News Bites brings you 5 weekly news in bite-sized forms.

Excessive alcohol linked to dementia

A new study from France, recently published in the journal Lancet Public Health, has found that excessive alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk in developing dementia. The team analysed the data of over a million adults over a period of five years (2008 – 2013) who were admitted into a French hospital with clinical signs of mental deterioration.

The data linking alcohol to dementia showed excessive alcohol consumption leads to a two-fold increase in risk of developing dementia in both men and women. Moreover, alcohol consumption was found to increase the risk of developing all forms of dementia, particularly early-onset dementia. Past studies have also discovered a link between excessive alcohol consumption and cognitive impairment – however, this was the first study highlighting the correlation between alcohol-use and early-onset dementia.

With the results made public, the team hopes to shed some light on alcohol-use disorders and improving public health policies surrounding it.

Acne revealed to be linked to depression

Patients with newly diagnosed acne were found to be at an increased risk of developing clinical depression compared to the general population.
Patients with newly diagnosed acne were found to be at an increased risk of developing clinical depression compared to the general population.

Meanwhile, a Canadian study has put forth a study exploring a link between newly diagnosed acne and depression. The study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, found that patients within their first year of diagnosis of acne saw a 60% spike in depression rates compared to the general population.

Following the release of the results, the authors of the study have recommended dermatologists and doctors to keep an eye out for mood changes in patients with newly diagnosed acne. Initially believing that the treatment for acne, isotretinoin, could have mental health effects, the team eventually discovered the link between acne and depression. Whether the cause of depression is linked to the treatment or the condition (acne) itself has yet to be studied.


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Caesarean section births linked to childhood obesity

Children born via caesarean-section have an increased risk in developing childhood obesity and this has been linked to the lack of exposure to a mother’s gut bacteria.
Children born via caesarean-section have an increased risk in developing childhood obesity and this has been linked to the lack of exposure to a mother’s gut bacteria.

Another Canadian study by the University of Alberta, reinforces the link between babies who were born via caesarean-section and childhood obesity. Focusing on overweigh mothers, the study which compared babies born via caesarean-section and normal vaginal birth, tried to gain a better understanding of the factors attributing to the increased risk

Reinforcing prior studies, babies born via caesarean-section were found to be five times more likely to develop childhood obesity – especially, if the mother was overweight. This increased link to obesity is likely attributed to the difference in gut bacteria exposure where babies born via caesarean-section are not exposed to the myriad of bacteria from the mother’s gut and birth canal upon delivery.

Knowing this, the team was keen to point out the importance of a mother’s gut bacteria as a “super organ” with diverse roles in health and disease. In addition, the knowledge can also be put forth in aiding babies born via caesarean-section in the future.

New Zealand researchers re-classify heart failure

Continued positive outcomes with Mitraclip post-approval
Led by key research groups in New Zealand, a new study has been released which re-classifies two groups of heart failure conditions previously thought to be the same in terms of prevalence and health risk. The heart failure categories in question involve those attributed to weaken muscles and another because of thickened, stiffened heart muscles.

Using data gathered from patients from Singapore and New Zealand, the team has discovered that heart failure attributed to stiff heart muscles was in fact less common, and provided a better prognosis.

“[According to our ] new findings from this study, the global approach and treatment of patients with heart failure, based on measures of heart pump function, may need to be reviewed. This information will influence clinical thought and health-care planning of heart failure around the world, and provide more precise treatment,” asserted Professor Doughty, one of the lead authors of the study.

Standing desks – not all positive?

Standing desks have been shown to cause discomfort and mental deterioration if used for a prolonged period of time. Photo credit: Bekant/Tech Dissected
Standing desks have been shown to cause discomfort and mental deterioration if used for a prolonged period of time. Photo credit: Bekant/Tech Dissected

A common concern regarding office workers are the long number of hours spent working at a desk, which has since brought about long-term health concerns. This has gradually led to the birth of standing desks, which offer an alternative to sitting all day and a means to promote better health.

But, a recent study has pointed out that standing desks may come with its own set of health risks – especially, if an individual does this over a prolonged period of time. The study also found that after just two hours of using a standing desk, there was markedly increased levels of discomfort, poorer reactions times, as well as deterioration of the mental state. 

However, the study did note that standing did help to improve creative problem-solving. Ultimately, the study cautioned the wholesale adoption of standing at a work place where the two extremes of both approaches (sitting and standing) come with health risks of their own. MIMS

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Sources:
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/02/20/health/alcohol-disorder-dementia-risk-study/index.html
http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2018/images/02/20/dementiaalcohol.pdf
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.16099/full
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-acne-depression-risk/new-acne-diagnoses-linked-to-increased-depression-risk-idUSKCN1G31NZ
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2018/02/25/children-born-by-c-section-have-a-higher-risk-of-childhood-obesity/
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2672735?redirect=true
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1802/S00080/nz-led-heart-failure-findings-debunk-world-medical-view.htm
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1802/S00080/nz-led-heart-failure-findings-debunk-world-medical-view.htm
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00140139.2017.1420825
https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2018/02/27/Standing-desks-may-not-be-as-good-for-health-as-thought/2561519751640/
http://bigthink.com/robby-berman/is-a-standing-desk-actually-bad-for-your-health
https://nypost.com/2018/02/27/standing-desks-may-actually-harm-your-health-study/