Medical Notes this week…

In the first two months of this year, the United States has had more cases of measles than we had in all of 2017. Experts say it’s because some parents still believe the disproven claim that the measles vaccine causes autism, so they don’t have their kids vaccinated. But how much evidence will it take to convince them? Yet another study, this one on more than a half-million people and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, finds there is absolutely no link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

If you don’t get enough sleep during the week, your body can’t catch up over the weekend. A new study in the journal Current Biology shows that even when people sleep in as long as they want on Saturday and Sunday, chronic sleep deprivation during the week causes metabolic changes leading to weight gain and a higher risk for diabetes. Researchers suggest the long-term effects of chronic sleep loss are severe enough that people need to start prioritizing sleep.

And finally, might it be possible that the secret to a long life is coffee and alcohol? It sure sounds that way, according to the results of the ’90+ study’ at the University of California-Irvine. Researchers say one of their main findings is that people who drink alcohol and coffee live longer than those who don’t. People who made it to at least 90 years old also tended to be overweight in their 70s, while those who died sooner were normal weight or underweight.

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