A summary of important health news from the past week.
A study conducted by researchers as the University of Pittsburgh and funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), found that asking adolescents one screening question about alcohol use and frequency in the past year could help identify youth at risk for alcohol abuse. The study asked 1,200 adolescents (12 - 20 years) in rural clinics about alcohol use with a computer-based screening tool and found that 10% met the criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD). The study also supported the use of the NIAAA's "Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide".
Flu Shot During Pregnancy May Reduce Risk of Stillbirths
A recent observational research study found a correlation between mothers who received flu shots during pregnancy and a decreased number of stillbirths. This study does not show a causal link, but supports the CDC advice that pregnant women receive the flu vaccine. There is often a misconception that the vaccine could harm the fetus, but this is not the case. The study's results will hopefully increase awareness among pregnant women of the value in getting the vaccine and alleviate fears that it is dangerous.
1st U.S. uterus transplant fails because of yeast infection
In February, Lindsey McFarland was the first American woman to receive a uterine transplant. Unfortunately, it was declared unsuccessful and thus removed. Doctors have now confirmed that Candida albicans, the most common species of yeast to cause human infection, was the source of the unsuccessful surgery. The bacteria normally resides in the mucous membranes and skin of the body without causing in adverse effects, and is present particularly in female organs. However, those with weak or immunocompromised immune systems are more at risk for developing infections. The Cleveland Clinic has now temporarily suspended their trial in order to change the protocol, including changing the procedure technique, and looking into anti fungal medications.
A new randomized clinical trial found that earplugs are effective in preventing temporary hearing loss following recreational music exposure. Hearing damage becomes a concern with any noise over 85 decibels, and concerts are normally 100-110 decibels. Prolonged exposure at 100 decibels is a serious concern for hearing loss, and earplugs can help prevent the damage. Hearing loss is a growing global issue, especially with the advent of headphones. Whereas concerts are shown to cause short-term hearing damage, listening to music through headphones is even worse- the accumulation of small hearing damages can cause permanent damage.
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