Medical Notes this week…

American lifespans have declined for the third year in a row… the first time that’s happened since World War I. A report from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Preventions finds that a baby boy born today in the United States can expect to live to 76… while the average baby girl can expect a lifespan of 81 years. Researchers blame opioid overdoses… flu deaths… Alzheimer’s disease and suicides for the decline in the American lifespan.

Some women want to have their children as close together as possible, but a new study shows that it’s wise to wait at least a year to get pregnant again. The study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine finds that waiting a year between the birth of one child and conception of another lowers complications. Women older than 35 have a lower risk of death when they wait … and for mothers under 35, there’s a lower risk for the baby when children aren’t so close together.

And finally… if your desk is a mess, your co-workers probably make negative assumptions about you. A study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences finds that a messy office leads people to think its occupant is more cranky, careless, neurotic and less conscientious than people who have a neater space. Researchers say the finding applies to virtually any personal space.

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