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Law Schools Start Firms to Employ Graduates

The New York Times reports that law schools in the U.S., already smarting from the collapse of the market for lawyers, are establishing law firms so they can hire their graduates and give them something to do. Regarding such a scheme in Arizona, the article says, “Over the next few years, 30 graduates will work under seasoned lawyers and be paid for a wide range of services provided at relatively low cost. The school-based firms will be something like teaching hospitals for law school graduates.” Several schools have bought in to the idea to solve two “seemingly contradictory problems: heavily indebted law graduates with no clients and a vast number of Americans unable to afford a lawyer.” For a minute there, I thought the legal profession was actually going to break precedent and do some real charity work. [Please don’t tell me lawyers do pro bono work. Very few do, and when they do, it is a paltry amount of time. A judge had the audacity to recommend that new lawyers do 50 hours of pro bono work before being allowed to take the bar exam in New York. That’s about 6 days of work per year. A law blog called it “indentured servitude.”] But the article mentioned that the legal services provided will not be free. In fact, the plan for the Arizona project “is to charge $125 an hour in an area where the going hourly rate is $250.” That’s not exactly analogous to the way a teaching hospital works. By what criterion is $125 per hour “relatively low cost”? Oh, I think I’ve got it. That’s...

The “Second Victims” in Nursing

Tears rolled down my face as I came across an article written 2 years ago. A veteran pediatric nurse took her own life several months after administering a fatal overdose of an electrolyte to an infant. After investigations and undisclosed reasons, the hospital terminated the nurse’s employment after 27 years of service and dedication to the profession she truly loved. To further satisfy the state licensing disciplinary actions, she agreed to pay a fine and  undergo a 4-year probationary period. She would be supervised at any future nursing job when she gave medication. She even successfully completed a course to qualify as a flight nurse. Yet countless efforts did not produce any job offers, increasing her despair and isolation. A friend said, “She cried for weeks. Not just because she lost her job; she lost a child.” No one knows all the details that led to the nurse taking her own life. The reality is, the healthcare industry, I believe, is not set up to provide personal, psychological, and social  support to the “second victim” of medication errors. The first victims are the patients who were harmed and their families. Nurses are the providers of care and support for  patients. But who supports and advocates for nurses? Nursing, as noble as this profession may be, can also be a lion’s den. When mistakes happen, we are urged to “write it up,” appear in front of a committee, get judged, and God only knows what else. Then, labeled as “incompetent,”  an unseen force can immediately make the second victim even terrified to go back to work, adding to the feeling...

Guidelines for Nutrition & Exercise in Cancer Survivors

In 2001, the American Cancer Society (ACS) first published an article summarizing the relatively small amount of scientific evidence regarding the impact of nutrition and physical activity among cancer survivors. Since that time, new studies have emerged, demonstrating the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight, getting adequate physical activity, and eating a healthy diet. The key benefits include reducing the chance of recurrence and increasing the likelihood of disease-free survival after a diagnosis. Based on this new and accumulating evidence, an expert panel convened by the ACS issued formal guidelines for cancer survivors for the first time in the CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Encourage Regular Exercise The ACS update recommends that clinicians encourage survivors to participate in regular physical activity. Patients should aim to exercise at moderate intensity at least 150 minutes per week and perform strength training exercises at least 2 days per week. Clinicians need to encourage patients to avoid inactivity and return to normal daily activities as soon as possible following a diagnosis. However, in some cases, particular issues affect the ability of patients who are recovering from cancer treatment to exercise. The guidelines provide information on many of these issues and how these circumstances should be factored into the equation when recommending activities. Weight Management & Diet Among Cancer Survivors Many patients are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed with cancer, and there’s increasing evidence that obesity increases risks for cancer recurrence and reduces survival. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is another key recommendation in the 2012 guidelines. If cancer survivors are overweight or obese, they should be encouraged to limit...
Diabetes Alert Day: Take it. Share it.

Diabetes Alert Day: Take it. Share it.

