Review Category : Health

Study Notes Employed Adults Under 55 Have Decreased Heart Risk

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study indicated that among Americans under the age of 55, those who are employed may see diminished risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

In a study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers looked at data from over 91,000 individuals between 2008 and 2012. After reviewing the data, researchers found that the overall rate of coronary heart disease and stroke among adults under the age of 55 was 2.8 percent. Employed adults had a below average rate of heart disease or stroke, with just a 1.9 percent prevalence. Unemployed adults were slightly higher at 2.5 percent, while adults not in the labor force had a 6.3 percent rate of such cardiovascular risks.

Men were determined to be more likely to have cardiovascular risks than women, and current and former smokers were more likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke than those who had never smoked. Workers with a college degree also had a lower risk of heart issues than those with less education.

The results of the study are limited by self-reporting. Researchers also note that the link between employment and heart risk is associative, and not necessarily a matter of cause and effect.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Plane Carrying First Ebola Patient to Land in Georgia Saturday

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — A United States official says the plane carrying the first Ebola patient will land Saturday in Georgia.

The State Department confirmed that they will be using a non-commercial aircraft and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention equipment during the medical evacuation.

It was announced on Friday that both patients, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, will be treated at Emory University Hospital.

“Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases,” hospital officials said. “It is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provide an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation. It is one of only four such facilities in the country.”

“Emory University Hospital physicians, nurses and staff are highly trained in the specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat and care for this type of patient. For this specially trained staff, these procedures are practiced on a regular basis throughout the year so we are fully prepared for this type of situation,” they added.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Two Americans with Ebola to Be Flown Back to US ‘Early Next Week’

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Two American patients stricken with Ebola will not be flown from Africa to the U.S. until early next week, ABC News has learned.

The patients, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, were scheduled to be transported on Friday, but the organization that they work for, Samaritan’s Purse, said in a statement that the transfer will not happen for several days.

“The two Americans who contracted Ebola in Liberia remain in the country today but medical evacuation efforts are underway and should be completed by early next week,” according to the statement.

The State Department confirmed that they will be using a non-commercial aircraft and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention equipment during the medical evacuation which will take place “over the coming days,” but they did not state the names of the two American citizens out of privacy concerns.

“Every precaution is being taken to move the patients safely and securely, to provide critical care en route on a non-commercial aircraft, and to maintain strict isolation upon arrival in the United States,” the State Department statement said.

When they are flown back to the U.S., they will be transported one by one, sources said.

Initially only one of the two patients was going to be treated at Emory University Hospital’s special facility containment unit but it was announced on Friday that both individuals will be treated at Emory.

“Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases,” hospital officials said. “It is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provide an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation. It is one of only four such facilities in the country.”

“Emory University Hospital physicians, nurses and staff are highly trained in the specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat and care for this type of patient. For this specially trained staff, these procedures are practiced on a regular basis throughout the year so we are fully prepared for this type of situation,” they added.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Tenn. Doctor in Quarantine After Ebola Outbreak: ‘I’m Feeling Well’

iStock/Thinkstock(MORRISTOWN, Tenn.) — A Tennessee doctor who placed himself in quarantine after volunteering in West Africa, where the Ebola virus is rampant, says he’s “feeling well” and showing no sign of symptoms.

Alan Jamison, a retired pediatrician, returned home to Morristown, Tenn., after he was evacuated from Liberia by the aid group he was volunteering for — working at the same hospital as Dr. Kent Bradley, an American now fighting the deadly virus.

“I feel very comfortable and I’m looking forward to being able to be with my family again,” Jamison told ABC News via Skype.

Since landing in the U.S., he said he’s had no physical contact with anyone and has only been near his daughter, who picked him up from the airport. Jamison said he plans to hole up at home until the 21-day incubation period is completed.

“I’m out of the major risk period right [now],” he said. “The isolation that I’m going through right now is in excess of what the CDC suggested for the precaution for my family.”

Jamison added that he’s comfortable at home and hasn’t had any signs of fever or illness. The virus is not contagious until symptoms appear.

Medical Teams International, the group Jamison works for, said it pulled him out of Liberia for safety and security reasons. Jamison was working in the Ebola isolation unit at ELWA Hospital, near the Liberian capital Monrovia.

He described the protective equipment he and other doctors wore when working with infected patients — a suit with goggles, rubber boots, two pairs of gloves and two face masks layered on top of each other.

Jamison isn’t sure how Brantley, who is in isolation and expected to arrive in the U.S. next week, became infected with Ebola.

“He was very cognizant and careful with the hygiene precautions that he used,” Jamison said. “I’m not sure how it occurred that he was exposed.”

A second American has also contracted the Ebola virus in West Africa: Nancy Writebol, an aid group worker.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Do You Hear Sounds After Playing Video Games?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you can hear the clanging of Candy Crush coins or characters’ voices from League of Legends long after you’ve stopped playing, you’re not losing your mind.

You might just have game transfer phenomena.

Psychologists from Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit gathered online data from 1,244 gamers and found extended play can induce “pseudo hallucinatory-like experiences.”

Of the sample, 12 percent reported hearing sounds as a result of their gaming, including everything from characters’ voices to bullets, ringing and explosions.

For Kim Kardashian Hollywood fans, that may mean hearing the theme music for the game, or Kardashian’s voice telling your character, “You’re the best,” after helping her pick out an outfit.

It could also mean hearing bloodcurdling screams, bullets, sword fights and groans from other popular games, like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty.

The phenomena is so real, according to researchers, that some gamers reported hearing the sounds coming from external sources.

Game transfer phenomena was most prevalent after gamers played all night or for days on end, and cropped up during everyday activities, such as sleeping, walking and driving.

Researchers warned that extended game play can sometimes spur illogical thoughts, behaviors and distress in gamers — making it crucial that gamers are able to understand when they’re experiencing game transfer phenomena.

Ferris “AGent” Ganzman, the coach of Robert Morris University’s first varsity League of Legends team, is immersed in a world of video games, but said he’s never experienced “game transfer phenomena.”

“If it does happen it’s probably not that common,” he said. “At least the majority of people I have talked to have never told me about this happening.”

But for the people who game transfer phenomena is all too real, Mark Griffiths, a research professor who worked on the study, offers this advice: “The best way for the tiny minority that may have longer lasting phenomena is to simply cut down the amount they play,” he said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Some Birth Control Pills Linked to Higher Breast Cancer Risk: Study

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In women ages 20-49, using oral contraceptives within the past year appears to be linked to a 50 percent higher risk of breast cancer. This, according to a new study of the potential link between birth control pills and breast cancer development.

Researchers looked at more than 1,100 women in this age group with breast cancer and compared them to roughly 22,000 women with similar demographic characteristics who did not have breast cancer. They then compared these women’s use of oral contraceptives within the past year using pharmacy records.

In particular, the increased risk was seen with moderate- to high-dose oral contraceptives. Use of low dose estrogen oral contraceptives did not seem to increase breast cancer risk.

The researchers say this study adds to evidence suggesting that oral contraceptives may act as tumor promoters.

It is important to note, however, that breast cancer risk in the age group studied is very low — a 20-year-old woman’s risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 50 is only 1.92 percent, according to statistics from the National Cancer Institute. Thus, even if there is a causal relationship between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer risk, the absolute risk in these women remains low.

If you do take birth control pills, there are things you can do right now to lower your associated risk of breast cancer.

“First of all, you want to look at the package of the pill, and look for a low number — it’s either 10 or 20 micrograms of estrogen. Second of all, taking a monophasic pill, where most of the pills in the pack are the same, has been found to be associated with a lower risk of breast cancer,” says ABC News Senior Medical Contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

“And then there are things that have nothing to do with the pill, that bear remembering because they can lower our risk: watching alcohol consumption and increasing exercise has a powerful protective effect,” she adds.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Company to Launch Workout Gear that Knows How Hard You’re Working Out

Athos(SAN FRANCISCO) — A soon-to-be-launched line of workout gear claims it can take the place of your personal trainer.

Athos gear has sensors in the clothing that communicate with your smartphone to tell you if you’re working out correctly.

Created by two students who worked out constantly but couldn’t afford personal trainers, the San Francisco-based company has grown to 31 employees and expects to ship its first gear this fall.

The technology will correct a person’s workout form in real-time. For example, if a person is doing squats, the Athos gear and app will give the wearer a complete view of the actions — form, heart rate, breathing rate and muscle effort. If a person is doing a bench press, it will indicate if the back is being used instead of the chest.

“Adidas put cleats on shoes in the ’50s, Under Armor introduced the use of synthetic fabrics. This is the next generation of performance apparel,” said Jake Waxenberg, a marketing executive at Athos.

The sensors are built into the clothes and everything is machine washable.

It was important to make Athos easy-to-wear, said Waxenberg, so the product would appeal to a mass audience. It’s for that reason that the gear is also meant to be just as fashionable as it is functional.

“It’s compression fit, sweat-wicking and cooling, the same way Lululemon is,” said Waxenberg. “It has to look good and feel good to appeal to the fashion people.”

Athos gear doesn’t have wires which, the company said, keeps it as comfortable as any other piece of workout gear on the market.

Each piece of clothing — tops and bottoms — is $99.

In addition, the company sells a “core” — the hardware that makes the system all work and costs $199, a one-time purchase that works with all the clothes. It snaps into the garments, understands the signals from the clothing sensors and sends the information to your phone via Bluetooth. The app then tells the wearer how hard — and how well — they’re working out.

While the company says the gear could certainly replace a personal trainer, it also envisions the trainer and the technology working together to optimize a client’s workout.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Is It Safe to Bring Ebola Patients to the US?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Two Americans who are battling the deadly Ebola virus are being evacuated from Africa with the plan to fly them to U.S. hospitals to receive treatment.

The patients, who both caught the disease while in Africa, will be transported in elaborate isolation chambers and receive treatment by medical staff in protective suits.

Despite the precautions, fears about the disease have spread well beyond Africa.

“This concern about the introduction of Ebola and its possible spread in the United States has been an aspect of this story that has taken off and somewhat surprised those of us in infectious disease and public health,” said Dr. William Shaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“There are a number of reasons for that — it’s a very very fatal virus, and this outbreak is the largest ever and it’s not controlled so that’s frightening. It’s exotic and mysterious coming from Africa, and now there are two American faces to it and in fact those American faces are coming home,” he said.

The patients, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, will be transported one by one, sources told ABC News Friday.

There are plans to transfer one of the patients to Emory University Hospital’s special facility containment unit within the next several days, hospital officials said in a statement.

Officials added that it’s unclear when the patient will arrive in Atlanta and where the other patient will be taken.

But the risk to the wider American public remains minimal, Shaffner explained.

“Even if a case were imported into the US — and here we’re bringing two people for hospital care — that actually the risk for Americans is essentially zero,” he said.

The reason the risk is so small for the American public is that individuals who have Ebola only become contagious when they begin to show symptoms of the disease, and then can only transfer it via bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, and urine.

It does not spread through casual contact or by sharing the same air that an infected person is breathing.

Thus if a person in America began to show symptoms, they would be quarantined immediately and anyone with whom they had close personal contact with would be monitored closely for any signs that they had become infected.

Shaffner said he would feel comfortable sitting next to someone on a plane, in a taxi, or in a subway car even if the person was infected, which is incredibly unlikely.

“The average citizen I think can watch this and be pleased that there is an alert clinical and public health response mechanism and be reassured that this viral infection is not going to establish itself in this country,” Shaffner said.

“We don’t have the environment that is conducive to this virus. We might get some imported cases, and God forbid it might spread to a healthcare worker but it would not spread further,” he said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Is It Safe to Bring Ebola Patients to the US?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Two Americans who are battling the deadly Ebola virus are being evacuated from Africa with the plan to fly them to U.S. hospitals to receive treatment.

The patients, who both caught the disease while in Africa, will be transported in elaborate isolation chambers and receive treatment by medical staff in protective suits.

Despite the precautions, fears about the disease have spread well beyond Africa.

“This concern about the introduction of Ebola and its possible spread in the United States has been an aspect of this story that has taken off and somewhat surprised those of us in infectious disease and public health,” said Dr. William Shaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“There are a number of reasons for that — it’s a very very fatal virus, and this outbreak is the largest ever and it’s not controlled so that’s frightening. It’s exotic and mysterious coming from Africa, and now there are two American faces to it and in fact those American faces are coming home,” he said.

The patients, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, will be transported one by one, sources told ABC News Friday.

There are plans to transfer one of the patients to Emory University Hospital’s special facility containment unit within the next several days, hospital officials said in a statement.

Officials added that it’s unclear when the patient will arrive in Atlanta and where the other patient will be taken.

But the risk to the wider American public remains minimal, Shaffner explained.

“Even if a case were imported into the US — and here we’re bringing two people for hospital care — that actually the risk for Americans is essentially zero,” he said.

The reason the risk is so small for the American public is that individuals who have Ebola only become contagious when they begin to show symptoms of the disease, and then can only transfer it via bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, and urine.

It does not spread through casual contact or by sharing the same air that an infected person is breathing.

Thus if a person in America began to show symptoms, they would be quarantined immediately and anyone with whom they had close personal contact with would be monitored closely for any signs that they had become infected.

Shaffner said he would feel comfortable sitting next to someone on a plane, in a taxi, or in a subway car even if the person was infected, which is incredibly unlikely.

“The average citizen I think can watch this and be pleased that there is an alert clinical and public health response mechanism and be reassured that this viral infection is not going to establish itself in this country,” Shaffner said.

“We don’t have the environment that is conducive to this virus. We might get some imported cases, and God forbid it might spread to a healthcare worker but it would not spread further,” he said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

New Show Explores Shocking Extreme Parenting Techniques

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — No one ever said parenting was easy, but these families think they’ve got it all figured out.

Meet the offspring of parents with off-the-wall child-rearing techniques in Bravo’s latest docuseries, Extreme Guide to Parenting.

From “hypno-parenting,” to helicopter and conscious attachment parenting, to push parenting where their child is pushed to be the best, the nine admittedly eccentric households all insist their alternative parenting techniques are the best and that everyone else has it wrong.

The families range from the woman who breastfeeds her school-age child and refuses to vaccinate, to the overbearing Los Angeles gay dads who won’t leave their toddler’s side for a second. And then there’s the family that is adventurous and minimalist, living such a nomadic lifestyle that they don’t inhabit a house but choose to live in their car.

“We may see a family who’s making a choice and it may change the way you think about it, and I think that’s what makes it interesting to viewers,” Maggie Furlong, TV editor at Yahoo, told ABC News.

The families admitted they have unconventional styles of parenting, like the family that punishes their children with physical activities like planks, push-ups and wall sits, or the parents who insist their son plays five sports, knows the United States presidents and can write his name — all at the age of 4.

While it may be television gold, some say this form of reality TV exploits children.

“No. 1, it pits parents against each other,” said Ericka Souter, editor at TheStir.com. “No. 2, it seems less about the children and more about parents. And No. 3, it’s making legitimate parenting choices kind of like a joke.”

No matter how you look at it, they’re taking child-rearing to a whole new level.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →