A summary of important health news from the past week.
Since October, there have been 278 confirmed and probable mumps cases in Washington state. These cases have occurred across five counties. Mumps is a viral disease that is extremely contagious. The best protection against mumps is the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Depression and Anxiety Tied to Cancer Deaths
A recent longitudinal study of about 163,000 adults in the UK found that individuals with anxiety and depression had higher rates of cancer deaths compared to peers of equal physical health. While the study cannot conclude there is a causal association, it emphasizes the importance of mental health and warrants further research.
This week, the FDA issued a warning regarding a toxic chemical found in homeopathic infant teething products. The chemical, Belladonna, is a hallucinogenic that is dangerous when consumed in large quantities. The Standard Homeopathic Company in Los Angeles, California has refused to recall the products. The FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research is urging parents to avoid these teething aids.
Cancer Deaths Rise in Poor States, Fall Everywhere Else
A recent study found that cancer death rates in poorer areas of the country rose by nearly 50% from 1980 to 2014, whereas death rates in wealthier areas of the country fell by nearly half in the same time period. Researchers point to regional trends in smoking, obesity, physical activity and access to healthcare as accounting for some of the disparities.
Girls feel less 'smart' than boys by age 6, research says
A study published by Science on Thursday found that 6-year-old girls are more likely to believe that boys, rather than girls, are “really, really smart.” Researchers found that while girls are just as likely as boys to believe they can succeed academically, girls are less likely to view themselves as “brilliant.” From their results, the researchers inferred that gender stereotypes influence children as young as six.
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