Health & Wellness


US: Medication increasingly replaces psychotherapy, study finds

Fewer patients are undergoing in-depth treatment as antidepressants and other drugs are more widely used. The shift is attributed partly to insurance reimbursement policies.

Wider use of antidepressants and other prescription medications has reduced the role of psychotherapy, once the defining characteristic of psychiatric care, according to an analysis published today.

The percentage of patients who received psychotherapy fell to 28.9% in 2004-05 from 44.4% in 1996-97, the report in Archives of General Psychiatry said.


Unhappy News on Happy Meal Nutrition

Most kids' meals at top restaurant chains have way too many calories to be healthy, according to a report released yesterday.

Nearly every possible combination of the children's meals at KFC, Taco Bell, Sonic and Chick-fil-A are too fattening, the report on meals at 13 major restaurants found.

The average 8-year-old should eat about 1,200 to 1,300 calories a day, or about 430 calories a meal. But 93 percent of the meals at the chains had more calories than that. Instead of fried and fatty foods, restaurants should offer more choices that include fruits and whole grains, the report said.


Moral Endo-skeletons and Exo-skeletons: A Perspective on America's Cultural Divide and Current Crisis

Last week, in the posting in which I asked the NSB community for aid (see "The Wind Up, and Here's the Pitch"), I closed by saying,
In the days to come, as a reminder of what NSB has contributed to the effort to address this national crisis, I will be posting some of the major statements from me that have appeared here over these several years.
Here is the second such article: a piece that explores the psychology of different "moral structures" that tend to correspond with our political and cultural divides. "Moral Endo-skeletons and Exo-skeletons" appeared here first more than two years ago. It was also published subsequently in the journal, THE HUMANIST.

Arrow Up

Sleep apnea linked to increased risk of death

Sleep-disordered breathing (also known as sleep apnea) is associated with an increased risk of death, according to new results from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort, an 18-year observational study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers found that adults (ages 30 to 60) with sleep-disordered breathing at the start of the study were two to three times more likely to die from any cause compared to those who did not have sleep-disordered breathing. The risk of death was linked to the severity of sleep-disordered breathing and was not attributable to age, gender, body mass index (an indicator of overweight or obesity), or cardiovascular health status.


The School Bully - Does It Run In the Family?

A shove, a taunt or name-calling on the playground or in the hall, away from the eyesight, earshot and authority of the teacher - childhood bullying can involve physical contact, spreading rumors and other negative behaviors committed over and over again to intimidate, humiliate and isolate the receiver of the behavior. A review of national and international research on the issue is finding a family connection to the origins of young bullies. Elizabeth Sweeney, a University of Cincinnati master's degree student in sociology, presented her findings Aug. 3 at the 103rd annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.


5 Painful Facts You Need to Know

Pain forces an estimated 36 million U.S. residents to miss work every year and results in roughly 70 million doctor visits. Studies find that exercise is in many cases one of the best remedies for chronic pain.

First off, let's set the record straight: Pain is normal. About 75 million U.S. residents endure chronic or recurrent pain. Migraines plague 25 million of us. One in six suffer arthritis.

The global pain industry peddles more than $50 billion in drugs a year. Yet for chronic pain sufferers, over-the-counter pills are typically little help, while morphine and other narcotics can be addictive sedatives.


New Zealand: Biotech firm boosts pig breeding for tissue to implant in humans

A biotech entrepreneur seeking ministerial approval of Auckland experiments to implant pig tissues in diabetes patients is ramping up its production of piglets to kill for transplant tissue.

Pigs isolated from contact with other pigs for over 150 years on the Auckland Islands are used by Living Cell Technologies (LCT) to produce the islet cells, which can manufacture insulin in humans.


Kids need the adventure of 'risky' play

A major study says parents harm their children's development if they ban tree-climbing or conkers

It is a scene that epitomises childhood: young siblings racing towards a heavy oak tree, hauling themselves on to the lower branches and scrambling up as high as they can get. Yet millions of children are being deprived of such pleasure because their parents are nervous about exposing them to any risks, new research has revealed.


Man dies of anthrax in Kazakhstan

A 38-year-old man has died of anthrax in southern Kazakhstan, the ex-Soviet republic's emergencies ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

The man was admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital in the city of Lenger on Monday.

The Kazakh emergencies ministry said the victim had caught the infection while slaughtering cattle.

Outbreaks of anthrax are relatively common in the Central Asian state. Owners of sick cattle have been known to sell meat from infected animals after culling them, bypassing veterinary checks.


North Carolina, US: Gunk in water remains a mystery

Gibsonville - Even a state water quality expert with 29 years' experience can't guess what makes up the black gunk collecting on faucets in Walnut Crossing.

"As far as what this is, I don't have a clue," said Wade MacDonald, assistant regional engineer for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

MacDonald went to Joe Albino's Walnut Crossing home on Monday and filled a jug with a liter of water for testing. MacDonald then swabbed the black stuff collecting on faucets and shower heads in Albino's home and stuck those in a container for more tests.