Being unable to provide themselves with food, follow medication schedules and maintain homes are growing problems for the elderly, according to HHS. Public health news is on epilepsy, breastfeeding, obesity, risks of parabens, sugary drinks, rare childhood cancer, teen depression, skin lightening, miscarriages, longevity and exercise, heart disease symptoms in women, and stroke recovery, as well.
The Wall Street Journal: Growing Risk To America’s Seniors: Themselves
Rising numbers of older adults are unable to care for themselves, often leading to serious health problems and even death, according to state and local government agencies. So-called self-neglect cases generally involve the inability to perform essential self-care, such as providing oneself with food, shelter, personal hygiene, medication and safety precautions. Seniors who no longer drive, for example, are often unable to get to medical appointments, exacerbating health problems that can render them incapable of caring for themselves. A fall can result in a hip fracture leaving one bedridden and unable to care for oneself. Failure to pay bills for the phone or other utilities could lead to service cutoffs. Forgetting to pay rent could lead to the loss of a home. (Hayashi, 2/11)
The Associated Press: Epilepsy Treatment Side Effect: New Insights About The Brain
Though Genette Hofmann is still using her brain, last month she donated a bit of it — to science. Hofmann needed the surgery — her Seattle surgeon was looking deep into her brain, where he found the trigger for the epileptic seizures that had disrupted her life for 30 years. But to get there, he teased out a bit of healthy tissue the size of a lima bean, and with her blessing quickly sent it to some researchers, who were eager to study brain cells while they were still alive. (2/11)
NPR: Why Breastfeeding Rates Are Lower Among Black Moms
To explain the persistence of lower rates of breastfeeding among black mothers, we should look to systemic and historic factors rather than individual choice. That’s the argument of Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice (Stanford University Press) by law professor Andrea Freeman, which provides in-depth historical, socioeconomic and legal context that sheds new light on black motherhood. (July, 2/11)
The New York Times: Combining Aerobics And Weights Tied To Optimal Weight Control
To stave off obesity, we might want to both stride and lift, according to an important, large-scale new study of how different types of exercise affect the incidence of obesity in America. The study, which involved health records for almost 1.7 million men and women, indicates that people who exercise in almost any way are less likely to be obese than those who are sedentary. But the study also finds that the odds of being normal weight are greatest for those who complete both aerobic exercise and weight training, at least occasionally. (Reynolds, 2/12)
Reuters: Mother’s Beauty Products Might Impact Girls’ Weight Gain
Mothers who use beauty products containing chemicals known as parabens during pregnancy may be more likely to have overweight daughters, a small study suggests. Babies tended to be heavier at birth, and more likely to become overweight by age 8, when mothers used makeup, lotions and other common beauty products containing parabens while pregnant, the study found. One of these chemicals, butylparaben, was associated with excess weight only in girls. (2/11)
The New York Times: Sugary Drink Consumption Plunges In Chile After New Food Law
Four years after Chile embraced the world’s most sweeping measures to combat mounting obesity, a partial verdict on their effectiveness is in: Chileans are drinking a lot fewer sugar-laden beverages, according to study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine. Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks dropped nearly 25 percent in the 18 months after Chile adopted a raft of regulations that included advertising restrictions on unhealthy foods, bold front-of-package warning labels and a ban on junk food in schools. (Jacobs, 2/11)
CNN: Three Young Brothers Are Fighting The Same Rare Childhood Cancer
Three brothers, none of them older than 5, are battling the same type of rare childhood cancer. Aaron and Angie Rush have three boys — Tristen, 5, Caison, 3, and Carter, 7 months — and all have been diagnosed with retinoblastoma. (Hughes, 2/11)
CNN: Keep Your Teen Moving To Reduce Risk Of Depression, Study Says
Science shows moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise is good for us — it improves sleep; lowers blood pressure; protects against heart disease, diabetes and cancer; reduces stress; boosts mood; and fights anxiety and depression. It’s especially important in adolescence, where the first signs of depression often begin, studies show. But unless your child is an athlete, it can be tough to wean them away from social media and the ever-present screen to swim laps or go for a blood-pumping jog. (LaMotte, 2/11)
MPR: Redefining Beauty: Advocates Work To Make Skin Lightening A Public Health Issue
Amira Adawe is on a mission to ensure those who are black and brown love the skin they’re in. This week, the state recognized Adawe’s work and awarded her nonprofit, The BeautyWell Project, a $55,000 grant to continue educating communities of color about the negative health effects of using products to lighten their skin. The grant was one of four allocated by the state Health Department to help communities begin to talk about the often taboo topic as a public health issue. (Zehn, 2/11)
NBC News: Many Miscarriages Are Still A Mystery. A New Test Could Give Women Faster Answers.
While miscarriages occur in up to a quarter of known pregnancies — and about 1 percent of women experience three or more miscarriages — it is rare for patients to learn the reason why. Chromosomal abnormalities are by far the most common cause, but genetic tests on fetal tissue cost thousands of dollars, and results can take weeks. In most cases, genetic testing is not even offered until a patient has had three or more miscarriages. Advances in rapid genetic testing may change that. By combining several new technologies, Dr. Zev Williams, director of the Columbia University Fertility Center in New York, has developed what he says is a faster, cheaper method to test fetal tissue for genetic abnormalities. (Chuck, 2/10)
CNN: Good News For Trump: Playing Golf May Help Older Adults Live Longer, Study Says
President Trump has spent more than 260 days at one of his golf clubs during his first three years in office as of February 2, according to CNN’s tally. Now he can rest easy knowing that time hasn’t gone to waste, according to preliminary research, which found that playing golf at least once a month can lower older adults’ risk of premature death. (Rogers, 2/12)
CBS News: Women Face Some Unique Risks For Heart Disease. Here Are Symptoms To Look Out For.
Heart disease is typically thought of as a male disease, but it’s also the leading cause of death for women, killing nearly 420,000 women in the U.S. each year. Understanding the risk can help women take steps to protect their health. The most common sign or symptom of heart disease is chest pain — but that’s not always the case for women, explains CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula, who is a cardiologist. (McNamara, 2/11)
ABC News: Mindfulness Helps Obese Children Lose Weight And Decrease Anxiety: Study
There may be a new secret ingredient to the tried and true methods of diet and exercise for weight loss. A new study has shown that mindfulness can aid in weight loss for obese children who also have anxiety. “Childhood obesity not only leads to chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, it also leads to poor self-esteem and depression,” said Dr. Mona Degan, a primary care physician practicing in Los Angeles. (Safai, 2/11)
CNN: Being An Optimist Will Help Recovery After Stroke, Study Says
Having a stroke is no laughing matter. But if you can stay optimistic about your recovery, a new study says you may be able to speed up your healing and reduce disability. Higher levels of optimism in stroke survivors was associated with reduced stroke severity, less physical disability and lower levels of inflammation at the end of three months, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s 2020 International Stroke Conference on Wednesday. (LaMotte, 2/12)
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