Exercising after a heart attack, even a long walk around the neighborhood, can be frightening for survivors. But those fears may be eased by new research that found regular physical activity could help keep them alive. Many heart attack survivors initially worry that exercise or any type of prolonged activity that increases their heart rate could strain their recovering heart. But a new Swedish study published Dec. 11 in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that even a low level of physical activity within the first year of a heart attack was enough to reduce the odds of dying in the immediate years that followed. Swedish researchers used a national registry to examine data on 22,227 heart attack patients from 2004-2013. Patients were asked about their activity level during a follow-up visit six to 10 weeks after their heart attack, and then again about a year following the event. Researchers then categorized the patients into four groups based on their self-reported … [Read more...] about AHA: Exercise After Heart Attack May Improve Survival
As tempting as it might be to sample some raw dough while you're making a batch of cookies this holiday season, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that the guilty pleasure could make you very sick. That's because flour is a raw product that hasn't been treated to kill germs such as E. coli. Those germs are only killed when food made with flour is cooked. Not only that, the raw eggs used to make cookie dough or cake batter can contain Salmonella. Unlike eggs, flour products have long shelf lives and could be in your pantry for a long time. That's why one doctor offers this suggestion: Check the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for any recalled products, said Dr. Rachel Bruce, associate chairperson in the department of emergency medicine at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital in New York City. "Throw out any of those products if they are in your kitchen," she added. Don't think it won't happen to you, either. In 2016, an outbreak of E. coli infections … [Read more...] about FDA Warns of Raw Cookie Dough Dangers
Nearly 28 million Americans are affected by the skin condition eczema, and for some it may become so chronic and severe they consider suicide, new research shows. A new review of data from 15 studies, involving over 300,000 people, found that those with eczema had a 44 percent higher risk of suicidal thoughts compared with people without the immunological disease. People with eczema also had a 36 percent higher rate of suicide attempts, the study found. Eczema, clinically known as atopic dermatitis, often brings a "profound psychosocial burden" to patients, concluded a team led by Dr. April Armstrong, of the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles. Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that often involves painful itching, blisters, and sores. People can also have trouble sleeping due to itchiness and other symptoms. The disease can vary in severity and can be socially debilitating, prior research has shown. One such study involved 600 eczema … [Read more...] about Eczema Can Drive People to Thoughts of Suicide: Study
Fasting before a cholesterol blood test is just a nuisance for most people, but for those with diabetes, it can be dangerous. New research shows that up to 22 percent of people with diabetes who fasted for lab tests had a low blood sugar episode (hypoglycemia) while waiting for the test. The researchers also found that only about one-third of those who had a low blood sugar episode had received any education about how to avoid it when they were told to fast for lab tests. What's more, fasting for lab tests is likely unnecessary, too, the researchers said. "The commonest test for which millions of people fast is cholesterol. But for the most part, fasting isn't necessary. Most doctors don't know. But in Europe and Canada, the guidelines already say you don't need to fast," explained the study's lead author, Dr. Saleh Aldasouqi, chief of endocrinology at Michigan State University. Low blood sugar can be very dangerous for people with diabetes if they're not educated about how to look for … [Read more...] about Do Diabetics Really Need to Fast for Blood Tests?
For doctors and nurses in hospitals, hand-washing between patients is a must. But what about their stethoscopes? A new hospital study finds that stethoscopes are laden with a wide range of bacteria. Some, such as Staphylococcus aureus, can cause serious infections such as pneumonia. The findings were published Dec. 12 in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. "This study underscores the importance of adhering to rigorous infection control procedures," said study senior author Dr. Ronald Collman, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. This means following decontamination recommendations set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between patients, or using single-patient-use stethoscopes kept in each patient's room, Collman said in a journal news release. For the study, researchers analyzed 40 stethoscopes in a hospital intensive care unit — 20 traditional reusable stethoscopes carried by doctors, nurses, and respiratory … [Read more...] about Just How Clean Is That Stethoscope?