Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Snoring and Sleep Disorders: A Dental Approach to a Major Public Health Issue

The Cycle of Obstructive Sleep Apnea - OSA

Image via Wikipedia

From the 19 April 2011 Science Daily item

ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2011) — Over seven million people in Spain are at risk of developing sleep apnoea (SA), a health problem caused by obstructed air intake during sleep. The disorder has become a common issue in public health, affecting patients’ quality of life and potentially leading to hypertension, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders, as well as increasing the likelihood of traffic, workplace and domestic accidents with personal, financial and healthcare repercussions. In children, SA is often associated with learning difficulties and behavioural and attention disorders.

Almost two million people in Spain show symptoms of SA requiring treatment, but only 5% are conclusively diagnosed….

…Excess weight, alcohol consumption, smoking, polymedication, nasal obstruction, menopause and unhealthy lifestyle habits in general have a negative impact on health and the sleep cycle. “As healthcare professionals, our obligation is to encourage people to correct habits that are harmful to their health to improve sleep hygiene and quality of life. We must use our knowledge to guarantee effective medical treatment for patients. Professionals with responsibility for the health and safety of others, such as ourselves, or chauffeurs and pilots, for example, know that our work is helping to save lives and to save companies money,” says Maribel Pascual. As Eva Willaert explains, “In the case of snoring, the model has changed completely: before we thought it was a sign of sleeping well, but snoring can be the first sign of respiratory difficulties during sleep. Statistics show that 60% of men over 50 and 40% of women in the same age group snore. Not everyone that snores develops SA, but snoring can lead to other health conditions and it is always worth reviewing clinical histories.”…

…The most common treatment for snoring and SA until recently was continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), administered using a device consisting of a nose piece or full mask that supplies a constant air pressure during sleep. A newer alternative, the mandibular advancement device (MAD), alters certain characteristics of the upper airways, leading to improvements in people affected by snoring and by mild and moderate cases of SA, making it the preferred treatment option for both disorders….

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided byUniversidad de Barcelona, via AlphaGalileo.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Unemployment: A health risk

Unemployment: A health risk

Unemployment rate in Europe (UE) and United St...

Image via Wikipedia

[Click on image to enlarge, graph caption – Unemployment rate: Europe and the United States : 1993-2009]

From the February 4, 2011 Eureka news alert

Compared to people in employment, men and women who are unemployed suffer more often and longer from both physical and emotional complaints. Why the un-employed should have health problems more often is discussed by Lars E. Kroll and his coauthor in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2011; 4: 47-52), along with a report on the findings of the GEDA study. [It is in English]

The GEDA study (Gesundheit in Deutschland Aktuell, or Current Health in Germany) was carried out in 2008-2009 by the Robert Koch Institute. The results showed that unemployed people between the ages of 30 and 59 years are especially often affected by physical, emotional, and functional impairments such as sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance addictions. As a result, the unemployed make more use of the health care system.

The health consequences of unemployment result from loss of income, loss of so-cial contacts in the workplace, or loss of social reputation. Unemployed men and women who are supported by their partners, family members, or friends are less frequently affected by these complaints.


February 6, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Later School Start Times May Foster Better Students

According to a recent news report, pushing back the start of the high school starting time has yielded good results.

High school pushed back start of day by 30 minutes, with good results.  More students were getting 8 hours of sleep, fewer students were sleepy during the idea, mood and depression symptoms lessened, and more students were interested and motivated to participate in academic and athletic activities.

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

Soldiers Plagued by Sleeplessness Back Home

According to a recent survey, sleep problems affect 86 percent of US soldiers after combat. 
This small study also found  a high percentage of soldiers still suffering from sleeplessness 45 days after returning from wartime deployment.

The principal investigator of this study is Major Betty Garner, a nurse scientist at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
Results were recently released  at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) in San Antonio.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has details on sleep disorders.

June 19, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | | Leave a comment

Poll Reveals Sleep Differences among Ethnic Groups

The 2010 Sleep in America poll released today by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reveals significant differences in the sleep habits and attitudes of Asians, Blacks/African-Americans, Hispanics and Whites. It is the first poll to examine sleep among these four ethnic groups.


  •  More than three-fourths of respondents from each ethnic group agree that poor sleep is associated with health problems (76-83%)
  • All groups report disturbingly similar experiences missing work or family functions because they were too sleepy (19-24%)
  • Blacks/African-Americans spend much more time in bed without sleeping than the other ethnic groups (54 minutes on weekdays/workdays and 71 minutes on non-workdays/weekends)
  • Asians report getting the best sleep, report the least amount of sleep problems and infrequent use of sleep aids
  • Hispanics are the most likely to say they are kept awake by financial, employment, personal relationship and/or health-related concerns


A summary of the report may be found here.

June 8, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: