Health Briefs

Health Briefs

Health News for the Week

There are some compelling health and wellness news stories out this week we wanted to share. The news covers distracted drivers, coffee and green tea benefits, the mental wellness of those who do not have a job, spring allergy season and the recent FDA warning on antibiotic Zithromax.

Trouble on the Road with Distracted Drivers

Sixty-nine percent of American drivers reported using their cell phones while driving. Thirty-one percent texted or read email while driving. The National Safety Council, an injury prevention nonprofit group, reports that 3.5 million people suffer serious injury from crashes and 24% of those are from using a mobile device while driving. This is a troubling report as accidently moving into another lane of traffic, rear-ending another vehicle or hitting someone become the most common accidents resulting from distracted drivers. We urge anyone who gets behind the wheel of any vehicle to use a hands-free device for calls and postpone replying to texts or reading email while on the road. Nothing is more important than arriving at your destination safe and sound. Currently, there are only 3 states which have no laws on the books regarding the use of mobile devices on the road: Florida, Montana and South Dakota.

A Few Cups a Day Keeps Strokes Away

The American Heart Association conducted a report in Japan that measured the benefits of green tea and coffee and the risk of having a stroke. In the report, those who drank four cups of green tea per day or drank one cup of coffee a day had a 20% lower chance of having a stroke. In other studies, coffee drinkers had a lesser chance of developing Type 2 diabetes and protecting from getting Parkinson’s disease. So if you have to have your java in the morning or green tea throughout the day, go right ahead and enjoy it knowing it is beneficial to your health. But we knew that.

Social Media Can Help the Unemployed Find a Job

Social media giant Facebook conducted a study of its users and found that those who communicated with strong ties, such as friends and family, had a better chance of finding a job than those who communicated with weak ties, like acquaintances. Unemployed people are regularly told in job-related conferences that engaging in social media activities not only would help improve their mood, but may end up helping them get a job. However, the Facebook study also mentioned that people out of work communicating with gainfully employed ties might actually feel worse. This is not shocking to hear since it makes sense. Facebook reports that you are five times more likely to get a job through strong ties than weak ones. As always, be careful what is posted on the site as it is not as private as you think. Be wary of any prospective employer who asks to view any social media account you have.

Spring Allergy Season is Here

The sneezing, wheezing, teary eyes and runny nose season is here and tree pollen is in abundance in some parts of the US. The extreme weather conditions we had from blizzards, flooding and the rapid change from cold air to warm air is affecting Mother Nature’s resources like trees and flowers. Allergists caution seasonal allergy sufferers to get tested to find out exactly what patients are allergic too. Once this is known, they can pinpoint the medication which is best for it. Get a jump on allergies this spring and stock up on everything needed to make it less miserable.

The US FDA Issues Warming for Z-Paks

Z-paks, or Zithromax is a popular antibiotic. The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that taking people with heart-related problems and taking the drug can cause fatally irregular heart rhythms in some patients. The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study of those who used Zithromax and other antibiotics like amoxicillin and found that those who used the Z-pak were more likely to have a fatal heart rhythm. Always be sure to ask the doctor before taking any prescribed medication for the side affects or any hazards of taking it.

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