Review Category : Health

Medical and Science Community Could Take a Blow from Trump’s Immigration Order

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Several members of the science and medical communities are warning that Donald Trump’s executive order to largely ban travelers from seven majority Muslim nations will likely wreak havoc on universities, students and professors in the coming weeks, as well as the U.S. medical field, which relies on international doctors to fill significant gaps.

The Association of American Medical Colleges released a statement saying they are “deeply concerned” about the order’s effects.

“The United States is facing a serious shortage of physicians,” the AAMC said in the statement. “International graduates play an important role in U.S. health care, representing roughly 25 percent of the workforce.”

One medical resident based in Brooklyn has been unable to return home from a trip to see family in Sudan, according to officials at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. It was the first time in two years he went home, according to LaRay Brown, President/CEO of the medical center.

Brown said Dr. Kamal Fadlalla told him that he tried to board a plane back to the U.S., but was turned away.

“We are committed to him,” Brown told ABC News. “We want him back.”

Brown said they want to hold Fadlalla’s residency spot, but that it will likely create hardship on other physicians who pick up his cases while he remains stuck in Sudan.

Medical students also face disruption. In scientific fields, doctoral and post-doctoral students often spend years working on lab research before applying for competitive professorships at various institutions. The key months for interviews in those positions are January and February. Medical students who apply to residency in the fall are matched with an institution in March. Now institutions must consider whether or not to admit those applicants who no longer have valid visas to enter the U.S.

The current executive order could mean students, who have spent years in the U.S., face diminished chances of acceptance.

Joshua Plotkin, Professor of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, said one post-doctoral student in his lab was stranded abroad in Europe when the executive order was implemented and could risk missing key interviews in the coming weeks. Plotkin said the student wished to remain anonymous at this point.

“They are separated from their home and spouse and their job and what’s really heartbreaking for me, they have several faculty job interviews,” Plotkin explained.

He said these interviews are the result of years of research and study.

“The issue is the faculty jobs in science are so competitive and rare,” Plotkin explained. “The same person trying to get in next year is very likely to have completely different outcome.”

Plotkin said that the student, who was born in Tehran and educated in Europe, is married to a U.S. citizen and holds a green card. While a waiver will reportedly allow green card holders to enter the U.S., Plotkin said lawyers have advised the student to wait until they have more guidance and can be assured the student would not be sent to Iran if they showed up at a U.S. border office.

President Trump’s executive order, which he said is aimed at protecting the nation from terrorists, suspends for 90 days immigration to the U.S. from seven countries — Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya. It also suspends for 120 days the entry of refugees into the U.S. and indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from coming into the country.

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates said they are “in the process of evaluating the potential impacts of this order.”

Many in the scientific community point out that the ban could mean losing highly educated students who may have spent years at U.S. institutions, which devoted resources to their work.

Jen Golbeck, Ph.D and associate professor of Computer Science at University of Maryland, started an online database to connect people stranded abroad with others willing to help. She said knows of one Florida student from Iran, who was stranded in England after his student visa was no longer valid in the U.S.

“The impact it’s going to have on academics in the U.S. is chilling,” Golbeck said. “It’s been a scientific leader for decades not because we’re smarter, but because we draw best minds to universities.”

She and others have been trying to find another lab potentially willing to help the student, who has decided to remain anonymous, continue his research in the event he can no longer come back to the U.S.

Hazhir Rahmandad, an associate professor of System Dynamics at M.I.T., said the ban could affect the scientific communities in profound ways in years to come.

“A lot of people going for Ph.D. programs and graduate admission,” Rahmandad said, “are very likely not be able to come to U.S., even if we admitted them.”

“Going forward we would not hear from many of these applicants,” he said.

Rahmandad said he has one student affected by the ban, who is unable to leave and whose family will likely be unable to visit if the ban remains in place.

“We are losing a lot of talent and potential collaborators, who cannot work with us because they cannot join our team or come to conferences here, and we can’t retain talent,” he added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Symptoms of Heart Attack in Women

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

When it comes to cardiac incidents, research overwhelmingly shows that men and women actually experience the effects differently.

The common symptoms of a heart attack in women can be flu-like. Basically, if you’re a woman and you’re feeling anything unusual from your jaw to your belly button, cardiac issues have to be considered.

Here’s what you need to know: Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States. The good news is that 80 percent of heart disease is preventable by knowing your risk factors and numbers — like blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and body mass index.

Know your family history and the warning signs. For more information, go to the American Heart Association website.

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How to Fix Your Sugar Fix

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The evidence is everywhere: Too much sugar is the enemy of healthy eating.

But your sweet tooth is also real, and there are many theories as to what creates such cravings.

One hypothesis is that “We know some of the bacteria in the gut are actually sending signals to the brain,” Maya Fellar, a registered dietician, told ABC News.

Add that to our body’s evolutionary desire to quickly elevate blood sugar and you get a very real desire for sugary treats. Here are some tips to help fight those urges and trick your sweet tooth.

Try Dessert Tea

Flavored teas that have no sugar and no sugar substitutes use herbs and flavor combinations to replicate sweetness. The ones that work for me are peppermint and licorice combinations, or cinnamon and cloves. Teas that try to replicate real desserts like Stash Red Velvet Tea are good too.

For many people, sweet cravings hit after a meal — the body is processing all the food you just ate and impatient for it to dump sugar (fuel) into your blood stream. Brewing a cup of tea and tricking your taste buds for a few minutes buys your body time to transform dinner into glucose and more permanently satisfy that craving.

Ditch Candy for Fruit

You know fruit is sweet, but the focus should be on fruit’s fiber. You can munch candy all day and it won’t fill you up, but an apple, berries or a banana will satisfy your sweet tooth and also fill you up. While it may not be the very thing you crave, it can get you over the hump of a sugar craving. You can keep tangerines in your purse or bag and take raspberries with with you to work.

Dried fruit can offer some relief too, just make sure it has no added sugar. Many dried fruits, notoriously cranberries are loaded with extra sugar. These days, you might notice more individual serving sizes of dried fruit like single-serve prunes, small boxes of apricots and freeze-dried apples or pears that can be stored in glove compartments and office desk drawers for emergency sugar cravings.

Real Sugar: Make It Small and Long-Lasting

Sometimes you just want candy. Even candymakers are getting the message about portion control and making smaller sizes. Mini-pops (chocolate and butterscotch from See’s — yummy) have just 1.8 grams of sugar — that’s less than half a teaspoon and can last 4-5 minutes.

Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth has at least a temporary effect on sweet cravings, and so does chewing gum. Also, we sometimes mistake thirst for our sweet tooth so try drinking a glass of water before reaching for candy.

The good news is that retraining your sweet tooth is possible, and the benefit of reducing your sugar intake is real.

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Chicago Police Superintendent with Kidney Disease Calls Donor Offers ‘Humbling’

WLS-TV(CHICAGO) — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called an overwhelming show of support from the community “humbling” after he revealed he had kidney disease and needed a transplant.

“We had people dialing 911 asking officers to come over to their homes so they could give their information. I gotta tell you guys, it’s a humbling, humbling feeling,” he said Saturday according to ABC affiliate WLS-TV.

Johnson admitted Friday he was on a waiting list for a transplant after he became faint at a press conference, but he said the incident was unrelated to his condition, WLS-TV reports.

The superintendent, who has had the kidney condition for 32 years, said to WLS-TV that he “should be back to work in three to five weeks” when he finds a donor and has an operation.

“Until then, with the blessing of my doctors, I will return to work as your police superintendent,” Johnson said according to WLS-TV.

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Little Girl Befriends Baby Cow Who Lost Its Mom

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When a precious baby calf ended up in this family after losing its mom, little Kinley Gray took her in with open arms.

“They are just so cute. My heart cannot even contain all of that love,” Lacey Gray, Kinley’s mom, told ABC News of the unusual yet heartstoppingly adorable bond the two now share.

acey is a professional photographer from Michigan City, Mississippi. She had reached out to her husband’s uncle, who owns cows, to see if she could borrow a calf for a photo shoot she was hoping to do. Little did she know that would soon lead to her owning one, completely unexpectedly.

“I shot him a text and said, ‘Hey, this is what I’d like to do. Can I borrow one of your calfs?’” she recalled of their initial conversation. “He laughed so hard. He said, ‘That is not how that works. You cannot just borrow a calf without the mom going crazy.’”

She hadn’t thought about that aspect, but understood, and moved on.

“But the next morning I got a phone call from him and he was so serious,” Lacey recalled. “The tone in his voice was clearly that something bad had happened. He said, ‘Do you really want a calf?’ He told me, ‘The mama fell and she’s not going to get up from it. She will die from this. I’m calling you to see if you want this baby, but you have to bottle-feed it several times a day.’”

Without hesitation, Lacey agreed, not having a clue about what she was getting herself into with raising a cow, let alone a 3-day-old calf who had just lost her mom.

“We brought her inside the first night. She slept in the laundry room,” said Lacey. “But Kinley ran in there and was kissing all over her. She brought her books. She read her books and when it was time to walk her, Kinley wanted to do it all by herself. She would walk her all over the yard.”

Now, barely two weeks later, the precious pair are absolutely inseparable.

“Kinley cries when she has to leave. She always wants to be with her,” said Lacey. “She kisses her ears. She likes to kiss both of her ears instead of just one. She’ll lift Molly’s face up to kiss her on the nose. Kinley will sit down with her and not let our dogs come near her. She wants her all to herself. She wants to feed her all by herself. It’s really sweet.”

The happy new family did get to have that photo shoot after all, despite circumstances changing a bit.

“I was almost in tears,” Lacey said of shooting the two of them together. “She just has a connection with her. She just knows that’s her family. This is just so crazy and so sweet. I just hope that I can watch them grow all through Kinley’s childhood.”

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6-Year-Old Girls Link Intelligence to Men Over Women, Study Says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Girls as young as age 6 tend to attribute intelligence to men more so than women, according to a new study published this week.

Researchers found that girls age 6 or younger are more likely to believe men are “brilliant” compared to women.

The researchers were affiliated with the University of Illinois, New York University and Princeton University.

Jill Weber, a psychologist based in Washington, D.C., said she’s not surprised by the study’s findings.

“When you think of brilliance, it goes along with power and leadership and standing out and feeling confident,” said Weber. “Unfortunately we do not socialize girls [to have] those traits.”

The study published Thursday in the medical journal Science had 400 children go through a series of experiments to see if they associated the idea of “brilliance” with a specific gender.

In one study, 96 students, equally divided between boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 7, were told a story of a “really, really smart person” and then told to pick that person from a group of images of men and women. While the 5-year-old children tended to pick people from their own gender, the older children were more likely to pick photographs of men.

In another experiment, the children were asked to pick one of two games: one for “really, really smart” people and one for “children who worked really, really hard.” Researchers found girls were overall less interested in the games for “smart” people but equally interested in the game for children who “worked really, really hard.” The study authors theorize that girls may not pick the game for “smart” people because they are trying to be modest.

Weber explained that children in the 5 to 6 age range become less egocentric and start to pay more attention to those around them.

“Around 6 or 7 cognitively that is when the child’s brain is better able to compare and look at diversity and understand differences,” Weber explained.

However, Weber said that parents shouldn’t feel demoralized by the study’s findings. Instead, they should work to counteract social messages.

“I think the more conscious we are…it reminds us we have to wake up again,” Weber explained. “We have to deliberately coach girls” to be more vocal, she said.

The researchers caution that more study is needed with a larger and more diverse group to confirm these early findings.

“The present results suggest a sobering conclusion: Many children assimilate the idea that brilliance is a male quality at a young age,” the study authors wrote. “This stereotype begins to shape children’s interests as soon as it is acquired and is thus likely to narrow the range of careers they will one day contemplate.”

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Seasonal Flu Reaches Epidemic Levels in US

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Cases of the seasonal flu have reached epidemic levels, according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC also reported that eight pediatric deaths have been reported due to seasonal influenza and that 10 states have experienced high amounts of people with flu-like symptoms. Widespread influenza activity was reported in 37 states.

Currently, there are 15.4 flu-related hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the U.S., according to the CDC. The flu usually reaches epidemic levels in the U.S. at some point every year.

Flu can cause symptoms of headache, fever, joint pain and cough. The seasonal flu generally spreads across the U.S. from November till March, with the peak number of cases often occurring in February.

The number of people affected every year can vary widely, but generally, the CDC reports that “millions of people are sickened, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu every year.”

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Premature Baby Welcomed Home from Hospital with Parade, Fireworks

Courtesy Nicole Mike(MIDDLESBORO, Ky.) — A baby girl who weighed just two pounds when she was born three months early was welcomed home Wednesday with a parade, fireworks and two giant teddy bears in her family’s front yard.

Meredith Celine Mike was born Oct. 24, 2016, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was whisked away to the neonatal intensive care unit after birth and put on a ventilator, according to her mom, Nicole Mike.

“The doctors gave us all the scenarios of what could go wrong,” Mike, 32, told ABC News. “We stayed with her around-the-clock as much as we could and she had nurses with her 24-7.”

Mike, a teacher, spent the month prior to Meredith’s birth on bed rest at the UT Medical Center, a nearly two-hour drive from her Middlesboro, Kentucky, home.

Mike and her husband Blaine spent 10 years trying for a child, but suffered from infertility, an ectopic pregnancy and a failed adoption, according to Mike.

“We had given up all hope,” she said. “I had stopped using any fertility medication and then without any help except for God, we found out I was pregnant on the day after Mother’s Day.”

In the days and weeks after Meredith’s premature birth, Mike said she and Blaine spent some nights “on our knees in prayer all night long.” They watched as Meredith suffered a life-threatening bout of pneumonia, collapsed lungs, heart surgery and the threat of blindness.

