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More Than Half of Americans Know Someone Infected or Ill With COVID: Poll

More than half of all Americans have been personally affected by COVID-19 at this point in the pandemic, according to a new HealthDay-Harris Poll survey.

The national survey was conducted by The Harris Poll between Oct. 8 and 12. It found that 55% of U.S. adults now say they know someone in their immediate or extended network of family and acquaintances who's been infected,...

Pandemic Fears Tied to Surge in Gun Sales in California

Citing fears over violence and chaos, more than 100,000 Californians have bought guns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study estimates.

Researchers said the findings add to evidence that the U.S. pandemic has sparked firearm "panic-buying." Early on, federal figures showed a spike in background checks, while some online firearm retailers reported soaring sales, according to...

Is There a Better Therapy for Hospitalized Anorexia Patients?

It may seem counterintuitive, but when someone with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa is hospitalized, treatment often begins by cutting calories. Now, new research suggests that those eating restrictions can be safely relaxed in the hospital.

Starting with a lower-calorie diet has long been thought to prevent big shifts in fluid and electrolytes that can lead to cardiac arrest, c...

Pandemic Putting Americans Under Great Mental Strain: Poll

COVID-19, health care, the economy, systemic racism and the presidential election are a threat to the nation's mental health, according to an American Psychological Association (APA) poll.

Seventy-eight percent of adults polled said the pandemic is causing major stress and 60% called the array of issues facing the country overwhelming.

And younger adults are really str...

Bogus 'Cure' Claims Have U.S. Consumers Snapping Up CBD Products

CBD has been widely marketed as a cure-all for whatever ails you, and a new study finds many Americans are buying the sales pitch.

Researchers tracking a Reddit forum on CBD found many folks discussing use of cannabidiol to treat conditions for which there are proven, safe and effective medicines and therapies.

Forum participants said they were using CBD for mental and emotional...

Is Apathy an Early Sign of Dementia?

Older adults who aren't interested or enthusiastic about their usual activities may have a higher risk of developing dementia, new research suggests.

The nine-year study of more than 2,000 older adults -- average age 74 -- found that people with severe apathy (a lack of interest or concern) were 80% more likely to develop dementia during the study period than those with low apath...

Want Better Rapport With Your Cat? Bat Your Eyes

When it comes to bonding with your cat, the eyes have it.

Narrowing your eyes -- the so-called "slow blink" -- may make humans more attractive to their feline friends, British researchers suggest. It also may make kitty smile back.

"As someone who has both studied animal behavior and is a cat owner, it's great to be able to show that cats and humans can communicate in this w...

For Kids Who Hit Puberty Early, Risk of Self-Harm Rises

Kids who reach puberty earlier than other kids are at an increased risk of harming themselves as teens, British researchers report.

"Our study is the first to investigate the relationship between the timing of puberty and self-harm using an objective measure of pubertal timing in boys," said lead author Elystan Roberts, a researcher at the University of Bristol.

He said it...

If Election Stress Is Getting to You, You're Not Alone

For most Americans, the 2020 presidential election is a big source of stress, a new nationwide survey shows.

Nearly seven in 10 adults (68%) surveyed called the election a significant source of stress, compared with 52% in 2016, the survey commissioned by the American Psychological Association (APA) showed.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is trying to un...

Depressed Teens May Struggle in School

By about age 16, teens diagnosed with depression have substantially lower educational attainment, a new British study finds.

Targeted educational support might be of particular benefit to teens from poor backgrounds and boys, but all children with depression can benefit from such help, the study authors suggested.

For the study, the researchers used British health and edu...

For Black Americans, Personal Resilience Plays Big Part in Heart Health

Black people who have a strong sense of psychological well-being may have better heart health, a new study indicates.

It suggests that feelings of optimism and a sense of purpose and control -- hallmarks of psychosocial resilience -- are more important to heart health than where people live, researchers said.

Lead researcher Tené Lewis, an associate professor at Emo...

Me, Me, Me: Narcissists Drawn to Politics, Study Shows

It's all about him. Or her.

New research supports what much of the electorate may already suspect: Many narcissistic people are drawn to politics, and that could put democracy in danger.

As the researchers defined it, narcissism is a combination of selfishness, entitlement and a need for admiration.

"Successful democratic functioning requires trust in institutions...

