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SCIENCE
February 3, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Americans consume too much sugar, and our collective sweet tooth is killing us. So says a study published Monday by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. It finds that 71.4% of U.S. adults get more than the recommended 10% of their daily calories from added sugars in foods and drinks - and that higher levels of sugar consumption are correlated with higher risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. "Too much sugar does not just make us fat; it can also make us sick," Laura A. Schmidt, a professor of health policy at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine, wrote in a commentary that accompanies the study.
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SCIENCE
March 3, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Discouraging news for diabetics who are keen to ward off memory problems and keep their brains in peak condition: New research has found that using medication to aggressively drive down blood pressure or improve lipid levels does not do more than standard therapy to stem the decline in cognition that's common among such patients. In fact, aggressively lowering systolic blood pressure may accelerate brain shrinkage, which is a hallmark of dementia, the new study found. The findings , published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, emerge from a large and long-running clinical trial aimed at figuring out what measures might improve the health prospects of people at highest risk of cardiovascular disease.
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SCIENCE
July 8, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Don't expect old age to be all golf and cruises: As Americans live longer and longer, more of us should expect to suffer some sort of independence-threatening disability in the final phase of life, two new studies published online Monday suggest. "The public is bombarded with messages that frailty and disability are not inevitable, and the most popular medical personalities assail the public with health messages that healthy living will lead to a long life free of disability to the end of life," wrote UC San Francisco researcher Dr. Alexander K. Smith and colleagues, in JAMA Internal Medicine ( abstract available here )
SCIENCE
March 3, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Take a deep breath, meditation enthusiasts: A new study finds that research on mindfulness meditation has yielded moderate evidence that the practice can reduce anxiety, depressive symptoms and pain, but little to no evidence that it can reduce substance abuse or improve mood, sleep or weight control. And no evidence was found that meditation programs were better than drugs, exercise or other behavioral therapies at addressing issues of mental health.  The latest word on meditation's effects comes from a meta-analysis--essentially a study of existing clinical trials that sifts, consolidates and distills their findings.
SCIENCE
March 3, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Take a deep breath, meditation enthusiasts: A new study finds that research on mindfulness meditation has yielded moderate evidence that the practice can reduce anxiety, depressive symptoms and pain, but little to no evidence that it can reduce substance abuse or improve mood, sleep or weight control. And no evidence was found that meditation programs were better than drugs, exercise or other behavioral therapies at addressing issues of mental health.  The latest word on meditation's effects comes from a meta-analysis--essentially a study of existing clinical trials that sifts, consolidates and distills their findings.
SCIENCE
June 4, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Can a vegetarian diet add years to your life? A new study suggests the answer could be yes. After examining the health records of 73,308 people for an average of nearly six years, researchers discovered that vegetarians were 12% less likely to die during that period than people who ate meat more than once a week. Researchers from Loma Linda University in California recruited members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, who are strongly encouraged to follow a vegetarian diet.
SCIENCE
March 3, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Discouraging news for diabetics who are keen to ward off memory problems and keep their brains in peak condition: New research has found that using medication to aggressively drive down blood pressure or improve lipid levels does not do more than standard therapy to stem the decline in cognition that's common among such patients. In fact, aggressively lowering systolic blood pressure may accelerate brain shrinkage, which is a hallmark of dementia, the new study found. The findings , published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, emerge from a large and long-running clinical trial aimed at figuring out what measures might improve the health prospects of people at highest risk of cardiovascular disease.
NEWS
February 27, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
A lot of us find our way to the doctor with strange aches and pains that are very, very unlikely to be caused by serious illness -- headaches, back pains or stomach troubles, to name a few. To be on the safe side, physicians will often order tests to rule out the scary stuff and, the thinking goes, provide reassurance.  But a recent examination of 14 randomized, controlled trials found that ordering diagnostic tests for people who have a low...
NEWS
January 23, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Hearing loss among older adults appears to be associated with faster cognitive decline than people without hearing loss, researchers found. The study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday suggests that, on average, individuals with hearing loss would require 7.7 years to decline by the five points on a commonly accepted cognitive impairment scale, compared with 10.9 years for people with normal hearing. The prevalence of dementia worldwide is expected to double in 20 years, so the efforts to understand what leads to cognitive decline are important, said the authors led by Dr. Frank Lin of the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health.
SCIENCE
September 16, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Estimated cases of infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , or MRSA, fell more than 30% in the U.S. between 2005 and 2011, suggesting that heightened efforts to combat the infections in hospitals had made a difference, researchers wrote Monday in the online edition of JAMA Internal Medicine. But another report, also published online in the journal, found that people who lived closest to farms had higher rates of MRSA infection than people who lived farthest from farms - reflecting ongoing concerns about antibiotic use in agriculture and its effects on human health.
SCIENCE
February 3, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Americans consume too much sugar, and our collective sweet tooth is killing us. So says a study published Monday by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. It finds that 71.4% of U.S. adults get more than the recommended 10% of their daily calories from added sugars in foods and drinks - and that higher levels of sugar consumption are correlated with higher risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. "Too much sugar does not just make us fat; it can also make us sick," Laura A. Schmidt, a professor of health policy at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine, wrote in a commentary that accompanies the study.
SCIENCE
July 8, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Don't expect old age to be all golf and cruises: As Americans live longer and longer, more of us should expect to suffer some sort of independence-threatening disability in the final phase of life, two new studies published online Monday suggest. "The public is bombarded with messages that frailty and disability are not inevitable, and the most popular medical personalities assail the public with health messages that healthy living will lead to a long life free of disability to the end of life," wrote UC San Francisco researcher Dr. Alexander K. Smith and colleagues, in JAMA Internal Medicine ( abstract available here )
SCIENCE
June 4, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Can a vegetarian diet add years to your life? A new study suggests the answer could be yes. After examining the health records of 73,308 people for an average of nearly six years, researchers discovered that vegetarians were 12% less likely to die during that period than people who ate meat more than once a week. Researchers from Loma Linda University in California recruited members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, who are strongly encouraged to follow a vegetarian diet.
SCIENCE
June 17, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Nutritionists known for issuing warnings about the health risks of eating red meat reiterated their message this week, confirming a link between red meat consumption and Type 2 diabetes -- and showing, in a new follow-up study, that the association persists over time. The team, which included Harvard School of Public Health epidemiologist Dr. Walter Willett , reported that people who said they increased their intake of red meat -- beef, pork or lamb -- over a four-year period had a higher chance of developing Type 2 diabetes in the subsequent four-year period than people who said the amount of red meat they ate stayed stable or went down.
NEWS
January 22, 2013 | By Betty Hallock
We love a steaming hot bowl of soup -- ramen, pho, beef noodle soup, whatever. But scientists say that if the bowl is made with melamine, the melamine might be seeping into our bodies. Melamine is a flame-retardant chemical used to make adhesives, industrial coatings and some types of tableware and other utensils. A recent study of a group of soup eaters -- 12 men and women who ate noodle soup in either a bowl made of ceramic or melamine -- showed measurable levels of the chemical additive in the urine of those who slurped out of the melamine bowl.
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