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August 4, 2011, 8:09 AM CT

Four times more on health insurance costs

Four times  more on health insurance costs

U.S. physicians spend nearly $61,000 more than their Canadian counterparts each year on administrative expenses correlation to health insurance, as per a newly released study by scientists at Cornell University and the University of Toronto.

The study, reported in the recent issue of the journal Health Affairs, observed that per-doctor costs in the U.S. averaged $82,975 annually, while Ontario-based physicians averaged $22,205 � primarily because Canada's single-payer health care system is simpler.

Canadian physicians follow a single set of rules, but U.S. doctors grapple with different sets of regulations, procedures and forms mandated by each health insurance plan or payer. The bureaucratic burden falls heavily on U.S. nurses and medical practice staff, who spend 20.6 hours per doctor per week on administrative duties; their Canadian counterparts spend only 2.5 hours.

"The magnitude of that difference is what is interesting," said co-author Sean Nicholson, Cornell professor of policy analysis and management in the College of Human Ecology. "It's the nurse time and the clerical time, rather than doctor time, that's different. That's driving the increased costs".

The authors offer ideas U.S. policymakers and health insurers could use to streamline inefficiencies and reduce administrative costs. Chief among them: standardize transactions and conduct them electronically. Physical mail, faxes and telephone calls can slow practices down, as per Nicholson. The result is an additional $27 billion spent every year in the U.S. when in comparison to the costs incurred by physicians in Canada.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 21, 2011, 10:29 PM CT

Smartphone making your eyes tired?

Smartphone making your eyes tired?
Several reports indicate that prolonged viewing of mobile devices and other stereo 3D devices leads to visual discomfort, fatigue and even headaches. As per a new Journal of Vision study, the root cause appears to be the demand on our eyes to focus on the screen and simultaneously adjust to the distance of the content.

Scientifically referred to as vergence-accommodation, this conflict and its effect on viewers of stereo 3D displays are detailed in a recent Journal of Vision article, The Zone of Comfort: Predicting Visual Discomfort with Stereo Displays.

"When watching stereo 3D displays, the eyes must focus � that is, accommodate � to the distance of the screen because that's where the light comes from. At the same time, the eyes must converge to the distance of the stereo content, which appears to be in front of or behind the screen," explains author Martin S. Banks, professor of optometry and vision science, University of California, Berkeley.

Through a series of experiments on 24 adults, the research team observed the interaction between the viewing distance and the direction of the conflict, examining whether placing the content in front of or behind the screen affects viewer discomfort. The results demonstrated that with devices like mobile phones and desktop displays that are viewed at a short distance, stereo content placed in front of the screen � appearing closer to the viewer and into the space of viewer's room � was less comfortable than content placed behind the screen. On the other hand, when viewing at a longer distance such as a movie theater screen, stereo content placed behind the screen �appearing as though the viewer is looking through a window scene behind the screen � was less comfortable.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


June 13, 2011, 7:41 AM CT

Reducing avoidable rehospitalizations

Reducing avoidable rehospitalizations
The rehospitalization of senior patients within 30 days of discharge from a skilled nursing facility (SNF) has risen dramatically in recent years, at an estimated annual cost of more than $17 billion. A newly released study from Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC), an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, demonstrates improvements in discharge disposition following a three-pronged intervention that combines standardized admission templates, palliative care consultations, and root-cause-analysis conferences.

The study, reported in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, compared patients' discharge disposition from HRC's Recuperative Services Unit (RSU) in Boston, a skilled nursing facility, before and after implementation of the intervention. The rate of patient rehospitalization fell from 16.5 percent to 13.3 percent, a drop of nearly 20 percent. Discharges to home increased from 68.6 percent to 73.0 percent, and discharges to long-term care dropped to 11.5 percent from 13.8 percent.

"The change in discharge disposition observed between the two periods, we believe, reflects an improvement in patient outcomes," says main author Randi E. Berkowitz, M.D., a geriatrician at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and medical director of the RSU. "Specifically, a lower acute transfer rate likely reflects improved processes of care in the SNF".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 2, 2011, 8:06 AM CT

Women with BRCA mutations can take hormone-replacement therapy

Women with BRCA mutations can take hormone-replacement therapy
Women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, which are associated with a very high risk of breast and ovary cancer, can safely take hormone-replacement treatment (HRT) to mitigate menopausal symptoms after surgical removal of their ovaries, as per new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania which will be presented Monday, June 6 during the American Society for Clinical Oncology's annual meeting (Abstract #1501). Results of the prospective study indicated that women with BRCA mutations who had their ovaries removed and took short-term HRT had a decrease in the risk of developing breast cancer.

