Some types of exercise, including running, could protect the brain and reduce the effects that chronic stress can have on memory, according to a study in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. The study in mice found exercise improved long-term potentiation, or the formation and strengthening of synapses, which is tied to memory formation.
CDC researchers reported that the batch of flu vaccine distributed this year cut risk of serious illness by 36% overall, 59% among children ages 6 months to 8 years and 33% among adults ages 18 to 49. The findings in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report also showed this year's vaccine cut risk of serious cases of H3N2 -- the dominant strain of the season -- by 25%; risk was reduced 67% for H1N1 and 42% for influenza B strains.
A 68-year-old woman in southern China who was hospitalized for three weeks had H7N4 avian influenza, the first known case in a human. The Hong Kong Center for Health Protection said she caught the virus from a live chicken, and China's Ministry of Health said none of the 28 people who had contact with the woman have shown signs of infection.
Type 2 diabetes patients with obesity who received antidiabetes treatment at baseline had significantly higher treatment discontinuation rates six years after undergoing bariatric surgery, compared with the control group, according to a study in JAMA Surgery. French researchers used a cohort of more than 30,000 patients and found that those in the bariatric surgery group who did not receive diabetes medication at baseline were significantly less likely to initiate diabetes treatment at six years than the control group.
Sixty percent of patients don't want artificial intelligence to replace physicians, but 64% like the idea of an AI nurse assistant supporting them between visits with the doctor, a survey from Syneos Health found. However, Syneos' Duncan Arbour said patients do not trust AI from pharmaceutical companies, so drugmakers will have to rely on their relationships with physicians in developing virtual care services.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., met with Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, to discuss how they can reconcile House and Senate measures designed to stabilize Affordable Care Act markets. Alexander said he hopes the ACA fix measures will be included in the upcoming omnibus spending bill due next month.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar vowed the agency would increase efforts to address untreated mental illness in response to a school shooting in Florida this week. Azar also said the CDC has the authority to conduct studies on gun violence and its causes, and he suggested this research will be a priority at the CDC.
An analysis of claims data showed almost 60% of women who sustained an injury at work had a prior behavioral health condition, such as depression, anxiety or fatigue, compared with 33% of men, and workers who had a previous injury were more likely to be injured again, researchers wrote in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Lead author Dr. Natalie Schwatka said keeping workers safe requires an "integrated approach that connects health, well-being and safety."
Many companies offer creative perks to keep employees happy, such as a monthly wellness allowance at Dropbox, Ikea's policy of getting a day off for a child's first day at school, a pledge from Patagonia to bail out employees arrested during a peaceful protest and new-puppy leave at BrewDog. Glassdoor has found these perks may not be high on an employee's list of top benefits, but they do attract attention, which may boost recruitment.
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