Dr. Missaghi’s Newsletter for the month of August

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Dr. Bahareh Missaghi, DC

2700 East Foothill Blvd. Suite 302

Pasadena, CA  91107

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Improper Backpack Use May Cause Back Pain

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An increasing amount of evidence suggests that carrying heavy backpacks may lead to low back pain in children and adolescents. The exact reason for this remains unclear, but some scientists have theorized that a backpack laden with books, supplies and other implements places an undue amount of stress on a child’s spine, resulting in occasional, sometimes intense pain. Few studies, however, have examined the way children wear backpacks and what specific effect that can have on the spine.

 

In a recent study, investigators in Greece examined over 1,200 children (ages 12 to 18) who used backpacks at school. Researchers asked each child if they experienced back pain while carrying their backpack to and from school and during holiday periods, along with other questions about their participation in sports, how they traveled to and from school, and the amount of time it took to travel from home to school and back. In particular, children were asked about whether they carried their backpack with one strap over one shoulder or with straps over both shoulders.

 

Among the study's results:

  • Carrying a backpack over only one shoulder caused the student to raise his or her backpack-bearing shoulder and shift the upper body in the other direction.
  • As a result, students who carried backpacks slung over one shoulder were more than four times as likely to experience high-intensity pain than students who carried backpacks with weight distributed evenly across the upper back.
  • While there was no association between time spent carrying backpacks and back pain during the school period, there was "a significant correlation" between time spent at school and back pain during holiday periods. The authors of the study believe this is due to a possible "delayed response" to the stresses applied to the spine during the school periods.

 

Republished with permission from www.ChiroWeb.com

Korevessis P, Koureas G, Zacharatos S, et al. Backpacks, back pain, sagittal spinal curves and trunk alignment in adolescents. Spine 2005;30(2):247-255.

 

 

 

Most People Want Health Information


More than 60% of U.S. consumers have searched for information to help them make healthcare treatment decisions during the last 12 months.


One-third said the information they found affected their treatment choices or their choice of a healthcare facility, according to a RAND Corp. report released Tuesday by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The national survey of more than 4,300 consumers also found 52 percent said they wanted to make the final treatment decision for themselves or a family member, while 38 percent said they wanted to make the decision together with their physicians.


"This report demonstrates that consumers -- as patients -- are actively seeking information about appropriate medical care options for themselves and their families," said Maureen Sullivan, the association's senior vice president of strategic services.

The survey also found 50 percent of those surveyed believe it is beyond the control of most individuals to affect the quality of the healthcare they receive and 45 percent think there is a lot individuals can do to make sure they receive quality care.


Copyright 2005 – UPI
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Study Links Bedroom TV's to Low Test Scores

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A new US study finds that children with televisions in their bedrooms have lower scores on standardized tests.

Researchers from Stanford University and Johns Hopkins surveyed 350 third-graders from six Northern California public schools in 2000. They found that children with access to home computers did better than others on tests.


"This study provides even more evidence that parents should either take the television out of their child's room, or not put it there in the first place," said Dr. Thomas Robinson, director of the Center for Healthy Weight at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.


Surprisingly, children with bedroom televisions reported spending more time on homework on the average, possibly because they have more trouble with schoolwork. The researchers suggested that their test scores might be related to getting less sleep.


The study was published in the July issue of the Annals of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

Copyright 2005 - Article City
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Smoke-Free Bar Workers Found Healthier


The health of Lexington, Ky., restaurant and bar workers has improved dramatically since the enactment last year of the city's Smoke-Free Law.

The study released by the University of Kentucky College of Nursing examined hair nicotine of 106 employees at nearly 50 randomly selected Lexington bars and restaurants. Hair samples were analyzed 4 months before the law took effect and then 3 months after the enactment of the smoking ban.

The study found lower nicotine levels in the hair samples even among workers who smoked. The study also found workers were less likely to report colds and sinus infections after the law went into effect -- 84 percent before the ban, 49 percent three months after and 50 percent six months after.