Research has shown that in women who carry the BRCA mutations, the single most powerful risk-reduction strategy is to have their ovaries surgically removed by their mid-30s or early 40s. The decrease in cancer risk from ovary removal comes at the cost of early menopause and menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances and vaginal dryness � quality-of-life issues that may cause some women to delay or avoid the procedure.

"Women with BRCA1/2 mutations should have their ovaries removed following child-bearing because this is the single best intervention to improve survival," says main author Susan M. Domchek, MD, an associate professor in the division of Hematology-Oncology and director of the Cancer Risk Assessment Program at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center. "It is unfortunate to have women choose not to have this surgery because they are worried about menopausal symptoms and are told they can't take HRT. Our data say that is not the case � these drugs do not increase their risk of breast cancer".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 2, 2011, 7:51 AM CT

Single moms entering midlife may lead to public health crisis

Single moms entering midlife may lead to public health crisis
Unwed mothers face poorer health at midlife than do women who have children after marriage, as per a new nationwide study, which appears in the June 2011 issue of the American Sociological Review

Scientists observed that women who had their first child outside of marriage described their health as poorer at age 40 than did other moms.

This is the first U.S. study to document long-term negative health consequences for unwed mothers, and it has major implications for our society, said Kristi Williams, main author of the study and associate professor of sociology at Ohio State University.

About 40 percent of all births in the United States now occur to unmarried women, in comparison to less than 10 percent in 1960, Williams said. That suggests there will soon be a population boom in the United States of single mothers suffering middle-aged health problems.

"We are soon going to have a large population of single mothers who are entering midlife, when a number of health problems just begin to emerge," Williams said. "This is a looming public health crisis that has been pretty much ignored by the public and by policymakers".

Moreover, the study suggests that later marriage does not generally help reverse the negative health consequences of having a first birth outside of marriage. This calls into question the value of government efforts to promote marriage, among low-income, single mothers, at least in terms of their consequences for these women's health.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 2, 2011, 7:48 AM CT

Children of divorce fall behind peers in math, social skills

Children of divorce fall behind peers in math, social skills
Divorce is a drag on the academic and emotional development of young children, but only once the breakup is under way, as per a research studyof elementary school students and their families.

"Children of divorce experience setbacks in math test scores and show problems with interpersonal skills and internalizing behavior during the divorce period," says Hyun Sik Kim, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "They are more prone to feelings of anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem and sadness".

Kim's work, reported in the recent issue of American Sociological Review, makes use of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study describing more than 3,500 U.S. elementary school students who entered kindergarten in 1998. The study, which also made subjects of parents while checking in periodically on the children, gave Kim the opportunity to track the families through divorce � as well as through periods before and after the divorce.

While the children fell behind their peers in math and certain psychological measures during the period that included the divorce, Kim was surprised to see those students showing no issues in the time period preceding the divorce.

"I expected that there would be conflict between the parents leading up to their divorce, and that that would be troublesome for their child," Kim says. "But I failed to find a significant effect in the pre-divorce period".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 19, 2011, 8:51 AM CT

Virtual workout partners

Virtual workout partners
Deborah Feltz is chairperson of MSU's Department of Kinesiology.

Credit: Courtesy photo

Can't find anyone to exercise with? Don't despair: New research from Michigan State University reveals working out with a virtual partner improves motivation during exercise.

The study led by Deborah Feltz, chairperson of MSU's Department of Kinesiology, is the first to investigate the Kohler effect on motivation in health video games; that phenomenon explains why inferior team members perform better in a group than they would by themselves.

The research, to be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, was funded by a $150,000 grant from Health Games Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio.

"Our results suggest working out with virtually present, superior partners can improve motivation on exercise game tasks," Feltz said. "These findings provide a starting point to test additional features that have the potential to improve motivational gains in health video games".

By incorporating design features based on the Kohler effect, health video games could motivate vigorous exercise, she added.

"One of the key hurdles people cite in not working out is a lack of motivation," Feltz said. "Research has shown working out with a partner increases motivation, and with a virtual partner, you are removing the social anxiety that some people feel working out in public."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 4, 2011, 5:38 PM CT

Employee flu vaccination rates

Employee flu vaccination rates
A systematic effort to improve flu vaccination rates for healthcare workers has increased flu vaccinations rates from 59 percent to 77 percent at the University Health System (UHS) in San Antonio. A report detailing their interventions to increase vaccination was reported in the recent issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

UHS raised its healthcare worker vaccination rate from 59 percent in 2009 to 77 percent in 2010 through quality improvement tools including vaccine kits to individual units, Grand Round presentations, enhanced staff awareness and a dashboard of vaccination rates of each program was promoted on the staff intranet. The increase places the UHS well above national average for healthcare worker vaccination, which tends to hover below 50 percent.

The vaccination push was spearheaded by a quality improvement team with a goal of reaching a vaccination rate of 80 percent. The team developed a list of possible reasons for low immunization rates, and created a set of interventions to combat them.

Under the improvement program, a vaccination kit was provided to each hospital unit so workers could take it without leaving their work area. Multiple educational conferences on the importance of vaccination were held, and a flu information website and blog were added to the health system's website. Hospital newsletters featured articles about immunization, including photographs of hospital leaders being vaccinated. The vaccination campaign was also promoted on telephone hold messages and computer screen savers. To monitor progress, vaccination rates by unit were sent to unit directors weekly and were available to all employees on the website.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 29, 2011, 8:44 AM CT

Alcohol, Mood and Me

Alcohol, Mood and Me
Thanks in part to studies that follow subjects for a long time, psychology experts are learning more about differences between people. In a new article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, the author describes how psychology experts can use their data to learn about the different ways that people's minds work.

Most psychology research is done by asking a big group of people the same questions at the same time. "So we might get a bunch of Psych 101 undergrads, administer a survey, ask about how much they use alcohol and what their mood is, and just look and see, is there a relationship between those two variables," says Daniel J. Bauer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the author of the article.

But a one-time survey of a bunch of college students can only get you so far. For example, it might find that sad people drink more, but it can't tell us whether people drink more at times when they are unhappy, whether the consequences of drinking instead result in a depressed mood, or whether the relationship between mood and alcohol use is stronger for some people than others.

One way psychology experts have used to learn more about people is collecting data from people over a longer time period. For example, they might give each subject an electronic device to record blood pressure and stress several times a day, or ask them to log on to a website every night to answer a survey. In one case, Bauer's colleague, Andrea Hussong, asked adolescents to complete daily diaries with ratings of their mood and alcohol use over 21 days. The data showed that the relationship between mood and alcohol use is not the same for everyone. Adolescents with behavioral problems drink more in general, irrespective of mood, but only adolescents without behavioral problems drink more often when feeling depressed.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 3, 2011, 9:41 AM CT

Mum's the word

Mum's the word
As part of the study, which will follow 40,000 UK households over many years, young people aged between 10 to 15 years have been asked how satisfied they are with their lives. The findings indicate that a mother's happiness in her partnership is more important to the child than the father's. The findings are based on a sample of 6,441 women, 5,384 men and 1,268 young people.

Overall, 60 per cent of young people say they are 'completely satisfied' with their family situation but in families where the child's mother is unhappy in her partnership, only 55 per cent of young people say they are 'completely happy' with their family situation � compared with 73 per cent of young people whose mothers are 'perfectly happy' in their relationships.

The Understanding Society research examined the relationships between married or cohabiting partners, and relationships between parents and their children. Professor John Ermisch, Dr Maria Iacovou, and Dr Alexandra Skew from the Institute for Social and Economic Research observed that the happiest children are those living with two parents � either biological or step � with no younger siblings, who do not quarrel with their parents regularly, who eat at least three evening meals per week with their family and whose mother is happy in her own relationship.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 1, 2011, 7:16 AM CT

Skip the coffee, study says

Skip the coffee, study says
Eating a fatty fast food meal is never good for you, but washing that meal down with a coffee is even worse, as per a new University of Guelph study.

Researcher Marie-Soleil Beaudoin has discovered not only that a healthy person's blood sugar levels spike after eating a high-fat meal, but that the spike doubles after having both a fatty meal and caffeinated coffee � jumping to levels similar to those of people who are at risk for diabetes.

