health problem. According to the World Health Organization, 347 million people worldwide have diabetes, and 90% of those cases are type 2, which is associated with excess body weight and physical inactivity.

A new study by University of Cambridge researchers looks to yogurt as a possible means of prevention.

Scientists examined dietary records from 753 people who developed type 2 diabetes during an 11-year period. They compared that data with eating habits of 3,500 healthy people from the same population. Participants were part of a large study in Norfolk, England.

They found a 28% decreased risk of diabetes in people who chowed down on low-fat yogurt at least four times a week, compared to people who did not eat yogurt.

This study does not prove that yogurt directly protects against diabetes or causes any outcomes. But Forbes notes that yogurt does have ingredients associated with good health: calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and fatty acids. More research is needed to confirm these findings.

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5 studies you may have missed
January 31st, 2014
07:28 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, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Two stressed-out people are better than one
Journal: Social Psychological and Personality Science

As much as you want to appear calm, cool and collected in front of your colleagues, sharing the stress of an upcoming presentation may help you chill.

Researchers at the USC Marshall School of Business asked 52 female undergraduate students to pair off and share their feelings about giving an upcoming speech. The scientists measured each student's level of the stress hormone cortisol before, during and after the speech.
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5 studies you may have missed
January 24th, 2014
08:51 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, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Sunlight may lower blood pressure
Journal: Journal of Investigative Dermatology

Going outside and embracing the sun may come with unexpected health benefits, a new study suggests. But don't get so much direct exposure that you risk skin cancer.

Researchers looked at the benefits of radiation from the sun. Volunteers received a dose of ultraviolet-A radiation in a laboratory that was equivalent to being in the sun for 30 minutes in summertime in Southern Europe. FULL POST


Guns in home increase suicide, homicide risk
January 20th, 2014
05:05 PM ET

Guns in home increase suicide, homicide risk

Proponents of stricter gun laws have another headline to bolster their efforts: Access to firearms in the home increases the risk of violent death.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, in a review of previous studies published Monday, found strong evidence for increased odds of suicide and moderate evidence for increased odds of homicide victimization among people who keep guns at home.

Firearm ownership is more common in the United States (upwards of one-third of households) than in any other country – and firearms cause more than 31,000 deaths a year here, according to the review. Further, the annual rate of suicide by firearms in America is higher than in any other country with reported data; the annual rate of firearm-related homicides in America is the highest among high-income countries. FULL POST


5 studies you may have missed
January 17th, 2014
12:28 PM ET

5 studies you may have missed

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

Drink up - you'll remember it later
Journal: Nature Neuroscience

If you're worried that drinking alcohol is hastening your memory loss, fear not. A new study suggests any caffeine you inhale the morning after will have the opposite effect.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University gave study participants 100 to 300 milligrams of caffeine after they looked at some images. Twenty-four hours later, those who got 200 or 300 milligrams of caffeine remembered the images better than participants who took a placebo.

The researchers concluded that caffeine can help strengthen our long-term memories.

Read more from The Atlantic

We may live longer because our metabolism sucks
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Guess the monkeys will have to give up those bananas after all. An international team of scientists has discovered that primates burn about half the calories other mammals burn on a daily basis.

While the study was done on primates, researchers believe the findings translate to humans as well.

"The results were a real surprise," said lead study author Herman Pontzer, an anthropologist at Hunter College in New York. "To put that in perspective, a human – even someone with a very physically active lifestyle – would need to run a marathon each day just to approach the average daily energy expenditure of (another) mammal their size."

The researchers believe this slow metabolic rate may be the reason primates, including humans, live much longer than, say, dogs or hamsters. When the body expends energy, it ages. So slow growth may be linked to a long life.

Read more from Smithsonian Magazine

Stand up. We're serious this time
American Journal of Preventive Medicine

You've heard before that sitting all day is killing you. This study provides more evidence to back up that claim.

Researchers examined data from more than 92,000 postmenopausal American women. Those who reported more than 11 hours of sedentary time each day died earlier than peers who only reported four hours of inactivity. The sedentary group increased their risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and cancer by 13%, 27% and 21%, respectively, according to the study authors.

“In general, a use it-or-lose it philosophy applies,” said lead study author Rebecca Seguin. “We have a lot of modern conveniences and technologies that, while making us more efficient, also lead to decreased activity and diminished ability to do things. Women need to find ways to remain active.”

Read more from Cornell University

Choose wisely before giving birth
Journal: BMJ Open

Having a kid is expensive, but HOW expensive really depends on which hospital you choose, this study suggests.

Researchers analyzed the cost of more than 109,000 uncomplicated, vaginal and Caesarean section deliveries that took place in California hospitals in 2011. They found the cost for a vaginal birth can range anywhere from $3,296 to $37,227 and C-sections could cost you anywhere from $8,312 to $70,908.

