Dog's mood offers insight into owner's health
Man’s best friend may also be a secret health weapon. Researchers at Newcastle University in the U.K. are tracking dog behaviors to see if that can be used to help older people live on their own.
Using a special high-tech waterproof dog collar, researchers collected a range of data from different dog breeds, such as barking, sitting, and digging. By remotely monitoring a dog’s normal behavior, researchers have created a benchmark for comparing abnormal behavior. This advanced technology was the first of its kind to allow humans to remotely watch dogs in their natural settings, according to the researchers.
What does this have to do with health? Well, researchers hope this monitoring will help people easily spot when a dog’s behavior or mood changes, thus triggering a red flag about their owner’s own health and well-being. By spotting early signs of change – such as how they treat their animals – caregivers and relatives may get a jump on an elder loved one’s deteriorating health or mental state. The researchers’ goal is to help older people live independently for a longer period of time.
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Sourced from: sciencedaily.com, Dog’s Mood Offers Insight Into Owner’s Health
Published On: Oct 8th 2013
Death rates higher during boom times
Life can be very difficult during tough financial times. But a surprising new study in the Netherlands, published in BMJ’s Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that middle-aged and older adults have higher death rates during a booming economy, rather than a recession.
Researchers from the Leyden Academy on Vitality and Aging and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands analyzed the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of 19 developed countries as well as the number of deaths of middle-aged and older people during the same time period. Middle-aged people were categorized as ages 40 to 44 and older people were categorized as ages 70 to 74. The group found that when economies were growing, death rates increased and when economies were falling, death rates decreased.
The cause for this relationship, however, is not clear. Researchers speculate that during unemployment in a recession, people consume less alcohol which may result in fewer traffic accidents. However, they also tend to eat more junk food and suicide rates rise. One other possible factor that may drive up death rates during good times is job-related stress, the researchers speculated.
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Sourced from: medicalnewstoday.com, Higher death rates in boom times, survey shows
Published On: Oct 8th 2013