More sex for married couples with traditional divisions of housework
Married men and women who divide household chores in traditional ways report having more sex than couples who share so-called men’s and women’s work, according to a new study co-authored by sociologists at the University of Washington.
Other studies have found that husbands got more sex if they did more housework, implying that sex was in exchange for housework. But those studies did not factor in what types of chores the husbands were doing.
The new study, published in the February issue of the journal American Sociological Review, shows that sex isn’t a bargaining chip. Instead, sex is linked to what types of chores each spouse completes.
Couples who follow traditional gender roles around the house – wives doing the cooking, cleaning and shopping; men doing yard work, paying bills and auto maintenance – reported greater sexual frequency.
Free clinics reduce emergency department visits
People who receive primary care from free clinics are less likely to use the emergency department for minor issues, according to a team of medical researchers.
Nationally, the number of emergency departments (EDs) has decreased yet the number of ED visits has gone up, the team reported. Therefore, it is important to figure out how to reduce unnecessary ED visits.
According to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, there are more than 1,200 free clinics nationwide. Many of these clinics work in cooperation with one of their local hospitals.
Wenke Hwang, associate professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, and his colleagues analyzed records of uninsured patients from five hospitals and four free clinics across neighboring Virginia communities.
Limited impact on child abuse from visits, intervention: study
Home visits and doctor’s office interventions to prevent child abuse appear to have only limited success, with evidence mixed on whether they help at all, according to a U.S. analysis based on ten international studies.
As a result, the government-backed U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) said this week that current evidence is “insufficient” to recommend such programs for dealing with the hundreds of thousands of children reported to be abused each year.
“There have been a few studies done… (but) there’s inconsistency in the results across these trials,” said David Grossman, from Group Health Research institute in Seattle who is a member of the USPSTF panel. “I wish we could be more definitive on this.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, about 675,000 children were reported as victims of child abuse or neglect in 2011, just under one percent of children nationwide.
Breathing program may held save newborns’ lives: studies
Training midwives and other birth attendants to help babies start breathing immediately after birth if they need help may prevent stillbirths and newborn deaths in the developing world, according to two U.S. studies.
So-called birth asphyxia - when babies are born not breathing - is one of the major causes of newborn death in regions with limited resources, said researchers whose work appeared in Pediatrics.
Reducing infant mortality in the developing world is one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals - but progress has been slow, according to Jeffrey Perlman from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who helped implement the Helping Babies Breathe program in Tanzania.
Nearly half of U.S. children late receiving vaccines
Nearly half of babies and toddlers in the United States aren’t getting recommended vaccines on time, according to a study - and if enough skip vaccines, whole schools or communities could be vulnerable to diseases such as whooping cough and measles.
“What we’re worried about is if (undervaccination) becomes more and more common, is it possible this places children at an increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases?” said study leader Jason Glanz, with Kaiser Permanente Colorado in Denver.
“It’s possible that some of these diseases that we worked so hard to eliminate (could) come back.”
Glanz and his colleagues analyzed data from eight managed care organizations, including immunization records for about 323,000 children.
Japan tsunami stress may have brought on seizures: study
The number of seizure patients in a northern Japanese fishing community devastated by the March 11, 2011 tsunami spiked in the weeks following the disaster, according to a Japanese study.
The study, published in the journal Epilepsia, looked at 440 patient records from Kesennuma City Hospital, in a city that was devastated by the massive tsunami touched off by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
Thirteen patients were admitted with seizures in the eight weeks after the disaster, but only one had been admitted in the two months before March 11.
Previous research has linked stressful life-threatening disasters with an increased risk of seizures, but most case reports lacked clinical data with multiple patients.
ADHD rates creeping up in California
More children are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) now than were a decade ago, according to new research from a large California health plan.
It’s not clear what’s behind that trend, researchers noted. Possible explanations include better awareness of the condition among parents and doctors or improved access to health care for kids with symptoms, according to Dr. Darios Getahun, the study’s lead author.
Prior research has also shown an increasing trend in ADHD diagnoses, according to Getahun, from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Group in Pasadena.
However, his team had strict criteria for determining which kids had ADHD, requiring a clinical diagnosis and prescriptions for ADHD medications. Past studies have relied on parent and teacher reports alone, Getahun noted.
How cells know when it’s time to eat themselves
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a molecular mechanism regulating autophagy, a fundamental stress response used by cells to help ensure their survival in adverse conditions.
The findings are published online in the January 17 issue of Cell.
Senior author Kun-Liang Guan, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, and colleagues report that an enzyme called AMPK, typically involved in sensing and modulating energy use in cells, also regulates autophagic enzymes.
Autophagy, which derives from the Greek words for “self” and “eat,” is triggered to protect cells when times are tough, such as when cells are starved for nutrients, infected or suffering from damaged organelles, such as ribosomes and mitochondria. Much like the human body in freezing conditions will reduce operations in extremities to preserve core temperatures and organ functions, cellular autophagy involves the degradation and synthesis of some internal cellular elements to ensure survival of the whole.
NTU study looks at national attitudes towards homosexuals
Attitudes of Singaporeans and permanent residents toward gays and lesbians although sharply polarised and predominantly negative, have shifted slightly over a five-year span to become a little more favourable. This was found by a research team from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
A nationally representative survey found that people with higher levels of education and freethinkers tend to have more positive attitudes. Those who had higher interpersonal contact with gay men and lesbians and watched more films and television shows with homosexual characters were also likely to express more positive attitudes toward gays and lesbians, and to show greater acceptance.
“This study is a continuation of an earlier one in 2005, which was initiated to provide a nationally representative and objective examination of public attitudes toward homosexuality in Singapore and to contribute to scholarship on homosexuality in Asia. By investigating some of the predictors of attitudes towards lesbians and gay men, it can help to inform public debate and guide future policy recommendations,” said Professor Benjamin Detenber, Chair of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, who led a team of researchers to conduct this study in early 2010.
The study of 959 adult Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) found that while there has been a slight change in attitudes towards lesbians and gays in Singapore between 2005 and 2010, the change is significant, as it suggests a temporal shift in Singaporeans’ values and views about homosexuals.
Fluid from Pap test used to detect ovarian, endometrial cancers
Using cervical fluid collected from routine Pap smears, U.S. researchers were able to spot genetic changes caused by both ovarian and endometrial cancers, offering promise for a new kind of screening test for these deadly cancers.
Experts say that although the test has tremendous potential, it is still years from widespread use. But if proven effective with more testing, it would fill a significant void.
Currently, there are no tests that can reliably detect either ovarian or endometrial cancer, which affects the uterine lining. Research teams have been trying for several years to find a screening test that could identify these cancers early, when there is a better chance of a cure.
Disappearing bacterium may protect against stroke
A new study by NYU School of Medicine researchers reveals that an especially virulent strain of the gut bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) isn’t implicated in the overall death rate of the U.S. population, and may even protect against stroke and some cancers. The findings, based a nationwide health survey of nearly 10,000 individuals over a period of some 12 years, are published online, January 9, in the journal Gut.
Those individuals carrying the most virulent strain of H. pylori, the study found, had a 55 percent reduced risk of deaths from stroke compared with their counterparts who were not infected with H. pylori. Participants with the most virulent strain also had a 45 percent reduced risk of death from lung cancer.
These surprising findings emerged from an analysis by Yu Chen, PhD, MPH, associate professor of population health and environmental medicine, and Martin J. Blaser, MD, professor of internal medicine and professor of microbiology, of individuals who participated in a national survey designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. Previous studies by Dr. Blaser have confirmed the bacterium’s link to gastric diseases ranging from gastritis to stomach cancer. He and Dr. Chen have more recently shown that H. pylori may protect against childhood asthma. The most virulent H. pylori strains have a gene called cagA.
“The significance of this study is that this is a prospective cohort of participants representative of the U.S. population with a long follow-up,” says Dr. Chen. “We studied both the overall H. pylori as well as cagA strain of H. pylori, which is more interactive with the human body. We found that H. pylori is not related to the risk of death from all causes, despite it being related to increased risk of death from gastric cancer.”