Public Health News Roundup: October 18
Discrimination Due to Depression a Barrier to Social Lives, Jobs
Despite continually increasing understanding of the disease, nearly 80 percent of people with depression say they’ve been the victims of discrimination, according to a study in The Lancet. The discrimination was so significant that many reported avoiding personal relationships or even applying for jobs. Nearly 10 percent of U.S. adults experience depression according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Our findings show that discrimination related to depression is widespread, and almost certainly acts as a barrier to an active social life and having a fair chance to get and keep a job for people with depression," Graham Thornicroft, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, who lead the study. Read more on mental health.
Weight Surgery Helps Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes
Weight loss surgeries are more effective than drugs for weight loss and diabetes at quickly reducing the chance of heart disease or stroke, according to a new study in the journal Heart. Researchers at the Heart and Vascular Institute at the Cleveland Clinic analyzed studies covering approximately 20,000 people, finding impressive improvements in blood pressure and diabetes management in patients who underwent procedures such as gastric band surgery. "The magnitude of effect on [cardiovascular] risk factors is impressive, and to date, no pharmacological therapy for weight management or diabetes has shown a comparable effect over these short time periods," stated the study. Read more on obesity.
Healthy Lifestyle Major Factor in Survival for Older Women with Cancer
A healthy lifestyle plays a major role in the survival rate of older women with cancer, according to research presented at the cancer prevention conference of the American Association for Cancer Research. "Elderly female cancer survivors who achieve and maintain an ideal body weight, stay physically active and eat a healthy diet have an almost 40 percent lower risk for death compared with women who do not follow these recommendations," said Maki Inoue-Choi, a research associate in the division of epidemiology and community health in the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, in a release. Researchers looked at the health history of more than 2,000 women diagnosed with cancer between 1986 and 2002, finding the death rate was 37 percent lower for women who maintained the health life style (and taking other risk factors into account). Read more on cancer.