Epilepsy affects 3.5 million Americans, yet stigma prevents many from speaking out, which in turn prolongs the stigma. An award-winning writer who has epilepsy describes the discrimination faced by people with seizure disorders and dispels the many myths many people hold about them.
Death rates for most major health conditions have been in decline, but chronic kidney disease is a big exception, according to a study in the journal JAMA Open. Researchers say that deaths due to chronic kidney disease have increased overall by 58 percent over the last 15 years… and among people under 55, who previously suffered little chronic kidney disease, death rates are sharply up as well. Scientists blame high-sugar, high-salt foods and the increase in health problems such as high blood pressure and type two diabetes… which can trigger kidney disease.
Some people say having a tough childhood makes kids grow up fast. But a new study in the journal Biological Psychiatry finds that it also ages children prematurely. Researchers analyzed DNA of children age eight to 16 who had been exposed to violence, neglect, or emotional abuse… and found that on a cellular level, they were older than similar children living in a more stable environment. Those changes are reflected in the average age of puberty… which is lower among children growing up in a tough environment.
And finally… if you’re a night owl, your health may suffer for it. Previous studies have linked being a night owl to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease… and now a study in the journal Chronobiology International has added up the effect—night owls may have a 10 percent higher risk of early death. Researchers admit they don’t know why a person’s chronotype has such an effect.
Many people with dwarfism also face skeletal abnormalities which can lead to disability. Experts, and little people themselves, discuss major causes of dwarfism, the hurdles they create, the struggle for respect, and the prospect of treatments that could one day make little people much more rare.
Dr. Jennifer Arnold, co-star, TLC’s The Little Couple and co-author, Think Big
Ericka Okenfuss, licensed genetic counselor, Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento, CA
Gary Arnold, President, Little People of America and Public Affairs Manager, Access Living, Chicago, IL
American lifespans have declined for the third year in a row… the first time that’s happened since World War I. A report from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Preventions finds that a baby boy born today in the United States can expect to live to 76… while the average baby girl can expect a lifespan of 81 years. Researchers blame opioid overdoses… flu deaths… Alzheimer’s disease and suicides for the decline in the American lifespan.
Some women want to have their children as close together as possible, but a new study shows that it’s wise to wait at least a year to get pregnant again. The study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine finds that waiting a year between the birth of one child and conception of another lowers complications. Women older than 35 have a lower risk of death when they wait … and for mothers under 35, there’s a lower risk for the baby when children aren’t so close together.
And finally… if your desk is a mess, your co-workers probably make negative assumptions about you. A study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences finds that a messy office leads people to think its occupant is more cranky, careless, neurotic and less conscientious than people who have a neater space. Researchers say the finding applies to virtually any personal space.
Medical campaigns account for a third of monies raised on crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, and many people who’ve fallen through the holes of the safety net have been helped this way. But new studies show that fraud is rampant in crowdfunding, with fake patients and medical providers who all too eager to take money for worthless treatment. Experts discuss these issues and the need for regulation.
Dr. Jeremy Snyder, Professor of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Art Caplan, head, Division of Medical Ethics, New York University School of Medicine
Dr. Nora Kenworthy, Assitant Professor of Nursing and Health Studies, University of Washington-Bothell
During the holidays, leftovers from gatherings and parties may threaten to take over the refrigerator. An expert discusses consumer-friendly how-to’s, including how to read labels, that can lengthen food life and help avoid food waste.
Karen Bakies, registered dietitian and Vice President of Nutrition Affairs, American Dairy Association Mideast