Having an Extra Finger Might Be A Good Thing

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, June 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Though rare, some children are born with an extra finger, a condition known as polydactyly.

Now, for the first time, a team of researchers set out to see whether having this extra appendage is somehow beneficial.

The answer is yes.

The bottom line: Having an additional finger significantly boosts a person’s ability to manipulate objects, so much so that they can execute movements with a single hand that would otherwise require two.

For the study, investigators at the University of Freiburg in Germany, Imperial College London in England and the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland focused on two patients, each of whom had an additional finger between their thumb and forefinger, on an otherwise normal hand.

“We wanted to know if the subjects have motor skills that go beyond people with five fingers, and how the brain is able to control the additional degrees of freedom,” explained study author Carsten Mehring, from the University of Freiburg.

The researchers conducted a series of brain scans and behavioral experiments designed to track how the two patients used their hands, and their brain activity while doing so.

In each case, the investigators found the extra finger had its own muscles, which enabled each person to move that finger separately from the other five fingers.

“Our subjects can use their extra fingers independently, similar to an additional thumb, either alone or together with the other five fingers, which makes manipulation extraordinarily versatile and skillful,” Mehring said in a university news release.

But the bonus does not just derive from the placement of the physical finger alone, as the team tracked much of the additional movement capacity to parts of the brain that control motor skills, unearthing neural networks that were specifically dedicated to control the extra finger.

According to researcher Etienne Burdet, from Imperial College London, “In a nutshell, it is amazing that the brain has enough capacity to do it without sacrificing elsewhere. That’s exactly what our subjects do.”

The findings were published June 3 in the journal Nature Communications.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE: University of Freiburg, news release, June 3, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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The Unsexy Truth: Fewer in the U.S. Having Sex

May17, 2019 — We are living in sexy times. The shows and channels we watch are smoking hot. From Game of Thrones to Pornhub to Netflix shows like Sex Education and Outlander, you can see more graphic intercourse — both simulated and real — on more screens than ever before. Frank discussions of BDSM, sex toys, and anal sex are so common as to barely elicit a reaction or blink of any eye.

And between all the talk of sexting and the pearl-clutching horror over dating apps, you might get the impression that your fellow Americans are all rolling around in a big sweaty and salacious pile every weekend while you order DoorDash for one.

But there’s a new reason to not feel so bad about solo Saturday nights. New data suggest there’s a rather unsexy backstory to all the steamy action portrayed on our screens both big and small. Fewer people are actually doing the deed than in the past, including young adults and teens who seem to be less sexually active than their peers in previous generations.

Why that’s the case is yet to be determined, but here’s what we know so far.

The Trend Is Showing Up in Various Types of Research

While people can be notoriously untruthful when it comes to telling researchers how much and what types of sex they have, the evidence is coming in from multiple sources suggesting that the “sex recession” trend is real.

In March, Christopher Ingraham crunched numbers from the General Social Survey (GSS), which is data from a nationally representative sample of Americans over 18 collected nearly every year. He reported in The Washington Post that in 2018, 23% of adults in the US, or nearly 1 in 4 people, reported having no sex at in the previous year — a record high (or low, depending on how you see it).

That was in part due to an aging population. About 50% of people 60 and older report having no sex in the past year, a percentage that has remained stable over time. The proportion of people in that age group increased from 18% to 23% between 1996 and 2018, which can influence the numbers in terms of overall sexual activity.

But a change is also happening among young adults ages 18 to 29. The number reporting no sex in the previous year doubled from 2008 to 2018, to 23%. Overall, 28% of men who were younger than 30 said they had no sex in the previous year.

That no-sex data seem to support a trend that has been going on for years. A 2016 study of the same data by Jean Twenge, PhD, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, and colleagues found that 15% of people born in the 1990s (ages 20 to 24) had no sexual partners after age 18 at the time of the study, compared with 6% people the same age born in the 1960s.

She published another study in 2017 that found that adults had sex nine fewer times a year in the early 2010s, compared with the late 1990s. Controlling for age and time period, people born in the 1930s, or the silent generation, had the most sex, and those born in the 1990s (millennials) had the least. Adults in their 20s reported having sex 80 times a year, compared with 20 times a year for people in their 60s.

The decline in this study did not seem to be linked to longer working hours or pornography use (both of which were actually linked to more sex in the study), and the authors concluded it seemed to be mostly due to fewer people being in marriages or partnerships. Having a regular partner helps with sexual activity, although sex declined among partnered people too.

“Good sex can happen in a lot of contexts, but I think having a partner with whom you have good sex, with whom you can really develop good sex, and learn how to have good sex is important,” says New York City-based sex therapist Ian Kerner, PhD. “So if you are living in a generation where single people may always have another option for dating, or are on that dating treadmill, you may not end up getting into the kinds of relationships that lead to the trust and familiarity that can be the foundation for good sex.”

Mediocre or not-so-great sex can discourage people from seeking it out, he says.

There are also other things involved in the trend, Twenge says, noting that people get married later and that married people have more sex.

“Even living together now happens at a later age,” she says in an email. More young adults live with their parents, which “may not be a good situation for bringing sexual partners home.”

There are also more options for entertainment via streaming or social media, as well as a decline in happiness and increases in depression.

And it’s not just sex. People are more likely to have fewer or no children, or have them later, than they did in the past. The U.S. fertility rate in 2016 was 1.80 births per woman in the country, the lowest level since 1983. The fertility rate measures the number of children a woman could expect to have over a lifetime at current birth rates. A fertility rate of about 2.1 is considered necessary to maintain population levels.

Teen pregnancy is also dropping. In 2017, nearly 200,000 babies were born to women between the ages of 15 and 19, a record low, and a 7% drop from 2016, according to the CDC.

The agency reports that the drop in teen birth rates is likely due to teens having less sex and that they are more likely to use birth control than in previous years

Laura Lindberg, PhD, a principal research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute in New York City, who specializes in adolescent sexual and reproductive health, says teens “have really improved how they use contraception.

She notes that teens, particularly young ones, are delaying other types of behaviors as well. “I think teenagers are a very special case of this,” she says. “We are seeing less engagement in a lot of behaviors, including simple things like driver’s licenses.”

“Delays in when teens first have sex hopefully represent their increased ability to decide for themselves if and when to have sex. And we have some evidence that there’s been an increase in the share of teens who say their first sex was wanted, as opposed to having mixed feelings about it or even reporting it as unwanted,” she says. “So I think that’s good news here, but we do need to be careful and not stigmatize those who have sex, again because it’s just a normal and healthy part of human development.”

Depression, Technology, Masturbation, and Porn?

It’s long been known that both depression and some of the antidepressants used to treat it can dampen libido.

Last year, the results from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey of U.S. high school students found that sexual activity in teens was at the lowest point since the survey began 20 years ago. Overall, 40% of teens said they had had sex in 2017, compared with 48% of people the same age polled a decade earlier. At the same time, feelings of hopelessness and despair increased from 28.5% to 31.5% between 2007 and 2017.

The survey couldn’t determine if the two were related. But depression is on the rise. A 2018 analysis of health insurance data found that depression diagnoses were increasing in every age group in the U.S. but rising fastest in teens and young adults. Diagnoses of major depression went up 63% in kids ages 12 to 17 (from 1.6% to 2.6% between 2013 and 2016) and 47% in people ages 18 to 34 (from 3% to 4.4%).

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants, are known to have sexual side effects.

“More and more teens and young adults that I have seen in my practice are taking SSRIs, and those absolutely have sexual side effects, which include a substantial dampening of libido,” says Kerner.

And if not specifically depression, stress and anxiety don’t help either. “Stress and anxiety have always played a role in inhibiting libido,” Kerner says. “I think today’s young people — at least based on what I am seeing in my practice — are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, both work related and socially related and in the age of social media.”

Solo sex is also more socially acceptable than it once was, he says. “Certainly, masturbation and porn are less stigmatized, more normalized than they have been in previous generations, so just access to more sexual stimulation and self-stimulation could also be playing a role.”

For the most part, porn probably does not decrease sexual activity, since porn watchers tend to be interested in sex in general, Twenge says.

“But there appears to be a substantial segment of people for whom porn is enough, and real sex seems unnecessary,” she says. “Why risk rejection, sexually transmitted diseases, relationship arguments, or having to meet up with someone when you can watch porn in the privacy of your own bedroom and do things your way?”

Add a lack of free time and other compelling entertainment options, and you might end up with a national sex deficit.

“People are probably way more distracted by Netflix and HBO and social media and the internet, and they just literally aren’t carving out the time for sex,” Kerner says. “I do really, more than ever, hear from people, young people, who can’t make it work, scheduling-wise.”