 

 Copyright 2005 eContent Matters

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How to Handle Report Cards


Psychologically healthy ways to handle report cards include communicating with the child, asking about any concerns before opening the envelope. Lisa Huffman, assistant professor of educational psychology at Ball State University, also advises parents to:

1.      Take report cards seriously; while not telling the whole story they reflect a child's progress.

2.      Praise a good report card.

3.      Post good work on a refrigerator.

4.      Talk about a bad report card, working out a plan for improvement.

5.      Set realistic goals, not expecting a quick jump from a C to an A.

6.      Realize A’s may not reflect the child's best efforts.

7.      Ask whether the child feels challenged enough; look at the child's work regularly, noting grades and teachers' comments.

8.      Encourage good work habits and effort.

9.      Be involved in the child's school.

10.  Use incentives not bribes, for example, instead of promising money for good grades, offer a gift or privilege after the report comes home.

Copyright 2005 – Article City
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More Young People Report Hearing Loss


Parents giving children cell phones or a portable digital music device may not realize those devices are putting old ears on many young bodies.


Purdue University Audiologist Robert Novak says health professionals are starting to see an increasing number of cases involving hearing loss in young adults -- a level previously expected among middle-aged adults. "This loss is often self-induced and may be related to young people's exposure to amplified sound and use of personal listening systems, such as cell phones and portable music devices," said Novak, director of clinical education in audiology and associate department head.

"The damage can be temporary or permanent," he said.
In addition to hearing loss, too much noise exposure can result in hearing constant ringing, called tinnitus.

"People, especially young adults on a college campus, have something in their ears almost all the time," Novak said. "Their ears have very little quiet time to recover from noise exposure."

Copyright 2005 – UPI
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Moderation in Cell Phone Use Urged


A Canadian public health official is urging people to moderate their use of cell phones until uncertainties about long-term health effects are resolved.


Canadian Chief Public Health Officer Dr. David Butler-Jones made the remark Monday at a three-day World Health Organization conference in Toronto.


Butler-Jones told more than 100 academics, public health officials and scientists from around the world that constantly changing technology has created a moving target, leaving scientists playing a game of catch-up, the Toronto Star reported.


"Our technology has passed our ability to understand what biological effects are positive or negative," said Butler-Jones, who heads the new Public Health Agency of Canada.


"What would be the message? The message would be that moderation is a good thing," he said during an interview with the newspaper after his presentation. "Talking for two hours every night on cell phones, would I advise that? No."


Butler-Jones said use of cell phones during one's childhood might also have an impact on obesity and the way children interact socially with family and friends.

Copyright 2005 - ARA Content
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Link to Happiness and Intelligence


High levels of intelligence does not correlate with happiness in childhood or old age, Scottish researchers found.

Edinburgh University researchers found more intelligent people get better life opportunities but also had higher expectations, according to the study published in the British Medical Journal.


The researchers examined 550 Scottish volunteers born in 1921, who had their IQs tested when they were age 11 and again at 80 years old, the BBC reported Friday.


"If you are 80 and healthy, then your satisfaction with how your life has turned out bears no relation to how you scored on an IQ test recently or 70 years ago," said Ian Deary of the University of Edinburgh.


 
Copyright 2005 eContent Matters

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At Any Age, It's Wise to Exercise

 

Text Box:  The benefits of exercise have been well-documented over the years. Among other benefits, numerous studies have shown that exercise can help reduce the incidence of disease, promote weight loss, and improve mental health.

A recent long-term study set out to examine if exercising during the senior years benefits people who were previously sedentary.

Canadian researchers investigated two groups of previously sedentary healthy adults, ages 55-75 years at baseline, for 10 years. One group remained sedentary during the study period, while the other group engaged in regular exercise. consisting of 30- to 45-minute aerobic sessions, three times a week, for a minimum of 46 weeks a year.

At the conclusion of the study, researchers examined data for 161 participants in the active group and 136 participants in the sedentary group. Among their findings: "The active group showed a significantly lower prevalence (11%) of metabolic syndrome than the sedentary group (28%) at 10 years." (Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that can lead to type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, among other health problems.)

The sedentary group also had a 13% decrease in fitness over the 10-year study period, while the exercise group showed a small increase in fitness levels. In the exercise group, HDL, or "good" cholesterol, increased by 9%, whereas the sedentary group showed an 18% decrease in HDL. The active group also had "fewer comorbid conditions, and fewer signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease" than their sedentary counterparts.

 

Republished with permission from www.ChiroWeb.com

Reference: Petrella RJ, Lattanzio CN, Demeray A, et al. Can adoption of regular exercise later in life prevent metabolic risk for cardiovascular disease? Diabetes Care 2005;28:694-701.

 

 

 

Women Feel Pain More Often than Men


Women feel pain more than men -- the opposite of widely held beliefs that men are more susceptible to pain, British researchers at the University of Bath say.

Researchers examined 98 males and females whose arms were put in cold water. They said women feel pain more often in more areas and for longer periods than men.

"Until fairly recently it was controversial to suggest that there were any differences between males and females in the perception and experience of pain, but that is no longer the case," said lead researcher Ed Keogh.

While most research has focused on genetic or hormonal differences between men and women, Keogh said social and psychological factors also play a role.

Most women tend to focus on the emotional aspects of pain while men focus on the sensory aspects, which may help men increase their tolerance of pain, he said.


Copyright 2005 – UPI
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Low-Fat Diet Deprives Children of Vitamins


US parents who feed their young children the same low-fat diet they consume for better health may inadvertently deprive their children of vitamin E.


A study of preschool-age children living in Lincoln, Neb., found two-thirds deficient in vitamin E, while one-third of the children weren't getting enough vitamin C either, indicating a lack of produce.


Nutrition scientist Judy Driskell and her Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln tested 2-to-5-year-olds at four Lincoln day-care centers.


They drew blood samples from 22 ethnically diverse boys and girls to determine their vitamin E and C levels. Their parents also were interviewed to obtain dietary intakes for their children on two non-consecutive days.


"Parents are eating a lot of low-fat and non-fat products, and we're finding they also give their children such things as skim milk," Driskell said. "It's likely the parents' vitamin E consumption also is inadequate."


Copyright 2005 - ARA Content
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Bed-Sharing Raises Risk Level for SIDS

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 Sharing a bed with parents increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, whether the parents are smokers or not, a new study says.


SIDS is listed as the leading cause of death for infants one month to one year old and earlier studies showed sleeping with parents who smoke increases the risk.


But, a study in the July issue of The Journal of Pediatrics found a relationship between SIDS and bed-sharing among infants less than 11 weeks old, even if parents are non-smokers. Dr. David Tappin and colleagues from the University of Glasgow evaluated 123 cases of SIDS in Scotland between 1996 and 2000.


The researchers found that 90 percent of the babies died while sleeping at night. Only 11 percent of the infants were reported to routinely sleep in their parents' bed. But, 52 percent of the babies had shared a bed, cot, couch or other surface at some point during the day or night that they died.

Copyright 2005 - ARA Content
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Hypertension Trims Five Years Off Life


People in their 50's with normal blood pressure can live five years longer than those with hypertension, an international study published.


The Massachusetts-based Framingham Heart Study tracked 3,128 people who celebrated their 50th birthday, and found people with high blood pressure on average developed cardiovascular disease or died 7.2 years later. The study also found that people with normal blood pressure developed cardiovascular disease later in life than people with high blood pressure. Research team member Dr. Anna Peeters, from the Monash University Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine in Belgium, said the study provided clear evidence that preventing high blood pressure could prolong life.


"What is really surprising is the unexpectedly large number of years difference in life expectancy between those with hypertension and those without," she said. The study was published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.


Copyright 2005 – UPI
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