Statins May Prevent Flu Deaths
A new study suggests that drugs used to lower cholesterol may also help lower the risk of death from the flu, HealthDay reports. Statins may reduce inflammation caused by the virus, study author Ann Thomas, who works at the Oregon Department of Human Services, tells HealthDay. Her team studied patients hospitalized with seasonal flu and found that those taking statins were less likely to die than those who were not taking them. Thomas says further study is needed before statins like Lipitor and Zocor are used broadly as a means to prevent death from flu. Another flu expert tells HealthDay that statins' real benefit is that they lower the risk of dying from heart disease, a risk that goes up with flu infection.
Parental Alienation: A Mental Diagnosis?
From an early age, Anne was taught by her mother to fear her father. Behind his back, her mom warned that he was unpredictable and dangerous. When he'd invite her to do anything—a walk in the woods, a trip to the art store—Anne would craft an excuse not to go. "I was under the impression that he was crazy, that at any moment he could just pop and do something violent to hurt me," says Anne, who prefers that only her middle name be used to guard her family's privacy. Typical of a phenomenon some mental-health experts now label "parental alienation," her view of him became so negative, she says, that her mother persuaded her to lie about physical abuse during a custody hearing when the couple divorced. After her mother won custody, Anne all but severed contact with her father for years.
If a growing faction of the mental-health community has its way, Anne's experience will soon be an actual diagnosis, U.S. News's Lindsay Lyon reports. Parental alienation is when children strongly attach to one parent and reject the other in the false belief that he or she is bad or dangerous. These aren't kids who simply prefer one parent over the other, says William Bernet, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. That's normal. These kids doggedly resist contact with a parent, sometimes permanently, out of an irrational hate or fear. Whether parental alienation should be a mental-health diagnosis is controversial, however. Read more.
10 Ways to Get Better Sleep
A new nationwide study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that resident of West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Oklahoma are getting less sleep on average than their fellow Americans, the Associated Press reports. The results, which indicate the prevalence of sleeplessness in adults across the United States, come from data collected during a phone survey of close to 4,000 residents in each state. Nearly 1 in 5 West Virginians admitted that they had not gotten a good night's sleep in the past month—nearly double the national average, according to the AP.
Looking to get more sleep? U.S. News offers 10 ways to get better sleep—and maybe even cure your insomnia. One tip from the experts is to create a barrier between work and sleep. Break from the day's stress at least 15 minutes before you hit the sack, advises Lawrence Epstein, medical director of Sleep HealthCenters in Boston and coauthor of The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep. Try writing down all the things you need to worry about on a piece of paper, and do your best to leave them behind. Read more.
Other Popular Articles From USNews.com
- Battling Diabetes With Diet and Exercise
- 10 Cities Where Coronary Bypass Surgery Outpaces Angioplasty
- 10 Reasons Not to Skimp on Sleep
- 5 Risks Linked to Diabetes Medications
- 7 Steps Newly Diagnosed Diabetics Should Take
- 6 Ways to Reduce Inflammation Without Taking a Statin
- Need Care? Scan the Rankings: Best Nursing Homes, Best Health Plans, and Best Hospitals.