Weekly Health Update
“I am a part of all that I have met.”
~ Alfred Tennyson
Mental Attitude: Games Calm Kids Before Surgery.
Playing video games may help calm anxious children before surgery. Investigators assessed 112 children about to have surgery that required general anesthesia. The children were either given a sedative or a tablet device to play games on about 20 minutes before receiving anesthesia. The investigators found that children in both groups displayed similar reductions in anxiety; however, those who played games did not experience any of the side effects commonly associated with sedatives. The findings suggest that tablets could offer a non-pharmacological option to reduce perioperative stress.
World Congress of Anaesthesiologists, September 2016
Health Alert: Laser Pointers Pose Dangers to Eyes.
A recent study detailed four cases of children whose use of laser pointers resulted in traumatic injury to the retina. This type of injury can lead to blurry vision, blind spots, or potentially permanent vision loss. Furthermore, experts report that treatment options for retinal damage resulting from laser pointers are scarce. Unreliable labeling of laser pointers is partly to blame, as recent research has shown that many laser pointers have higher power outputs than listed on the device. Dr. Charles Wykoff, deputy chair of ophthalmology at the Blanton Eye Institute at Houston Methodist Hospital adds, “Don’t look at them, don’t point them in your eye, and don’t point them into others’ eyes. Once the injury has occurred, there’s really not much that can be done… So, I would take the approach that no laser pointer is safe to point at your eyes.”
Pediatrics, September 2016
Diet: Low Protein Diets May Improve Blood Sugar Regulation.
Past research has linked diets high in protein to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but little research has investigated whether decreasing protein intake can effectively lower the risk. According to a new study, researchers have now demonstrated that very low protein diets can improve blood sugar homeostasis, which may benefit patients at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The Journal of Clinical Investigation, August 2016
Exercise: Activity Tracker Can Determine Exercise Needed to Prevent Early Death.
A new activity tracker can now determine the amount of exercise needed to reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) is the first activity tracking scoring system that uses heart rate to help individuals achieve optimal health. PAI works by translating heart rate data from physical activity and personal information into one simple score. The goal is to keep the PAI score above 100 over a seven-day period to protect yourself from premature death related to cardiovascular disease. Investigators found that men and women with a PAI score over 100 have a 17% to 23% lower risk for cardiovascular disease mortality than those who are largely inactive. Lead author Dr. Javaid Nauman explains, “The more elevated your heart rate is during exercise, the more quickly you accumulate PAI points, but you can also work out at lower intensities for longer durations to earn PAI. Our research shows that keeping your PAI score at 100 or above could prevent premature death.”
European Society of Cardiology, September 2016
Chiropractic: European Society of Cardiology, September 2016
Investigators recently examined the association between serious illness in earlier life and the risk of pain in old age. Using data from a large national survey in the United Kingdom that included 2,401 participants, researchers found that 10.5% of participants reported chronic widespread pain. Furthermore, those who experienced serious illness before the age of 25 that required hospital admission longer than 28 days had a greater likelihood of developing chronic widespread pain than those with no history of serious illness. The findings suggest that individuals who have experienced serious illness earlier in life may require more support to reduce their risk of chronic pain in later life.
Pain, August 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Keep Young Athletes Safe from Injury.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that young athletes who play multiple sports are more likely to stay active for the rest of their lives and meet their athletic goals. The academy recommends that kids wait until they are at least 15 years of age before focusing on one sport to reduce the risk of injury, and young athletes should take at least three months off from their sport during the year and take one or two days off per week.
Pediatrics, August 2016
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