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Gulp: Alcohol May Not Be Good for Your Heart

Scott LaFee on

The so-called French paradox suggests that light consumption of alcohol (typically in the form of wine) may actually promote cardiovascular health -- or at least reduce the risk of heart disease.

But a new study posits that genetic predisposition may be more strongly associated: People inclined to drink more are also more likely to develop high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. Exercise and diet better explain cardiovascular health than how many alcohol drinks are consumed.

Body of Knowledge

The complexities of vision require a lot of brain function. It's estimated that perhaps 20% of the brain is dedicated to vision-only functioning, but vision plus other sensory input can employ another 40%.

Get Me That, Stat!

A JAMA Pediatrics study that tracked trends in children's mental health from 2016 to 2020, including the first year of the pandemic, reports some unsettling findings:

 

Compared to the previous five years, levels of anxiety were up 27%; depression was up 24%; and behavioral problems up 21%. Physical activity declined 18%; preventive care doctors' visits were down 9%; and parents' mental well-being down 5%.

Stories for the Waiting Room

One consequence of the expansion of Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act: Diabetic amputations were higher in states that didn't expand Medicaid. The researchers found that among more than 115,000 hospitalizations for diabetic foot ulcers among people in racial or ethnic minority groups (where the risk is disproportionately greater), amputations were 9% higher in states that did not expand Medicaid coverage. There was no change in states that did expand Medicaid.

Doc Talk

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