Review Category : Health

Residents of Snowier States Sleeping Away the Winter?

Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — This blasted winter will come to an end eventually, but until then, Americans will just have to make the best of things, particularly in the nation’s snow belts.

Actually, some folks may have gotten something out of this unseasonable season and that’s more sleep.

According to smartphone app Sleep Cycle, people in Southeastern states slept an average of seven hours and seven minutes — or 13 minutes fewer than residents of Northwestern states, which typically get pounded with more snow.

The data was collected during the month of January with data from 140,000 people across the U.S. and even Hawaii, where people got the least amount of sleep per average, around seven hours.

Still, if you’re looking for the benefit of living in a state where you may get less snow, according to Sleep Cycle’s blog post, users in the southern states woke up in a better mood, on average.

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2008 Recession Likely Contributed to Suicide Surge

Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Past research has indicated that middle-aged suicide rates affecting Americans between 40 and 64 years old have increased by 40 percent since 1999, with the sharpest rise shortly after 2007, coinciding with the 2008 recession.

Researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research have now looked at further data from the National Violent Death Reporting System in a new study published Friday in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

Specific external circumstances – such as job loss, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and other financial setbacks – may have played a larger role in these deaths, according to researchers.

Personal circumstances, such as mental illness, played a slightly decreasing role, researchers said.

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Statins May Lower Liver Cancer Risk

rogerashford/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Millions of Americans take statins to help lower their cholesterol, but that daily statin may also cut their risk of liver cancer, according to a new study.

Researchers in the United Kingdom looked at nearly 1,200 people with liver cancer and compared them to 4,600 similar people without liver cancer, according to the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers also compared each group in terms of their statin use.

What they found was that not only did taking a statin reduce the risk of liver cancer, but taking statins for a longer period of time or at a higher dose led to even greater risk reductions in current users.

The risk reduction was also greater in patients who had liver disease or risk factors for liver cancer, like diabetes, if currently using a statin.

Researchers say the findings are potentially important, since many people who need to take a statin also have other diseases which put them at risk for liver cancer, such as diabetes, fatty liver, obesity and excessive alcohol use.

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McDonald’s Customer Claims He Got Cleaning Liquid in His Tea

File photo. McDonald’s(INDIANAPOLIS) — An Indianapolis police officer took a sip of McDonald’s iced tea and wound up in the hospital because the drink apparently was contaminated with cleaning chemicals, his wife told ABC News.

Reserve Officer Paul Watkins went to the McDonald’s at around 10 p.m. Saturday night for a self-serve tea before his shift, his wife Jerilyn Watkins said, adding that she wasn’t with him at the time and his lawyer advised him not to speak to the media.

He filled his cup halfway with unsweetened tea and went to fill the rest with sweetened tea when he noticed it looked dark, she said. He took the lid off the dispenser to take a look and determined it was OK.

“He filled his cup and took a big gulp and immediately his throat started burning down into his chest,” Jerilyn Watkins told ABC News, adding that he called her from the car and said he felt as though he’d just drank “bleach.”

The owner of the McDonald’s where Watkins was served, Elizabeth Henry, issued the following statement: “Serving my customers safe, high quality food and beverages is a top priority at our restaurants. We take this claim very seriously and are looking into the matter.”

Emails to McDonald’s corporate communications office seeking additional comment were not returned.

Watkins immediately spit out the tea and told the girl behind the counter that there was something wrong, Jerilyn Watkins said. The manager then told him the employees had put a cleaning solution into the tea dispenser and they had forgotten to put a cup over the nozzle, Jerilyn Watkins said.

“The irony of this all was that manager asked Paul if he wanted another cup or glass of tea and told one of the employees, ‘Hey, get this guy another tea,'” Paul Watkins’s lawyer, Sam Jacobs, told ABC News. “Paul said ‘No, thanks’ and left. By time he got not very far in his police car, he became violently ill.”

He called the police station and poison control, which determined that the tea dispenser was filled with a “heavy duty degreaser” chemical, according to the police report obtained by ABC News. Watkins spent the night at IU Health Methodist Hospital, according to the report. He underwent endoscopy the following day, Jacobs said.

Watkins has returned to his daily life, but he still has problems swallowing and experiences burning in his throat, Jacobs said. He’s also concerned about the long-term effects of ingesting the chemicals.

“My husband has never drank, never smoked, never done drugs,” Jerilyn Watkins said. “This is just insane.”

A similar scenario involving a teen in Muncie, Indiana, was reported at a McDonald’s in 2013, and a lawsuit was filed in January, according to ABC News affiliate WRTV-TV. McDonald’s lawyers in the case have until March 31 to respond, according to court records.

Jacobs said he has not yet filed a lawsuit on Watkins’s behalf and hopes he is able to work out something with McDonald’s before doing so.

“He never wants this to happen to anybody else,” Jacobs said.

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How to Avoid the Germs on Your Winter Gloves

Wavebrak Media / Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In the winter, gloves hold railings, open doors, push strollers and sometimes even act as your own personal tissue. So what happens when all those germs transfer to your winter gloves?

Good Morning America took to the snowy paths in New York City’s Central Park to swab people’s gloves — ranging from wool to leather to nylon — and test for bacteria and viruses. We also swabbed the gloves of some of our fellow ABC employees.

The results?

Out of the 27 samples tested, 26 were positive for bacteria. While most are harmless, nine of those tested positive for bacteria including staph and MRSA, which could be harmful if they came in contact with an open wound.

One of the samples tested positive for the corona virus, which doctors say is one of the causes of the common cold.

“Every time your glove comes into contact , you’re taking away some of the bacteria that was on that surface,” explained Dr. Susan Whittier, director of Clinical Microbiology Service at New York Presbyterian, Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

The good news for glove-wearers is that the bacteria and viruses that attach to gloves may not last very long, just hours or minutes in some cases.

“It’s not going to be alive on the glove for very long because it has nothing to help it survive,” Dr. Whittier said.

According to experts, these three steps can help protect you from potential germs on your gloves.

  1. Let your gloves air dry instead of keeping them balled up in your pockets.
  2. Wash gloves often. You can even use a disinfectant wipe for some fabrics.
  3. Be conscious not to touch your face with your gloves.

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American Kennel Club Says Labrador Retriever Top Dog Again

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — American dog owners have spoken and once again they say they love Labrador retrievers.

The family-friendly breed of dogs is atop the American Kennel Club’s list of the Most Popular Dogs in the U.S., for the 24th consecutive year.

“The Lab truly is America’s dog,” AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo said in a statement.

The AKC’s 2014 list, released Thursday, shows German shepherds, golden retrievers, bulldogs and beagles following Labrador retrievers in the top five.

The beagle, which ranked number five on the AKC list, saw its breed get attention earlier this year when a Beagle named Miss P, from British Columbia, took home the top Best in Show honor at the Westminster Kennel Club Show earlier this month.

The AKC’s most popular list is derived from the number of dogs within each breed registered with the club, an AKC spokeswoman told ABC News.

The bulldog moved up one spot, into number four, above the beagle, on this year’s list. The AKC attributes the bulldogs’ rise to the breeds’, “natural tendency to form strong bonds with kids, an easy-to-care-for coat and minimal exercise needs. “

A more specific type of Bulldog, the French bulldog, moved into the top 10, at number nine, this year for the first time in nearly 100 years, according to the AKC.

The Labrador retriever’s spot atop the Most Popular Breeds’ list continues its streak as the longest reign in AKC history.

Here is the full top 10 list of the 2014 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. German Shepherd Dog
  3. Golden Retriever
  4. Bulldog
  5. Beagle
  6. Yorkshire Terrier
  7. Poodle
  8. Boxer
  9. French Bulldog
  10. Rottweiler

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Danish Study Links ADHD with Increased Mortality Rate

alexandrenunes/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study conducted in Demark has linked ADHD to a higher risk of accidental deaths.

According to the study, published in the Lancet journal, researchers used Danish national registers to follow 1.92 million individuals, including 32,061 with ADHD, from the time of their first birthday through 2013. In that time, 5,580 of the individuals followed in the study died.

Researchers say that the death rate per 10,000 person-years was 5.85 percent among those with ADHD and just 2.21 percent in those without the disorder. Accidents were the most common cause of death.

Individuals whose ADHD was not diagnosed until after the age of 18 were at the highest rate of accidental death, the study showed.

The study included a solely Danish population, meaning its results may not be applicable to other populations.

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Danish Study Links ADHD with Increased Mortality Rate

alexandrenunes/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study conducted in Demark has linked ADHD to a higher risk of accidental deaths.

According to the study, published in the Lancet journal, researchers used Danish national registers to follow 1.92 million individuals, including 32,061 with ADHD, from the time of their first birthday through 2013. In that time, 5,580 of the individuals followed in the study died.

Researchers say that the death rate per 10,000 person-years was 5.85 percent among those with ADHD and just 2.21 percent in those without the disorder. Accidents were the most common cause of death.

Individuals whose ADHD was not diagnosed until after the age of 18 were at the highest rate of accidental death, the study showed.

The study included a solely Danish population, meaning its results may not be applicable to other populations.

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NYC Doctor Who Contracted Ebola Recounts Scare, Criticizes Public Response

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Craig Spencer, the New York doctor who contracted Ebola while treating Ebola patients in West Africa last year and later recovered from the disease, has written an essay in which he denies all of the labels he was given — “fraud,” “hipster,” and “hero.”

Spencer’s essay, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, notes that he kept a journal while in West Africa to help assess his “perceived level of risk of being infected with the deadly virus.” In that journal, he marked how much risk each day’s work had put him at, checking off “minimal risk” every day. Still, he was checked into Bellevue Hospital with Ebola in October 2014.

While working in West Africa, Spencer says he “was fueled by compassion and the immense challenge of caring for patients with Ebola.” After returning, the 33-year-old said he felt “depressed for the first time in my life,” citing the suffering he had seen and exhaustion.

“The morning of my hospitalization,” Spencer wrote, “I woke up knowing something was wrong. I felt different than I had since my return — I was more tired, warm, breathing fast.”

“My activities before I was hospitalized were widely reported and highly criticized,” Spencer continued. “People feared riding the subway or going bowling because of me…I was labeled a fraud, a hispter, and a hero.”

“The truth is I am none of those things,” Spencer says. “I’m just someone who answered a call for help and was lucky enough to survive.”

Spencer also said that he understood the “fear that gripped the country” in the wake of his illness. Still, he says he criticized the media, which he says “sold hype with flashy headlines…abdicating their responsibility for informing public opinion and influencing public policy,” and politicians who “took advantage of the panic to try to appear presidential instead of supporting a sound, science-based public health response.”

“When we look back on this epidemic, I hope we’ll recognize that fear caused our initial hesitance to respond — and caused us to respond poorly when we finally did,” Spencer concluded. “I know how real the fear of Ebola is, but we need to overcome it. We all lose when we allow irrational fear…to supersede pragmatic public health preparedness.”

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NYC Doctor Who Contracted Ebola Recounts Scare, Criticizes Public Response

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Craig Spencer, the New York doctor who contracted Ebola while treating Ebola patients in West Africa last year and later recovered from the disease, has written an essay in which he denies all of the labels he was given — “fraud,” “hipster,” and “hero.”

Spencer’s essay, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, notes that he kept a journal while in West Africa to help assess his “perceived level of risk of being infected with the deadly virus.” In that journal, he marked how much risk each day’s work had put him at, checking off “minimal risk” every day. Still, he was checked into Bellevue Hospital with Ebola in October 2014.

While working in West Africa, Spencer says he “was fueled by compassion and the immense challenge of caring for patients with Ebola.” After returning, the 33-year-old said he felt “depressed for the first time in my life,” citing the suffering he had seen and exhaustion.

“The morning of my hospitalization,” Spencer wrote, “I woke up knowing something was wrong. I felt different than I had since my return — I was more tired, warm, breathing fast.”

“My activities before I was hospitalized were widely reported and highly criticized,” Spencer continued. “People feared riding the subway or going bowling because of me…I was labeled a fraud, a hispter, and a hero.”

“The truth is I am none of those things,” Spencer says. “I’m just someone who answered a call for help and was lucky enough to survive.”

Spencer also said that he understood the “fear that gripped the country” in the wake of his illness. Still, he says he criticized the media, which he says “sold hype with flashy headlines…abdicating their responsibility for informing public opinion and influencing public policy,” and politicians who “took advantage of the panic to try to appear presidential instead of supporting a sound, science-based public health response.”

“When we look back on this epidemic, I hope we’ll recognize that fear caused our initial hesitance to respond — and caused us to respond poorly when we finally did,” Spencer concluded. “I know how real the fear of Ebola is, but we need to overcome it. We all lose when we allow irrational fear…to supersede pragmatic public health preparedness.”

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