Pregnant women and new moms are among those who most need medical care. But a new study in the journal JAMA Network Open finds that about a quarter of them have skipped taking care of their health needs due to cost… and 60% say they worry about health care bills or existing medical debt. Apparently, they worry about other bills, too. More than half of the women in the five-year study say they have general financial stress… especially over housing costs and credit cards.
Millions of people take selfies every day with their smartphones… and they almost always smile when they do. Now a newly-developed machine learning platform can analyze the short video clip that’s created while taking selfies… and accurately predict whether the person depicted is at risk of Parkinson’s disease. A study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research shows that the software is remarkably accurate at predicting Parkinson’s in a person’s future… by finding clues in smiles and other facial movements that are invisible to the naked eye.
Air pollution significantly lessens how well your brain performs. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers Series shows that even short term exposure to air pollution damages cognitive function in working age adults… especially the memory. Researchers say exposure to moderately high levels of fine particulate matter drops brain abilities by about six percent… the equivalent of 15 years of aging in a 30-year old.
And finally… if you want to help the planet, plant trees. And a new study in the journal Plants, People, Planet shows which ones help the environment the most. Scientists rated trees by their ability to soak up carbon dioxide and other pollutants, stabilize the landscape during floods, and provide a canopy to mitigate heat. Seventeen trees topped the list, led by Live Oaks, American Sycamore, River birch, Slippery elm, Tuliptrees, and Red Maple.