Medical notes this week…
A new review finds that chemicals called endocrine disruptors cause 32 different health problems ranging from infertility to diabetes and impaired brain development. The study in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology adds 17 conditions to the 15 that were already linked to the chemicals, which are found in non-stick pans, waterproof clothing, can linings and many plastics. Researchers say regulations in both Europe and the United States don’t go far enough to limit them.
The COVID-19 pandemic is making working moms cut their hours on the job… but not dads. A study in the journal Gender, Work and Organization shows that between February and April… moms’ work hours among those who could work from home fell four to five times as much as fathers’. In fact, fathers’ work hours didn’t really go down at all. The impact was greatest among mothers of young children who’ve now had to be home schooled during the pandemic. Researchers worry moms may never get those work hours back.
And finally… research shows that men who rigidly endorse traditional masculine roles tend to feel more depressed, drink more, have poor relationships and unhealthy lives. But when they become a dad for the first time… they often clean up. A study in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinities shows that becoming a dad gives men a greater sense of purpose…which often leads to healthier and less risky choices. So at least at first… the “dad bod” is a myth.
Medical Notes 20-33: Week of August 16, 2020
Doctors are still learning about Coronavirus… and some of what they’re finding is confusing. For example, it’s long appeared that children don’t get COVID-19 as easily as adults… and don’t transmit it as well. But now a study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics shows that infected children under age five may have up to 100 times more virus in their upper respiratory tract as infected adults do (full study). Doctors are still trying to figure out exactly what that means for transmission of the virus. In diseases such as the flu, children harbor more virus than adults and spread it around much more easily.
Many first responders to the 9-11 attacks in New York have brains that have aged 10 years more than normal. Two new studies show that many responders at the World Trade Center have reduced gray matter thickness in the brain, and markers in the blood consistent with Alzheimer’s disease. Neurotoxins in the air at ground zero are a possible cause. The studies were done at Stony Brook University and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai.
And finally… if you’re tall, wear that mask. A preliminary study in the journal medRxiv shows that people over six feet tall are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with COVID-19. Researchers say that if height is, indeed, a risk factor, it suggests that aerosols carried in the air and not just droplets are responsible for the spread of coronavirus (full study
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