The differences in price were "not well explained by observable patient or hospital characteristics," the study authors wrote.

Read more from Health.com

Don't name your kids Jayden, Jason and Jamie
Journal: PLOS ONE

Did your mom or dad accidentally call you by your sibling's name a lot as a kid? Did you feel like they loved your brother or sister more?

Psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin have learned it's not a Freudian slip that makes parents mistakenly call the wrong child's name. Couples with children whose names sound alike, either at the beginning or the end - think Amanda and Samantha - are more likely to make the switch.

It's all part of the brain's information-retrieval process, says lead study author Zenzi Griffin, and is more likely to happen if the siblings are closer in age or look alike.

Just be glad you weren't one of the 20 respondents who said they were called by the name of the family pet.

Read more from ScienceDaily


5 studies you may have missed
January 10th, 2014
01:53 PM 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, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

1. Surgical glue may mend broken hearts
Journal: Science Translational Medicine

Doctors see a huge unmet need for better adhesives in medicine, says Jeff Karp, co-director of the Center for Regenerative Therapeutics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The current options include sutures, which can be time-consuming to insert, and staples, which can do significant damage.

Karp and colleagues wanted to develop a better adhesive solution for babies with congenital heart defects who require surgery. To create an adhesive that would work on a beating heart in the presence of blood, a material would have to be biodegradable, elastic and nontoxic.

Researchers turned to nature for answers, observing how creatures such as sandcastle worms and spiders "have secretions that enable them to attach to wet surfaces," Karp said.

FULL POST


5 studies you may have missed
January 3rd, 2014
11:05 AM ET

5 studies you may have missed

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

Novice drivers susceptible to distractions
Journal: New England Journal of Medicine

Drivers put themselves at higher risk of crashing when they're multitasking, especially if they're new to driving, a new study finds.

Researchers found that when a novice driver dials a cell phone, he or she is eight times more likely to be involved in a crash or near-wreck than an alert teenage driver would be otherwise. An adult dialing a cell phone is 2.5 times more likely to get involved in a crash or near-crash than an alert adult who is not dialing.

"All drivers, but especially novice drivers, need to keep their eyes on the forward roadway to reduce their crash risk," said Charlie Klauer, research scientist at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, in an e-mail.

FULL POST


5 studies you may have missed
Researchers found a connection between head trauma and brain plaques linked to Alzheimer's.
December 27th, 2013
08:29 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, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

1. A shock to make you forget
Journal: Nature Neuroscience

We all have memories of experiences we'd rather not look back on, which trigger strong emotions when we reflect on them. Scientists demonstrated in a small study that electricity may be able to manipulate what we remember, although it's not clear if the technique would work with personal memories.

In this experiment, 42 people with severe depression watched two narrated slideshows describing unpleasant stories. A week later, they had to remember one of the stories after viewing part of a relevant slide they had seen before. Then, some participants received electroconvulsive therapy and had to recall both stories when they woke up from anesthesia. Others got tested 24 hours later, and a third group did not receive electroconvulsive therapy.

Those tested 24 hours after the shock treatment showed a curious pattern: They could not remember the story they had been prompted to recall right before the electroconvulsive therapy.

“I think it’s interesting as a proof of concept, but I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be a robust treatment because it’s so invasive,” psychologist Elizabeth Phelps told TIME.com.

Read more from TIME.com FULL POST


5 studies you may have missed
December 6th, 2013
12:51 PM 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, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

We’re ‘woefully unprepared’ for dementia
Report released by Alzheimer’s Disease International

More than 130 million people worldwide will have dementia by 2050, according to a report released ahead of the G8 Dementia Summit being held in London next week. And the majority of those people will live in low- and middle-income countries.

“The absence of dementia public policy renders governments woefully unprepared for the dementia epidemic,” write the authors of the report. “There is an urgent need for a collaborative, global action plan for governments, industry and non-profit organisations.”

The advocates say research on the debilitating disease needs to be made a global priority.

Read more from TIME.com

FULL POST


CDC: 6% of teens take psychotropic drugs
December 4th, 2013
09:03 AM ET

CDC: 6% of teens take psychotropic drugs

The debate around adolescents and psychotropic drug use may be quieted - ever so slightly - by new data.

More than 6% of adolescents reported using psychotropic medications during the past month, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Six percent is pretty much what I would expect for the prescription of psychotropic medications based on what we know about new disorders and how prevalent they would be among adolescents," said Bruce Jonas, a mental health epidemiologist with the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC, who compiled the data.

Psychotropic medications are used to alter the mood, behavior or overall functioning of persons with certain mental health conditions. FULL POST


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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.

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