It may be harder for young adults to meet long-term partners, says Twenge, who is the author of iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood. (Twenge defines iGen as anyone born between 1995 and 2012, and millennials as those born between 1980 and 1994.)

“If you’re not a looker, you’ll get swiped left on Tinder, even if you can reliably charm potential partners on the next bar stool,” she says. “With fewer people on those bar stools — and those who are there looking at Tinder on their phones instead of who’s next to them — a large group of people gets left out of the sexual scene.”

Some people might be opting out because they don’t want to take part in hookup culture, “which is often devoid of romance or even a hint of emotional intimacy,” Twenge says.

Having More Sex, if You Want It

So is a dearth of sexual activity bad for your health? Well, as Kerner points out, no one ever died from a lack of sex.

“On the other hand, sex is something that most of us are wired to do, and it triggers the brain’s opiate system in a way that’s natural and not synthetic, and it can be a relational and connecting experience,” he says. “I would say on the whole, sex is healthy and worth prioritizing.”

Research suggests that at least in couples in a positive, healthy relationship, sex can play a role in their overall happiness, Kerner says.

Sex is personal and specific, so it’s not easy to give advice that works for everyone, he says. But if you do have a partner, consider scheduling time for sex. “Sometimes people, especially younger people, think scheduled sex isn’t spontaneous and that sex should be spontaneous. I would say reframe that as prioritizing and making time for it.”

“I always think to myself, ‘Gosh, where there’s a will, there’s got to be a way.’ And if you really want to have sex with somebody, you figure out how not to be more tired and fatigued and missing the opportunities,” Kerner says. “I do hear from a lot of people who say, ‘We never really have the time to get to it.’ ”

Sex can sometimes get separated from the rest of the relationship. “They are not maintaining the erotic thread between experiences,” he says. “They are not keeping sex in the air.”

Kerner says it’s not a bad idea to think about what environment would make sex an enjoyable possibility.

“If there are a lot of stressors in your environment, think about eliminating some of those stressors. If there aren’t enough exciters or things that turn you on, then think about what does turn you on — whether it’s something physical about sex, a position, or a fantasy — and think about how to communicate that to a partner.”


The Washington Post: “The share of Americans not having sex has reached a record high.”

NORC at the University of Chicago: “General Social Survey.”

Archives of Sexual Behavior: “Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989-2014,” “Sexual Inactivity During Young Adulthood Is More Common Among U.S. Millennials and iGen: Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on Having No Sexual Partners After Age 18.”

CDC: “Youth Risk Factor Behavior Surveillance Study.”

BuzzFeed News: “Teen Survey Shows Fewer Are Having Sex, But More Are Feeling Despair.”

NBC News: “Major depression on the rise among everyone, new data shows.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield: “Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Study Shows Surge in Major Depression Diagnoses.”

Ian Kerner, PhD, sex therapist, New York City.

Laura Lindberg, PhD, principal research scientist, Guttmacher Institute, New York City.

Jean Twenge, PhD, professor of psychology, San Diego State University; author of iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Foul Ball: More Kids Having ‘Tommy John’ Surgery

Tracy Bracken, Georgia District 2 Little League coach.

Sports Health: “Prevention of Elbow Injuries in Youth Baseball Pitchers.”

Steve Jordan, MD, Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.

American Sports Medicine Institute: “Tommy John Position Statement.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Tommy John Surgery (Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction).”

Major League Baseball: “Just who is Tommy John, and why does everyone talk about his surgery all the time?”

American Journal of Sports Medicine: “Trends in Medial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction in the United States.”

Little League Baseball: “Regular season pitching rules.”

USA Baseball news release: “MLB, USA Baseball Recognize Pitch Smart Compliant Organizations.”

National Federation of State High School Associations: “Reducing Pitching Injuries: Count Pitches, Don’t Count on Surgery.”

Guerry Baldwin, president, East Cobb Baseball.

American Journal of Sports Medicine: “Performance, Return to Competition, and Reinjury After Tommy John Surgery in Major League Baseball Pitchers.”

Dave Littlefield, vice president for player development, Detroit Tigers.

The Physician and Sportsmedicine: “Public perceptions of Tommy John surgery.”

Jim Beattie, former Toronto Blue Jays scout.

AARP: “Why Tommy John Is Against the Surgery That Bears His Name.”

