Why Smoking Rates in the United States Are Dropping Rapidly

Jun 07, 16 Why Smoking Rates in the United States Are Dropping Rapidly

Posted by in Health

Although most older adults who used to smoke regularly have quit, approximately 8.4% of adults over the age of 65 were still smoking cigarettes in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite that, however, the smoking rate in the United States has reached a record low in a record amount of time. According to a new government report released by the CDC, the rate of smoking among adults in the U.S. fell to 15% last year, which marks the biggest one-year decline in more than 20 years. The smoking rate has been falling for decades now, but usually only by one point or less every year. However, the rate reduced by two percentage points from 2014 to 2015, which is unheard of. According to Brian King from the CDC, the last time the smoking rate decreased this rapidly was from 1992 to 1993, when it fell 1.5 percentage points. Another potential cause for the rapid decrease in smoking rates is the laws in place to prevent underage individuals from smoking. U.S. News and World Report says that a new survey finds most Americans would support pushing the legal smoking age even higher than 18. Dr. Adam Goldstein of the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center conducted a survey of more than 4,800 adults nationwide, asking if they supported raising the minimum age for tobacco purchases to 19, 20, or 21. In some counties and states, the legal age for adults to purchase tobacco products is already higher than 18, but this survey has proven that the movement holds national support. Even more impressively, support “seems to cross political lines, and it is one policy measure that the majority of those surveyed can agree on,” said lead researcher Dr. Adam Goldstein. Though many are under the impression that if a minor wants to smoke, they will, this data proves that raising age limits does seem to matter. According to a 2015 report from the National Academy of Medicine, making...

read more

Gorging in the Name of Science: New Study Looks For Diabetes-Obesity Link

Sep 14, 15 Gorging in the Name of Science: New Study Looks For Diabetes-Obesity Link

Posted by in Featured, Health

The war against the obesity epidemic is on, with more than two in three adults in the U.S. being considered overweight or obese. In the latest scientific battle, researchers had six men gorge themselves for a week in the hopes of finding how, why and when chronic overeating leads to metabolic problems and to Type 2 diabetes. All the investigators needed to spot what they were looking for, and it’s likely cause, though, took effect in less than three days. By the second and third day of the study and participants’ consumption of 6,000 calories — more than double their usual caloric intake — researchers could detect the onset of insulin resistance. The indisputable cause of their insulin resistance was the sudden onset of their gluttonous diets. More specifically, researchers found that their bodies’ efforts to manage the sudden caloric assault forced the mitochondria in their cells to unleash a flood of oxygen byproducts that are toxic to nearby cells. “Mitochondria are energy engines and when they’re flooded with calories they become leaky and release [chemicals] and cause oxidative stress,” Dr. Kevin Niswender, associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville, Tennessee, explained to ABC News. Oxidative stress could lead to inflammation and other problems down the line. It could also affect certain proteins that can lead to insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin, causing the pancreas to produce more insulin to keep with the difference. Insulin resistance can lead to two things: high concentrations of glucose remaining in the blood — which damages nerves and blood vessels — and an overworked pancreas. The study, which was published in the journal of Science Translational Medicine, suggests antioxidant therapies, such as Vitamin C and E supplements, coenzyme Q10 or selenium, could help patients who overeat from developing metabolic problems in order to target the cells that have become insulin...

read more

Are the Olsen Twins Too Late to Capitalize on the Dry Shampoo Trend?

Sep 11, 15 Are the Olsen Twins Too Late to Capitalize on the Dry Shampoo Trend?

Posted by in Featured, Health

Celebrity twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are many things — actresses, former child stars, and fashion designers are just a few of the hats they wear. The pair’s “Elizabeth and James” line, named for two of their siblings, offers clothing, handbags, fragrances, and now a line of dry shampoos, according to E! Online. Dry shampoo is the (somewhat dirty) little secret of beauty mavens everywhere. Don’t have enough time to wash your hair? A little dab of dry shampoo can bring hair back to life. The Elizabeth and James dry shampoos are part of the Nirvana hair and body collection and come in two different varieties: Nirvana White and Nirvana Black. The White option is scented like a spring garden, whereas the other option contains violet, sandalwood, and vanilla notes. The line is available at Sephora and costs $28 per bottle. Other Nirvana White and Black products are also available through the store in the same scents. Like dry shampoo, a number of salon treatments are designed to minimize the amount of effort that most people put into their daily hair care routines. For instance, keratin treatments are one option because they save time with straightening and adding various products to the hair. One famous stylist thinks that hair products are here to stay, despite the salon, but shampoos are on their way out. So will dry shampoo fall by the wayside someday, too? That’s what Bumble and Bumble founder and president Michael Gordon thinks. Gordon, whose hair care line sells a number of sprays, pastes, glosses, and mousses, said that shampoo and anything plastic “will have gone away” in the future. “What remains will be quite lovely and beautiful and refillable.” But Gordon’s motivations aren’t simply to sell more. Cutting back on hair care products could help reduce waste. “I looked at the world of hair products and thought, ‘This is crazy!'” Gordon told Yahoo News. “Everybody has ten shampoos, ten conditioners, masks, and then before you blink they’re making a hundred different...

read more

Global Debate Over Wisdom Teeth Removal Arises in Dental Community

Sep 09, 15 Global Debate Over Wisdom Teeth Removal Arises in Dental Community

Posted by in Featured, Health

New evidence is suggesting that wisdom teeth are removed more often than they should be, while opponents of the study claim that it’s all just a money grab from the organizations that funded it. According to Discovery News, a recent study by the British Dental Journal suggests that wisdom teeth that remain asymptomatic should be left alone to save money on health care in the UK. “In Britain when they started to apply some evidence-based criteria, the number of teeth they needed to remove dropped, and has remained relatively low over the past 10 years or so,” said Marc Tennant, professor at the University of Western Australia. The “evidence-based criteria” he is referring to suggests that dentists simply monitoring how a person’s mouth reacts to wisdom teeth has lowered removal rates, saving the country a great deal of money in health care expenses over the past decade. Wisdom teeth typically come in between the ages of 17 to 21, and for years, the standard protocol was to have them removed as a precautionary measure. This recent report is aiming to put an end to what the authors see as “unnecessary wisdom teeth removal.” However, according to ABC Science News, Dr. Rick Olive, president of the Australian Dental Association, argues the findings of the study and dismisses the report as a “cost-saving exercise.” “This is the argument that is used by those who seek to ration health care,” says Dr. Olive, who also claims there is not enough research to support evidence-based guidelines of wisdom teeth removal. Dr. Olive believes that it should be up to patients, with input from their dentists, to decide if and when they want their wisdom teeth removed. He notes that waiting too long to remove your wisdom teeth could cause added complications from the surgery, and the constant radiation from dental x-rays is unsafe and superfluous. While the debate is being sorted out across the world, patients would be “wise” to consult with their own dentist to see what...

read more

NC Family Returns From Vacation to Find SUV Full of Biting Ants

Sep 09, 15 NC Family Returns From Vacation to Find SUV Full of Biting Ants

Posted by in Featured, Health

After returning from a 10 day vacation, the last thing you’d think of needing is pest control. But this family was unpleasantly surprised when they came back to find their car had been infested with ants while parked at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. “One of my twins started telling me there were ants,” said Kristin Bordeaux, the mother of the family in an interview with WCNC-TV. “I looked down into the console. The more and more we looked, they were everywhere. They were crawling on us, they were crawling on the twins, they were crawling on our bags.” The family reports that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of ants in their car. Kristen’s husband, Mark, spent two hours cleaning the car. He used a vacuum, bug spray, and ant traps in attempt to free their car of the insects. Two days later, the ants appeared again, having infested the deep crevices of the car, such as around the door. This isn’t the first time there have been a report of ants in the Charlotte Douglas Airport. Airport officials in 2014 said they had issue with fire ants all summer at the curbside valet service area. The airport made a statement about the routine monitor of their parking garages. They have stated that there are standard protocols in place to address the issue, and they encourage customers to contact the airport with any other incidents that may occur. The family has been given a full refund for their parking fee, and the airport is expected to cover any other cleaning...

read more

Bolt Cutters Used to Release Man From Stuck Titanium Ring

Sep 02, 15 Bolt Cutters Used to Release Man From Stuck Titanium Ring

Posted by in Featured, Health

Emergency rooms see a fair number of medical catastrophes each day; in fact, across America there are approximately 110 million annual emergency room visits. Doctors have to deal with deadly viruses, injuries, and other severe medical conditions on a day-to-day basis. But doctors at the Sheffield Teaching Hospital in the U.K. were forced to deal with a situation they’d never encountered before, when a man with a titanium ring stuck around an enlarged finger came to the hospital for help. The ring had become stuck on the man’s finger after a long soak in the tub, which caused his finger to swell. The titanium then constricted his blood flow, causing the finger to swell even more. NPR reports that emergency room personnel see issues with stuck rings — made from gold or silver — all the time. A tight ring can cause a restriction of the finger’s blood flow, which can lead to tissue death in the finger. The usual procedure is to use lubrication, elevate the hand, or try a method that involves wrapping a string around the finger and trying to pull the ring down with it. Doctors at Sheffield tried all the normal methods, but unfortunately the titanium ring would not budge. Titanium metals are strong, light, and hypoallergenic, making them an ideal replacement for gold rings. However, this also means they are more difficult to remove. Doctors tried increasingly desperate measures to help the man, even calling the fire department for specialized tools, but nothing seemed to work. After eight hours, they were finally able to cut the ring with a pair of bolt cutters from the surgery department. ”Once the ring had been split, it was then pulled apart by lateral traction on a pair of large paperclips,” said Dr. Andrej Salibi, in a report sent to the Emergency Medical Journal about the case. Salibi also reported that the man’s finger was fine, and that he should make a full...

read more