Posts Tagged: Medicine


14
May 10

Working Overtime Too Much Can Be Bad For Your Heart?

From the press release

Working overtime is bad for the heart according to results from a long-running study following more than 10,000 civil servants in London (UK): the Whitehall II study.

The research, which is published online today (Wednesday 12 May) in the European Heart Journal [1], found that, compared with people who did not work overtime, people who worked three or more hours longer than a normal, seven-hour day had a 60% higher risk of heart-related problems such as death due to heart disease, non-fatal heart attacks and angina.

Dr Marianna Virtanen, an epidemiologist at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki (Finland) and University College London (UK), said: “The association between long hours and coronary heart disease was independent of a range of risk factors that we measured at the start of the study, such as smoking, being overweight, or having high cholesterol.

For those interesting, the paper this is based on are…


11
May 10

Optimism Boosts The Immune System

Seems like this is likely related to the placebo effect.

Optimistic Expectancies and Cell-Mediated Immunity

The Role of Positive Affect

Suzanne C. Segerstrom and Sandra E. Sephton
[...]

Abstract

Optimistic expectancies affect many psychosocial outcomes and may also predict immune system changes and health, but the nature and mechanisms of any such physiological effects have not been identified. The present study related law-school expectancies to cell-mediated immunity (CMI), examining the within- and between-person components of this relationship and affective mediators. First-year law students (N = 124) completed questionnaire measures of expectancies and affect and received delayed-type hypersensitivity skin tests at five time points. A positive relationship between optimistic expectancies and CMI occurred: Changes in optimism correlated with changes in CMI. Likewise, changes in optimism predicted changes in positive and, to a lesser degree, negative affect, but the relationship between optimism and immunity was partially accounted for only by positive affect. This dynamic relationship between expectancies and immunity has positive implications for psychological interventions to improve health, particularly those that increase positive affect.

(Link)


9
May 10

Seeing Sick People Can Make Your Immune System Stronger

Mere Visual Perception of Other People’s Disease Symptoms Facilitates a More Aggressive Immune Response

Mark Schaller, Gregory E. Miller, Will M. Gervais, Sarah Yager and Edith Chen

Abstract

An experiment (N = 28) tested the hypothesis that the mere visual perception of disease-connoting cues promotes a more aggressive immune response. Participants were exposed either to photographs depicting symptoms of infectious disease or to photographs depicting guns. After incubation with a model bacterial stimulus, participants’ white blood cells produced higher levels of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the infectious-disease condition, compared with the control (guns) condition. These results provide the first empirical evidence that visual perception of other people’s symptoms may cause the immune system to respond more aggressively to infection. Adaptive origins and functional implications are discussed.

(Link)


16
Jan 10

Maine may seize cottages to cover Medicaid

Maine’s budget proposal would allow jointly owned camps or summer cottages to be seized to help reimburse the state for Medicaid expenses.

Many Maine families have owned and maintained camps or summer cottages through joint tenancy deeds, which permit them to keep the property within their families.

But as Maine Public Radio reports, the state would get the power to seize those properties in some cases. Health and Human Services Commissioner Brenda Harvey says the change would allow the state to be reimbursed for its costs if one of the property owners uses Medicaid funding to pay for long-term care.

Under present law, those properties can’t count as an asset toward their expenses.

(Link)