A summary of important health news from the past week.
More Support for Early Exposure to Peanuts to Prevent Allergies
New research continues to support the claim that feeding infants highly allergenic foods within their first year can decrease the risk of developing allergies. It is difficult to show significant results, but pediatricians and researchers now frequently advise parents to deviate from the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines of feeding infants solely breast milk until six months of age and begin exposing children to highly allergenic foods earlier in life. Consistent early exposure to these foods, such as peanuts, eggs, and wheat, appears to maintain a protective effect, although further studies are needed.
According the Cleveland Clinic, the 26-year-old woman who received the uterus transplant had it removed after complications. The young woman underwent a 9 hour surgery, and the reasons for the complication are still under review. The Cleveland Clinic is currently undergoing a study which began in November. The study will be conducted on 10 women, all receiving uterine transplants due to uterine factor infertility (UFI). UFI patients are either born without a uterus, lost a uterus, or has uterus that is no longer functioning.
Study: 3 federal laws could reduce gun deaths by more than 90%
A study published in The Lancet by researchers at Boston University last week outlined three federal laws that could dramatically reduce gun deaths. These laws include universal background checks for firearm purchases, background checks for purchasing ammunition, and firearm identification. Background checks for firearm purchases had the biggest effect.
Marijuana-Based Drug Found to Reduce Epileptic Seizures
GW Pharmaceuticals developed the drug, Epidiolex, an experimental drug derived from marijuana. The first major clinical trial succeed in reducing epileptic seizures and the drug wins regulatory approval, could be the first prescription drug derived from marijuana.
A large study (50,000 women and 5,000 men) followed participants over several years tracking BMI, body fat percentage, and death rates. The skinniest women, including both underweight and normal weight BMI, "had a 44% higher risk of dying during the approximately seven-year follow-up period." Women who had more than a third of total body fat had a 19% higher death rates. The thinnest men had 45% higher death rates after 4.5 years and men with the highest body fat had 59% higher risk of death during the study. This study highlights the health risks associate with being underweight, as well as the paradox that overweight adults have lower death rates than normal weight and underweight adults.
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