“Quick & Healthy” offers some highlights from the world of health and wellness that you may have missed this week:
- UCLA researchers have started exploring non-surgical treatments for appendicitis. Dr. David Talan, an emergency medicine specialist, says recent studies in Europe have indicated that antibiotics can cure the disease in “many patients.” A survey of patients who had not had appendicitis found that nearly 50 percent would prefer the non-surgical option, while nearly 75 percent of patients who have had an appendectomy would have preferred taking a pill rather than going under the knife. Who knew?
- Recent studies have found that depression increases one’s risk for stroke. A four-year study followed 16,000 men and women who had no history of stroke, characterizing them by levels of depression. Those with consistent depressive symptoms were found to have double the risk for stroke, while those few to no symptoms had no elevated risk. The next step, according to researchers, is to determine if treating depression can lower the risk for stroke.
- Center Fresh Group, one of the nation’s largest egg producers, must dispose of 5.5 million egg-laying hens, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is the first time American farmers have confronted such a widespread health crisis among livestock. The strain is thought to have been brought to the Midwest by migratory birds from the West Coast. So far, the bulk of the infection has been in Iowa farms, though North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota have also had high numbers of cases. Officials have descended on infected areas to assist locals with the safe disposal of the birds. The infection is expected to impact a wide swath of food producers, including Nestlé, which uses liquid eggs in its cake mix and ice cream brands. The wholesale price for liquid eggs has already doubled nationwide, hitting $1.23 last Wednesday.
- A new study in mice finds that a lack of exercise may upset the body’s natural rhythms. Following up on a 2009 study that found activity levels became less regular with age, scientists tracked the effects of exercise in groups of mice divided by age. They found that exercise affected the mice’s activity patterns more than age, influencing their circadian rhythms and creating healthier patterns long term.
Photo: Matito via Flickr