“There was one night we thought we were going to lose her and we were told to prepare ourselves,” Mike recalled. “We went into a room they gave us and prayed, prayed, prayed and we went to the hospital chapel.”

She continued, “About 10 minutes later they called us and her levels were back to perfect.”

Throughout the Mikes’ stay at the hospital, they were supported by their Middlesboro community of about 12,000 residents. Teachers at Mike’s school donated their sick days so Mike could stay with her daughter, while Blaine’s employer also gave him time off work.

Mike said of the community, “Their words were that Meredith had brought our community together. No matter what all else was going on in the world there was one thing they could agree on, to pray for Meredith.”

One of Meredith’s NICU nurses, Loren Crews, recalled that the girl’s parents and grandparents never left Meredith’s side during her entire NICU stay. She said she was amazed at the support shown by the family’s community.

“[Meredith’s] parents and her grandparents talked about how the entire community had been praying for her and rallying around her and that there was going to be a parade when she went home,” Crews told ABC News. “We kind of took it with a grain of salt that it would happen, but it did.”

When the Mikes took Meredith home on Wednesday, they received a police escort as they arrived in Middlesboro. The family, joined at the homecoming by Crews and another NICU nurse, Laura Trent, was greeted by pink balloons, signs and cheers from friends and strangers who lined the town’s streets.

When the family arrived home, they saw on their front lawn more decorations of pink balloons and streamers and two 12-foot teddy bears with pink bows. Pink fireworks also lit up the sky above the family’s home.

“It was overwhelming,” Mike said. “A line of about 75 to 100 cars followed [Meredith] home because they just wanted to see her go through the front doors of the house.”

Meredith, whose middle name, Celine, is Latin for heaven, now weighs six pounds.

“Other than frequent doctor appointments for the first few months, she is expected to live a normal, happy healthy life,” Mike said of her daughter, who came home just days after her original Jan. 20 due date.

Meredith was even chosen to be the flower girl at the wedding of Laura Trent, one of her primary nurses, in May.

“They are her forever aunties,” Mike said of Trent and Crews. “We’ve made lifelong friends.”

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Wife of Falcons Player Who Watched Playoffs in Labor Says Newborn Will Attend Super Bowl

Katie Levitre(ATLANTA) — The Atlanta Falcons’ Andy Levitre will have his biggest fan watching from the stands in Houston at Super Bowl 51.

Lily Gene Levitre was born at 12:07 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2017. Levitre’s wife Katie gave birth just hours after witnessing the team’s NFC playoff win against Seattle.

“We got the clearance from her pediatrician to bring her so I am going to keep her bundled up next to me and we are going to head to Houston,” Katie Levitre, 26, told ABC News. “We’ll definitely tell her she’s a playoff baby and hoping soon she’s a Super Bowl baby. Everybody on the team says she’s a good luck charm, so we are hoping to keep that up.”

On Jan. 14, Levitre was on her way to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome with her mother when she began to have contractions.

“I was well aware I was in labor, but I thought it was going to be a day or two, so I didn’t panic at the beginning,” Levitre said. “When we got to the game [the contractions] started to ramp up a bit. By the end of the game, I couldn’t take anymore.”

Levitre said she texted a football staffer to let him know she was in labor, but asked to keep the message from Andy so it would not “break” his focus, she said.

After the game, Levitre met her husband at home before leaving for Atlanta Medical Center.

About two hours later, Lily came into the world, weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces.

“She’s perfect and healthy and she’s been quite the joy since,” Levitre said of her daughter.

After the 44-21 win over the Green Bay Packers, Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn praised Katie Levitre’s dedication by presenting her with the game ball.

Andy Levitre told ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta that he has two special goals for 2017.

“I had written that I want to be standing up on the stage with the Super Bowl trophy in one hand and my newborn daughter in my other hand,” he said.

Levitre might get his wish. The New England Patriots take on the Falcons at Houston’s NRG Stadium on Feb. 5.

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Your Body: Kidney Injuries Can Complicate a Pregnancy

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Expectant mothers who’ve had history of acute kidney injury are at a greater risk for preeclampsia and other complications, according to a new study published in the journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Researchers looked at about 25,000 women over a 10-year period and found that of the patients who experienced preeclampsia — a complication of high blood pressure and pregnancy — 23 percent had a history of kidney problems in the past.

Here’s my take: Since you can’t really control whether or not you get a kidney injury, focus on knowing the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia so at least it could be detected early. Symptoms include headache, blurry vision, sudden swelling of the hands and lower legs, increase in weight gain and signs of high blood pressure or protein in the urine.

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