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Caregiving Not Quite So Bad

Scott LaFee on

For decades, experts, studies and the media have reported that caregiving takes a toll on the caregiver's health -- for example, boosting levels of inflammation and weakening the immune system. A recent Johns Hopkins University study analyzed 30 papers on immune function in caregivers and concluded the link has been overstated and the association is extremely small.

"We're not saying that family caregiving can't be stressful, but there's a notion that it's so stressful that it causes deteriorating health and increased mortality. This can lead to fear of caregiving and a reluctance to care for loved ones in need," said first author David Roth, director of the Center on Aging and Health at Johns Hopkins. "We're challenging that narrative as being too exaggerated."

The study found that caregiver stress explains less than 1% of the variability in immune and inflammation biomarkers.

Get Me That, Stat!

Mom was right. Preliminary findings from a new study out of Tufts University suggest that not eating enough fruit and vegetables may increase one's risk of death from heart disease or stroke. The study estimated that roughly 1 in 7 cardiovascular deaths could be attributed to not eating enough fruit and 1 in 12 cardiovascular deaths to not eating enough vegetables.

Stories for the Waiting Room

 

Fifty-two children died in hot cars in the United States in 2018, the deadliest year in the last two decades, say experts. At least 17 have already died this year, with summer just getting into full swing.

The Car Heat Calculator provides a quick -- and perhaps terrifying -- look at how fast a child's body temperature can rise minute by minute trapped inside an overheating car. You can visit the heat calculator and dozens of other health-related calculators at https://www.omnicalculator.com/health/car-heat.

Doc Talk

Proctalgia fugax: Latin for, quite literally, a pain in the butt. It typically refers to muscle spasms of the derriere with no identifiable cause.

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