Medical Notes 18-50


Medical Notes this week…

Millions of people take low dose aspirin in hopes of warding off a heart attack. Millions more take omega-3 fish oil supplements in part for the same reason. But a pair of studies in the Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine show that if you’re healthy and haven’t had a heart attack already… neither one will do you much good. In both studies, heart events were virtually the same as for people taking a placebo. And those taking aspirin had nearly twice the stomach bleeding… and a lot more indigestion.

People who’ve suffered a terrible loss often suffer worse health afterward. Now scientists have tracked one reason. A study at Rice University shows that people suffering from severe grief experience as much as 53 percent higher levels of inflammation throughout the body compared to normal people, and that outward signs of depression are no guide to the inflammation going on inside. Researchers say inflammation contributes to almost every disease in older people… especially heart attack and stroke.

And finally… some people consider attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder to be a disability. But a study in The Journal of Creative Behavior finds that in some fields, like marketing, product design, and technology, having ADHD is an asset to employment. Researchers find that people with ADHD resist conformity and ignore typical information. In short, they much more easily think outside the box.

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Medical Notes 18-28

 

Medical Notes this week…

When it comes to cancer are you better off safe than sorry? Despite cancer screening’s potential risks, many Americans still want it. A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology finds that more than a third of participants want to receive a hypothetical cancer screening, even when the possibility of serious harm is described in detail. Clinicians say screenings can produce false positives that could lead to unnecessary worry and follow up tests. They can also over-diagnose, resulting in costly and unnecessary treatment of cancers that will never spread.

Men who take low dose aspirin to ward off heart attacks have more reason to stay out of the sun. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology finds those who take aspirin have nearly double the risk of developing melanoma compared to men who don’t take it. However, scientists say that’s no reason to stop taking aspirin, which not only reduces heart attacks but also helps prevent a variety of cancers. Women taking aspirin showed no increased melanoma risk.

And finally, want to get more done at work? Scoot on over to a window. A study from Cornell University finds that natural light produces health benefits and increased productivity. Lack of daylight and access to views decrease the ability of the eye to relax and recover from fatigue, but natural light cuts eyestrain is by 51 percent and reduces computer vision syndrome which impacts 70 million workers worldwide.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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