Health Updates 25 April 2011

  • Gabrielle Giffords to attend shuttle launch: “Doctors have given Rep. Gabrielle Giffords the go-ahead to travel to Cape Canaveral this week to watch husband Mark Kelly’s space shuttle launch, Kelly says.  The trip will be the first for the Arizona congresswoman since she was flown from Tucson to Houston more than three months ago to recover after she was shot in the head during a shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz.”. (Associated Press)
  • Study ranks states in terms of well-being and happiness versus suicide rate: “It lists the top 10 states for well-being as Utah, Louisiana, Colorado, Minnesota, Wyoming, Hawaii, Arizona, Delaware, Florida and Nevada.   Four of those states also are in the top ten for suicide rates, with Nevada ranked third, Wyoming fifth; Colorado sixth; and Utah, ninth.  Among the others, Arizona was eleventh and Florida, fifteenth”. (Associated Press)
  • Some people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) wander, bolt or ‘elope’ from safe places: A new study confirms what many families already know about children with ASD.  “Among children with ASD ages 4 to 10, roughly half had attempted to flee safety.  That’s almost four times higher than the rate for their unaffected siblings.  Some 35% of the families responding also said “the kid could rarely or never communicate their name, address or phone number by speaking, writing or typing”.  While clearly dangerous for the children who wander off, their families also suffer, particularly from sleep disorders.  Asked why the kids leave, parents speculated that they may head off unexpectedly for a favorite place; they need to escape demands, anxiety or sensory discomfort (such as loud noises); they leave suddenly to pursue a topic of interest – a child fascinated by cars runs off to a highway, for example.  At least half of the parents interviewed reported that they had never received professional advice on dealing with this problem. (Dalia Colon,
  • Chronic snoring cured by sleeping on back? “Chronic snoring can be more than a noisy nuisance.  Up to three-quarters of nightly snorers also have sleep apnea, which causes breathing interruptions throughout the night.  Sleep apnea raises the risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure”. While sleeping on your side can help reduce snoring for those of normal weight, those overweight suffers of sleep apnea find a change in sleep position not as helpful as permanently losing weight. (Anahad O’Connor, NY Times)

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