CBS Sports: “Marlins’ Braxton Garrett: Ready for redemption. “

WebMD Health

Fewer Teens Having Sex, Most Use Birth Control

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In a finding that should ease parents’ minds, new research shows that fewer American teens are having sex and most of those who do are using some form of birth control.

But scientists also found that sexual violence has become more common among high school students and condom use has declined.

“Many young people become sexually active during high school,” said study co-author Laura Lindberg, a principal research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, the nonprofit research organization that published the report on Sept. 20.

“It is critical to ensure that all young people have access to comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health care services to support their sexual and reproductive decision-making,” Lindberg said in a Guttmacher news release.

For the study, the researchers examined national surveys of high school students conducted in 2013, 2015 and 2017 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The team looked for trends in sexual activity, use of birth control and exposure to sexual violence.

Their findings revealed a dramatic drop in the number of sexually active teens.

The study showed that 40 percent of U.S. high school students reported that they ever had sex in 2017. That’s the lowest level of sexual behavior among teens since scientists began to keep track in 1991.

Fewer teens of all races and ethnicities reported having sex, the study showed. But the researchers noted this decline was most pronounced among black students.

Teens are more likely to become sexually active as they get older, the study showed. Just 20 percent of high school freshmen surveyed had ever had sex. The same was true for 57 percent of seniors.

Of the teens who said they were sexually active, nearly 90 percent used some form of birth control the last time they had sex. In 54 percent of these encounters, the teens used condoms. Only 16 percent of the sexually active girls and 10 percent of the sexually active boys surveyed admitted they had not used any contraceptive the last time they had sex.


Younger teens failed to use birth control more often: Roughly 20 percent of ninth-graders said they didn’t use a contraceptive the last time they had sex, compared to 10 percent of seniors.

The researchers also found the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (such as IUDs and contraceptive implants) among teens, which have become more popular among older women, jumped from 2 percent in 2013 to 5 percent by 2017.

Meanwhile, condom use dropped from 59 percent to 54 percent during this time frame. The researchers argued that teens need more education and access to condoms since rates of sexually transmitted diseases among young people are on the rise.

The study also revealed that sexual violence among teens has become more common.

In 2017, 10 percent of students reported experiencing sexual violence, such as forced kissing, touching or rape, in the past year.

The proportion of young women exposed to this abuse was three times as high as among boys. The proportion of students who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual who faced this sexual violence was also nearly three times as high as heterosexual teens.

“Consent is a critical component of sex education, not only to prevent sexual violence, but to promote healthy communication and development of fulfilling relationships,” said Jesseca Boyer, a Guttmacher policy expert. “All young people need and have the right to information, education, skills and services to support their sexual and reproductive health and well-being.”

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE: The Guttmacher Institute, news release, Sept.  20, 2018

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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More Pregnant Women Having Heart Attacks

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Few women consider the scary possibility that they might suffer a heart attack during or right after their pregnancy, but a new report shows it has become a more common reality in recent years.

Along with the fact that women are having children at an older age, rising rates of obesity and diabetes may explain the increasing rates of heart attack among pregnant women, according to researchers from the New York University School of Medicine.

They found that the risk of heart attack among pregnant women increased 25 percent between 2002 and 2014, with the rate rising from 7 to 9.5 for every 100,000 pregnancies in the United States.

“Our analysis, the largest review in a decade, serves as an important reminder of how stressful pregnancy can be on the female body and heart, causing a lot of physiological changes, and potentially unmasking risk factors that can lead to heart attack,” said senior investigator Dr. Sripal Bangalore. He is an interventional cardiologist and associate professor at NYU Langone Health.

Another heart expert said he would have thought the heart attack rates would have been even higher.

“Although this is an uncommon phenomenon, it is not totally surprising, given that pregnancy constitutes the ultimate cardiovascular stress test,” said Dr. James Lafferty, chairman of cardiology at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City. “It is a time of increased fluid retention, heightened clotting potential and elevated cardiac output. The fact that it is not more common is surprising.

“It would seem that women having children later in life who have underlying risk factors for early cardiac disease may be the reason for this increase,” Lafferty added. “It may be prudent to address cardiac risk factors earlier in this group of patients who are generally viewed as a low-risk group.”

The analysis of 49.8 million births in hospitals nationwide during the study period found that 1,061 heart attacks occurred during labor and delivery, 922 occurred before birth, and 2,390 occurred in the two months after giving birth.


In addition, the death rate from heart attack among pregnant women remained relatively high (4.5 percent), despite advances in treatment for heart attack during the study period.

The risk of a heart attack during pregnancy rose with age. Pregnant women aged 35 to 39 were five times more likely to suffer a heart attack than women in their 20s. And women in their early 40s had a 10 times higher risk than women in their 20s, the findings showed.

The study was published online July 18 in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The researchers said another possible reason for the increase is that it’s easier to detect heart attacks now than a decade ago.

Study first author Dr. Nathaniel Smilowitz said the “findings highlight the importance to women considering pregnancy to know their risk factors for heart disease beforehand.” Smilowitz is an interventional cardiologist and assistant professor at NYU Langone.

“These patients should work out a plan with their physicians to monitor and control risk factors during pregnancy so that they can minimize their risk,” he said in a university news release.

One heart expert, who was not involved with the research, said the study raised good questions — some of them unresolved.

“This was a very interesting study since it sheds light on an underappreciated topic of acute [heart attack] during pregnancy,” said Dr. Michael Goyfman, director of clinical cardiology at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, in New York City.

“The study has several limitations, however,” he added.

They include increased detection of heart trouble in recent years and not accounting for other risk factors such as congenital heart disease or other genetic diseases that can trigger heart trouble, Goyfman said.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: James Lafferty, M.D., chairman, cardiology, Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, N.Y.; Michael Goyfman, director, clinical cardiology, Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, New York City; New York University School of Medicine, news release, July 18, 2018

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Good News, Parents: Teens Are Delaying Having Sex

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Fewer U.S. teens are sexually active these days, as many wait until later in high school to try sex for the first time, a new report reveals.

The proportion of high school students who’ve ever had sex decreased to 41 percent in 2015, continuing a downward trend from 47 percent in 2005 and 53 percent in 1995, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The significance of these findings are important for today’s youth,” said Dr. Victor Fornari, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital, in Glen Oaks, N.Y. “This is very positive and promising.”

The decrease is mainly driven by a decline in the number of 9th and 10th graders having sex, according to the report by Kathleen Ethier and colleagues at the CDC.

Sexually active 9th graders decreased from 34 percent to 24 percent between 2005 and 2015, while 10th graders having sex declined from 43 percent to 36 percent during the same time period.

By comparison, significant declines in sexual activity were not found among 11th and 12th graders, the researchers added.

Matthew Oransky is director of the psychology training program at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York City. He said, “What seems really promising about this is that the older you get, the better ability you have to make decisions and communicate and plan. The older you are when you initiate sex, the better able you will be to make healthy and responsible decisions.”

The percentage of black and Hispanic teens experimenting with sex also went down, contributing to the overall decline in sexually active kids.

About 48 percent of black teens and 42 percent of Hispanic teens said they were sexually active in 2015, down from nearly 68 percent and 51 percent, respectively, in 2005.

On the other hand, sexual activity among white teens did not change significantly, the investigators found.

The decrease in sexual activity involved both boys and girls. Among 9th graders, about 27 percent of boys and 21 percent of girls said they had become sexually active in 2015, down from 39 percent and 29 percent, respectively, in 2005.


Health experts suggested that sex education is the most likely explanation for the trend.

“Much of this decrease can be tied to increased sex education, which includes sexually transmitted disease and contraception information,” said Dr. Jennifer Wu. She is an obstetrician/gynecologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Fornari agreed.

“Young people have learned that sexually transmitted infections are serious and are to be prevented,” he said.

And, Fornari added, “Young women recognize that unwanted infants during adolescence is not desirable. From my perspective, education about sexually transmitted infections and the challenges of having a baby when a teenager have had an impact on adolescent behavior.”

Wu is concerned the trend will not continue if educators aren’t allowed to keep spreading the word about the consequences of teen sex.

“Ongoing educational efforts should continue,” Wu said. “If funding stops or if there is a decline in sex education, we may then see a resurgence in teenage sexual activity and its accompanying consequences.”

Oransky added that a cultural shift also might be at play, where adults are more comfortable having frank discussions with teenagers about sex.

“It’s a big focus at our center, recognizing that — whether or not we like it — adolescents are making these decisions,” Oransky said. “We have to arm them with the knowledge to make the decision that’s most comfortable for them and best for their future.”

The findings were published in the Jan. 5 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Victor Fornari, M.D., director, child and adolescent psychiatry, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, N.Y., and Cohen Children’s Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Matthew Oransky, Ph.D., director, psychology training program, Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, New York City;  Jennifer Wu, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Jan. 5, 2018,Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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More Patients Are Having a Say in Their Medical Care

FRIDAY, Nov. 17, 2017 — U.S. doctors and patients are making more decisions together, which looks like a win-win for both, researchers say.

A new analysis of national survey data found that shared decision-making between doctors and patients rose 14 percent between 2002 and 2014.

Patients said doctors have become more likely to: ask them to help make medical decisions; listen to them carefully; show respect for what they said; spend enough time with them; and provide easy-to-understand information.

“There has been increased attention among clinicians and health systems to involve patients in decision-making,” said Dr. Jeffrey Linder, co-lead author of the study. He’s chief of general internal medicine and geriatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

“Patients who have engaged in shared decision-making understand their condition and options better. They feel less uncertain about a chosen course of action,” Linder said in a university news release.

Shared decision-making can lead to better-informed patients, he added. For example, they may decide against treatments that have little or no benefit.

Also, doctors are realizing that patients will not necessarily comply with recommendations blindly, said study co-lead author Dr. David Levine, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Moving the conversation to a space where it is a shared decision likely improves adherence.”

Still, the study also found that more than 30 percent of Americans felt their doctor did not always listen to them, and more than 40 percent felt their doctor did not always spend enough time with them.

Shared decision-making was lower among patients in poor health and those of a different race/ethnicity than their doctor, according to the study.

The study involved about 10,000 survey respondents a year from 2002 to 2014. The results were published in the November/December issue of the journal Annals of Family Medicine.

More information

The University of North Carolina Medical School has more on doctor-patient communication.

©2017 HealthDay.

All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2017

Recommended for you – Daily MedNews

Having the right name at the right, or sometimes wrong, time

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When reporters descended on upstate New York to ask about a stunning prison break in 2015, state police spokesman Major Charles Guess took their questions.

A dog named Trigger stepped on his owner’s 12-gauge shotgun during an Indiana waterfowl hunt just months later and shot her in the foot.

Sometimes the name fits the news story. Correspondent Julie Weed writes about legal marijuana for Forbes. This month, a front-page New York Times story on obesity was edited by Hilary Stout.

And former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner on Monday was sentenced to prison for sending explicitly sexual pictures of a certain body part to an underage girl.

This phenomenon has secured its own line of scientific research, called nominative determinism. It even has a name of its own: aptronym.

FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner departs U.S. Federal Court, following his sentencing after pleading guilty to one count of sending obscene messages to a minor, ending an investigation into a “sexting” scandal that played a role in last year’s U.S. presidential election, in New York, U.S. September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

In some cases, it may be rooted in the tradition of a profession determining a family name, such as Baker, Smith or Taylor.

Other times, it is a coincidence. But it nearly always raises an eyebrow or even a smile from those realizing the unusual pairing.

Recent news stories have mentioned Jack Dagger, the U.S. director of the International Knifethrowers Hall of Fame. Then there is Detective Martin Speechley, the ever-quotable spokesman for the New York Police Department.

Sometimes the odd connections can be horrifying. When a gunman at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon, killed nine people, including a woman in a wheelchair, her service dog named Bullet survived.

But strange synergies also can signal hope. Josh Outman now pitches for Mexico’s Triple-A Minor League Pericos de Puebla but was once with the New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics and other U.S. Major League Baseball teams. Perhaps a streak of no-hitters by Outman could get him back to the big leagues.

Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Lisa Von Ahn

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Having Same-Sex Parents Won’t Affect Kids’ Gender Identity: Study

MONDAY, Aug. 21, 2017 — Same-sex couples are unlikely to influence the gender identity of their adoptive children one way or another, a new study finds.

Starting with preschool, researchers tracked the gender identity development of kids from 106 lesbian, gay or heterosexual families.

“Parental sexual orientation and family type did not affect children’s gender conformity or nonconformity in any significant way,” said study author Rachel Farr of the University of Kentucky.

At the start of the study, parents filled out questionnaires. The researchers also observed the preschoolers’ play and the toys they used. The children were then interviewed five years later.

The researchers found that in most cases children displayed behavior and play styles commonly associated with their birth gender, and those patterns were established in early childhood.

Family structure was far less associated with gender identity development than the types of play preschoolers engaged in, the researchers said.

Those few preschoolers who tended to play with toys not usually associated with their birth gender were more likely to buck gender norms as they aged. However, bucking gender norms was not found to be more common among children raised by either gay or lesbian parents.

The findings were published recently in the journal Sex Roles.

“Our results suggest that the gender development of children adopted by both lesbian and gay parents proceeds in typical ways, and is similar to that of children adopted by heterosexual couples,” Farr said in a journal news release.

“It therefore appears that having both a male and female role model in the home is not necessary for facilitating typical gender development among adopted children,” she added, “nor does it discourage gender nonconformity.”

More information

There’s more on same-sex parenting at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Posted: August 2017

Recommended for you – Daily MedNews

Having A Soda With That Burger Is Double Trouble

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Combining a sugary soda with your burger or fried chicken can really prime your body to pack on more pounds, a new study suggests.

Folks who had a sweetened drink with a high-protein meal stored more unused fat, compared to others who ate the same food with a sugarfree beverage, laboratory tests revealed.

Their bodies did not burn about a third of the additional calories provided by the sugary drink, researchers found.

The participants also burned less fat from their food, and it took less energy overall to digest the meal.

“If we are adding extra carbohydrates on top of what’s already in a meal, that will definitely have an effect on the body being able to use fat as an energy source, and it will more than likely go into energy storage,” said lead researcher Shanon Casperson. She’s a research biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sodas, sweetened coffee and iced tea drinks, fruit drinks, energy beverages and the like are leading sources of added sugar in the American diet, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Six in 10 kids and half of adults drink at least one sugary beverage each day.

Food contains three major types of nutrients — carbohydrates, fats and protein. Casperson and her team wanted to see how extra carbs in the form of a sugary drink would affect metabolism of fats and proteins.

For the study, 27 healthy-weight adults were placed in a sealed “metabolic room” that carefully tracked how much oxygen was inhaled and carbon dioxide was exhaled, Casperson said. Urine samples were also collected.

“With those three variables, we are able to calculate the amount of nutrients they use” as well as the calories they burn every minute, Casperson said.

Participants spent two full days in the sealed room. On one day they ate two meals containing 15 percent protein, and on the other they ate two meals with 30 percent protein. The meals consisted of bread, ham, cheese, potatoes and butter, and each provided 17 grams of fat and 500 calories.


Each day, the participants had a sugary cherry-flavored drink with one meal and a sugar-free cherry drink with the other meal, Casperson said.

The sugar-sweetened drink decreased fat oxidation — the process that kick-starts the breakdown of fat molecules — by 8 percent, the researchers discovered.

Also, the sweetened drink consumed with a 15 percent protein meal decreased fat oxidation by an average 7.2 grams, while the same sugary drink with a 30 percent protein meal decreased fat oxidation by 12.6 grams.

The researchers think the extra load of carbohydrates in a soda might reduce the body’s need to process dietary fat for energy, since fat is more difficult to burn than sugar.

“It’s easier for the body to use carbohydrates as an energy source,” Casperson said. “When you provide the body with carbohydrates, it’s going to use that first.” Unburned fat then winds up deposited somewhere in a person’s body, such as the belly or hips.

The study provides much-needed nuance to the understanding of fast-food nutrition, said Erika Renick. She’s a bariatric dietitian with the Comprehensive Weight Loss Center at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City.

“While this was a small sample size, the study backs up what recent research has been pointing to — that adding protein to meals helps to keep us full and that sugary drinks can influence our food cravings,” Renick said.

“However, this study takes it a step further by suggesting that pairing sugar-sweetened drinks with protein-rich meals can encourage weight gain more than we originally understood,” Renick continued.

“This specific combination seems to decrease how well our bodies burn fat,” she said. “More research would need to be done, but steering people away from this combination could potentially be another tool when counseling people on weight management.”

Casperson isn’t sure why adding extra protein to a meal seemed to affect the reduction in fat burning. “That’s something we need to look at in future research,” she said.

The study appears July 20 in the journal BMC Nutrition.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Shanon Casperson, Ph.D., research biologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Erika Renick, R.D., bariatric dietitian, Comprehensive Weight Loss Center, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; BMC Nutrition, July 20, 2017

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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California Is Worried About Not Having Enough Recreational Marijuana

Remember how Nevada started running out of marijuana shortly after recreational sales started? Well, California is worried the same thing might happen there when sales start in 2018, so the state is doing its best to prevent that.

