HEALTH news in brief

Use of bodybuilding supplements may qualify as eating disorder

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 August, 2015, 11:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 10 August, 2015, 11:47pm

In an effort to look buff, more men are turning to over-the-counter bodybuilding supplements, to the point where their use may qualify as an emerging eating disorder, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association's recent annual convention in Toronto. The study by Alliant International University in Los Angeles involved an online survey of 195 men aged 18 to 65 who had consumed legal appearance- or performance-enhancing supplements (such as whey protein) in the past 30 days. More than 40 per cent reported increasing supplement use over time, and 3 per cent had been hospitalised for kidney or liver problems related to supplement use. The researchers say the findings correlate significantly with diagnostic indicators of eating disorders.

Study reveals both benefits and risks of antidepressants during pregnancy: Treating maternal psychiatric disorder with antidepressants is associated with a lower risk of certain pregnancy complications, including preterm birth and delivery by caesarean section, finds a new study in The American Journal of Psychiatry. However, the medications - selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs - resulted in an increased risk of neonatal problems, including breathing issues. The Columbia University researchers had analysed data from more than 845,000 single births from 1996 to 2010 in Finland. The risk of preterm birth was 16 per cent lower and of very preterm birth nearly 50 per cent lower in women using the antidepressants during pregnancy compared to mothers with a psychiatric diagnosis but no medication use. Maternal psychiatric disorder without medication use was associated with an increased risk of caesarean (26.5 per cent) compared to those without a diagnosis or antidepressant purchases (17 per cent).

Viruses thrive in big families, in sickness and in health: The more children you have, the higher your family is at risk of infection from the viruses that cause colds, flu and other respiratory illnesses. A longitudinal study by scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine revealed people living in childless households were infected with viruses on average three to four weeks during the year. In households with one child, that number jumped to 18 weeks, and up to 45 weeks out of the year for those with six children. Children younger than five had at least one virus detected in their nasal mucus for 50 per cent of the year: twice as often as older children and adults. And when infected, they were 1.5 times more likely to have symptoms, including severe ones such as wheezing and fever. Their parents were sick 1.5 times more frequently than similarly aged adults who did not live with young children.