Review Category : Health

Study: For Relationships, Sex Once a Week Is Plenty

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(TORONTO) — Contrary to popular belief, researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga claim when it comes to sex in a relationship, more isn’t necessarily better.

Based on data from 25,510 Americans aged 18 to 89, the university study discovered that having sex once is perfectly adequate for maintaining happiness in a relationship.

Researcher Amy Muise noted the analyzed data, “showed a linear association between sex and happiness up to a frequency of once a week, but at higher frequencies there is no longer an association.”

Muise explains that there’s an impression that the more sex a couple has, the happier they’ll be, but that’s not the case. “I do think couples can end up feeling pressure to try to engage in sex as frequently as possible.” She adds, “Once a week is maybe a more realistic goal to set than thinking you have to have sex everyday and that feels overwhelming and you avoid it.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

The Five Worst US Cities for Life Expectancy Among the Poor

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Four of the five U.S. cities with the worst life expectancy among poor residents between 2001 and 2014 were in Indiana and Oklahoma, according to a new study that also examined why these residents were the most at risk.

Using Social Security data to find out how wealth and poverty affects life expectancy, researchers from Stanford and MIT examined determined the best and worst cities for the poorest residents. The findings were published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The five cities where residents in the lowest income quartile had the shortest life expectancy included two cities each from Indiana and Oklahoma.

  • Gary, Indiana: 77.4 years
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: 77.6 years
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: 77.6 years
  • Indianapolis, Indiana:77.6 years
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma:77.6 years

Study authors said it was difficult to pinpoint exactly why poor residents in these cities were more at risk than others. They found that the lower life expectancy did not correlate with access to medical care, pollution levels or poor “social cohesion” that could potentially cause stress.

Instead, study authors speculate that poorer residents in cities with high levels of education and income have more resources than their counterparts in depressed cities.

“Such areas may have public policies that improve health (e.g., smoking bans) or greater funding for public services, consistent with the higher levels of local government expenditures in these areas,” the study authors said. “Low income individuals who live in high-income areas may also be influenced by living in the vicinity of other individuals who behave in healthier ways.”

The authors said more testing is needed to truly understand why poorer residents in certain cities had shorter a life expectancy.

Dr. Stephen Woolf, professor at the Center on Society and Health in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, wrote an accompanying editorial in the Journal of American Medical Association reviewing the study. He told ABC News that he found the study data to show how important education is in helping combat inequality.

“The conversation we have about addressing those problems and improving access to education are important to recognize as relevant to our health,” Woolf told ABC News Monday.

“Education is not only known to be an important predictor of health outcomes but we live in an information economy,” he said, explaining that for many people born into poverty, an education is the only way to escape it. “They have no realistic outlet without getting a good education that can open doors.”

In his editorial, Woolf explained that education could be used to align multiple sectors from law-enforcement to health care to media to encourage a change in public health care.

“Monetizing the health benefits of education (e.g., lower health care costs) understates the savings a more educated populace brings to the cost of safety net programs and prisons while increasing tax revenue and workforce productivity,” Woolf wrote.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Mom Blogs that Losing a Child is Helping Her Fight Breast Cancer

Courtesy Elizabeth Hutton(LONDON) — A British mother, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, explained in a moving blog post why her new medical issues don’t scare her.

Elizabeth Hutton wrote, “It’s not that I think it will be easy, or that its not serious, it’s that I know that however dire things get (death excluded)I will come out the other end better than before. And how do I know this? Toby. My baby. The baby I buried. If anything was going to break me, that was it.”

Hutton, 36, lives in Surrey, England and has two other children Emily, 7, and Joshua, 4. She told ABC News she lost her son Toby in May 2010, halfway through her pregnancy.

Toby’s loss has helped her cope with her breast cancer diagnosis. Doctors found a lump in her right breast on March 10.

“When I lost Toby there was no one to tell me what would happen in the future,” Hutton said. “No one knew if I could have another child. No one knew if I would get over the grief.”

“With cancer it’s a timetable,” she added. “I have a plan to work towards. It feels very different. If I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t be as positive.”