According to the Los Angeles Times, there are plans to provide temporary four-month licenses to growers to avoid a lack of supply. State officials are doing everything they can to avoid Nevada’s mistake.

“Legal sales began July 1 in Nevada, but it immediately became clear there was not enough supply to meet demand, in part because unique rules provide alcohol wholesalers exclusive distributor rights,” the Los Angeles Times states. “California does not have the same limits on who can distribute cannabis.”

Marijuana is expected to be a $ 5 billion dollar industry in California, so it’s important that the state gets things right. And that’s only in the beginning. The industry will obviously grow throughout the years and become even more valuable.

[Photo by Dank Depot/Flickr]

The 420 Times

Police helicopter crew recorded couple having sex, British court told

LONDON (Reuters) – The crew of a police helicopter filmed people sunbathing in the nude, naturists at a campsite and even a couple having sex, a court in Britain was told on Tuesday, the BBC reported.

South Yorkshire police officers Matthew Lucas, 42, and Lee Walls, 47, and pilots Matthew Loosemore, 45, and Malcolm Reeves, 64, each denied charges of misconduct in public office when they went on trial in Sheffield in the north of England.

Former police officer Adrian Pogmore, 50, had previously admitted to the same charge.

The people recorded included two naturists at a campsite in 2008, a mother and her daughters sunbathing nude in 2007 and a couple having sex in their garden in 2008, the prosecution told the court.

Footage taken by the crew of the couple was said to have shown the woman involved waving up at the helicopter at one point.

The woman filmed with her daughters while sunbathing told the court that the crew’s actions were a “complete and utter violation” of her privacy, the BBC said.

The trial was expected to last three weeks.

Reporting by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Alistair Smout and Richard Balmforth

Reuters: Oddly Enough

In LA? ShowGrow is having a Holiday Party to Beat All Others

ShowGrow would like to invite you to come to their Holiday Party today, Saturday 12/17 in Los Angeles

They will be doing product giveaways, massive discounts, free recs, food, great DJs, and more fun stuff.

And, they’re giving away 1/2 gram of moxie concentrates to the first 1000 patients that day!

Insane Slaes on the Entire Store! Free food and refreshments. Music.

Here is the link to see the details on the party & RSVP:


ShowGrow is located at 824 E. 17th St., Los Angeles, CA 90021

The 420 Times

Girls Lose Friends for Having Sex But Boys Don’t, Study Shows

Girls Lose Friends for Having Sex But Boys Don’t

Findings among young teens reflect traditional biases about men and women

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The impact that young teens’ sexual activity has on their circle of friends differs for girls and boys, a new study finds.

Researchers looked at data from youngsters in 28 rural communities in Iowa and Pennsylvania who were followed from ages 11 to 16, and found that girls lost friends for having sex and gained friends for making out without sex.

But boys lost friends for making out and gained friends for having sex, according to the study scheduled for presentation Monday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA) in Chicago.

The investigators found that after having sex, girls had a 45 percent loss in peer acceptance, while boys had an 88 percent increase in acceptance, on average. After making out, girls had a 25 percent increase in peer acceptance, while boys had a 29 percent decrease, the findings showed.

“In our sample of early adolescents, girls’ friendship networks shrink significantly after they have sex, whereas boys’ friendship networks expand significantly,” study lead author Derek Kreager, an associate professor of sociology and criminology at Pennsylvania State University, said in an ASA news release.

“But what really surprised us was that ‘making out’ showed a pattern consistent with a strong reverse sexual double-standard, such that girls who ‘make out’ without having sex see significant increases in friendships, and boys who engage in the same behavior see significant decreases in friendships,” he added.

The findings are consistent with traditional biases about men and women, the study authors said.

“Men and boys are expected to act on innate or strong sex drives to initiate heterosexual contacts for the purpose of sex rather than romance and pursue multiple sexual partnerships,” Kreager said. “In contrast, women and girls are expected to desire romance over sex, value monogamy and ‘gatekeep’ male sexual advances within committed relationships.”

So, Kreager added, “a sexual double-standard then arises because women and girls who violate traditional sexual scripts and have casual and/or multiple sexual partnerships are socially stigmatized, whereas men and boys performing similar behaviors are rewarded for achieving masculine ideals.”

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