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Health Updates 3 October 2011

  • Foreclosures linked to health problems: “For every 100 foreclosed properties in a community, ER and hospital admissions went up 7.2 percent for hypertension and 8.1 percent for diabetes among those aged 20 to 49, the researchers found.  Visits and admissions related to anxiety increased 12 percent and for ‘malaise’ – a vague category that included stomach upset and nausea – 7.5 percent among the same age group.  Suicide attempts jumped 38.5 percent, but the authors noted that it was based on a very small number of attempts overall.” (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Immune system researchers win Nobel Prize in Medicine: “In the long-term it will be possible to use the discoveries to improve the treatment of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and chronic inflammatory diseases, committee secretary Goran Hansson said….The trio’s discoveries have enabled the development of new methods for treating and preventing diseases, including improved vaccines and in attempts to help the immune system to attack tumors, the committee said.” (Associated Press)
  • Repeat anesthesia for tots may lead to learning disabilities: “Multiple surgeries with exposure to anesthesia before age 2 may cause cognitive problems and boost the risk of learning disabilities, an observational study suggested.  The risk of dyslexia or any other learning disability rose 2.12 fold with multiple surgical anesthesia exposures adjusted for health status….Achievement test scores and other cognitive outcomes also showed a disadvantage for these children with repeated early exposures….Virtually all general anesthetics have been shown to kill brain cells in young animals, including primates…”. (Crystal Phend, MedPage Today)
  • Happiness should be a top government priority: “There’s a growing movement among economists and other researchers to make the psychological well-being of citizens a major government priority.   The first step, they say, is to come up with a way to measure a nation’s happiness.  Ideally, they’d like to be able to boil it all down to a single statistic that will resonate with voters – think of it as a mental health equivalent of GDP or the unemployment rate.” (LA Times)
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