Review Category : Health

Thirdhand Smoke Is the New Secondhand Smoke

iStock/Thinkstock(YORK, England) — Yes, there is such a thing as thirdhand tobacco smoke, and yes, it’s considered as dangerous as inhaling smoke, either firsthand or secondhand.

That’s according to various researchers, including Jacqueline Hamilton at the University of York, who maintains the danger of carcinogens from cigarettes doesn’t disappear when the last puff is drawn.

Hamilton maintains, “Non-smokers, especially children, are also at risk through contact with surfaces and dust contaminated with residual smoke gases and particles.”

Hamilton and her team collected dust samples of thirdhand smoke and discovered that the cancer risk exceeded the EPA recommended limit in 75 percent of smokers’ homes and in two-thirds of non-smokers’ home.

How did carcinogenic materials wind up in the homes of non-smokers?

Alastair Lewis of the National Center for Atmospheric Science explains it comes from shared contact with smokers, “for example between clothes and surfaces and also enter homes via airborne transport of cigarette smoke.”

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Thirdhand Smoke Is the New Secondhand Smoke

iStock/Thinkstock(YORK, England) — Yes, there is such a thing as thirdhand tobacco smoke, and yes, it’s considered as dangerous as inhaling smoke, either firsthand or secondhand.

That’s according to various researchers, including Jacqueline Hamilton at the University of York, who maintains the danger of carcinogens from cigarettes doesn’t disappear when the last puff is drawn.

Hamilton maintains, “Non-smokers, especially children, are also at risk through contact with surfaces and dust contaminated with residual smoke gases and particles.”

Hamilton and her team collected dust samples of thirdhand smoke and discovered that the cancer risk exceeded the EPA recommended limit in 75 percent of smokers’ homes and in two-thirds of non-smokers’ home.

How did carcinogenic materials wind up in the homes of non-smokers?

Alastair Lewis of the National Center for Atmospheric Science explains it comes from shared contact with smokers, “for example between clothes and surfaces and also enter homes via airborne transport of cigarette smoke.”

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Unsubstantiated Fears Thwart Organ Donations

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON, Ontario) — There are a number of reasons why people don’t want to register to become organ donors, including a concern that their doctors will be less committed to treating a life-threatening condition.

The ill-conceived logic is that physicians are somehow more interested in helping a patient in need of an organ transplant rather than the donor.

However, Alvin Ho-ting Li from Western University in London, Ontario, contends this fear is unjustified because in reality, doctors are more likely than the general public to be registered for organ and tissue donations, at least in Canada.

Li and his team found this out by going through multiple databases. As a result, he says, “showing that many physicians are registered for organ donation themselves could help dispel” the notion that doctors won’t do their all to save a registered donor who might be in grave condition.

In the U.S., there are 100 million people registered as organ, eye, and tissue donors in state donor registries, with 79 transplants performed daily. However, 18 people also die each day waiting for a transplant.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Unsubstantiated Fears Thwart Organ Donations

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON, Ontario) — There are a number of reasons why people don’t want to register to become organ donors, including a concern that their doctors will be less committed to treating a life-threatening condition.

The ill-conceived logic is that physicians are somehow more interested in helping a patient in need of an organ transplant rather than the donor.

However, Alvin Ho-ting Li from Western University in London, Ontario, contends this fear is unjustified because in reality, doctors are more likely than the general public to be registered for organ and tissue donations, at least in Canada.

Li and his team found this out by going through multiple databases. As a result, he says, “showing that many physicians are registered for organ donation themselves could help dispel” the notion that doctors won’t do their all to save a registered donor who might be in grave condition.

In the U.S., there are 100 million people registered as organ, eye, and tissue donors in state donor registries, with 79 transplants performed daily. However, 18 people also die each day waiting for a transplant.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Mother and Baby Beat Odds to Survive Cancer, Heart Defect

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Riki Graves seemed to have everything when she woke up on her 38th birthday in September 2013. She was eight weeks pregnant with her second child, in the best shape of her life and happier than ever. But later than day, she learned that a lump in her breast was cancerous.

Worse news would come at her 20-week ultrasound, when she found out that her baby girl would be born with life-threatening heart defects — if she survived the pregnancy.

“It was really scary,” said Graves, 38. She called her husband sobbing. “I could barely drive myself home.”

Graves remembered the anxious hospital visits that followed and how she knew the tests weren’t going well even before the doctors told her so. The heartbeats she heard on the machine didn’t sound right, she said. They sounded “squishy.”

“She was safe as long as she was inside me because my heart could pump for her, but her heart was getting worse and worse,” Graves said. “They weren’t sure if she was going to survive the pregnancy.”

The family moved from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Houston in March to be close to two hospitals: Texas Children’s Hospital, where doctors monitored the fetus’s heart condition and planned to operate as soon as the little girl was born, and MD Anderson Cancer Center, where Graves had already undergone a lumpectomy and planned to have radiation therapy after the birth.

Baby Juliana Graves was delivered by C-section April 9, one month early.

“When they delivered her, she grabbed the doctor’s coat,” Graves said. “That’s how I knew she was going to be a fighter.”

Doctors whisked Juliana away to evaluate her and soon realized that her heart was inoperable, according to Dr. William Dreyer, who directs the cardiac transplant program at Texas Children’s Hospital. It was too malformed and weak to withstand the complicated surgery.

“That was basically him telling you your baby’s not going to survive in a nice way,” Graves said of the news. “We were devastated…We just kind of broke down.”

Juliana’s name was added to the heart transplant waiting list on April 21, but Dreyer said the medical team was frank about the unlikelihood of finding a heart in time to save her.

Statistically, about 15 to 20 percent of all patients die before they get organs, he said. And even if Juliana got a new heart, there was a 25 to 30 percent chance she wouldn’t make it out of the hospital.

Juliana was very sick and heavily sedated as she waited, Graves said. Because her heart couldn’t pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of her body, her other organs began to fail, too. Her skin turned gray and her tiny feet were cold to the touch, Graves recalled.

“There were days when I just sat down and cried by her bedside,” she said. “We didn’t think we were going to get a heart. I would just tell her to fight for us and be strong. We were doing everything we can and that we loved her.”

Graves said her doctors reassured her that they would help her get pregnant again after her cancer treatments.

“I don’t want another baby,” she told them. “I just want this baby.”

Then at 4:30 a.m. April 26, Graves’s husband’s phone rang.

Juliana was getting a heart.

“I was so floored,” Graves said. “I was laughing and crying at the same time.”

They were at the hospital by 5 a.m. to start filling out paperwork, nipping into the intensive care unit to tell Juliana the good news — even if she couldn’t hear or understand it.

The transplant started at 5:30 that evening and took two medical teams.

Juliana’s new heart officially started beating at 1:18 a.m., Graves said.

It took months for Juliana’s body to recover from the damage of those first few weeks, which initially left her on a breathing tube. Meanwhile, Graves went back and forth across the street for radiation therapy.

But both mother and daughter persevered. Graves finished radiation, and Juliana’s health slowly returned.

“Any time you have a patient as sick as she was that has a good outcome, everyone is extremely pleased and happy for the family,” Dreyer said. “This is why we do what we do.”

Juliana finally left the hospital June 16. The family moved to Houston permanently to be closer to the hospital.

“The first time I held her was on Mother’s Day,” Graves said. “Now, she wants to be held all the time.

“We felt really fortunate that we were able to be at the best facility, with the best doctors,” she said. “Even when she was at her sickest, we were like nope. She’s a fighter.”

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Mother and Baby Beat Odds to Survive Cancer, Heart Defect

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Riki Graves seemed to have everything when she woke up on her 38th birthday in September 2013. She was eight weeks pregnant with her second child, in the best shape of her life and happier than ever. But later than day, she learned that a lump in her breast was cancerous.

Worse news would come at her 20-week ultrasound, when she found out that her baby girl would be born with life-threatening heart defects — if she survived the pregnancy.

“It was really scary,” said Graves, 38. She called her husband sobbing. “I could barely drive myself home.”

Graves remembered the anxious hospital visits that followed and how she knew the tests weren’t going well even before the doctors told her so. The heartbeats she heard on the machine didn’t sound right, she said. They sounded “squishy.”

“She was safe as long as she was inside me because my heart could pump for her, but her heart was getting worse and worse,” Graves said. “They weren’t sure if she was going to survive the pregnancy.”

The family moved from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Houston in March to be close to two hospitals: Texas Children’s Hospital, where doctors monitored the fetus’s heart condition and planned to operate as soon as the little girl was born, and MD Anderson Cancer Center, where Graves had already undergone a lumpectomy and planned to have radiation therapy after the birth.

Baby Juliana Graves was delivered by C-section April 9, one month early.

“When they delivered her, she grabbed the doctor’s coat,” Graves said. “That’s how I knew she was going to be a fighter.”

Doctors whisked Juliana away to evaluate her and soon realized that her heart was inoperable, according to Dr. William Dreyer, who directs the cardiac transplant program at Texas Children’s Hospital. It was too malformed and weak to withstand the complicated surgery.

“That was basically him telling you your baby’s not going to survive in a nice way,” Graves said of the news. “We were devastated…We just kind of broke down.”

Juliana’s name was added to the heart transplant waiting list on April 21, but Dreyer said the medical team was frank about the unlikelihood of finding a heart in time to save her.

Statistically, about 15 to 20 percent of all patients die before they get organs, he said. And even if Juliana got a new heart, there was a 25 to 30 percent chance she wouldn’t make it out of the hospital.

Juliana was very sick and heavily sedated as she waited, Graves said. Because her heart couldn’t pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of her body, her other organs began to fail, too. Her skin turned gray and her tiny feet were cold to the touch, Graves recalled.

