Loneliness is worse for heart health than poor diet or smoking, study of diabetes patients finds

Groundbreaking healthcare innovations like the first-ever blood test for preeclampsia and FDA approval of a drug that can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease have been in the news this week. . But a number of noteworthy studies have also shed new light on a variety of important topics, from the dangers of loneliness to the risks parents took during the baby formula shortage. Here are some of the top health stories you may have missed this week from Yahoo News Partners.

“We must not minimize the importance of loneliness on physical and emotional health”

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In a study of more than 18,000 diabetic adults in the UK, researchers found that loneliness “may be a greater risk factor for heart disease in diabetic patients than poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise or depression,” Insider reported.

The study, published last Thursday, followed diabetic patients who had not been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and used questionnaires to assess loneliness. Over a 10-year period, the researchers found that the risks of developing cardiovascular disease were 11% to 26% higher in patients with the highest scores of loneliness, with a response “never or almost never can to confide in someone “. a high-risk feature.

The researchers also looked at social isolation as a possible risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but found that these scores “were not significantly related to any cardiovascular outcomes.”

“We should not minimize the importance of loneliness on physical and emotional health,” said Dr. Lu Qi, one of the study’s authors and a professor at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Tulane University. “I would encourage diabetic patients who feel lonely to join a group or class and try to befriend people who share common interests.”

Nearly half of U.S. parents resorted to unsafe feeding methods during formula shortage, study finds

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Researchers from the University of California, Davis have found that nearly half of parents who relied on formula to feed their babies during last spring’s formula shortage were resorting to unsafe feeding methods, a reported Salon this week.

Research published last month looked at infant feeding practices during the formula shortage, which was caused by a combination of pandemic-era supply chain issues and a milk recall Abbott Nutrition formula. Abbott supplies more than 40% of infant formula in the United States, and at the time the survey was conducted, in May 2022, some states had stock-out rates of 90%. Researchers found that unsafe feeding practices – which included “diluting formula, using expired formula, using homemade formula, or using breastmilk from informal sharing resources” – rose from 8% before the shortage to almost 50% during the peak shortage.

“Using expired formula is dangerous because the nutrients in the formula can break down over time, which in itself can interfere with infant growth and development,” the study says. lead author Jennifer Smilowitz told Salon. “Acquiring human milk informally – so it’s about sharing milk, whether online or with friends and family, as opposed to acquiring pasteurized milk from donors – is not safe, as it may introduce health and safety risks.”

“These practices may seem harmless when you think of an adult diet, but we have to remember that infants need a very specific balance of nutrients to grow and develop,” she added.

Men with better cardio fitness have lower risk of deadly cancers, new study finds

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Men with better cardiorespiratory fitness have a lower risk of dying from lung, colon or prostate cancer, as well as a lower risk of developing lung or colon cancer in the first place, reported Insider.

Research published last Thursday by the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences measured VO2 max – or ability to use oxygen during exercise – of 177,709 Swedish men, and followed them for almost 10 years. Even after adjusting for lifestyle factors like diet and smoking habits, people with at least moderate VO2 max scores were less likely to develop or die from some common cancers in men than those with the lowest scores, although the data showed they had a slightly higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

Types of exercise that can improve cardiovascular health over time include walking, running, swimming and cycling, Insider said.

Drinking water from nearly half of US faucets may contain cancer-causing chemicals

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A study released Wednesday by the US Geological Survey estimates that at least one type of “eternal chemicals” – synthetic compounds known collectively as PFAS – can be found in about 45% of tap water samples in the United States. UNITED STATES. Previous studies of these chemicals have found links to certain cancers, including kidney, liver, and pancreatic cancers, as well as other health issues like reproductive problems, weight gain, and obesity. weakening of childhood immunity.

The report was based on samples taken between 2016 and 2021 from taps at 716 locations, “including 447 that rely on public supplies and 269 that use private wells.” The types of locations used for the samples included residences in urban and rural areas, schools, offices and national parks. “The heaviest exposures occurred in cities near potential sources of the compounds,” the Associated Press reported.

The report makes no policy recommendations, but the information “can be used to assess the risk of exposure and inform decisions about whether or not you want to treat your drinking water, have it tested, or get more information from your state” on the local situation, said lead author Kelly Smalling.

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