This week in health news: Preterm babies at risk for ADHD, other complications

Lack of eye-contact is just one sign to look out for; it isn't a diagnoses. Credit: Colourbox
Lack of eye-contact is just one sign to look out for; it isn’t a diagnoses. Credit: Colourbox

Premature birth linked to issues in brain development

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: 51 full-term and 30 preterm infants

Results: Premature birth may trigger developmental processes in the white matter of the brain that could put children at higher risk of problems as they grow, a new study says. Researchers compared concentrations of certain chemicals associated with mature white matter and gray matter in full-term and preterm infants, and found significant chemical variation. The report states that later in life, premature babies risk various conditions from impulsiveness and distractibility, to autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The findings will be presented at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting.

Significance: “In the United States, we have approximately 500,000 preterm births a year,” says Stefan Blüml, Ph.D., director of the New Imaging Technology Lab at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and associate professor of research radiology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “About 60,000 of these babies are at high risk for significant long-term problems, which means that this is a significant problem with enormous costs.”

 

Over-consumption to fish can undermine its health benefits

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: 1,200 people

Results: Eating sushi can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the Journal of Risk Research. This was one of many unhealthy aspects to excessive fish consumption, which is thought to lead to dangerous methylmercury exposure in humans, researchers say. Mercury can cause neurodevelopmental deficits, poorer cognitive function and increased rates of cardiovascular disease. The study also notes that higher levels of methylmercury can be detrimental to the heart and and the health-protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Tuna sashimi was found to contain the highest levels of methylmercury in fish samples taken from across the USA.

Significance: The study found that 92 percent of participants ate an average of five fish and fish-sushi meals per month, and that the top 10 percent of all participants exceeded the Center for Disease Control Minimal Risk Level and the World Health Organization Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake of methylmercury.

 

Smokers may cut heart disease risk faster than previously thought

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: 853 people who quit smoking 15 or fewer years before; 2,557 people who never smoked

Results: Previous research found that it may take up to 15 years or more after quitting for smokers to regain cardiovascular health to that of people who never smoked. But a new study found that many smokers, on average, reduce their risk within eight years. The research was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

Significance: “It’s good news,” says Dr. Ali Ahmed, M.P.H., senior researcher and professor of cardiovascular disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Medicine. “Smoking is the most preventable cause of early death in America. If you smoke, quit and quit early.” People who quit smoking reduced their risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, and dying from cardiac arrest.

 

Movie scenes can instill empathy in burnt-out medical students

Location of study: Philadelphia

Study subjects: 248 second-year students at Jefferson Medical College

Results: Lead study author Mohammadreza Hojat, Ph.D., a research professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Thomas Jefferson University, found that empathy toward patients tends to decrease during medical school. But students who were shown movies that highlight a patient’s perspective became more empathetic, according to a new study published in the journal Medical Teacher. Previous research has shown that, overall, doctors who score higher on empathy tests have patients who do better.

Significance: Better patient care and outcomes is a point of interest for administrators of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, both for the patient’s benefit and for reducing costs. “We are proving that empathy is a quality that can be taught,” Dr. Hojat says.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…