Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Surprising connections between our well-being and giving, getting, and gratitude

From the 19 January 2013 EurekAlert

January 19, 2013 – New Orleans – We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is good for our general health and well-being. But new research is highlighting a more surprising benefit of good sleep: more feelings of gratitude for relationships.

“A plethora of research highlights the importance of getting a good night’s sleep for physical and psychological well-being, yet in our society, people still seem to take pride in needing, and getting, little sleep,” says Amie Gordon of the University of California, Berkeley. “And in the past, research has shown that gratitude promotes good sleep, but our research looks at the link in the other direction and, to our knowledge, is the first to show that everyday experiences of poor sleep are negatively associated with gratitude toward others – an important emotion that helps form and maintain close social bonds.”

Social psychologists are increasingly finding that “prosocial” behavior – including expressing gratitude and giving to others – is key to our psychological well-being. Even how we choose to spend our money on purchases affects our health and happiness. And children develop specific ways to help others from a very young age. Gordon and other researchers will be presenting some of these latest findings at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) annual meeting today in New Orleans.

Sleeping to feel grateful…

[Article continues to summarize other findings as

  • giving away money to feel wealthy
  • buying experiences to feel wealthy
  • knowing what is best to help others]


Read the entire article here



January 22, 2013 Posted by | Psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

Longer CPR extends survival in both children and adults

English: CPR training

English: CPR training (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 23 January 2013 EurkAlert article

CHOP experts are co-authors of 2 large studies of outcomes after in-hospital cardiac arrest

Experts from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were among the leaders of two large national studies showing that extending CPR longer than previously thought useful saves lives in both children and adults. The research teams analyzed impact of duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in patients who suffered cardiac arrest while hospitalized.

“These findings about the duration of CPR are game-changing, and we hope these results will rapidly affect hospital practice,” said Robert A. Berg, M.D., chief of Critical Care Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Berg is the chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the American Heart Association’s Get With Guidelines-Resuscitation program (GWTG-R). That quality improvement program is the only national registry that tracks and analyzes resuscitation of patients after in-hospital cardiac arrests.

The investigators reported data from the GWTG-Resuscitation registry of CPR outcomes in thousands of North American hospital patients in two landmark studies—one in children, published today, the other in adults, published in October 2012.

Berg was a co-author of the pediatric study, appearing online today in Circulation, which analyzed hospital records of 3,419 children in the U.S. and Canada from 2000 through 2009. This study, whose first author was Renee I. Matos, M.D., M.P.H., a mentored young investigator, found that among children who suffered in-hospital cardiac arrest, more children than expected survived after prolonged CPR—defined as CPR lasting longer than 35 minutes. Of those children who survived prolonged CPR, over 60 percent had good neurologic outcomes…..

Read the entire article here

Related blog items

January 22, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | Leave a comment

Burnout In Middle-Aged Women

Over the years I’ve noticed quite a few middle aged women who burned out.
Far from being an indicator of personal failure, I am now seeing burn out at least partially “caused” by work conditions.
Work conditions which are over controlling to the point of demeaning. Work conditions which do not recognize and build on the full range of employees talents.

From the 21 January 2013 article at Medical News Today

Emotional exhaustion and physical and cognitive fatigue are signs of burnout, often caused by prolonged exposure to stress. Burnout can cause negative health effects including poor sleep, depressionanxiety, and cardiovascular and immune disorders. The findings of a 9-year study of burnout in middle-aged working women are reported in an article in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Journal of Women’s Healthwebsite.*….

Read the entire article here


The full text of the article may be found here 

Some excerpts

“Burnout has been considered a predominantly work-related phenomenon, and, thus, high work demands, job strain, lack of control, and social support at work have been identified as psychosocial factors that contribute to stress and subsequently to burnout.7,22–24 Little research has been focused on the prevalence of work-related stress and burnout in the general working population, however, particularly among middle-aged women,25 as burnout has been studied most frequently in particular occupational groups, such as teachers and healthcare providers. Therefore, the present study is important by addressing this question and by investigating a random population-based sample of middle-aged women employed in various occupations, using a longitudinal approach”

“The present study is important because of our focus on a random sample of the general working population of middle-aged women. To a large extent, earlier research has focused on particular occupational groups, such as teachers or healthcare providers, and this age group of women has rarely been the focus of research concerning work stress and burnout. Another strength of our study is its longitudinal design, including three waves of measurements during a 9-year period. The majority of studies on burnout have been cross-sectional, and those with a longitudinal design mainly have used only two waves of measurements.”

Results: When using a variable-based approach, the results showed no significant changes in burnout over time. However, underlying these levels, six trajectories were identified. These clusters represented four different developmental patterns: high levels followed by recovery, increasing levels, increasing and diminishing levels, and stable levels.

Conclusions: In contrast to previous research suggesting that burnout is a stable construct over time, the present study identified distinct subgroups of women showing different developmental patterns of burnout during a 9-year period. Furthermore, our findings showed that the development of burnout was accompanied by concurrent changes in life stress as well as work-related and individual factors.”




January 22, 2013 Posted by | Workplace Health | , | Leave a comment

Rising Meat Consumption, Calorie Intake Complicate Efforts To Conserve Essential Phosphorus Resource

From the 21 January 2013 article at Medical News Today

Dietary changes since the early 1960s have fueled a sharp increase in the amount of mined phosphorus used to produce the food consumed by the average person over the course of a year, according to a new study led by researchers at McGill University.

Between 1961 and 2007, rising meat consumption and total calorie intake underpinned a 38% increase in the world’s per capita “phosphorus footprint,” the researchers conclude in a paper published online in Environmental Research Letters.

The findings underscore a significant challenge to efforts to sustainably manage the supply of mined phosphorus, a non-renewable resource widely used as fertilizer. When phosphorus is lost through agricultural runoff or sewage systems, it can pollute waterways downstream. In addition, because deposits are heavily concentrated in a few countries, global supplies and prices for the resource are vulnerable to geopolitical tensions…..


Read the entire article here


January 22, 2013 Posted by | environmental health | , , , | Leave a comment

Rumor Control – Flu Epidemic: Fact or Fiction

A 19th January post at MedPage Today addresses rumors and “conspiracy theories” about flu epidemic reports.

Responses in a recent survey ranged from blaming Hurricane Sandy (with a government coverup) to profit motivations by BigPharma to vaccine inffectiveness.

The entire article may be read here.


January 22, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment


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