Stressful Life Events Increase Risk of Fall Accidents among Seniors

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Older males are much more likely to suffer a fall accident after they've experienced a stressful life situation like the death of a spouse. According to new research which involved 5,000 men above the age of 65 across the United States, a stressful life experience like the death of a spouse or financial problems can increase the risk of a slip and fall accident among senior males.

The men in the study were asked if they had experienced stressful events over the past year. These experiences included serious illness, accident or death of a spouse, death of a close relative, separation from a child, loss of a pet, financial problems, change of residence, or being forced to give up hobbies and interests.

In the year after they were surveyed, approximately 27.7% of the senior males suffered a fall. Another 14.7% of the males suffered multiple fall accidents. In fact, fall accidents were reported by nearly 30% of the males in the study who had suffered at least one stressful event. Approximately 35.5% of the males who had suffered at least two stressful events suffered a fall accident. In the category of males who had suffered at least three or more stressful events, approximately 40% suffered a fall accident in the year after the survey.

Overall, the researchers estimate that a stressful life event was linked with a 41% higher risk of suffering a fall accident. It was also linked to a twofold increased risk of multiple fall accidents in the year after the life event. However, stressful events were not necessarily linked to a higher risk of fractures.

Study Finds High Rates of Binge Drinking among American Teens

Monday, September 23, 2013

As many as one in five American high school seniors binge drinks frequently, and some of them actually have more 15 alcohol beverages in a single session. A new study clearly indicates that binge drinking is widely prevalent in the teen population.

The study, which was published in the Journal of JAMA Pediatrics Journal, finds that approximately 20% of high school seniors reported binge drinking or drinking five or more alcohol beverages in a single session over the past two weeks. Approximately 10.5% admitted having 10 or more drinks during a session, while nearly 6% admitted to having 15 or more alcoholic beverages.

Males, not surprisingly, were much more likely than female teens to report binge drinking, and whites were also much more likely to binge drink compared to blacks. The researchers also found it interesting that students who have college-educated parents, were at a greater risk of drinking excessively. However, having parents with a college background seemed to reduce the risks of drinking extreme binge drinking, or drinking 15 or more alcoholic beverages in a single session.

The researchers analyzed data involving approximately 16,000 high school seniors, including a fairly 50/50 division of males and females. The researchers have concluded that binge drinking is widely prevalent among American teenagers, and that the current strategies that are in place to reduce the rates of excessive drinking among this segment of the population are simply not working enough.

They are calling for the development of more effective strategies to reduce the risk of excessive drinking among teenagers. Excessive drinking is linked to driving under the influence of alcohol and alcohol-related accidents among other consequences.

Research Provides New Clues about Causes of DUI Accidents

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

According to a new study conducted at the University of Missouri, people who otherwise are against driving under the influence of alcohol, find that their attitudes undergo a change once they have drunk a moderate amount of alcohol.
The researchers analyzed 82 adults, and measured their attitudes toward driving under the influence of alcohol, both while sober and after they had consumed some amount of alcohol. They found that there was a staggering difference between attitudes towards intoxicated driving when the subjects were sober, and after they had consumed a certain amount of alcohol.

When sober, these adults were stringently against driving under the influence of alcohol. However, they did not believe that it was such a dangerous practice, once they had consumed a few drinks.

This is a classic example of the manner in which alcohol can impair a person’s judgment. After a certain number of drinks, a person may not be able to make the right kind of judgment calls, and one of the first things to fly out the window after a few drinks, is the person's distaste for driving under the influence of alcohol. As a result, the person may drive or operate a motor vehicle, believing that there is nothing wrong in doing so.

Every year, alcohol kills more people than any other motor vehicle accident factor, excluding speeding. Thousands of people are killed annually, and even more people are severely injured in alcohol-related accidents across the country. Many of those accidents are caused by people, who normally would never have driven while intoxicated, but decided that they would do so, just one time.

In order to stay safe when you're out drinking, make sure that you have a designated driver for the evening that is entrusted with the responsibility of driving you home.

Spinal Injury Increases Heart Attack Stroke Risk

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A spinal injury could increase the risks of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, substantially for patients. That information comes from a new study that was conducted by Canadian researchers.

According to the research, patients who have a spinal cord injury are much more likely to suffer cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. These persons have an up to 3 times higher risk of suffering cardiac disease, and a four -times higher risk of suffering a stroke. The results of the study were published recently in the journal Neurology.

According to the researchers, the heightened risk among these patients brings their risk of cardiovascular disease on par with patients who already suffer from other possible risk factors, like smoking, diabetes and obesity. The researchers found that the heightened risk of cardiovascular disease among persons of spinal cord injury was very similar to the amplified risk among persons who smoke heavily, are obese or suffer from diabetes.

The data came from an analysis 60,000 people, who participated in the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey. Out of these, the researchers identified 355 persons who had suffered spinal injury and also suffered a stroke. They also found 356 people who had suffered a spinal cord injury and also reported cardiovascular disease. The researchers believe that having a spinal cord injury can increase the risk factors for cardiovascular disease that include lack of exercise, hypertension and chronic inflammation.

Past research has also found an association between spinal injury and cardiovascular disease. For instance, a report by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center that was released recently found that high blood pressure or hypertension and heart disease are the third-leading cause of mortality among persons who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

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