"The results tell us that saturated fat interferes with the body's ability to clear sugars from the blood and, when combined with caffeinated coffee, the impact can be even worse," said Beaudoin, a PhD student who conducted the study with U of G professors Lindsay Robinson and Terry Graham. "Having sugar remain in our blood for long periods is unhealthy because it can take a toll on our body's organs".

Published recently in the Journal of Nutrition� the study is the first to examine the effects of saturated fat and caffeinated coffee on blood sugar levels using a novel fat cocktail which contains only lipids. This specially designed beverage allows scientists to accurately mimic what happens to the body when we ingest fat.

For the study, healthy men drank about one gram of the fat beverage for every kilogram of body weight for their first meal. Six hours later, they were given a second meal consisting of a sugar drink.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 30, 2011, 10:54 PM CT

A woman's blues bring a relationship down

A woman's blues bring a relationship down
Depression erodes intimate relationships. A depressed person can be withdrawn, needy, or hostile�and give little back.

But there's another way that depression isolates partners from each other. It chips away at the ability to perceive the others' thoughts and feelings. It impairs what psychology experts call "empathic accuracy" �and that can exacerbate alienation, depression, and the cycle by which they feed each other.

Three Israeli researchers�Reuma Gadassi and Nilly Mor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Eshkol Rafaeli at Bar-Ilan University�wanted to understand better these dynamics in relationships, especially the role of gender. Their study will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The study revealed a surprising dynamic: "It's called the partner effect," said Gadassi, a psychology graduate student. She explained: "Women's depression affects their own accuracy. But it also affected their partner's accuracy"�in both cases, negatively.

Fifty heterosexual couples�some married, some cohabiting, and together an average of about five years�took part in the study. First, a questionnaire assessed their levels of depression. Then, their interpersonal perceptions were tested both in the lab and in daily life.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 30, 2011, 7:16 AM CT

Cost of heart drugs makes patients skip pills

Cost of heart drugs makes patients skip pills
For more than 5 million Americans with heart failure, a critical step to better health is taking the medications they're prescribed. But a number of patients fail to do so, putting themselves at greater risk of hospitalization and even death. To date, studies have not fully answered why patients fall short when it comes to taking heart medicine. In a study appearing in the recent issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic scientists found the drugs' cost is one of the biggest deterrents.

"We found patients weren't filling their prescriptions because of the expense," says Shannon Dunlay, M.D., Mayo Clinic heart specialist and main author.

The study recruited patients from Olmsted County, Minn., and tracked their pharmacy records. Prior studies looked only at electronic prescription claims data, possibly missing drugs purchased with cash or not covered by insurance, Dr. Dunlay says. The 209 patients in the study, ages 60 to 86, were asked how often they missed doses or didn't take drugs at all, and why.

Scientists observed that younger patients were slightly more likely to skip certain heart medications than older patients. Men were less likely than women to stick to certain drug regimens. Among patients who did a poor job following prescriptions, financial concern was the main reason: 46 percent reported that they had stopped taking statins or not filled a prescription because of cost, and 23 percent acknowledged skipping doses to save money.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 28, 2011, 8:10 AM CT

Nicotine as main culprit in diabetes complications

Nicotine as main culprit in diabetes complications
Researchers today reported the first good evidence implicating nicotine as the main culprit responsible for persistently elevated blood sugar levels � and the resulting increased risk of serious health complications � in people who have diabetes and smoke. In a presentation at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), they said the discovery also may have implications for people with diabetes who are using nicotine-replacement treatment for extended periods in an attempt to stop smoking.

"This is an important study," said Xiao-Chuan Liu, Ph.D., who presented the results. "It is the first study to establish a strong link between nicotine and diabetes complications. If you're a smoker and have diabetes, you should be concerned and make every effort to quit smoking".

Nearly 26 million people in the United States and 260 million more worldwide have diabetes. Those complications � which include heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, and nerve damage � are why diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and the third leading cause in some minority groups, as per the National Institutes of Health. Treating those complications takes $1 out of every $10 spent on health care each year.

Liu cited past research showing that good control of blood sugar levels is the key to preventing complications. The gold standard for monitoring long-term blood sugar levels in people with diabetes is the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) blood test. Used in conjunction with daily home blood sugar monitoring, the HbA1c test reveals the average amount of sugar in the blood during the last several weeks. High test results mean that diabetes is not well controlled and there is an increased risk of complications.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 28, 2011, 7:14 AM CT

Surgeon availability in vehicle crashes

Surgeon availability in vehicle crashes
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine claim that the availability of surgeons is a critical factor in public health and suggest that surgery should become an important part of the primary health care system.