On March, 26, 2013, the American Diabetes Association will be encouraging the public to take the Diabetes Risk Test, as well as to share the test with everyone they care about – friends, family members, and colleagues. With each person that takes the test and knows their risk, the Association is that much closer to stopping diabetes. American Diabetes Association Alert Day®, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, is a one-day  “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The new Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventive tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider. Diabetes By the Numbers Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them—7 million—do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million—or one in three American adults—have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take the steps to Stop Diabetes®. Are Your Patients at Risk? Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Patients who are overweight, underactive (living a sedentary lifestyle) and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos,...

Is Supplemental Oxygen a Performance-Enhancing Drug?

You often see a football player on the sidelines breathing oxygen after running a long distance or having worked hard during a long series of plays. Have you ever wondered if it works? Does breathing a high concentration of oxygen help an athlete recover from exertion faster? The answer is a resounding “No,” and here’s why… In healthy people, such as college and professional football players, nearly all of the oxygen in the blood is carried by hemoglobin. Only a very small percentage is dissolved in blood. Saturation defines the oxygen that is attached to hemoglobin and partial pressure of oxygen is that which is dissolved in blood. Definitions: SaO2 = arterial oxygen saturation, Hb = hemoglobin, 1.34 mL is the amount of oxygen a fully saturated gram of hemoglobin can carry, Pa02 = partial pressure of oxygen or the amount of oxygen dissolved in blood. If an athlete has a normal Hb level of 15 gm, a SaO2 of 100% and a PaO2 of 100 mmHg, the formula used to calculate his blood oxygen content is: [Hb X 1.34 X (SaO2/100)] + 0.003 X PaO2 or [15 X 1.34 X 100/100] + 0.003 X 100 so 20.1 + 0.3 = 20.4 mL/100 mL of blood Only about 1.5% of the oxygen content of blood is dissolved. If an athlete raises his PaO2 to 400 mmHg by breathing pure oxygen the calculation is: [Hb X 1.34 X (SaO2/100)] + 0.003 X PaO2 or [15 X 1.34 X 100/100] + 0.003 X 400 20.1 + 1.2 = 21.3 mL/100 mL of blood Even at a PaO2 of 400 mmHg, only...

AAOS 2013: Assessing the Long-Term Benefits of THA

The Particulars: Data are lacking on the long-term benefits and risks of total hip arthroplasty (THA) on overall health and healthcare spending in osteoarthritic patients. Data Breakdown: For a study, researchers compared 7-year outcomes for patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA) who underwent THA to those who did not undergo the procedure. Patients who underwent THA had lower mortality, heart failure, depression, and diabetes overall. However, the THA group had an increased risk for ischemic heart disease and atherosclerosis at 1 year after the procedure when compared with the non-THA group. Take Home Pearl: Among patients with hip OA, those who undergo THA appear to have lower mortality and improved overall health, at a relatively low long-term incremental cost, when compared with those who do not undergo...

FDA Approves Dotarem, a New MRI Agent

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Dotarem (gadoterate meglumine) for use in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, spine and associated tissues of patients ages 2 years and older. Dotarem is a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) that helps radiologists see abnormalities on images of the central nervous system (CNS), the part of the body that contains the brain and spine, and surrounding tissues. “Dotarem was shown to be a safe and effective magnetic resonance imaging agent in patients ages 2 years and older,” said Dwaine Rieves, M.D., director of the Division of Medical Imaging Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Today’s approval provides doctors with another option to help evaluate anatomic abnormalities within the central nervous system.” Dotarem’s safety and effectiveness were established in a clinical trial of 245 adult and 38 pediatric patients ages 2 years and older with suspected CNS abnormalities. Each patient received a baseline MRI without Dotarem, and then the MRI was repeated following Dotarem administration. Results showed that, in comparison to the baseline images, Dotarem MRI helped radiologists better see CNS lesions. Dotarem also helped the radiologists identify lesion borders and other lesion features. Similar results were obtained in a clinical trial conducted among patients who were known to have CNS abnormalities. All GBCAs, including Dotarem, carry a boxed warning about the risk of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), a rare but serious condition associated with the use of GBCAs in certain patients with kidney disease. NSF is characterized by pain and thickening of the skin, and can cause fibrosis of internal organs. There is no known treatment...

