Public Health News Roundup: October 16
Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Diabetes
Lack of sleep can increase the likelihood of developing conditions that lead to diabetes, according to a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers found the ability to respond to insulin was down approximately 30 percent in people who did not receive a proper amount of sleep. "It's always been thought that the primary function of sleep was for the brain, but in addition to the brain, your fat cells also need sleep,” said Matthew Brady, the study’s senior author and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center. “Too little sleep makes you groggy, and the same thing happens on a metabolic level. Cells don't behave as they normally would, and this can lead to insulin resistance." Read more on diabetes.
Adult Smoking in Cars Puts Kids at Serious Health Risk
Even with ventilation from open windows or a running air conditioner, smoking by adults in cars produces dangerously high levels of pollutants that endanger child passengers, according to a new study in the journal Tobacco Control. Secondhand smoke has been identified as a factor in asthma, wheezing, middle ear disease and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. "Children are likely to be at greater risk from [secondhand smoke] exposure due to their faster breathing rates, less developed immune system and their inability to move away from the source in many home and car settings," said Sean Semple,MD, of the Scottish Centre for Indoor Air at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Read more on tobacco.
Kids with ADHD Less Likely than Peers to Do Well as Adults
Kids with ADHD symptoms are more likely than their non-ADHD peers to have a harder time as adults, including less education, lower income and higher rates of substance abuse, according to a new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry. "A lot of them do fine, but there is a small proportion that is in a great deal of difficulty," said Rachel Klein, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. "They go to jail, they get hospitalized." The study looked at 135 white men who showed signs of hyperactivity in school during the 1970s, though researchers were careful to note that none of them would be diagnosed with ADHD today. Those marked as hyperactive clearly did not fare as well overall—for example, only 4 percent had higher degrees, compared to 29 for the non-hyperactive students. Read more on pediatrics.