Space Coast Daily Healthcare Headlines of the Week

By  //  July 20, 2014

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Topics Include: Epidemic Disaster Movies; Moderate Alcohol Use Not Healthy; Five Myths About Mosquitoes – and More

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Welcome to SpaceCoastDaily’s Healthcare Headlines.

MOVIE PLAGUES NOT ENTIRELY HOLLYWOOD HOKUM

MOVIE GOERSCould a killer pathogen really wipe out a large part of humanity, as movies like “The Andromeda Strain,” “Contagion” and “Outbreak,” would have it, or is it just Hollywood hype?

Medpage Today queried a group of infectious disease experts about the possibility that a sudden pathogenic scourge could threaten to kill us all.

Their consensus is that it’s unlikely, but likely enough that highly trained specialists spend their working days worrying about it. (Smith, MedPage Today, 7/13)

STUDY: NO HEALTH BENEFIT FROM MODERATE ALCOHOL USE

no-alcohol-drugs-iso-sign-is-1100Remember all that research suggesting health benefits from moderate alcohol consumption? Not so fast… put those cork screws away until you read this.

According to a study out of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and contrary to what earlier reports have shown, it now appears that any exposure to alcohol has a negative impact upon heart health.

They found that individuals with a specific gene consume less alcohol over time and have superior cardiovascular health. (Science World Report, 7/11)

CONSUMER REPORTS: DON’T SPRAY SUNSCREEN ON KIDS, AT LEAST FOR NOW

Spray-SunscreenConsumer Reports has advised parents not to use spray-on sunscreens on children until the U.S Food and Drug Administration completes an investigation into the products’ safety.

The concern centers around accidental inhalation and uneven or less than effective application.

The American Academy of Dermatology has advised, for both adults and children, to spray sunscreen on hands first, and then spread on the body – and to never spray around the face and mouth. (Mador, BringMeTheNews.com, 7/10)

IT’S LACK OF EXERCISE, NOT CALORIES, THAT MAKE US FAT

According to a new study out of Stanford University and recently published in the American Journal of Medicine, as Americans’ body mass index (BMI) averages have increased over the past two decades, physical exercise has decreased sharply, but caloric intake has remained the same.

obesity and lack of exerc“We wouldn’t say that calories don’t count, but the main takeaway is that we have to look very carefully at physical activity,” lead author of the study, Dr. Uri Ladabaum says, and adds, “This study should serve as a reinforcement of the message that we need to think of a multi-component solution where diet is a big part of it, and physical activity is a big part as well.”

Their conclusion is that lack of exercise, not an increase in calories, may have driven an increase in America’s obesity rates over the past 20 years. (Sifferlin, TIME.com, 7/8)

NEW HEALTH CALCULATOR HELPS PREDICT LONGEVITY

Your a little “long in the tooth” and you’re wondering if you’ll live another decade?

senior-healthYour longevity depends on a lot of factors that have now been incorporated into a calculator for that.

University of Zurich scientists have developed a calculator to predict whether people 75 years old and older will live another decade.

The calculation takes into account, diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, and smoking, and will be especially useful to physicians in developing clinical management plans and advice for their patients. (Engel, New York Daily News, 7/8)

FIVE MYTHS ABOUT MOSQUITOES

You’re trying your best to enjoy an evening cookout in the back yard or some summertime gardening, but you just can’t avoid the constant swarm of annoying, buzzing mosquitoes. The threat? A pierce to your skin, leaving behind an itchy red welt and possibly even a serious illness. 

mosquito-clothingAs you swat madly at the pests, you notice that others seem completely unfazed. Could it be that mosquitoes prefer to bite some people over others?

These shrewd summertime pests are ubiquitous here in Florida, and clearly aren’t going to disappear any time soon. However, you can minimize their impact.

CNN’s Sara Cheshire examines five common misconceptions about mosquitoes and offers tips on what you can do to repel the pests, prevent itching and stay healthy during the summer months. (Cheshire, CNN, 7/4)


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