Review Category : Health

Study Finds Some Industries Are Full of Heavy Drinkers

iStock/Thinkstock(ROCKVILLE, Md.) — Not everybody drinks alcohol but the majority of those who do usually drink responsibly. And then, there are the binge drinkers, problem drinkers and alcoholics.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) set out in a new survey not to necessarily find out why some people drink more heavily than others but to learn which professions tend to attract workers who might have issues with alcohol or drugs.

Covering a period from 2008 to 2012, the survey said that 8.7 percent of full-time workers ages 18 to 64 drank heavily in the past month while 9.7 were dependent on drugs or alcohol during the past 12 months.

It seems that the workers in the mining and construction industries drank most heavily of all professions at 17.5 percent and 16.5 percent, respectively. SAMHSA says it’s not so much the nature of the industry but the types of people who work in it that explains this, namely, young, white males who typically consume more alcohol than other groups.

Other professions where people tend to drink a lot of booze are the restaurant and service industries, which can also be blamed on night shifts that mean going out late afterwards and partying until the wee hours of the morning.

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Glen Campbell’s Life Living with Alzheimer’s

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(NEW YORK) — Glen Campbell is a Grammy-winning country music icon, but his wife Kim Campbell says one of the most important things the legend has done in his life is to “help remove the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Glen was diagnosed with the disease in 2011, went public and embarked on a farewell tour with his family, including his wife and their three children — Cal, Shannon and Ashley — which ended in 2012. Kim said the experience touring with their father only brought the immediate family closer together and really shed light on the disease.

“I’m so proud of the kids and the time we had on the road during the goodbye tour,” she told ABC News. “It was such a gift to us to be able to celebrate his life. They learned so much from him … not only as a musician, but as a human being.”

The tour was featured in the documentary Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me and Kim said her daughter Ashley “actually wrote a song for her dad in the documentary called Remembering. I’m hoping in the summer, it will be played on the radio, so we are excited about that. The documentary is uplifting and positive.”

That’s the message Kim wants to spread.

“A lot of people are afraid if it’s Alzheimer’s in the subject, it’s going to be very depressing,” she said. “It’s something people have kept under the covers and felt like they needed to be discrete about, but it’s a disease that affects 5.4 million people in the United States and almost every single family is touched with it, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. People rally around you and want to give you all the support that’s possible.”

For that reason, she has continued her husband’s work of raising awareness for the disease, while he cannot.

Kim spoke to ABC News in conjunction with “Celebrating Hope,” an event taking place Friday night, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, at Richards of Grennwich. Kim will share her story and inspire others at the event, which starts at 6:30 p.m.

The Campbell family just celebrated Glen’s 79th birthday on April 22, and Kim said “it was a really good day.”

“The kids and I went [to see him],” she said. “He was a little sleepy at first, but we brought him burgers and fries, his favorite food. Once he got up and moving around, he was just having a great day.”

Campbell is unable to communicate more than just a few, short sentences, but that doesn’t stop him from cracking jokes.

“He was communicating better than I’ve seen him in a long time that day,” she said. “We were sitting there eating ice cream cake and he told the punch line to one of his jokes. Then, I told the set up for it. He just laughed and laughed and laughed.”

She continued, “He’s still got his same twinkle in his eye … he just has trouble communicating now and of course his memory. We had a great day filled with laughter, love and hugs … you have to make the most out of each moment you have with him.”

With Campbell now in a long-term care facility since March of last year, the support community has helped Kim exponentially, as well as her husband.

“It’s really sad to be losing the one you love day by day, drip by drip, there’s nothing you can do about it though. I go to bed depressed, I wake up depressed, but you have to tell yourself ‘I have so much to be thankful for.’ … I’m visiting Glen everyday in the memory support community, I know all the other patients and their families, we are a community and I try to be a blessing to them everyday too.”

She continued, “I have been blessed with such a great family … when the doctors advised me Glen would really benefit from being in a support community for people with cognitive issues, I tried it out and it made a big difference for his happiness and his well-being. We can’t do anything about the disease, but we can try and make life as good as possible. It’s helped me too with my depression, because now my support team is even bigger. That’s given me the piece of mind to be able to go out and speak about it.”

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Centenarians and 10-Year-Old Kids Have a Lot in Common

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For its tenth annual 100@100 survey, United Healthcare polled both 100 centenarians and 100 10-year-olds to get their responses to virtually the same questions.

For instance, while a quarter of centenarians said that maintaining a positive attitude was the key to staying healthy, 37 percent of the youngsters gave eating healthy as their number one answer.

Both 100-year-olds and 10-year-olds agreed that laughing and having a sense of humor is a very easy thing to do at 84 percent and 68 percent, respectively.

Asked separately, a slight majority of centenarians claim to feel younger than their chronological age, while on average, they said they felt like spry 79-year-olds. Sixty percent also said they don’t feel “old.”

As for when they were the healthiest in their lives, the 100-year-olds said it was when they were 46. Curiously, the 10-year-olds believe that 46 is the average when people become “old.”

Asked what it would be like to be 100, about seven percent of youngsters think it will be “boring” while four percent are hoping flying cars will exist to relieve that boredom.

All the kids and nearly all the centenarians say they believe in the importance of family.

As for their favorite things to do, 86 percent of ten-year-olds chose watching TV while 89 percent of their older counterparts picked visiting family and friends.

Both groups were also asked about selfies. While 66 percent of the kids had taken at least one, only one percent of centenarians could say the same and just 43 percent actually knew what selfies were.

And for that all important question about who they’d most want to have dinner with, 63 percent of the centenarians said Betty White while two-thirds of the 10-year-olds would enjoying sharing a meal with Taylor Swift.

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Joe Namath Says He Wouldn’t Play Football Again Over Concussion Risk

Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) — Joe Namath, one of the most charismatic players in NFL history and one of the game’s greatest quarterbacks, said on Thursday that if he’d known then what he knows now about concussions, he would never have played football.

Namath, who has recently undergone treatment for brain injuries, was asked in an interview with Tiffany Kenney of ABC’s West Palm Beach, Florida, affiliate, WPBF-TV, whether he would still play the game, given all he has learned about the effects of concussions.

“No,” he said. “I hate to say that because if I had a child who wanted to play I’d let them play…but I’d wait ’til he developed a little more.”

“This instrument that we have, that we have been blessed with…it’s not designed for the kind of contact or physical abuse your body gets playing this sport,” he said.

“I suffered several ‘get-your-bell-rung’ hits …whether you hit the ground and get your bell rung or get hit by a forearm several times,” Namath said. “Of course, going back to high school even.”

Namath led the New York Jets to their only Super Bowl championship, in Super Bowl III, a victory he guaranteed, and with his outsized personality he became known as “Broadway Joe.”

In September, the Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, Florida, opened the Joe Namath Neurological Research Center to help combat the debilitating effects of traumatic brain injuries.

The center launched a clinical trial to study the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treating the traumatic brain injuries that can result from sports-related concussions, motor vehicle accidents, strokes, military combat or other accidents.

Namath not only helped raise $10 million to fund the project, he took part in the therapy, spending 120 sessions in the hyperbaric chamber.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy stimulates the healing process by allowing oxygen to flow into the injured or affected area, according to a statement from the Jupiter Medical Center, which said it has used the method to successfully treat diabetic wounds and foot ulcers.

Namath told WPBF-TV that about three years ago he noticed age-related forgetfulness, but he began to wonder whether all the hard hits he’d taken in his 13 years as a pro, and in college and high school, had damaged his brain.

He knew that several other former players, including Dave Herman, who played with Namath on the Jets, had been diagnosed with degenerative brain disease that was linked to suffering repeated concussions.

“They shed some light for a whole lot of us…that, ‘Hey I better check into this,'” Namath told WPBF-TV.

He had brain scans done that showed parts of his brain were not receiving enough blood. Since the treatments, he has felt better, he said, and his brain scans showed improvements.

“The scans are beautiful and I really feel like I’ve gotten sharper,” he said. “I feel better than ever.”

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Dog Infects Humans With Plague for First Time in US

Gerdzhikov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A plague-infected dog spread the dangerous disease to four Colorado residents, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials told ABC News that this is the first report of a dog infecting a human with the plague in the U.S.

The dog, a 2-year-old American pit bull terrier, became sick last summer with a fever and jaw rigidity, among other symptoms. The dog’s health declined so quickly that it was euthanized the following day at a local vet’s office, health officials said.

Four days later, the dog’s owner entered the hospital with a fever and a bloody cough that became worse over the next few hours, but an initial blood culture was misidentified, according to the CDC report.

As the patient’s symptoms grew worse, the test was redone and he was found to have been infected with pneumonic plague, according to the CDC report. The remains of the dog were also tested and were found to be positive for the plague bacteria.

“Frankly one of the biggest surprises of this outbreak is the source,” said John Douglas of Tri-County Health Department in Colorado, one of the study authors. “Primarily…dogs don’t get sick at all or they get a minor illness” after being infected with the plague.

Janine Runfola of the Tri-County Health Department in Colorado, lead author of the report, explained that cats are more likely to infect humans with the disease than dogs because they exhibit more symptoms.

“For pneumonic plague a more likely scenario would be you have a cat [play] with prairie dogs and infected fleas get on the cat,” Runfola said. “The cat gets sick and sneezes and coughs on its owner.”

The dog’s owner remained hospitalized for 23 days as he recovered from the potentially deadly disease, the report said. In addition to the owner, a close contact of the owner and two veterinary employees who treated the dog or handled its body also became infected with the plague. All three were successfully treated with medication after exhibiting symptoms.

The plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, and can infect the body in different ways. For example, a flea bite can lead to infection of the glands, which is called bubonic plague — notorious for the epidemics it spawned during the Middle Ages in Europe. Because this plague was spread from dog to owner through coughing, it developed into pneumonic plague, according to Douglas.

The plague is known to be endemic to prairie dogs in the American Southwest, which can then lead to isolated outbreaks of the disease in domestic animals or humans.

“Pneumonic plague is the worst form,” said Douglas. “It’s the one that you least want to get. You get sick fast and the chances of getting a rocky or even fatal course” are increased.

The plague is incredibly rare in the U.S., with an estimated eight infections in the country reported every year. Douglas said pneumonic plague is even rarer and accounts for just 3 to 5 percent of plague cases.

Douglas said the case shows the importance of considering all the options when diagnosing a patient, even extremely rare options like the plague.

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Guess How Much Weight This Famous Boston Marathoner Gained in 10 Days

federicofoto/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Famed marathoner Meb Keflezighi has already gained more than 12 pounds in the 10 days since he ran the 2015 Boston Marathon.

Keflezighi, who won the race in 2014 and finished eighth less than two weeks ago with a time of 2:12:42, tweeted that he weighed 121.6 pounds four days before the race and 134 pounds on April 29.

The 5-foot-5 runner told ABC News that he makes an effort to lose weight and stay lean during training for races, but afterward, he said he aims to gain some weight for recovery.

“The next week after a marathon, I don’t do anything, and I gain weight,” he said. “It’s not a horrible thing.”

My weight 4 days before @bostonmarathon was 121.6. Guess what my weight is10 days after the race? No running, no diet

— meb keflezighi (@runmeb) April 30, 2015

..And the winner is…134.0. The scale, finishing line, and watch never lie. Now, the work towards race weight begins

— meb keflezighi (@runmeb) April 30, 2015

During training leading up to a race, Keflezighi said he runs 100 to 130 miles per week. He eats only two meals a day, skips sugary desserts and drinks 32 ounces of water before dinner to fill his stomach.

Afterward, he eats three meals a day and can treat himself to things like omelets with bell peppers and cheese, ice cream and strawberry cheesecake.

The Marathon’s over. Time for a treat! Enjoying Strawberry Cake at the @google NYC cafeteria.

— meb keflezighi (@runmeb) April 23, 2015

He said his weight is usually around 125 pounds, but it gets down to about 120 pounds. The most he’s ever weighed is about 138 pounds, he said, adding that he steps on the scale every day.

“Weight fluctuates,” Keflezighi said. “You have to treat yourself, and you have to also be disciplined when you want to lose weight.”

The celebrated runner and three-time Olympian is about to celebrate his 40th birthday next week.

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Adorable 911 Call Saves a Mother’s Life

spilman/iStock/Thinkstock(AURORA, Colo.) — Aydhun Byars is only five years old, but he saved his mom’s life this week.

Aydhun, who has a medical condition that affects his hands, dialed 911 when his mom went into diabetic shock on Monday, according to KMGH-TV, ABC News’ Denver affiliate.

Byars said he didnt know his address or what his mom was doing.

“I don’t know what Mom is doing, but I need someone’s help,” he told the 911 operator, who tried to help him figure out his address for several minutes. “I don’t know what apartment we live in, and I’m not tall enough to reach the doorknob.”

Help eventually arrived, and Aydhun’s mom, Tarah Gunderlock, was unresponsive, according to the call. She has type I diabetes, meaning her pancreas produces little or no insulin, the hormone that breaks down sugars and allows them to enter cells for energy. And she’d gone into diabetic shock, according to KMGH-TV.

The Aurora Fire Department told ABC News that it provided care at Gunderlock’s home and did not need to transport her to a hospital.

Gunderlock told the station this week that her little boy was a superhero, and he’d told her that his superpower was love.

“I was a little scared but I was a lot calm,” Aydhun told KMGH-TV. “I just didn’t know what to do.”

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Five-Year-Old Meat Served to Kids at Tennessee School

senkaya/iStock/Thinkstock(ROGERSVILLE, Tenn.) — School officials for a Tennessee county school district said they are trying to figure out why meat that was frozen more than five years ago was served to students at multiple schools.

A pork roast was served at schools in Hawkins County on April 22, even though it was frozen in 2009, a county official said.

Steve Starnes, the school director for Hawkins County, told ABC News affiliate WATE-TV in Knoxville that the school was now running inventory on food to ensure no years-old meat will be served again.

“We also began inventory on all of our frozen food items to make sure. We’re not only going to be incorporating the package date, but also the delivery date on our inventory items to make sure we know exactly when those items came in,” Starnes told WATE-TV.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as long as the meat remained entirely frozen it can be safe to eat indefinitely.

“Food stored constantly at 0 °F will always be safe,” the USDA reports on their website. “Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage.”

For quality and taste reasons pork roasts should be thawed and eaten within four to 12 months, according to the USDA.

Starnes told WATE-TV he wasn’t sure why the meat from 2009 had been served at multiple schools and that schools would now be inspected quarterly to ensure food quality.

Michael Herrell, a county commissioner, said he was alerted to the use of the years-old frozen meat after the husband of a cafeteria worker sent him a picture of the thawed meat that was dated 2009 and served on April 22. Herrell told ABC News on Thursday that he brought up the issue with a local principal and then the school director because he was acting as a concerned parent.

“Students in Hawkins County — that one meal makes a difference in their day,” said Herrell, referring to the fact that the county is not affluent and many students rely on free or reduced lunch at school for their nourishment. He explained he was concerned that younger children wouldn’t be able to tell if something was amiss with the food. “These smaller kids…they think it’s alright if they’re being served,” Herrell said.

No students had been reported ill due to the meat, Starnes told WATE-TV. He did not immediately respond to requests for further comment from ABC News.

Herrell said his children didn’t eat the pork roast served at their middle school and high school that day, and that despite the incident, he expects to allow his children to eat the school cafeteria food in the future.

“I think it will get fixed,” Herrell said, noting that he hopes ingredients “don’t fall through the crack again.”

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Two-Headed-Calf Born in Florida

iStock/Thinkstock(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — A Florida woman discovered a two-headed calf in her field and named the baby animal Annabel.

Carolyn Crews, whose family owns the Baker County farm, told ABC News affiliate WJXX that she feeds Annabel four times a day — but she’s not sure how long the animal will live. Annabel’s breaths are labored and she can’t stand up, Crews said.

“It was just like a surprise because no one has even seen anything like this around here,” Crews said. “I never dreamed of such a thing happening. It’ll be something that we probably never seen in our lifetime.”

Having more than one head is called polycephaly, and it’s believed to occur when an embryo begins to split into twins, but stops.

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Study Examines Personality Traits Linked to Aggressive Driving

iStock/Thinkstock(BEDFORSHIRE, England) — If you’re quick to anger, you might be equally quick to drive aggressively and that could put you and other drivers or pedestrians in danger.

Although a new report from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom doesn’t break any new ground from previous studies, it does represent the first time results in Britain were factored from a wide array of drivers from local communities in the U.K. and Ireland rather than the U.S. college students.

In a questionnaire provided to close to 550 men and women ages 18 to 75, the researchers learned about their subjects’ personal traits as well as whether they demonstrated certain behaviors behind the wheel such as shouting or swearing or going as far as trying to hurt other motorists.

Essentially, qualities such impulsiveness and sensation-seeking along with a short temper, were the best predictors of aggressive driving.

The purpose of the study was to determine how to use the results to develop road safety campaigns aimed at toning down aggression, and at the same time, reducing the risk of accidents.

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