A recent study led by David C. Chang, PhD, MPH, MBA, director of Outcomes Research in the Department of Surgery at UCSD School of Medicine, points out that surgery in the United States continues to be seen as tertiary care and is mainly centered at large urban hospitals, creating an unequal distribution of surgical providers. The report, to be published on line in the Journal of American College of Surgeons March 28, shows that the insufficient availability of surgeons in certain regions of the country significantly lowers the quality of patient care and leads to unnecessary loss of lives.

To investigate how access to surgical care impacts health outcomes, Chang and his colleagues focused on motor vehicle crashes (MVC) � one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States. The scientists examined the relationship between the three-year average of MVC-related deaths and the availability of surgeons across 3,225 counties in the United States. After adjusting for factors such as density of population, urban versus rural location, and socioeconomic status, they observed that there was a significant inverse association between the number of surgeons and the number of road traffic injury-related deaths, particularly in rural areas.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 28, 2011, 7:04 AM CT

'Spicing' up your love life possible

'Spicing' up your love life possible
Looking to spice up your sex life? Try adding ginseng and saffron to your diet. Both are proven performance boosters, as per a new scientific review of natural aphrodisiacs conducted by University of Guelph researchers.

Indulge in wine and chocolate, too, but know that their amorous effects are likely all in your head. Stay away from the more obscure Spanish fly and Bufo toad. While purported to be sexually enhancing, they produced the opposite result and can even be toxic.

Those are among the findings of the study by Massimo Marcone, a professor in Guelph's Department of Food Science, and master's student John Melnyk. The results will appear in the journal Food Research International but are available online now.

"Aphrodisiacs have been used for thousands of years all around the world, but the science behind the claims has never been well understood or clearly reported," Marcone said.

"Ours is the most thorough scientific review to date. Nothing has been done on this level of detail before now." .

There is a need for natural products that enhance sex without negative side effects, Melnyk added. Currently, conditions such as erectile dysfunction are treated with synthetic drugs, including sildenafil (usually sold as Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 25, 2011, 7:35 AM CT

Consumption of omega-3s

Consumption of omega-3s
A study of Yup'ik Eskimos in Alaska, who on average consume 20 times more omega-3 fats from fish than people in the lower 48 states, suggests that a high intake of these fats helps prevent obesity-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

The study, led by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and conducted in collaboration with the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, was published online March 23 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

"Because Yup'ik Eskimos have a traditional diet that includes large amounts of fatty fish and have a prevalence of overweight or obesity that is similar to that of the general U.S. population, this offered a unique opportunity to study whether omega-3 fats change the association between obesity and chronic disease risk," said main author Zeina Makhoul, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the Cancer Prevention Program of the Public Health Sciences Division at the Hutchinson Center.

The fats the scientists were interested in measuring were those found in salmon, sardines and other fatty fish: docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA.

Scientists analyzed data from a community-based study of 330 people living in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta region of southwest Alaska, 70 percent of whom were overweight or obese. As expected, the scientists observed that in participants with low blood levels of DHA and EPA, obesity strongly increased both blood triglycerides (a blood lipid abnormality) and C-reactive protein, or CRP (a measure of overall body inflammation). Elevated levels of triglycerides and CRP increase the risk of heart disease and, possibly, diabetes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 25, 2011, 7:12 AM CT

Anemia in postmenopausal women

Anemia in postmenopausal women
A newly released study reported in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicates that inadequate nutrition is associated with a greater risk of anemia in postmenopausal women.

"This study suggests that inadequate nutrient intakes are a significant risk factor for anemia in this population of older women and use of multivitamin/mineral supplements is not linked to lower rates of anemia," reports lead investigator Cynthia A. Thomson, PhD, RD, Associate Professor Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson. "Overall mortality is increased in relation to a diagnosis of anemia, and anemia, especially iron deficiency, has been linked to reduced capacity for physical work and physical inactivity, injury correlation to falls and hospitalizations, making this an important health care concern in the aging." The authors also point out that there have been few studies of anemia and diet of independently living women in the past 20 years.