Chrissy Teigen's Pregnancy Loss Spotlights a Hidden Source of Grief for Many

Chrissy Teigen's public disclosure of her pregnancy loss is shining new light on a trauma for couples that's too often left in the shadows.

The 34-year-old model, cookbook author and social media star announced the loss of her baby boy via Twitter Thursday. She was thought to be halfway through a pregnancy with a baby she and her husband, singer John Legend, had already named Jack.

Mental Health Issues Double the Odds of Dying With COVID-19, Study Finds

People suffering from a psychiatric disorder could be more than twice as likely to die if they become infected with COVID-19, a new study suggests.

Folks diagnosed with any type of psychiatric problem -- anxiety or depression, dementia, psychosis -- were up to 2.3 times more likely to die in the hospital from COVID-19, researchers found.

"Those who had COVID who had a prior ...

Pets Helped People Cope During Pandemic Lockdown: Study

Pets helped many people cope with the mental stress of being locked down during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study finds.

It included 6,000 people in Britain who were under lockdown between March 23 and June 1. About 90% had at least one pet.

Of those, more than 90% said their pet helped them cope emotionally with the lockdown and 96% said their pet helped kee...

Pandemic Has More Americans Turning to Booze

Is the coronavirus pandemic driving people to drink?

Yes, a new U.S. survey shows, and the greatest spike in alcohol use is being seen in women.

Overall, there was a 14% jump in drinking frequency this past spring among U.S. adults over 30 when compared to last year at the same time, researchers found. Among women, drinking frequency went up 17%.

But excess...

Severe Mental Illnesses Often Overlooked at Hospital Admission: Study

Severe mental illness diagnoses often get missed in patients hospitalized for physical health problems, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 13,800 U.K. adults who were diagnosed with severe mental illness, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, between 2006 and 2017 and who had more than 45,700 emergency hospital admissions over the period.

Kids Often Hit Hard by Death of Beloved Pet, Study Finds

The loss of a pet may be a child's first encounter with death, and new research suggests no one should underestimate the psychological trauma that the loss can bring.

Previous studies have found that kids form deep emotional attachments to their pets and having a furry companion in your youth has been linked to greater empathy, self-esteem and social skills.

"The effects of...

Baby's Heart Rate Reflects Mom's Mental Health

Babies of mothers with anxiety or depression can have significantly higher heart rates than normal, a new study finds.

And this might put them at risk for long-term problems, researchers say.

Mother-infant interaction plays a crucial role in children's healthy development, but moms with depression, anxiety or postnatal depression may be emotionally distant from their infants...

Middle-Aged Americans Report More Pain Than Seniors

Middle-aged Americans are living with more physical pain than older adults are -- and the problem is concentrated among the less-educated, a new study finds.

The pattern may seem counterintuitive, since older age generally means more chronic health conditions and wear-and-tear on the body. And the middle-age pain peak is not seen in other wealthy countries, researchers said.

A Good Workout Could Boost Your Thinking for Up to 2 Hours

A few minutes of moderate- to high-intensity aerobic activity -- like running or biking -- can boost young adults' memory and concentration for up to two hours, a new research review shows.

That's the takeaway from 13 studies published between 2009 and 2019. All looked at the short-term impact of bicycling, walking and/or running on the mental health of 18- to 35-year-olds.

...

PTSD May Be Tied to Greater Dementia Risk

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)may significantly increase the risk of dementia later in life, according to a new study.

The researchers found that people with a history of PTSD were up to two times more likely to develop dementia than those who never had PTSD.

"Our study provides important new evidence of how traumatic experiences can impact brain health, and how the l...

COVID Conflicts Are Putting Big Strains on Relationships

As the coronavirus pandemic wears on, it's clear that not everyone's on the same page when it comes to preventing the risk of infection.

Lots of people wear masks, try to maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings. But plenty of others forgo a mask or wear it on their chin, go to busy bars and attend social gatherings, like weddings.

Both sides think they're righ...

Does Hostility Predispose You to a Second Heart Attack?

If you have experienced a heart attack and you have an adversarial personality, new research suggests you might want to consider an attitude adjustment.

An angry outlook may make you vulnerable to a second heart attack, the new study found.

The study included more than 2,300 heart attack survivors, average age 67, who were followed for 24 months. Men accounted for 68% of...

Simply Smiling May Boost Your Outlook

Smiling can trick your mind into being more positive, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of South Australia found that the simple act of moving your facial muscles into a smile can make you view the world more positively.

"When your muscles say you're happy, you're more likely to see the world around you in a positive way," said lead researcher Fernand...

Suicide Rate Keeps Rising Among Young Americans

A nearly 60% jump in suicides by young Americans since 2007 has experts alarmed and somewhat puzzled.

Suicides among children and young people aged 10 to 24 rose 57% from 2007 to 2018, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The increase in youth suicide has been pervasive across the U.S. No area is immune," said report a...

Who's Most Likely to Binge Eat Amid Pandemic?

A lot has been made of the so-called "quarantine 15." Now, a new study suggests certain people are more likely to binge eat during the coronavirus pandemic than others.

Most often they are young adults who faced social stigma about being overweight before COVID-19 swept the globe.

The researchers found this group had higher levels of depressive symptoms, stress, eating as a ...

Workplace Sexual Harassment Might Raise Suicide Risk: Study

In the midst of the 'Me Too' movement, a new study finds that people sexually harassed at work may be at increased risk for attempted suicide and suicide.

The findings out of Sweden show that workplace sexual harassment may "represent an important risk factor for suicidal behavior," said study author Linda Magnusson Hanson, an associate professor in the psychology department at Stockh...

Being a Jerk Not a Recipe for Getting Ahead at Work

Being a selfish jerk won't pave a path to success, new research suggests.

The study involved hundreds of participants who completed personality assessments when they were undergraduates or MBA students at three universities.

The researchers checked in with the same people about 14 years later to find out how well they'd done in their careers, and their co-workers were asked ...

ADHD May Help Predict Adults' Car Crash Risk

Young adults who've had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since childhood are at increased risk for road crashes, researchers say.

But there is no increased risk for those whose ADHD symptoms have decreased, according to the study published online recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

For the study, the resea...

Pandemic Drove Spike in Panic Attacks

The coronavirus pandemic has made many people more anxious. But for some, the threat of deadly infection and the drastic changes to everyday life may have triggered panic attacks.

New research found that between mid-March and early May of this year, there were 375,000 more Google searches for anxiety or panic attacks than would normally be expected.

"Right now, a lot of ex...

Lockdowns Tough on People With Eating Disorders: Survey

The coronavirus pandemic has brought significant challenges for people with eating disorders, a new study finds.

During the early stages of the pandemic lockdown in the United Kingdom, researchers at Northumbria University in Newcastle surveyed people who currently had an eating disorder or were recovering from one.

In all, 87% of the survey respondents said their sympto...

Stress, Anger May Worsen Heart Failure

If you suffer from heart failure, try to stay calm. Stress and anger may make your condition worse, a new study suggests.

Mental stress is common in heart failure patients due to the complexities of managing the disease, progressively worsening function, and frequent medical issues and hospitalizations, according to lead author Kristie Harris, a postdoctoral associate in cardiovascul...

Anorexia Often Stunts Girls' Growth, Study Finds

Girls with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa may have stunted growth, new research suggests.

People with anorexia nervosa believe they weigh too much, even if they're underweight. They may lose a dangerous amount of weight by dieting, exercising excessively, or binge-eating and purging.

"Our findings emphasize the importance of early and intensive intervention aiming at...

Depression May Hinder Recovery From Narrowed Arteries

People with peripheral artery disease (PAD) and depression have worse recovery than those who aren't depressed, a new study finds.

That's especially true for women, the researchers said.

"This is the first study to document how depressive symptoms may complicate PAD recovery even among patients receiving specialty care," said senior author Kim Smolderen. She's co-director...

College Athletes, Performers Feeling Sidelined in Pandemic

For many young people, extracurricular activities and sports are a central part of their daily lives and identities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students now feel uprooted.

With sports programs on hold, theater productions canceled and choirs muted, campus life may feel drastically different.

"If you're in the marching band or you're the varsity football quarterback, ...

Levels of Anxiety, Addiction, Suicidal Thoughts Are Soaring in the Pandemic

The pandemic is taking a big toll on Americans' psyches: A new government report found that about 41% of adults surveyed in late June "reported an adverse mental or behavioral health condition."

That's a big rise from 2019. For example, the data shows that the number of Americans suffering from an anxiety disorder had tripled by late June compared to the same time last year, and t...

Feeling Anxious? Yoga Can Help Soothe You

Yoga may help people soothe frayed nerves during the coronavirus pandemic, but the ancient practice may also help those with more serious, chronic forms of anxiety, new research suggests.

The study compared yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and stress management for treating people with generalized anxiety disorder. While cognitive behavioral therapy remains the preferred firs...

Narcissists Are Blind to Their Own Mistakes

Narcissists don't learn from their mistakes because they don't acknowledge them, a new study shows.

When faced with a poor outcome due to their decisions, most people ask, "What should I have done differently to avoid this outcome?" But a narcissist says, "No one could have seen this coming," according to Oregon State University (OSU)-Cascades researchers.

Narcissists also b...

Can Seniors Handle Results of Alzheimer's Risk Tests?

As researchers hone in on ways to detect whether someone has a high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease before they have any symptoms, mental health professionals have worried what the psychological fallout of that knowledge might be.

But new research suggests that people can handle the truth.

In the study, seniors who didn't have any Alzheimer's symptoms underwent a sp...

Many Stay Optimistic Until Old Age Hits

People tend to be optimistic for most of their life, even when they have to cope with serious challenges, a new study finds.

Researchers surveyed 75,000 people aged 16 to 101 in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands to assess their optimism and outlook about the future.

"We found that optimism continued to increase throughout young adulthood, seemed to steadily plat...

COVID-19 Causing More Stress in America Than Other Nations: Survey

Americans are faring much worse mentally and financially during the COVID-19 pandemic than citizens of other high-income countries around the world, according to an international analysis.

One-third of U.S. adults say they've experienced unbearable stress, anxiety and sadness during the pandemic and more than 30% have faced economic hardships, the Commonwealth Fund report revealed...

Are Baby Boomers Less Sharp Than Previous Generations?

Aging baby boomers may not be as mentally sharp as their parents were, a new study suggests -- raising questions about what the pattern could mean for future dementia rates.

Looking at two decades' worth of data on U.S. adults, the study found generational differences in tests of cognitive function. That refers to essential mental abilities such as remembering, reasoning and problem-s...

U.S. Grandparents Are Raising Millions of Kids, and It's Tough

Nearly 3 million children in the United States are being raised by grandparents, and life has placed these kids on a rocky road toward adulthood, a new study reports.

These children are much more likely to have experienced traumatic events that will influence their development, according to the report published online Aug. 3 in the journal Pediatrics.

For example, chi...

Could Botox Injections Relieve Depression?

Botox injections used to fight wrinkles and prevent migraines may also help relieve depression, a new study suggests.

Patients who received Botox injections for any of six conditions reported suffering depression 40% to 88% less often when compared to patients who received different treatments for the same conditions.

"This finding is exciting because it supports a...

Child Care Stresses, Hunger Are Harming U.S. Families During Pandemic

With everyday life turned upside down, efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are taking a toll on the well-being and health of American families, a new poll reveals.

More than 1,000 parents nationwide were surveyed in early June.

"Without question, COVID-19 had a sudden and profound effect on families nationwide," said survey leader Dr. Stephen Patrick. He's director of...

9/11 First Responders Have Higher Odds for Alzheimer's: Study

First responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks appear to be at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and dementia, new research suggests.

The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild thinking impairments among them is well-known, and now two studies from Stony Brook University in New York have identified changes in their brains similar to those in dementia patient...

Concussion Ups Odds for Many Brain Conditions

People with a history of concussion may face increased risks of certain psychological and neurological conditions, a large new study suggests.

The study of more than 186,000 Canadians found that those who suffered a concussion were more likely to develop any of several conditions, including: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); depression or anxiety; Parkinson's disease; o...

PTSD Therapy Doesn't Trigger Drug Relapse in Addiction Patients: Study

Talk therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) doesn't appear to increase addiction treatment patients' risk of relapse, a small new study says.

Roughly a quarter of people with drug or alcohol use disorders also have PTSD, typically caused by a traumatic or stressful life event such as combat or rape.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the leading PTSD treatment, but s...

How to Counter the Anti-Mask Backlash? Empathy.

In the midst of a pandemic, many Americans still view face mask mandates as an assault on their personal freedoms, rather than a means of protecting themselves and others from COVID-19.

But a group of researchers out of Duke University say the mask backlash can be turned around -- as long as efforts to do so are grounded in empathy, not judgment.

As coronavirus cases in the...

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