Physician Turnover Rate Hits New High

Following suit with stock prices and home sales, physician turnover rate is rising, reaching the highest rate since 2005 and exceeding pre-recession levels. According to the 8th annual Physician Retention survey from Cejka Search and the American Medical Group (AMGA), medical groups reported an average turnover rate of 6.8% (vs 5.9% in 2009) and advanced practice clinicians reported a turnover of 11.5%. The improvements in the housing market and recovery in stock prices have prompted the shift from physicians delaying relocation and retirement due to depressed home and investment portfolio values. Other key findings from the study include: 19.4% turnover rate among physicians over 64 in practices with fewer than 50 physicians 12.7% turnover rate among physicians over 64 in all practices 76% of medical group respondents plan to hire more PCPs in the next 12 months 67% of medical group respondents plan to hire more nurse practitioners 61% of medical group respondents plan to hire more physician assistants “The survey findings provide evidence that recruitment and retention continue to be major challenges for health systems,” stated Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, president and chief executive officer of AMGA. “To rise to these challenges, medical groups are demonstrating remarkable leadership by investing in new staffing and delivery models, building and nurturing their teams in a strategic way, and making accountable care work for their patients and their communities.” Source:...

AAOS 2013: Predicting Hip Fracture Complications & Mortality

The Particulars: Previous research has not provided well-defined predictors of complications and mortality following hip fracture. Data Breakdown: After analyzing a sample of more than 44,000 hip fracture incidents, investigators found that the presence of shock after the injury was the most important predictor of complications. Dialysis, presenting in shock, cardiac disease, and male gender were significant predictors of mortality. In addition to obesity, diabetes, and shorter time to procedure, other factors that influenced complications included dialysis, shock, and cardiac disease. Obesity, femoral neck fracture, cardiac disease, and diabetes significantly increased risks for major complications, including postoperative infection. Take Home Pearls: Multiple comorbidities appear to predict poor outcomes following hip fracture, particularly the presence of shock, obesity, diabetes, and time to surgery. Targeting factors that are modifiable may optimize outcomes in...

AAOS 2013: Returning to Work After TKA

The Particulars: Previous studies have indicated that success rates with total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are high. However, data is limited on patients returning to work after TKA. Data Breakdown: A multicenter study of TKA patients aged 18 to 60 found that 91.1% of patients returned to work after surgery. Of these patients, 93.3% returned to their previous job. Men were significantly more likely to return to work than women. Return to work rates by labor category were sedentary (92.3%), light (79.2%), medium (89.0%), heavy (87.8%), and very heavy (78.2%). Take Home Pearl: Most young, active patients who undergo TKA appear to return to work at their usual occupation following the procedure, even those categorized as having very heavy...
At the Boiling Point: Physician Burnout & Work-Life Balance

At the Boiling Point: Physician Burnout & Work-Life Balance

Previous research has indicated that many physicians throughout the United States experience professional burnout, a syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a low sense of personal accomplishment. Studies suggest that burnout can reduce quality of care and increase risks for medical errors, among other negative consequences. Furthermore, there are other adverse personal consequences for physicians that have been linked to burnout, including contributions to broken relationships, problematic alcohol use, and suicidal ideation (read guest blogger, Dr. Rob’s, Top 10 Burnout Triggers). “We have limited data characterizing physician burnout, but few studies have evaluated rates of burnout among U.S. physicians nationally,” says Colin P. West, MD, PhD. “Previous investigations have speculated on which medical or surgical specialty areas are at higher risk, but these analyses have not been definitive.” He adds that research is also lacking on how rates of burnout for physicians compare with rates for U.S. workers in other fields. Medical Specialty Matters in Burnout In the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. West and colleagues published a study on burnout involving a large sample of U.S. physicians from all specialty disciplines using the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile. Surveys were used to assess the prevalence of emotional exhaustion, enthusiasm dissipation, cynicism, depression, suicidal tendencies, negative views on work-life balance, and low professional esteem among physicians. After collecting responses from 7,288 physicians from various healthcare settings, 45.8% reported experiencing at least one symptom of professional burnout. “We observed substantial differences in burnout by specialty,” says Dr. West (Figure). The highest rates of burnout were seen in physicians at the front lines of care, most notably family doctors, general...

