For Your Health
Health News You Need to Know but Probably Don’t
Six important research findings
This just in from the hallowed halls of health research: studies from the U.S. and around the world that can improve your life.
Test Results. A study of more than 5,000 patients at 19 different patient care centers, led by Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, found that more than 7 percent of abnormal test results were never reported to the patient. When we go to the doctor and have blood drawn or other tests taken, we often assume that no news is good news. If we don’t hear from our doctor, we’re fine. This study shows that once again, we need to take the initiative in our health care, and make sure we’ve checked back with our doctor if we haven’t heard from her.
Gastric Bypass. A study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has found that weight-reduction surgeries such as gastric bypass increase the risk of bone fractures. Previous research had demonstrated that patients experienced bone loss after such surgeries, probably because of diminished ability to absorb nutrients as well as a smaller intake of food, but this study is the first to link the operations with actual bone breaks.
Diabetes Alert. A study in Japan has found that a faster pulse can increase your risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. Researchers discovered that a pulse above 80 beats per minute made subjects more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. If you’re at risk, there’s an easy way to lower your heart rate: exercise regularly to make your heart more efficient.
Reconsider Zicam. After receiving 130 reports of people who lost their sense of smell after using a Zicam nasal treatment (Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs and Zicam Cold Remedy), the FDA warned consumers to stop using the popular over-the-counter treatment. Scientists theorize that zinc in the treatments may be toxic to the nerve receptors in the nose that are associated with the sense of smell.
Vitamins and Exercise. In a surprising report from researchers in Germany and Boston, certain vitamins were found to reduce the benefits of exercise. In the study, vitamins C and E (both antioxidants) appeared to curb our body’s natural response to exercise. Lead researcher, nutritionist Michael Ristow, recommends not taking large amounts of antioxidants if you exercise.
Premature Babies. Research from the University of Alberta in Canada, has found that playing music in hospital nurseries where premature babies are cared for showed that the music soothed the babies and seemed to reduce pain. The study evaluated oxygen levels as well as heart rate and breathing rate.