Medical News Notes – July 13, 2012

Posted Friday, Jul 13, 2012 by Allen B. Ury

Sun exposure and pancreatic cancer. Obesity vaccine breakthrough. Household pets make healthier babies. These and other stories from the world of health and medicine in this week’s Medical News Notes.

Sun Exposure Lowers Pancreatic Cancer Risk

SunPancreatic cancer is one of the fastest and deadliest cancers around. But Australian researchers have found a surprising link between sun exposure and a lowered risk of getting this devastating disease. According to their findings, people born in parts of the world that receive high levels of UV radiation have a 24 percent lower risk of getting pancreatic cancer. Perhaps even more surprising, people who have had skin cancer, which is related to sun exposure, have a 40 percent lower risk of getting pancreatic cancer than does the general population.

Obesity Vaccine Proves Successful in Mice

VaccineResearchers at Braasch Biotech LLC in Garetson, S.D., report they’ve successfully tested an anti-obesity vaccine on laboratory mice. The vaccine, which uses the hormone somatostatin, reportedly caused the subject mice to lose 10 percent of their body weight just four days after injection with no effect on growth hormones or insulin levels. Braasch hopes to soon move on to human trials. Obesity is one of the world’s fastest growing problems. It’s linked to everything from cardiovascular disease to higher rates of cancer.

Stand Up and Live Longer

Couch PotatoSitting for three hours a day could take as much as two years off your life, according to a new report from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). They also found that reducing the time spent watching TV to less than two hours per day may increase life expectancy by an average of 1.38 years. Recently, several studies have linked physical inactivity with shortened life spans. With so many people working at desk jobs, it’s increasingly important to get up and move as often as possible to maintain optimum health.

Pets Can Keep Babies Healthier

Baby and DogHaving a pet at home, especially a dog, can help families with a baby avoid colds, according to a new study from Finland. Researchers from Kuopio University Hospital who did the study believe that outside impurities brought into the home by pets actually help boost newborns’ immune systems. This helps the infants avoid colds, colds they often pass on to their exhausted parents! So if you’re planning to have a baby any time soon, make sure you also have a family dog!

Spanking Linked to Mental Illness

Crying ChildTo spank or not to spank? Parents worn to a frazzle by their out-of-control children may want to think twice before resorting to corporal punishment. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Peadiatric Society have found strong links between physical punishment, including slapping, hitting, pushing and shoving, and such mood disorders as depression, substance abuse and criminal behavior. Instead of spanking, the pediatricians recommend using “timeouts” or “time offs” where misbehaving children are sent to another part of the house for as long as it takes for them to behave normally.

Learn to Be a Medical Assistant at Everest

If you are interested in a career in the health care field, consider the Medical Assistant career education program at Everest. Everest is forming Medical Assistant classes right now that can help you qualify for an entry-level position in a doctor’s office, clinic and other health care facilities. For more information, please contact Everest today! Financial aid is available for those who qualify. Programs and schedules vary by campus.

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