Review Category : Health

The Secret to a Lasting Marriage Is a Wife’s Happiness, Study Says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers are backing up the old adage, “Happy wife, happy life,” with a new study that says a wife’s happiness is more crucial than the husband’s in maintaining a lasting marriage.

The more content the wife is, the happier the husband will be with his life, no matter his feelings on the union, according to researchers at Rutgers University and the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

“I think it comes down to the fact that when a wife is satisfied with the marriage she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on his life,” said Deborah Carr, a professor at Rutgers’ Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Science.

“Men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives.”

The study analyzed the feelings of both spouses to determine a marriages’ influence on adults’ psychological well-being, asking questions on whether partners appreciates each other, gets on one another’s nerves, or understand each other.

Researchers examined nearly 400 couples who participated in a national study of income, health, and disability in 2009. On average, couples were married for 39 years.

While husbands rated their marriage slightly more positive than their wives, both usually said their general life satisfaction was high. Still, researchers found that wives became less happy if their spouses were sick, while husbands’ happiness levels did not change if the roles were reversed.

The study’s lead authors said results showed the impact marriage quality bears on health and well-being as couples age.

“The quality of a marriage is important because it provides a buffer against the health-depleting effects of later life stressors and helps couples manage difficult decisions regarding health and medical decision making,” Carr added.

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The Secret to a Lasting Marriage Is a Wife’s Happiness, Study Says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers are backing up the old adage, “Happy wife, happy life,” with a new study that says a wife’s happiness is more crucial than the husband’s in maintaining a lasting marriage.

The more content the wife is, the happier the husband will be with his life, no matter his feelings on the union, according to researchers at Rutgers University and the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

“I think it comes down to the fact that when a wife is satisfied with the marriage she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on his life,” said Deborah Carr, a professor at Rutgers’ Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Science.

“Men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives.”

The study analyzed the feelings of both spouses to determine a marriages’ influence on adults’ psychological well-being, asking questions on whether partners appreciates each other, gets on one another’s nerves, or understand each other.

Researchers examined nearly 400 couples who participated in a national study of income, health, and disability in 2009. On average, couples were married for 39 years.

While husbands rated their marriage slightly more positive than their wives, both usually said their general life satisfaction was high. Still, researchers found that wives became less happy if their spouses were sick, while husbands’ happiness levels did not change if the roles were reversed.

The study’s lead authors said results showed the impact marriage quality bears on health and well-being as couples age.

“The quality of a marriage is important because it provides a buffer against the health-depleting effects of later life stressors and helps couples manage difficult decisions regarding health and medical decision making,” Carr added.

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Study Reveals That Peer Pressure Is Not the Only Reason Teens Have Sex

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study said that peer pressure is not necessarily the primary reason why teens have sex, but rather, the belief that their fellow teenagers are doing so.

The review, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review indicated that the most important factor in teenagers opting to have sex at such a young age is that they think their peers are doing so as well. The review looked at data from multiple studies including over 50,000 teens.

Researchers indicate that the data could provide “important implications” for dealing with teenage sexual behavior.

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Two Women Receive Experimental Ebola Vaccine in Trial

iStock/Thinkstock(BETHESDA, Md.) — The first two doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine have been injected into human subjects in the National Institutes of Health’s fast-tracked clinical trial.

A 39-year-old woman was the first person to receive the vaccine, which had previously only been tested in monkeys. She received the injection Tuesday at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, agency officials said. A 27-year-old woman was given the shot Friday, officials said.

The trial will test the safety of the vaccine, which was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It was expedited by the burgeoning Ebola outbreak in West Africa, where more than 1,900 people have died from the infection, according to the World Health Organization.

The vaccine, which is designed to prevent Ebola, is different from the experimental drug ZMapp, which is designed to treat the infection.

“There is an urgent need for a protective Ebola vaccine, and it is important to establish that a vaccine is safe and spurs the immune system to react in a way necessary to protect against infection,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH, said in a statement Thursday.

Though the vaccine has “performed extremely well” in primate studies, Fauci said, this is the first time it has been tested in humans.

The phase 1 clinical trial will involve 20 men and women between the ages of 18 and 50, according to the NIH. Researchers will use the study to determine whether the vaccine is safe and see whether it prompts an immune response necessary to protect against Ebola.

No human subjects will be infected with Ebola, officials said.

A $4.7 million grant will also go toward additional Ebola vaccine trials in September at Oxford University in England, as well as centers in Gambia and Mali, according to GlaxoSmithKline. In all, 140 patients will be tested.

Though Ebola was discovered nearly 40 years ago, it was so rare that drug manufacturers weren’t interested in investing in finding a vaccine for it, said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Its rarity also made it impossible for scientists to conduct field studies.

“There’s always the layperson’s query of ‘Why don’t they rush this?’ ‘Why don’t these guys work a little later at night?'” Schaffner told ABC News in July. “It’s a little more complicated than that.”

GlaxoSmithKline became involved in the Ebola vaccine because it bought Swiss vaccine company Okairos AG in 2013. Okairos, originally a Merck spinoff, had been working on the vaccine with the NIH since 2011, a GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman told ABC News.

Fauci said in July that it would take until late 2015 for a vaccine — if successful — to be administered to a limited number of health workers, but GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement this week that the grant will also enable it to manufacture 10,000 doses of the vaccine while the trials are ongoing. If the vaccine trials are successful, it will be able to make stocks available immediately to the World Health Organization.

The NIH said it should have initial data from the trial in late 2014.

The trial for a different vaccine is set to begin at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. This vaccine was a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Defense and Iowa pharmaceutical company NewLink Genetics Corp.

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Oscar Pistorius’ Disability Could Be Factor in Sentence, Experts Say

Jemal Countess/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) — When the judge presiding over Oscar Pistorius’ case begins sentencing hearings next month, experts said that the paralympian’s disability could be a factor in whether he gets the maximum 15 years in prison or a much lighter sentence, even no prison at all.

Pistorius was cleared of murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but convicted Friday of culpable homicide — roughly equivalent to manslaughter — and discharging a gun in a public area.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, who will decide on Pistorius’ sentence, set Oct. 13 for the hearings to begin. The maximum sentence for culpable homicide is 15 years.

“There is no prescribed sentence for culpable homicide in South African law. The sentence can be decided at the discretion of the judge based on the weight of evidence and circumstances surrounding the incident,” veteran defense lawyer Gordon Scheepers told ABC News.

“The circumstances in this case include the fact that Pistorius is a double amputee, who, according to all indications, has a fragile mental state,” Scheepers said.

A psychiatrist who has examined Pistorius said the paralympian known as the Blade Runner was being treated for depression and that he was in danger of becoming suicidal if he couldn’t continue his treatment.

If Masipa decides to send Pistorius to prison, he will not be the only disabled person to be incarcerated. Convicted rightwing killer Phil Kloppers, who is a wheelchair-bound paraplegic, was released earlier this year from the Leeuwkop Prison in Johannesburg, South Africa after spending 20 years behind bars.

Criminology professor Anni Hesselink, who regularly visits detainees in jail, told ABC News that there are several disabled prisoners in Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru II prison.

“One male inmate has an amputated leg and, as far as I have been able to establish, he has never complained about the treatment he has received in prison,” Hesselink said.

South Africa’s prisons are notoriously overcrowded and violent places, but the nature of Pistorius’ disability, and his vulnerable mental state, could afford him some extra protection.

“Pistorius’s prosthetic legs could be deemed potentially dangerous weapons. His celebrity status could also could make him the target of attacks, threats or extortion,” said Hesselink, adding that “this could mean that Pistorius will likely be kept largely separate from other prisoners.”

Scheepers said authorities would be careful not to be seen to be giving Pistorius special privileges, but his high-profile reputation would inevitably play a part.

“I think high-profile cases are more susceptible to special treatment because both the system itself gives them more attention and there’s more scrutiny to how they’re treated from outside,” he said.

Potentially difficult for an elite athlete who followed a meticulously balanced diet, Pistorius could be forced to live off prison meals made up often of little more than ground corn, stews and low-quality meat, although his disability may also mean he can request a special diet.

The Department of Correctional Services said in a statement this week that prisoners with disabilities could be entitled to separate rooms depending on the vulnerability caused by the disability.

“Inmates are accommodated in line with their type of disability. However, each case is based on its own merits,” said the department. The risk of the disabled inmate and his or her needs must be assessed within six hours of admission to prison.

Disabled prisoners are also given a chance of being granted medical parole.

Pistorius was born with fibular hemimelia, or the congenital absence of the fibula in both legs. When he was 11-months old, doctors amputated both legs below the knee.

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World Health Organization Needs More Ebola Health Workers

iStock/Thinkstock(GENEVA) — The World Health Organization (WHO) is asking for assistance from additional health workers as the Ebola death toll rises to 2,400 people out of 4,784 cases.

