5 studies you may have missed
Go ahead, buy that sports car. Research shows mid-life crises are real.
March 21st, 2014
07:19 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.

Probiotics can help preschoolers
Journal: Pediatrics

You've probably heard that taking probiotics - live bacteria commonly found in your gut - can help boost your digestive health. Now scientists have shown that probiotics may help young children as well.

Researchers enrolled more than 300 children at day care centers in Mexico in a double-blind study. Half of the kids received a daily dose of probiotics; the other half received a daily placebo.

They found that the probiotics significantly reduced the number of times - and the duration of - the kids' diarrhea episodes. The live bacteria also helped prevent respiratory tract infections.

Read more from Medscape.com

Mid-life crises DO exist
Published by The Institute for the Study of Labor

Social economists say the life cycle of human happiness is U-shaped. We're really happy when we're young, and happy again when we're old. That low point in the middle? We call it a mid-life crisis.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia tracked the happiness levels of thousands of people in Australia, Britain and Germany over multiple decades. They found people in all three countries were unhappiest between the ages of 40 and 42.

So go ahead and buy yourself that sports car - science has proven you need it.

Genes matter when eating fried food
British Medical Journal

While fried pickles and French fries aren't healthy for anyone, some people are more likely to gain weight while eating them than others.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School say study participants who ate fried food at least four times a week weighed more, on average, than those who didn't. No duh, right? Well the people who ate fried food and carried 10 known obesity risk genes were two points heavier on the BMI scale than those without the risky genes.

While the difference seems small, those two points could move you from the "normal weight BMI category to the "overweight" category.

Bottom line? Genetics matter. But what you eat matters more.

Read more on NPR.org

You should be able to hear me now
Journal: Ear and Hearing

"What?" If you find yourself repeating this word a lot in conversation, listen closely. A study done in the United Kingdom found only one-fifth of people with hearing problems use hearing aids.

The study authors analyzed data from 160,000 people in the UK aged 40 to 69 years. It found 10% of middle-aged adults had trouble hearing speech in the presence of background noise, but just 2% used a hearing aid.

"There still seems to be a stigma attached to wearing a hearing aid, where as there is little stigma now associated with vision loss and wearing spectacles," Kevin Munro, an audiology professor at The University of Manchester, said in a statement. That might be because eye care involves lifestyle choices and is available without the need to see a doctor, he said.

Delivering your baby underwater isn't OK
New recommendations from AAP and ACOG

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are warning mothers to stay away from water births.

The professional organizations say undergoing the first few stages of labor in a birthing pool may offer advantages, such as decreased pain and shorter labor time. But delivering the baby underwater has no proven benefit to the mother or the baby, the organizations say, and can pose serious - sometimes fatal - health risks.

It's not known how many women in the United States choose a water birth. Complications can include infection, difficulty controlling the baby's body temperature, a greater risk of umbilical cord damage and/or breathing problems.

Read more from U.S. News & World Report

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Kornatoski

    Please tell the wife I really need that new Corvette! (she won't believe me)

    March 21, 2014 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
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      March 24, 2014 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      It's just a big phallic symbol to compensate for your lack of performance. First get some Viagra.

      March 27, 2014 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
  2. some good advice

    Dude, go for a classic '69 Stingray and have some class. Otherwise, it just looks like you're compensating. If you choose an automatic transmission, you are compensating for deficits in everything.

    Have fun and we'll race when you're ready.

    March 21, 2014 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob Brown

      Why would *anybody* buy a car with a slush-box, I mean automatic transmission?

      March 23, 2014 at 03:15 | Report abuse |
  3. James

    Regarding hearing aids... I'm sure most people who need them don't have them NOT because of stigma, but because of expense. They're 3 to 5 times as much as glasses, and health insurance policies that will share the expense are almost non-existent. I need them myself, but just can't afford them.

    March 21, 2014 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jill

      Thank you! Agreed!

      March 22, 2014 at 21:42 | Report abuse |
  4. mickinmd

    "So go ahead and buy yourself that sports car – science has proven you need it."

    It's ridiculous to think that the sports car is going to do anything but mask and potentially worsen the deeper psychological problems that induced you to buy it at age 40 – unless it helps you develop a long-term relationship with a hot 20 year old.
    So don't put words in the mouths of us scientists and say "science has proven you need it." No, science can better prove that reporters won't let truth get in the way of a good story.

    March 22, 2014 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. MGW

    Get the sportscar in your twenties or early thirties, then no one can say you're having a mid-life crisis in your forties by having one.

    March 22, 2014 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Relictus

      It might take till you are forty something to pay it off =)

      March 24, 2014 at 22:39 | Report abuse |
    • Lojack

      And when you're single so it will help you get babes!

      March 27, 2014 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
  6. zach

    Bought a Camaro ZL1 on my fortieth and that's about the only thing I look forward to.. So in my case this little story rings true.

    March 22, 2014 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. KieranH

    Yeah my father-in-law at age 60 divorces his wife of 30 years, nails a woman 15 years younger, and has 2 kids. The kids will be 20 and he will be 80. Brilliant!

    March 23, 2014 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daniela

      Sorry to hear this...and that you had to go through this (and your mother)

      March 23, 2014 at 10:49 | Report abuse |
  8. idiotusmaximus

    They found people in all three countries were unhappiest between the ages of 40 and 42.....

    I THINK THAT'S GOT A LOT TO DO WITH PEOPLE LYING TO THEMSELVES...mid-life is.the time when they have to get real about what living is and that its not forever and the things they thought because they never really thought in the first place have to be shifted into the REAL REALITY that they are on the way out now so they can finally afford to get honest....that's why many older people are very BLUNT about what they say.

    March 23, 2014 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ryan

    Great. I turn 40 next week.

    March 23, 2014 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Judy

    I think the mid-life crises must only happen to married people, the best times of my life (so far) were from 38-48 I was single, successful, and confident and most single people I know are at their best at that time of life as well.

    March 24, 2014 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Relictus

      If this is the best time of my life, I am in serious trouble :.(

      March 24, 2014 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
  11. Jonathan L.

    It is definitely true. I have been in a mid-life crisis since I turned 40. I cannot believe that I had turned 40. I became extremely depressed. Now I am pushing 50 and it has not got better. It is much worse. How can I be turning 50? I still feel like I am 23 and still want to date 20 and 30 somethings. I am not attracted to anyone over 40. Mid like crisis's are very real for men and very depressing.

    March 24, 2014 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Relictus

      For what it's worth, women today are such basket-cases that even miserable solitude is a better deal.

      March 24, 2014 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
  12. Jubei

    It's not the car. These guys who have midlife crisis are comparing their 40-50 year old wives to 18-28 year old women. They see the new shiny model and look at the old worn out model and just like the car analogy, want that shiny smooth fast sleek model. Thats my guess.

    March 24, 2014 at 13:38 | 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.