“There were days when I just sat down and cried by her bedside,” she said. “We didn’t think we were going to get a heart. I would just tell her to fight for us and be strong. We were doing everything we can and that we loved her.”

Graves said her doctors reassured her that they would help her get pregnant again after her cancer treatments.

“I don’t want another baby,” she told them. “I just want this baby.”

Then at 4:30 a.m. April 26, Graves’s husband’s phone rang.

Juliana was getting a heart.

“I was so floored,” Graves said. “I was laughing and crying at the same time.”

They were at the hospital by 5 a.m. to start filling out paperwork, nipping into the intensive care unit to tell Juliana the good news — even if she couldn’t hear or understand it.

The transplant started at 5:30 that evening and took two medical teams.

Juliana’s new heart officially started beating at 1:18 a.m., Graves said.

It took months for Juliana’s body to recover from the damage of those first few weeks, which initially left her on a breathing tube. Meanwhile, Graves went back and forth across the street for radiation therapy.

But both mother and daughter persevered. Graves finished radiation, and Juliana’s health slowly returned.

“Any time you have a patient as sick as she was that has a good outcome, everyone is extremely pleased and happy for the family,” Dreyer said. “This is why we do what we do.”

Juliana finally left the hospital June 16. The family moved to Houston permanently to be closer to the hospital.

“The first time I held her was on Mother’s Day,” Graves said. “Now, she wants to be held all the time.

“We felt really fortunate that we were able to be at the best facility, with the best doctors,” she said. “Even when she was at her sickest, we were like nope. She’s a fighter.”

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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It Takes More than Practice to Make Perfect

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Practice improves performance, but it may not be enough to get you to the point of perfection.

That’s the conclusion of a joint study by researchers from Rice University, Princeton University and Michigan State University, who looked into why repeated practice by those in sports, the arts, education and other professions catapults only a limited number to the very top of their fields of endeavor.

On the upside, Fred Oswald, chair of psychology at Rice, says those who engage in structured activities created specifically to improve performance — that is, deliberate practice — tended “to perform at a higher level than people who practice less.”

Still, the meta-analysis of 88 previous studies that Oswald and his colleagues examined also determined that one’s basic abilities are just as important as deliberate practice.

The researchers did not discount the importance of practice because it does make nearly everyone better. Yet, being gifted as well is the variable that separates the exceptionally good from the merely very good.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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It Takes More than Practice to Make Perfect

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Practice improves performance, but it may not be enough to get you to the point of perfection.

That’s the conclusion of a joint study by researchers from Rice University, Princeton University and Michigan State University, who looked into why repeated practice by those in sports, the arts, education and other professions catapults only a limited number to the very top of their fields of endeavor.

On the upside, Fred Oswald, chair of psychology at Rice, says those who engage in structured activities created specifically to improve performance — that is, deliberate practice — tended “to perform at a higher level than people who practice less.”

Still, the meta-analysis of 88 previous studies that Oswald and his colleagues examined also determined that one’s basic abilities are just as important as deliberate practice.

The researchers did not discount the importance of practice because it does make nearly everyone better. Yet, being gifted as well is the variable that separates the exceptionally good from the merely very good.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Thirdhand Smoke Is the New Secondhand Smoke

iStock/Thinkstock(YORK, England) — Yes, there is such a thing as thirdhand tobacco smoke, and yes, it’s considered as dangerous as inhaling smoke, either firsthand or secondhand.

That’s according to various researchers, including Jacqueline Hamilton at the University of York, who maintains the danger of carcinogens from cigarettes doesn’t disappear when the last puff is drawn.

Hamilton maintains, “Non-smokers, especially children, are also at risk through contact with surfaces and dust contaminated with residual smoke gases and particles.”

Hamilton and her team collected dust samples of thirdhand smoke and discovered that the cancer risk exceeded the EPA recommended limit in 75 percent of smokers’ homes and in two-thirds of non-smokers’ home.

How did carcinogenic materials wind up in the homes of non-smokers?

Alastair Lewis of the National Center for Atmospheric Science explains it comes from shared contact with smokers, “for example between clothes and surfaces and also enter homes via airborne transport of cigarette smoke.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Unsubstantiated Fears Thwart Organ Donations

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON, Ontario) — There are a number of reasons why people don’t want to register to become organ donors, including a concern that their doctors will be less committed to treating a life-threatening condition.

The ill-conceived logic is that physicians are somehow more interested in helping a patient in need of an organ transplant rather than the donor.

However, Alvin Ho-ting Li from Western University in London, Ontario, contends this fear is unjustified because in reality, doctors are more likely than the general public to be registered for organ and tissue donations, at least in Canada.

Li and his team found this out by going through multiple databases. As a result, he says, “showing that many physicians are registered for organ donation themselves could help dispel” the notion that doctors won’t do their all to save a registered donor who might be in grave condition.

In the U.S., there are 100 million people registered as organ, eye, and tissue donors in state donor registries, with 79 transplants performed daily. However, 18 people also die each day waiting for a transplant.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →