Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

The microbiome and disease: Gut bacteria influence the severity of heart attacks in rats

The microbiome and disease: Gut bacteria influence the severity of heart attacks in rats

Excerpt from the 12 January 2012 news article

New research published online in the FASEB Journal suggests that the types and levels of bacteria in the intestines may be used to predict a person’s likelihood of having a heart attack, and that manipulating these organisms may help reduce heart attack risk. This discovery may lead to new diagnostic tests and therapies that physicians use to prevent and treat heart attacks. In addition, this research suggests that probiotics may be able to protect the heart in patients undergoing heart surgery and angioplasty….

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January 27, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News, Nutrition | , , | Leave a comment

Discrimination may harm your health

Discrimination may harm your health

Excerpt from the 12 January 2012 Science Daily news item

Racial discrimination may be harmful to your health, according to new research from Rice University sociologists Jenifer Bratter and Bridget Gorman.

n the study, “Is Discrimination an Equal Opportunity Risk? Racial Experiences, Socio-economic Status and Health Status Among Black and White Adults,” the authors examined data containing measures of social class, race and perceived discriminatory behavior and found that approximately 18 percent of blacks and 4 percent of whites reported higher levels of emotional upset and/or physical symptoms due to race-based treatment.

“Discriminatory behavior very well may be a ‘missing link’ in the analysis of racial and ethnic health disparities,” Bratter said. “It’s important to acknowledge and study its impact on long-term health…

A greater number of blacks report poor health due to discrimination, and the study did find that black-white disparities in health are shaped in part by the differential exposure of blacks to the harmful effects of discrimination. However, Bratter and Gorman also show that while perceiving discrimination exacerbates some of the economic-based health risks more typically experienced by black adults, patterns differ for white adults. Regardless of social-class position, white adults who perceive unfair treatment relative to other racial groups in either workplace or health care settings report poorer health.

“A relatively small proportion of white adults report unfair treatment that is race-based, but those who do say their health status is harmed more than blacks who report the same experiences,” Gorman said.

 

January 27, 2012 Posted by | Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

The biology of politics: Liberals roll with the good, conservatives confront the bad

 

The biology of politics: Liberals roll with the good, conservatives confront the bad

New study brings to light physiological, cognitive differences of political left and right

Excerpt from the 23 January 2012 Eureka news alert

 

 

English: Number of self-identified Democrats vs. self-identified Republicans, per state, according to Gallup, January-June 2010 [1].

   18+ point Democratic advantage
   10-17 point Democratic advantage
   3-9 point Democratic advantage
   2 point Democratic advantage through 2 point Republican advantage
   3-9 point Republican advantage
   10-17 point Republican advantage
   18+ point Republican advantage

 

 

 

 

From cable TV news pundits to red-meat speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire, our nation’s deep political stereotypes are on full display: Conservatives paint self-indulgent liberals as insufferably absent on urgent national issues, while liberals say fear-mongering conservatives are fixated on exaggerated dangers to the country.

A new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests there are biological truths to such broad brushstrokes.

In a series of experiments, researchers closely monitored physiological reactions and eye movements of study participants when shown combinations of both pleasant and unpleasant images. Conservatives reacted more strongly to, fixated more quickly on, and looked longer at the unpleasant images; liberals had stronger reactions to and looked longer at the pleasant images compared with conservatives.

“It’s been said that conservatives and liberals don’t see things in the same way,” said Mike Dodd, UNL assistant professor of psychology and the study’s lead author. “These findings make that clear – quite literally.”

To gauge participants’ physiological responses, they were shown a series of images on a screen. Electrodes measured subtle skin conductance changes, which indicated an emotional response. The cognitive data, meanwhile, was gathered by outfitting participants with eyetracking equipment that captured even the most subtle of eye movements while combinations of unpleasant and pleasant photos appeared on the screen.

While liberals’ gazes tended to fall upon the pleasant images, such as a beach ball or a bunny rabbit, conservatives clearly focused on the negative images – of an open wound, a crashed car or a dirty toilet, for example.

Consistent with the idea that conservatives seem to respond more to negative stimuli while liberals respond more to positive stimuli, conservatives also exhibited a stronger physiological response to images of Democratic politicians – presumed to be a negative to them – than they did on pictures of well-known Republicans. Liberals, on the other hand, had a stronger physiological response to the Democrats – presumed to be a positive stimulus to them – than they did to images of the Republicans…

 

January 27, 2012 Posted by | Psychology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

BETAH Meetings

BETAH Meetings.

January 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

   

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