Review Category : Health

Your Body: Psychological Effects of Being Your Family’s Breadwinner

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

Who’s the breadwinner in your family? A new study shows the economic responsibility may affect one partner more than the other.

Researchers found the more that men were counted on to be the breadwinners in the marriage, the more their psychological and health scores went down — about 3 to 5 percent — than when their wives were equal financial contributors. The opposite was found to be true for women.

One theory: As a man’s economic responsibility increases, so does his anxiety, which can then worsen his health. Women, on the other hand, acquire more power as they make a larger economic contribution.

So how do you discuss the pressures?

First, recognize that our reactions to gender stereotypes and earning are often complex and don’t always reflect our modern times.

Being honest with our feelings is a must and we should do so without guilt.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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How to Cope with the Trauma of Terror Events

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — An explosion in New York City, bombs found in New Jersey and the ensuing manhunt for the suspected perpetrator have put many on the East Coast and throughout the country on edge. The explosion comes after months of terror events have struck France, Iraq and Turkey leading not only to loss of life and injuries in those locations but a growing sense of uncertainty and fear.

Health experts point out that fears of terrorism, even among people not directly affected by events, can have negative consequences for mental health.

For those starting to feel trauma, images can sometimes exacerbate the stress. Turning off frightening images and video can be an important step for coping.

“Whether through social media, television … those images are coming fast and furious,” Robin Gurwitch, a psychologist who specializes in disaster trauma at Duke University, told ABC News in a previous interview. “What we do know is there’s a strong relationship between stress reactions and watching these images.”

Living far away from the center of a terror event doesn’t buffer some people from feeling traumatized.

In the days after the 9/11 attacks, researchers found that 44 percent of Americans reported at least one symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after viewing constant coverage, according to the National Center for PTSD. Additionally, one study found the amount of time watching TV coverage of the attacks correlated to the level of PTSD symptoms.

“Research has shown that deliberate violence creates longer-lasting mental health effects than natural disasters or accidents,” according to researchers from the center, which is part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “The consequences for both individuals and the community are prolonged, and survivors often feel that injustice has been done to them. This can lead to anger, frustration, helplessness, fear, and a desire for revenge.”

For parents, the tension can be compounded when trying to explain violence and terror attacks to young children.

“Children may not understand what they’re seeing, so it becomes more frightening,” Gurwitch, who is also part of the American Psychological Association Disaster Resource Network, American Red Cross and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, added.

With older children, she said, parents can engage with them to help them make sense of upsetting footage, asking questions such as “What do you think about what you just saw?”

The American Psychological Association (APA) advises that parents “tell the truth” so that children are not misinformed. They also advise parents to be honest when they do not have all the answers.

“Sometimes the answer to the question is ‘I don’t know,'” APA officials advised.

If a child asks something like, “‘Why did the bad people do this?'” they said, then the answer,”‘I don’t know” fits.'”

Parents can provide age-appropriate details about what happened and start a dialogue, so that children do not feel they must avoid the topic or keep their fears to themselves.

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Miami Neighborhood Declared Free of Zika Transmission

iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — The Miami neighborhood where a local outbreak of Zika was first detected has been declared free of ongoing Zika transmission.

The first locally-acquired Zika cases in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami were reported in July. The neighborhood has been at the center of public health efforts to stop the virus from spreading in the U.S. At least 79 people have been reported to be infected via local transmission in Florida since the outbreak started.

Officials used both aerial and other forms of insecticide spraying to try and kill the Aedes aegypti mosquito that is responsible for nearly all of the virus transmission. The disease can also be spread through sexual contact.

“We understand that this has been a difficult time for Wynwood residents and visitors,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a statement Monday. “We’ve reached this point because of the tremendous progress with mosquito control in the affected area, including the combination of aerial application of the larvicide Bti and the adulticide Naled, and rigorous investigation of possible Zika infections by Florida health officials. Still, we encourage people not to let down their guard.”

While the Wynwood neighborhood has been declared Zika-free, the outbreak remains ongoing since transmission and additional cases have been reported in Miami Beach.

“We could see additional cases,” said Frieden. “People living in or visiting Miami-Dade County, particularly pregnant women, are encouraged to continue to take steps to prevent mosquito bites and to follow guidelines for preventing sexual transmission.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced an initiative to encourage people to visit the Wynwood area now that the virus appears to be contained.

“When we announced Wynwood as the first place in our nation to have local transmission of the Zika virus, Wynwood was immediately sent into the national spotlight,” Scott said in a statement Monday. “Over the past few weeks, Floridians have worked together to prevent the spread of mosquitoes, take proper precautions to protect one another, and support local businesses in Wynwood.”

Scott called on Congress to pass a federal bill to help fund actions to prevent the Zika virus from spreading.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Pediatrics Group Heightens Warning Against Codeine in Kids’ Prescriptions

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The American Academy of Pediatrics is strengthening its warning that children not be given prescriptions containing codeine because it says the pain medication can be ineffective, and the risk of side effects, including breathing problems and even death, are too large. The advice was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

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Why Young Kids (and Which Young Kids) Commit Suicide

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Suicides in young kids appear to have important differences from suicides in adolescents and teens, a new study published in Pediatrics finds, shedding light on the need for special approaches to this group of young people.

Notably, suicide rates of black elementary school aged children between 2003 and 2012 nearly doubled when compared to the same demographic group between 1993 and 2002 – though the total number of suicides studied is likely too small to make any solid conclusions as to the absolute validity of this rise.

Researchers at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital compared individual characteristics and precipitating factors of children, aged 5-11 years, to those of early adolescents, 12-14 years, in 693 suicide cases. Compared to early adolescents, children who died by suicide were more commonly male, black, died by hanging/strangulation/suffocation, and died at home.

Children who committed suicide were more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and experience problems with family members and friends than their early adolescent counterparts.

The study also found that in both groups with alcohol or substance abuse who died by suicide, more tested positive for opiates, rates higher than alcohol and other substances.

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Codeine For Kids? Not Any More, Some Physicians Say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Clinicians should avoid prescribing the painkiller/cough medicine codeine to children, according to a new editorial published by a group of physicians in Pediatrics.

The authors argue that because of the way codeine is metabolized in the body, it can have variable and potentially dangerous effects for children, leading to respiratory depression, even death.

Codeine is a “prodrug,” meaning it has to be converted to an active form by your body to have its effects. The enzyme responsible for this conversion can work differently in people, so some children don’t get any relief from the drug, while others may experience profound effects.

Codeine is currently prescribed to more than 800,000 children younger than 11 years old – more than any other opioid.

A review of adverse events by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that from 1965 to 2015, there were 64 cases of severe respiratory depression and 24 codeine-related deaths in children. In the past five years, several health organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the FDA have recommended greater caution when prescribing codeine to children.

This editorial builds on other recommendations to exercise greater caution when prescribing opioids, especially for children. The authors argue for use of several alternative agents, including oxycodone and non-opioid medicines, which do not require enzymatic conversion in the body.

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The Reason Why This Mom Who Lost Child to Cancer Posted Back-to-School Photos

Julie Apicella(NEW YORK) — One British mother’s back-to-school photos of her daughter may raise a question: Why is the girl not featured in the photo for this year?

Julie Apicella posted a 2015 picture of her daughter Emily sporting her blue, grey and black school uniform. But the photo from this year is marked by the absence of Emily, who passed away last December.

In a post on Facebook that’s now gone viral, Apicella, 41, captioned the photos in part: “School photo time – obviously someone very special missing – my daughter Emily. Imagine if your school photo this year is the LAST you will ever be able to take and will just be a memory to remember.”

Apicella told ABC News that Emily passed away after being diagnosed in 2013 when she was only 5 with a rare kidney cancer called Wilms’ tumor. After relapsing in February 2014, Emily eventually succumbed to the disease on Dec. 14, 2015.

Apicella, a mother of six, said of her back-to-school photo of Emily: “For a bereaved mother, that is what I have left.”

She said she posted the photo collage for a specific reason.

“I created the post as a way to raise awareness. September is Childhood Cancer [Awareness] Month and [I’m asking] people to show their support by putting a ‘Go Gold Ribbon’ on their Facebook profile picture,” the Norfolk, England, woman said.

Apicella also hopes that research into pediatric cancer can be properly funded to increase early detection of symptoms and eventually to find a cure.

“I think our children are worth more, as do thousands of parents across the country,” the mother added.

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Half-Marathon Mom Breastfeeds While Finishing the Race

Anna Young(COTTONWOOD, Utah) — It’s no secret that moms are the queens of multitasking but one Utah mom decided to test that skill while running a half-marathon.

While Anna Young was running the REVEL Big Cottonwood half-marathon on Sept. 9, she knew that she’d eventually have to take a break to breastfeed. Five months ago, she gave birth to her first child, a daughter.

“I had to leave really early in the morning for the race,” Young told ABC News, adding that the runners were taken by bus up the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, to the start of the downhill course.

Knowing her daughter wouldn’t be able to meet her on the course to breastfeed, the mom carried a hand-held pump in her backpack. Young estimated, based on her training, that she’d have to stop and pump around Mile 6.

“But when I was actually running the race, I was going a lot faster than I anticipated,” Young, 27, continued, adding that she decided to wait until Mile 8 to pump.

Instead of sitting off to the side, or under a canopy on the course, she decided to walk and pump.

“In the moment, I just decided to keep going with the race since it had been a really good atmosphere, and I just wanted to keep going,” the mother explained.

Young also noticed a photographer on the course, but she didn’t expect him to take a photo of her breastfeeding.

“I was just really surprised and I just thought it was kind of a neat photo,” she added.

The mom decided to post the now viral photo to the Facebook group called “Occupy Breastfeeding,” telling the support group that it and another nonprofit that promotes breastfeeding, La Leche League International, “motivated” her to “find a way to run my race and take care of my daughter,” she wrote in the caption.

Young said the moment was even more special for her because she and her daughter struggled with breastfeeding initially due to her daughter having tongue and lip tie issues, which can affect an infant’s ability to latch onto the mother.

“It was hard,” the new mom admitted. “I had a hard time bonding with her. …I couldn’t understand because I’m her mother. [I kept asking myself] ‘Why are we not compatible? This is something that’s supposed to be natural but just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy.”

Young said she found information and support through online groups such as La Leche League and Occupy Breastfeeding that helped the two solve their problems.

“It’s something she’s never done before and I’ve never done before,” she explained. “When you get it right, it’s a piece of cake. We can breastfeed anywhere now.”

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Maid of Honor Carries Family’s Dying Dog Down Aisle for Couple

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A maid of honor carried a bride’s beloved dog down the aisle this month when the pup was too weak to meet her and the groom at the end.

“Both of us just dropped to our knees and started crying,” bride Kelly O’Connell of Denver, Colorado, told ABC News of her dog, Charlie. “To see him be carried a few feet, it kind of solidified for me that it’s not the Charlie he liked to be. He was aging, and it hit me knowing that he lost a lot.”

She added: “He was a very sweet dog. He loved everybody, but I was definitely his person.”

Charlie Bear, a 15-year old black lab, was adopted by O’Connell in 2002 when she was 19 years old and living in New York.

In April of this year, Charlie was diagnosed with a brain tumor, but O’Connell, now 33, said it was important to her and her now-husband James Garvin, both veterinarians, for their dog to attend their wedding.

Photographer and family friend Jen Dziuvenis captured the touching moment of O’Connell’s maid of honor and sister, Katie Lloyd, carrying Charlie down the aisle when he couldn’t make it on his own.

“I was like, ‘I have to keep shooting even though I’m in a puddle of tears behind the camera,’” Dziuvenis of Boulder, Colorado, told ABC News. “It was a story.”

Sadly on Sept. 9, Charlie succumbed to his illness and died — just days after the nuptials.

Dziuvenis shared the photos of Charlie she snapped at the wedding onto Facebook, where they received over 16,000 shares.

“It makes me so happy because I know they’re having that connection with their dog,” O’Connell said of the attention to her wedding photos. “It reminds us we wouldn’t be feeling this much pain if [our pets] didn’t give us so much joy.”

O’Connell said she plans on having the photos of Charlie blown up and displayed in her home.

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Pokemon GO Linked to Distracted Driving, Study Suggests

Chesnot/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Pokemon GO players have been on the hunt for months to “catch ’em all,” but in a study published Friday, health experts are warning that being immersed in an augmented reality game can be a danger when people are behind the wheel.

After the Pokemon GO game was released earlier this year, researchers from multiple institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and San Diego State University, decided to launch a study to see if these players continue to play the game even when they’re behind the wheel.

In the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers used social media and news reports to determine if Pokemon GO was distracting drivers behind the wheel.

During a 10-day period, researchers obtained 345,433 tweets that contained the words “Pokemon” and “driving,” “drives,” “drive” or “car.” They then took a random sample of 4,000 tweets to examine for their findings. They also searched the internet for stories about drivers crashing while using Pokemon GO. Researchers found that 18 percent of the tweets studied from the sample indicated a person was playing while also driving their car, with one text reading “omg[sic] I’m catching Pokemon and driving.” They also found that approximately one third of the texts indicated that a driver, passenger or pedestrian was distracted by the game.

The game prohibits a player from collecting Pokemon at speeds above 10 mph, but you can search for the Pokemon at any speed. So, a player could find a Pokemon in a car and then slow down or stop to catch it.

“The car has become the place to play, [a] car makes it easier, faster and completely unexpected,” John Ayers, the lead author of the study and a research professor at San Diego State University, told ABC News Friday. “This is very different from a phone call and text messages. With Pokemon Go, you have to be immersed in the screen.”

Reducing distracted driving has been a major goal of the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2014, there were 3,179 deaths associated with distracted driving crashes, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The department has held two driving summits since 2009 and has banned texting and cell phone use for commercial drivers.

There were 14 crashes attributed to Pokemon GO, according to the study, which used a Google search of news reports during the 10-day period from which the tweets were sampled.

Niantic, the company that makes the game, said the game is not meant to be played while driving.

“We take player safety seriously and want everybody to have a fantastic time exploring while safely playing Pokémon GO. Pokémon GO is not meant to be played while driving,” a spokeswoman told ABC News Friday. “We warn users in the app not to play the game while driving, and, when players are traveling too fast to be on foot, we require that users confirm that they are not driving, in order to proceed. We urge everyone to avoid distracted driving with any involved activity on mobile phones, whether it’s playing a game, texting, reading, or anything else.”

The authors of the study said they were also concerned that if a passenger were playing the game that it could also influence the driver’s actions, by asking them to “chase” Pokemon.

“This game is just the beginning of these types of apps that mix reality and fantasy,” Linda Hill, a professor at the School of Medicine at University of California San Diego, told ABC News Friday. “The idea that people think it is safe [for] passengers to tell the driver to chase Pokemon, it tells us about the current attitude towards distracted driving.”

While the study is preliminary and need further surveillance, the researchers say the game points to a potential threat for an increase in distracted driving.

“Considering that people had to tweet or be tweeted about to be captured in our study, we are likely underestimating distractions linked to Pokemon GO,” Eric Leas, co-author of the study and a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego University, said in a statement Friday. “Yet, in just 10 days our findings suggest there were more than 110,000 cases of potentially distracted drivers or pedestrians, and 14 accidents, giving a clear justification for a public health response.”

The researchers said developers can make games like Pokemon GO safer for the road by making them inaccessible both during a drive and immediately after. Additionally, they suggest augmented reality games should be disabled near roadways and parking lots to protect pedestrians.

“It is in the public interest to address augmented reality games before social norms develop that encourage unsafe practices,” the authors said in the study.

The study noted that one of the researchers is a paid employee of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and that some of the funding came from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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