Hutton, who was driving to her pre-operative assessment when speaking to ABC News, said the plan is to have a double-mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. Doctors are confident in her recovery.

“At the moment I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my life in terms of being comfortable, being happy with my children, being comfortable in the work that I’m doing,” she said, referencing her role as CEO of Kicks Count, an organization that raises awareness of stillbirths.

“I know however dark the days get when I’m fighting cancer, I know there will be something at the end of it,” Hutton said. “My diagnosis isn’t terminal at the moment — it would be very different if it was a terminal diagnosis. But however long it takes, I can recover.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

CDC Official Says Mosquitos that Spread Zika Now in 30 States

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the NIH at a news conference at The White House in Washington, April 11, 2016. (ABC News)(WASHINGTON) — Federal health officials said in a joint conference Monday that the mosquitoes species that spread the Zika virus are now in 30 states. This is more than double the 12 states they had been found previously.

With mosquito-season coming, they stressed the immediate importance of prevention and research.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director for U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters that the range of the Aedes mosquito species which can spread the virus is far larger than previously thought and that the disease’s effects are more damaging than initial medical studies suggested.

“We continue to be learning pretty much everyday and most of what we’re learning is not reassuring,” Schuchat told reporters. The virus is “linked to a broader set of complications in pregnancy.”

The mosquito-borne Zika virus usually results in mild symptoms including fever, rash and fatigue, but it has been connected with a birth defect called microcephaly in Brazil. New studies have suggested that birth defect is just one of multiple neurological defects that can occur when a fetus is exposed to the virus. Current strains of the virus have been found to specifically target and destroy brain and nervous system tissue.

The CDC and National Institute of Health made the joint statement Monday at the White House about the range of current research efforts and the funding necessary to conduct broader Zika virus studies.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH, gave updates to reporters on the fight against the Zika outbreak and implored Congress to release funds to fight the disease. Fauci said health officials were still without enough funds to proportionally respond to potential outbreaks.

“I don’t have what I need right now, what I’ve done is take money from other areas of non-Zika research to start,” Fauci told reporters.

“We are going full blast by drawing money from other areas,” he said, noting that both the CDC and NIH have taken emergency measures, using funds from areas like Ebola research in order to tackle the urgent research needed for Zika. He added that those areas also need to continue research and that Zika will need much more. “When the president asked for $1.9 billion, we needed $1.9 billion.”

Schuchat said health officials are extremely concerned about residents in Puerto Rico where they are concerned they may see more than 100,000 cases of the disease with hundreds of pregnancies affected by the disease. Zika prevention kits — which include repellant, screens, condoms and information — are being distributed to thousands of women in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other areas where the virus transmission is ongoing.

“We really are trying to protect every pregnancy we can right now,” Schuchat told reporters.

Schuchat said based on outbreaks of similar diseases including dengue virus and chikungunya, they do not expect widespread outbreak of Zika virus in the U.S.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

DEA Reclassification of Marijuana Could Have Major Impact on Medical Uses

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Federal authorities have announced that they are reviewing the possibility of loosening the classification of marijuana, and if this happens, it could have a far-reaching impact on how the substance is used in medical settings, experts said.

Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it is listed alongside heroin and LSD as among the “most dangerous drugs” and has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

The Drug Enforcement Agency announced last week that it is reviewing the possibility of reclassifying it as a Schedule II drug, which would put it in the same category as Ritalin, Adderal and oxycodone.

Medical experts are welcoming the review, saying it could ease restrictions for researchers, so that they can better understand which compounds in marijuana could be used to help patients.

The American Medical Association told ABC News that the group supports the review “to help facilitate scientific research and the development of cannabinoid-based medicines.”

“The Drug Enforcement Administration should work with other federal regulatory agencies to develop a special schedule for marijuana to facilitate study of its potential medical utility in prescription drug products,” AMA officials told ABC News in a statement.

“Current standards for approval of prescription drug products require rigorous scientific study. While studies related to a limited number of medical conditions have shown promise for new cannabinoid-based prescription products, the scope of rigorous research needs to be expanded to a broader range of medical conditions for such products,” the AMA added.