During a news conference in Geneva Friday, WHO director general Margaret Chan called for an unprecedented emergency response.

Libera, Sierra Leone and Guinea have the most desperate Ebola health situations.

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Enterovirus Hits Special School for Kids with Asthma

Photodisc/Thinkstock(DENVER) — Enterovirus 68 has been sweeping through schools in 11 states this week. But a special school in Denver for mostly asthmatic children has been battling the rare virus for weeks — they just didn’t know what it was called.

About 20 percent of Morgridge Academy’s 84 students have contracted the respiratory illness that leaves asthmatic children wheezing, according to the school’s head nurse, Amy Schouten. Two of them were hospitalized, she said.

“That was before we had a name for the virus,” Schouten said, adding that none of the cases are confirmed, but they all seem to have the telltale symptoms of enterovirus 68.

Colorado is among nearly a dozen states to have confirmed cases of the rare enterovirus that starts out like the common cold but can quickly turn serious — especially in children with asthma.

Morgridge Academy is a school for chronically ill children from kindergarten through eighth grade on National Jewish Health’s campus in Denver, Colorado. Most of the children have severe asthma, Schouten said.

The children returned to school on Aug. 18. And while it’s not unusual for a cold to go around at the beginning of the year, this year’s bug was especially severe, Schouten said.

“We assumed it was just a first-of-the-school-year illness,” she said. “Kids come in and start getting to know each other. They share everything. Not just crayons and pencils but germs.”

But this year, students would come into school feeling fine, but by lunchtime they would need to go home with a fever, or to the hospital with breathing problems, Schouten said. Then, they would miss between four and six days of school.

For kids already used to carrying around albuterol inhalers, enterovirus is just another hurdle to jump, Schouten said.

“We do watch them like a hawk anyway,” Schouten said, adding that school staff members are sticklers for hand-washing. “We have been constantly getting on the kids about covering their coughs and their sneezes, preferably into their elbows.”

They’ve reminded children to take their regular medication on time, and to speak up when they don’t feel well.

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Depressed People Should Not Avoid Work

iStock/Thinkstock(MELBOURNE, Australia) — Sure, work can be depressing at times but the reasons for depression may be far more than just having a nagging boss.

And while no one wants to minimize the seriousness of this particular form of mental illness, researchers from University of Melbourne and the University of Tasmania believe one of the worst things depressed people can do is avoid going to work.

They point out that work has certain health benefits such as maintaining daily routines and receiving support from co-workers “while depression-related absence from work offers no significant improvement in employee health outcomes or quality of life.”

Employers should also be aware that depression-related absences cost them money as well, especially if they have to replace a chronically absent worker.

As a result, the researchers strongly recommend that employers institute strategies to assist those suffering from depression such as “offering flexible work-time and modification of tasks or working environment.”

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Hospitals Going Overboard on Dispensing Antibiotics

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — If one antibiotic is effective in knocking out an infection, can several at once do the job even better?

That seems to be the prevailing attitude in a lot of hospitals these days but a new first-of-its kind study warns that doctors should pull back from prescribing multiple antibiotics because they might wind up being useless overkill.

According to Dr. Arjun Srinivasan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other researchers, about 75 percent of 500 hospitals studied kept patients on more than one antibiotic for more than two days even when additional medications are supposed to be dropped once an infection is identified.

The study also pointed to almost two dozen antibiotic combinations that should be rarely if ever used, even before doctors start them on patients.

Among the drawbacks of needless multiple antibiotics are side-effects such as diarrhea, not to mention that they all drive up hospital costs.

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Fat Shaming Has No Upsides

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Just the term “fat shaming” alone should tip people off that it’s not the right thing to do around those who are overweight or obese. Yet, some people will go ahead anyway and make those with weight problems feel bad about themselves under the mistaken impression that it will somehow motivate them to go on a diet.

Jane Wardle, director of the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Centre at University College London, says that five percent of the 3,000 participants she interviewed for her study have experienced fat shaming. In fact, some were even berated by their own physicians.

Tracking their attempts at losing weight, Wardle found that those who dealt with discrimination gained an average of two pounds over a four-year period while others who escaped harassment shed a pound-and-a-half.

Study researcher Sarah Jackson adds that fat shaming can lead to constant eating and a lack of interest in exercising due to embarrassment.

While there was no definitive cause-and-effect linking fat shaming to weight gain, a 2013 study showed that people who are discriminated against because of their girth are two-and-a-half times more likely to become obese.

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