Using data from 72,833 women in the Observational Cohort of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI-OS), scientists observed that deficiencies in more than a single nutrient were linked to a 21% greater risk of persistent anemia while three deficiencies resulted in a 44% increase in risk for persistent anemia. Inadequate intakes of multiple anemia-associated nutrients were less frequent in non-Hispanic whites (7.4%) than other race/ethnic groups (15.2% of Native Americans/Alaskans, 14.6% Asian/Pacific Islanders, 15.3% of African Americans and 16.3% of Hispanic/Latinos reported all three nutrient inadequacies). Women with anemia reported lower intakes of energy, protein, folate, vitamin B12, iron, vitamin C and red meat. In fact, inadequate intake of dietary iron, vitamin B12 and folate were each linked to approximately 10% to 20% elevated risk for incident anemia among WHI-OS study participants and the odds increased for persistent anemia to 21%. Age, body mass index and smoking were also linked to anemia.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


March 22, 2011, 10:31 PM CT

Load Up on Fiber Now

Load Up on Fiber Now
A newly released study from Northwestern Medicine shows a high-fiber diet could be a critical heart-healthy lifestyle change young and middle-aged adults can make. The study found adults between 20 and 59 years old with the highest fiber intake had a significantly lower estimated lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease in comparison to those with the lowest fiber intake.

The study will be presented March 23 at the American Heart Association's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Scientific Sessions 2011 in Atlanta, Ga. This is the first known study to show the influence of fiber consumption on the lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.

"It's long been known that high-fiber diets can help people lose weight, lower cholesterol and improve hypertension," said Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., corresponding author of the study and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a heart specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "The results of this study make a lot of sense because weight, cholesterol and high blood pressure are major determinants of your long-term risk for cardiovascular disease".

A high-fiber diet falls into the American Heart Association's recommendation of 25 grams of dietary fiber or more a day. Lloyd-Jones said you should strive to get this daily fiber intake from whole foods, not processed fiber bars, supplements and drinks.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 20, 2011, 10:19 PM CT

How do consumers estimate a good time?

How do consumers estimate a good time?
Consumers estimate they'll spend more time enjoying activities when the tasks are broken down into components, as per a newly released study in the Journal of Consumer Research But using the same process for an unpleasant event decreases time estimates.

"It has been well established that predicted consumption time plays a central role in consumers' assessments and purchase decisions," write authors Claire I. Tsai and Min Zhao (both University of Toronto). "If consumers foresee spending a lot of time using a product or service (such as gym membership or cable TV), they are more likely to purchase it".

In three experiments with 500 participants the authors observed that consumers' predicted consumption time was influenced by their evaluation of the consumption experience (positive or negative) and the way the experience was represented. "Unpacking a pleasurable event into several subactivities increases the time consumers expect to spend on the event," the authors write.

When consumers face an unpleasant event, the more constituent components they consider, the greater displeasure they expect. "People have a lay belief that they will spend more time on pleasant events than unpleasant ones, so the changes in predicted enjoyment or displeasure caused by unpacking systematically influence the amount of time consumers expect to spend using a product or service," the authors write.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 18, 2011, 6:06 PM CT

Help to Heal An Injured Joint

Help to Heal An Injured Joint
Sensors integrated into the bandage register the knee's range of movement. (© Fraunhofer IPA)
Knee patients need patience: injuries to these joints take weeks to heal. Fraunhofer scientists have now developed a system that documents the healing process in detail. This motivates patients and at the same time helps doctors to fine-tune the course of therapy.

There's nothing like the sheer delight of sun and snow on a skiing trip. But a momentary lapse of concentration can have nasty consequences. Taking a tumble on the slopes often causes injuries - most usually to the knee. Weeks can go by before knees regain their full function, and patients are obliged to re-learn how to walk. The time it takes for the knee to heal is directly correlation to how well it reacts to the chosen therapy. But how is an orthopedic doctor to evaluate the healing process? And how are patients to know what progress they are making? Currently, doctors can only perform limited function tests, whilst patients are obliged to rely on their own subjective feelings. Now scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart have developed a system for gathering exact data on knee mobility. It shows patients as well as medical staff how the joint is doing. "It not only lets sufferers see how their healing process is coming along; it also means doctors can tell straight away whether they need to adapt the therapy," says Dipl.-Ing. Bernhard Kleiner of Fraunhofer IPA. "This can give patients a psychological boost." They might not feel they are getting any better, but the system highlights every little improvement in knee mobility. "And that's very motivating," says Kleiner.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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