Dr. Kevin Hill, assistant professor of psychiatry at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, published a review of medical marijuana in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2015. In that review, he emphasized there are significant barriers for researchers who want to study marijuana for its medicinal potential.

There are “hoops you have to run through for this research,” Hill told ABC News. “If you use marijuana itself, you have to get special licensing from the DEA. It involves a background visit and … they don’t give it out very easily.”

There are currently two marijuana-derived medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Hill noted. The active ingredients in both medications are a group of compounds known as cannabinoids, and these chemicals are approved for nerve pain and for stimulating appetite in patients undergoing cancer treatment, Hill said. However, many other people use medical marijuana or marijuana-derived compounds for a host of other conditions from epilepsy to vertigo, he said.

“We know that medical marijuana has good evidence for treatment for a handful of medical conditions,” Hill said. “There are thousands of people who are using medical marijuana for a whole host of medical conditions,” where the efficacy has yet to be thoroughly studied.

By changing the classification of the drug, Hill said researchers and doctors could find out how effective marijuana is in other conditions.

“We could move toward a more evidence-based use of medical marijuana,” Hill said.

Hill pointed out there are around 60 known compounds in marijuana and that many have not been thoroughly studied by researchers looking for medicinal uses. A new classification will mean it will be easier for researchers to obtain licenses to examine these chemicals for medical treatments and to access suppliers, experts said.

Steph Sherer, the founder of the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, said changing the classification could be a “paradigm change.” She pointed out there is currently only one supplier of medical marijuana for researchers.

“It will allow more federal institutions to engage in research and allow the NIDA [National Institute on Drug Abuse] to open up its source for cannabis so there’s not just one place for researchers to use” marijuana, she explained.

The DEA along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Office of National Drug Control Policy announced they would review marijuana’s classification after multiple letters from senators last year, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

“For too long schedule I status for marijuana has been a barrier for necessary research, and as a result countless Americans can’t get access to medicine they desperately need,” Gillibrand said in a statement last week. “It’s past due for the DEA to reconsider marijuana’s status. I am hopeful that antiquated ideology won’t continue to stand in the way of science and that the DEA will reschedule marijuana to schedule II.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Puppy Who Lost All Four Paws Defies Odds, Learns How to Run

nimble_1/Instagram(LA QUINTA, Calif.) — A 1-year-old chihuahua mix who lost all four paws is about to get her very own puppy prosthetics.

Christine Broyles, 30, of La Quinta, California, said she adopted Nimble when she was five weeks old after hearing about the pup through a friend.

“She was three days old when her tissue began to deteriorate and around seven to 10 days, her paws came off,” Broyles told ABC News. “At four or five weeks old [Nimble’s former owners] realized it was going to be emotionally and financially stressful and considered putting her down. I called and said, ‘Don’t do that. I’ll take her.'”

Veterinarians cannot explain why Nimble lost her paws, Broyles said.

“They thought when [Nimble’s] mom was living on the street, she ingested something that compromised embryos,” she noted. “We are not sure if it’s genetics, unfortunately because mom was never tested.”

Nimble has had seven corrective surgeries to smooth out the misshapen bones in her limbs.

Since her last surgery at 10 months old, Broyles said Nimble has been able to run and play on plush surfaces like mattresses, thick grass and padded play stations.

“She’s super outgoing, really friendly [and] probably the most loving animal I’ve ever had,” Broyles said.

Nimble is now being fitted for prosthetics by the 3D Printing Store in Denver, Colorado.

“Our team is using proven prosthetic methods along with cutting edge 3D printing technology to develop new and better functional solutions for dogs and other animals like Nimble,” the company said in a press release. “Our team’s inspiration for this project lies with Nimble’s undeniable spirit and resilience.”

Broyles has documented Nimble’s journey on social media, including an Instagram page with over 18,000 followers.

“She gets a lots of love,” she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Your Body: Recognizing Sepsis

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

Sepsis, a life-threatening inflammatory condition linked to infection, is a common and costly problem. But new guidelines may help doctors recognize it even faster.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one million Americans were hospitalized with sepsis in 2008. And in 2011, hospitals spent $20 billion caring for patients with life-threatening infections.

In a new series of studies, an international panel of experts provided updated guidelines for doctors caring for very sick patients who are at risk for sepsis. Specifically, they offer health care providers a new clinical definition of sepsis, as well as easy to use tools to diagnose the condition.

Together, these guidelines could help doctors and nurses recognize sepsis faster.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Mom’s Maternity Acroyoga Is out of This World

@Yogogirls(WASHINGTON) — If you have trouble sticking downward dog in your yoga class, take a look at this new mom.

Lizzy Tomber practiced acroyoga up until four days before her son’s birth in February, even balancing upside down on her husband’s hands.

Tomber travels the world teaching acroyoga with her husband, Josh Young. The couple, who are currently in Washington, D.C., are now including their two-month-old-son, David, in their poses too.

“He’s been doing acrobatics since before he was born,” Tomber, 33, told ABC News. “He’s just holding up his own neck, so we’re not rushing it, but hopefully he grows to love doing acrobatics.”

Tomber began practicing acroyoga, or acrobatics, at age 25 and soon gave up her professional job to do acroyoga full-time with Young, whom she met in an acroyoga class.

She says her doctor gave her the go-ahead to practice throughout her pregnancy as long as she stuck to doing poses she knew well.

“My doctor was really awesome and said, ‘If you’re comfortable and this is what you do on a daily basis you shouldn’t stop doing it,’” said Tomber.

Tomber and Young run an acroyoga website and use their respective Instagram feeds — @lizzytomber and @acropediaorg — to document their acroyoga adventures.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Mom Who Delayed Cancer Treatments While Pregnant Gives Birth to Healthy Boy

iStock/Thinkstock(TONAWANDA, N.Y.) — A New York woman who delayed treatment for a brain tumor due to her pregnancy gave birth to a healthy baby boy this weekend, according to her family.

Kim Vaillancourt gave birth to her son Wyatt Eli on Friday, months after being diagnosed with a dangerous brain tumor.

“The family is ‘over the moon excited’ to welcome Wyatt to their extraordinary family,” read a post from a fundraising site for the family. “Wyatt Eli meaning ‘little warrior sent by God’ is wrapped in love by parents Kim and Phil, brother, sisters, family, and countless friends.”

The mother of five was about halfway through her pregnancy when Vaillancourt first reported a headache that wouldn’t go away.

Further tests revealed she had two brain tumors. While Vaillancourt, of Tonawanda, New York, underwent surgery to have the tumors removed, she decided to wait until she gave birth to have chemotherapy and radiation. The diagnosis came days after Vaillancourt and her husband adopted three girls into their family last December.

“If she wasn’t pregnant she would have slipped it off,” family spokeswoman Jenna Koch told ABC News in an earlier interview. “She’s not one to get it seen or treated.”

Koch said that Vaillancourt expected to undergo chemotherapy and radiation, when she resumes her cancer treatment.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Stressed? Stretched? Try ‘Rage Yoga’

iStock/Thinktock(NEW YORK) — For centuries, yoga has been a sedate way for people to try to relax and find inner piece, and the same was true for Lindsay-Marie Istace — that is until a nasty breakup led her to create “Rage Yoga.”

“During that [post-breakup] time my practice became a lot more swear-y,” she tells Vice. “I was angry, hurt, confused, and my time on the mat became a safe haven for me to let it out while reconnecting with my body.”

From that pain, however, was born the pleasure of Rage Yoga.

Instead of New Agey music, her adherents rock out to metal; instead of calming chants, Istace’s creation encourages participants to curse their brains out — and even have some booze. “All,” to quote her site, “with the goal of attaining good health and to become zen as f***.”

“When I started going to yoga classes, I felt like I didn’t really fit in at a lot of those different studios,” she explained. “[They have a] very deadpan, serious, overly serene approach to things. And that’s just not how I roll.”

While Rage Yoga is currently only offered at a few pubs in Canada, a successful Kickstarter campaign may soon bring online classes accessible to all interested parties.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →