Study suggests liberals may live longer
Here’s some research that’s bound to stir up debate. According to a new study at the University of Nevada, people whose political beliefs skew more liberal may be less likely to die early compared to conservatives or moderates. But, note the study’s offer, the higher risk of death did not seem to apply to political party affiliation–they found no difference in the risk of death between people who identified themselves as Democrats and those who said they were Republicans.
To conduct their study, researchers analyzed information from about 33,000 people in the U.S. who completed a survey about their political beliefs. The researchers also used information from the National Death Index to determine whether participants died between 1976 and 2008. People identified as holding conservative or moderate ideologies were 6 percent more likely to die during the study period, compared with people who identified with liberal ideologies.
Furthermore, while Democrats and Republicans did not differ in their risk of dying during the study period, the results showed that independents were less likely to die during the study period than Democrats. The findings held after researchers took into account factors that might affect people’s risk of dying over a given time, including their household income, race, gender and where they lived.
The new findings contradict previous studies that have tended to find that conservatives and Republicans were more likely to say they were in good health than liberals and Democrats; however, the team suggests that a person’s risk of dying is an objective measure of their health, whereas a person’s perception of their health is more subjective.
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Sourced from: Live Science, Do Political Ideologies Affect How Long You Live?
Published On: Jan 30, 2015
New device to fight obesity approved
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA) has approved the use of a rechargeable device for the first time to help people fight obesity. Called the Maestro, the device stimulates nerves in the stomach to make a person feel full. It’s meant for adults who have not been able to successfully lose weight by just diet and exercise.
The Maestro, manufactured by EnteroMedics in St. Paul Minnesota, uses a rechargeable generator base, and electrodes implanted in the abdomen to regulate weight. The electrodes direct signals, via the abdominal vagus nerve, to nerve pathways between the brain and the stomach and that makes a person feel full and not want to eat.
For 12 months, scientists tested 157 patients with the Maestro device and 76 in a control group, where the generator was not activated. Scientists were hoping for a 10 percent weight loss increase, but after a year, the generator helped patients lose 8.5 percent more excess weight than the control group. In addition, the study found that half of the experimental group lost 20 percent of their excess weight, and 38.3 percent lost 25 percent of their excess weight.
The FDA says EnteroMedics must collect additional safety and effectiveness data for the next five years in order to maintain Maestro’s approval. The post-approval study will monitor at least 100 patients for adverse effects, changes in obesity related-conditions, and weight-loss effectiveness. Potential adverse effects include nausea, chest pain, vomiting, surgical complication, heartburn belching and trouble swallowing.
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Sourced from: Science Daily, FDA approves first-of-kind device to treat obesity
Published On: Jan 30, 2015