HIV & Injection Drug Use: Trends & Learning Lessons

While there has been a measurable decline in the number of new HIV cases throughout the United States, pockets of newly-infection people continue to persist, especially in high-risk groups. Injecting drug users (IDUs) are among those that are at increased risk for acquiring HIV because of their drug use practices and sexual behaviors. Further complicating matters is that a substantial number of IDUs are living in major urban areas where HIV prevalence is already documented to be high; many of them may also be unaware of their HIV-infection status. Since 2004, the CDC’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS) has monitored disease-associated behaviors among groups considered at high risk for acquiring the virus, including IDUs. In the 2009 IDU cycle, HIV testing was also conducted to provide the first IDU prevalence data in over a decade. During 1993-1997, results from a different CDC survey found prevalence of HIV among IDUs who entered drug treatment centers in the U.S. ranged from 1% to 37%; the overall prevalence was 18%. In the March 2, 2012 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, new data was released on information from 10,073 IDUs from 20 cities in 2009; 9% tested positive for HIV. Troubling New Trends in HIV Although the number of HIV infections among IDUs dropped by half over the past decade, the NHBS data showed that testing rates for the virus also decreased. The CDC recommends individuals at high risk get tested for HIV at least annually, but only 49% of IDUs who were interviewed in 2009 reported being tested in the last year. Only 19% reported participating in an HIV behavioral intervention....

AAOS 2013: Smoking Negatively Impacts THA Outcomes

The Particulars: Previous research has shown that smoking is linked to prolonged healing and increased postoperative complications following orthopedic surgery. Few analyses have explored clinical outcomes of total hip arthroplasty (THA) patients who are smokers and those who do not smoke. Data Breakdown: Investigators compared outcomes following THA and reported that overall prosthetic survivorship rates were 92% for smokers and 99% for non-smokers. Among smokers, 9.2% of current smokers had THA revisions, compared with 4.4% of former smokers. Take Home Pearls: When compared with non-smokers, patients who smoke appear to have higher overall revision rates following THA. Efforts are needed to encourage nicotine cessation or minimization before...

AAN 2013: DaTscan Imaging May Improve Dementia Dx

Differential diagnosis of dementia in patients with equivocal clinical presentations may be sharpened with an imaging technique recently approved for other purposes, a researcher said here. SPECT imaging with a radioactive iodine-based tracer — sold under the name DaTscan — distinguished patients with Lewy body dementia and non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from those with Alzheimer’s disease and amnestic MCI in a pilot study, said Bradley Boeve, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Boeve, who presented the findings at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting, told MedPage Today that the technique could be helpful in cases that are currently difficult to diagnose correctly. Among them would be patients with cognitive impairments consistent with Alzheimer’s disease, but who don’t show heavy burdens of beta-amyloid protein plaques on PET scans. Low DaTscan scores in such patients would point to Lewy body dementia or non-amnestic MCI, according to the Mayo study result, By the same token, in patients with symptoms not like those normally seen in Alzheimer’s disease, but with PET scans showing substantial amyloid plaques, high DaTscan scores would support an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. DaTscan involves an injection of an iodine-123 compound called ioflupane prior to SPECT imaging. The tracer binds selectively to dopamine transporter molecules in the striatum, and was approved last year for the differential diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease versus essential tremor. Boeve and colleagues hypothesized that DaTscan results would also differ among patients with various kinds of dementias, insofar as Lewy body dementia is also marked by dopamine deficiency whereas Alzheimer’s disease is not. In the current study, they recruited 25 patients with four types...

AAOS 2013: Sexual Function Improves With THA & TKA

The Particulars: Previous investigations have suggested that osteoarthritis of the hip and knee affect sexual activity. The ability of total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) to improve physical and psychological aspects of sexuality in patients with OA is not well known. Data Breakdown: A survey of patients who had undergone THA or TKA found that 42% reported improved libido, 36% reported increased intercourse duration, and 41% reported increased intercourse frequency. In addition, 84% reported having improved general well-being and 55% had improved sexual self-image after their surgery. However, 16% reported that surgery adversely affected sexual function, with 10% fearing that it may damage the replaced joint. Take Home Pearls: Following THA or TKA, most patients appear to experience improved overall sexual function when compared with the preoperative period. Sexual function should be considered in routine evaluations of this patient...

AAOS 2013: Pediatric Sports and Recreation Injuries Down

  Bicycle, trampoline and roller sport injuries decline; football and soccer injuries still on the rise New research presented today at the at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons(AAOS) found that overall, sports and recreation musculoskeletal injuries have declined 12.4 percent in the U.S. over the past 10 years for children ages 5 to 14 years. However, injuries sustained during football and soccer continues to rise. In 2000, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the top eight sports and recreational activities responsible for injuries in children ages 5 to 14, and estimated their annual cost at more than $33 billion. In this study, researchers reviewed National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data on injuries resulting from the eight CDC-identified activities – bicycling, basketball, football, roller sports (in-line skates, roller skates, skateboards and scooters), playground equipment (monkey bars, swings and slides), baseball/softball, soccer and trampolines for 2000, 2005 and 2010. Despite no real change in population in the 5 to 14 age group between 2000 and 2010 (approximately 41 million), the study found that: Musculoskeletal-specific injuries (broken bones, sprained joints, torn ligaments, etc.) declined 12.4 percent.     Injuries declined in six of the eight sport/activity categories, including bicycle (38.1 percent), roller sports (20.8 percent) and trampolines (17.5 percent).     Football and soccer injuries increased by 22.8 and 10.8 percent, respectively.     As a group, sports deemed “recreational” (bike, roller sports, trampoline and playground) decreased by 24.9 percent, and “ball” or organized sport activity injuries increased 5.9 percent. “These (outcomes) may reflect the changing pattern of childhood activities in the U.S. as organized sports are...

AAOS 2013: Cushioned Heel Running Shoes May Alter Adolescent Biomechanics

Many of today’s running shoes feature a heavy cushioned heel. New research presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons(AAOS) found that these shoes may alter an adolescent runner’s biomechanics (the forces exerted by muscles and gravity on the skeletal structure) and diminish performance. Researchers recruited 12 adolescent competitive athletes from local track teams, and asked them to run on a treadmill in large heel trainers, track flats and without any shoes (barefoot) at four different speeds. Biomechanics – stride length, heel height during posterior swing phase and foot/ground contact – were measured with a motion capture system. “Running barefoot or running in less of a running shoe (toe shoes, for example) is a newer trend,” said Scott Mullen, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at The University of Kansas Hospital.  “What we were trying to evaluate is whether or not the foot strike would change in an adolescent – who doesn’t yet have a permanently established gate – when they changed their shoe or running speed.” The researchers found that shoe type “dramatically” altered running biomechanics in the adolescent runners. When wearing cushioned heel trainers, the athletes landed on their heel 69.8 percent of the time at all speeds. With the track flats, the heel was the first point of contact less than 35 percent of the time; and when barefoot, less than 30 percent of the time. Shoes with cushioned heels promote a heel-strike running pattern, whereas runners with track flats and barefoot had a forefoot or mid-foot strike pattern. “What we found is that simply by changing their footwear, the runners’ foot...

AAOS 2013: Clinical News Highlights – March 19

Military Personnel Return to Duty Following Severe Injury to the Lower Extremity Return to Duty of Special Operations Personnel after Limb Salvage for High Energy Lower Extremity Trauma Return to Run (RTR) orthotic rehab initiative successfully returns 13 of 14 special operations personnel to duty High-energy lower-extremity trauma (HELET) is common in modern warfare, often resulting in severe tissue damage, chronic pain, neurovascular injury and significant muscle loss. The Return to Run (RTR) program is an integrated orthotic and rehabilitation initiative designed to return high-level function to wounded warriors.  It includes use of the new Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO), a custom-fit device made from carbon and fiberglass that supports the foot and ankle allowing for greater mobility and vigorous rehabilitation. In the study, researchers reviewed RTR records of 14 Special Operations Command (SOCOM) personnel – 10 Army Special Forces, three Navy Sea Air Land (SEALs), and one Air Force Pararescue Jumper (PJ) – who sustained HELET injuries and completed the RTR program. Records were reviewed for functional capabilities – the ability to walk, run and jump without assistive devices; and occupational capabilities – standing continuously for more than one hour, moving with a load of 20 pounds or more, and the ability to return to duty and combat. Recreational capabilities include running and agility sport participation. Following RTR, 13 of the 14 service members (including three who had initially considered amputation) were deemed fit to return to duty, and at least seven returned to combat. Gauging the Effects of a Sunny Climate on Vitamin D Levels in Hip Fracture Patients Vitamin D Insufficiency in Patients with Acute Hip...

AAN 2013: New York Neurologist Elected AAN President

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the world’s largest professional association of neurologists with more than 25,000 members, has elected Timothy A. Pedley, MD, FAAN, as its 33rd president. Pedley, president-elect of the AAN and a neurologist from New York, was elected today at the Academy’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego. Pedley succeeds Bruce Sigsbee, MD, FAAN, who has completed his two-year term as president. “I’m honored to join the long line of distinguished neurologists who have served as president of the American Academy of Neurology,” said Pedley. “Over the past few decades, there have been extraordinary changes in how we teach, diagnose, investigate and treat diseases of the brain. I have witnessed and participated in the evolution of the Academy, seeing it grow in its capabilities and sophistication as an organization that provides valuable resources to meet the diverse needs of neurology professionals.” Pedley is Professor of Neurology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and Attending Neurologist at the Neurological Institute of New York andNew York Presbyterian Hospital at the Columbia University Medical Center. He served as Chair of Columbia’s Department of Neurology and as Neurologist-in-Chief at the Neurological Institute from 1998 to 2011. Pedley previously served as President of the American Neurological Association, the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, the American Epilepsy Society and the Epilepsy Foundation of America where he was later Chairman of the Board. He also served as Chairman of the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology. Pedley was Editor-in-Chief of Epilepsia, the international professional journal of epilepsy, from 1994 to 2001 and he also served on the Executive Committee of the International...

AAN 2013: Sweetened Drinks Hike Depression in Seniors

Older adults who drink sweetened beverages, and artificially sweetened diet drinks in particular, are at increased risk for depression, a large prospective study suggested. Individuals ages 50 to 70 who consumed four cans or cups of sweetened soft drinks each day had a 30% increase in risk of developing depression (odds ratio 1.30, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.44, P<0.0001) compared with those who avoided such beverages, according to Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and colleagues. The increased risk with diet soda was 31% (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.47) while that for regular soda was 22% (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.45), the researchers reported online in advance of presentation at the March annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. In contrast, drinking four cups of coffee daily was associated with an almost 10% lower risk for depression (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.98, P<0.0001). “Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk,” Chen said in a statement. Sweetened drinks and coffee are popular worldwide, and interest has been growing in recent years about the possible health consequences of this consumption. To explore the possibility that beverage consumption could influence risk for depression, Chen and colleagues enrolled 263,925 older adults and reviewed their beverage intake from 1995 to 1996. A decade later, they asked the participants if they had been diagnosed with depression since 2000. A total of 11,311 participants reported having had such a diagnosis. As with...
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