The impact of food on life expectancy, how to relieve hives at home, and more health news

Study predicts impact of food choices on life expectancy

Young adults who are willing to ditch the typical Western diet may gain a decade or more in life expectancy (LE), according to a study published online Feb. 8 in PLOS Medicine.

Lars T. Fadnes, Ph.D., from the University of Bergen in Norway, and colleagues used life table methodology to estimate how LE changes with sustained changes in the intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, refined grains, nuts, legumes, fish, eggs, milk/dairy, red meat, processed meat, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

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Racial disparities seen in rates for opioid overdose deaths

U.S. overdose deaths involving opioids and stimulant drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, surged between 2009 and 2019, particularly among Black individuals, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Tarlise Townsend, Ph.D., from the New York University Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues used U.S. National Center for Health Statistics death certificate data (2007 to 2019) to compare state-level trends in overdose mortality due to opioids in combination with cocaine and/or methamphetamine and other stimulants (MOS) across racial/ethnic groups (non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic Asian American/Pacific Islander).

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Autism and ADHD may raise the odds for early death

Young people with autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a higher risk of dying early from a range of causes, a new research review suggests.

Researchers found that before middle-age, people with autism face higher-than-average rates of death from both “natural” causes, like heart disease, and “unnatural” ones, including accidents and suicide.

Meanwhile, unnatural causes appeared to account for the higher risk of early death among people with ADHD.

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Here’s how to relieve hives at home

When you break out in hives, you want relief fast.

This common skin reaction is characterized by itchy bumps or raised, swollen patches. Fortunately, hives are usually harmless and short-lived, a Chicago dermatologist says.

“A single hive tends to last for a few minutes to a few hours. Most hives clear within 24 hours,” Dr. Danilo Del Campo said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release.

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Has your mental health taken a dive after having COVID? You’re not alone

COVID-19 can take a heavy toll on the body, but new research shows that patients are also 60% more likely to suffer lingering mental and emotional woes in the year following their infection.

These problems included anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, opioid use disorder, illicit drug and alcohol use disorders, sleep disturbances, and problems thinking and concentrating.

“If after COVID-19 people are suffering from sleep problems or depression or anxiety, you’re not alone. We see thousands of people like you. Definitely seek help,” said lead researcher Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly. He is a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System.

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Antibodies persist for infants born to COVID-19-vaccinated moms

A majority of infants born to COVID-19-vaccinated mothers have persistent anti-spike (anti-S) antibodies at six months, according to a research letter published online Feb. 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lydia L. Shook, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues characterized the persistence of vaccine-induced maternal anti-S immunoglobulin G (IgG) in infant blood after maternal vaccination versus natural infection. Individuals who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy or who were infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 at 20 to 32 weeks of gestation were enrolled (77 and 12 mothers, respectively).

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