Weekly health news roundup Feb. 28 – Mar. 5, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, norovirus, and CBT

For this weekly health news roundup, we compiled our top news stories consisting of a norovirus outbreak 2016 update, rheumatoid arthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). So if you happened to miss what was going on in the health world, you can easily catch up with our news roundup.

rheumatoid arthritis in womenRheumatoid arthritis in women, higher mortality risk, symptoms, and treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in women increases the risk of all-cause mortality, compared to women without the disease. Specifically, women with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop respiratory issues.


Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition, which causes pain and stiffness, and limits mobility, too. Inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t solely affect the joints. It can cause inflammation on other organs as well. Lastly, rheumatoid arthritis affects women more than men.

Using data from the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers validated 964 incidences of rheumatoid arthritis and uncovered 28,808 deaths in the entire cohort. Of 307 deaths among women with rheumatoid arthritis, 26 percent were from cancer, 32 percent were from cardiovascular disease, and 16 percent were caused by respiratory condition. Among the deaths in women without rheumatoid arthritis, cancer was accountable for 41 percent of deaths, 22 percent were caused by cardiovascular disease, and seven percent were caused by respiratory condition. Continue reading…

heart attack symptomThe heart attack symptom you might not know about

For women, not only might they feel the shortness of breath and discomfort, but jaw pain is another critical symptom of a heart attack that should be taken seriously.

Other female-specific symptoms of heart attack include upper back pain, arm pain, intense fatigue, heartburn, and an overall feeling of just not being well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2014 alone, nearly 50,000 women died of heart attack.
Although doctors are unsure as to why jaw pain may be a signifier for heart attack, it’s still important that all women become aware of the differences in symptoms to get help sooner rather than later.

It’s reported that women typically wait up to 54 hours before seeking out a doctor, compared to only 16 hours for men, as many women simply don’t associate how they are feeling with experiencing a heart attack. Furthermore, not only do African American and Hispanic women have more risk factors for a heart attack, but they are often less aware of the symptoms, meaning they are less likely to seek out medical attention or they go when it is too late.

Furthermore, the consequences after a heart attack are often worse for women than for men, as women often experience greater bouts of anxiety and depression after the heart attack. This is why it is so important for women to become aware of the signs and symptoms related to heart attack in order to prevent serious complications. Continue reading…

obstructive sleep apnea raises hypertensionObstructive sleep apnea raises hypertension risk, a possible link with gut bacteria: Study

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) raises the risk of hypertension, and researchers have found that gut bacteria may be a possible link between the two. The researchers uncovered that a gut microbiome imbalance may lead to hypertension, based on the study where a high-fat diet was fed to rats with sleep apnea.

Lead author Dr. David J. Durgan said, “Obstructive sleep apnea often doesn’t exist alone – usually people with apnea suffer from some other issues such as obesity or diabetes. So we started our research by feeding a high-fat diet to our rat model and found that they were not becoming obese, but they were becoming hypertensive. What we found instead was that the high fat-diet changes the microbes that are present in the gut.”

The researchers transplanted an imbalanced gut microbiome from hypertensive rats into nonhyptensive rats who ate a normal diet. They found the transplanted rats became hypertensive. Continue reading…

norovirus outbreak 2016 ohio universityNorovirus outbreak 2016 update: 200 Ohio University students show symptoms, infected cruise ship returns

Norovirus outbreak 2016 update: 200 Ohio University students have shown symptoms of norovirus, while the infected Royal Caribbean cruise ship finally returned from sea.

Since the initial outbreak at the Ohio University, numerous students have begun testing positive for norovirus, with symptoms of diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. University spokesperson, Carole Johnson, said, “We have been very diligent in our cleaning and are using products that combat the virus in our residential and dining halls.”

The university so far has been unable to identify the source of the virus, but faculty is urging all students to properly wash their hands, use antibacterial gels, and disinfect all surfaces.

There have been a growing number of norovirus outbreaks beginning with the restaurant chain Chipotle, and many other universities as well. Continue reading…

social anxiety disorderCognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder may affect brain activity and volume


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder may affect brain activity and volume. In the study, Swedish researchers evaluated the effectiveness of internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy in treating anxiety disorders and examined how it affects brain activity and volume.

Patients’ brains were scanned using MRI pre- and post-treatment. In patients with social anxiety disorder, brain volume and activity decreased in the amygdala due to the internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy.

Study lead Kristoffer NT Månsson said, “The greater the improvement we saw in the patients, the smaller the size of their amygdala. The study also suggests that the reduction in volume drives the reduction in brain activity.” Continue reading…


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