Doctors' Industry Relationships Drop, But Remain Common
Drug companies' marketing maneuvers have long involved giving gifts to doctors to influence their prescribing behavior—offering free trips, meals and tickets to sports events. In the past five years, amidst concern about a conflict of interest, doctors have severed some financial ties with the pharmaceutical industry. But these relationships are still common, finds a study published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Last year, 84 percent of physicians reported some type of tie with drug companies, compared to 94 percent in 2004. And eight out of 10 last year still accepted free drug samples, gifts, or payments for giving lectures about the drug or providing consulting services, researchers say. Physicians practicing in independent groups were most likely to have ties with drug companies; least likely were those employed by hospitals or medical schools, which often have restrictions on the acceptance of industry money. "The data clearly show that relationships have dropped dramatically," study author Eric Campbell told Bloomberg. "And while the drug representatives tell the doctors that these gifts mean nothing, studies show that accepting anything of value establishes a reciprocity between the person who gives the gift and the one who receives it."
Driving Drowsy as Bad as Driving Drunk
More than 40 percent of drivers say they've fallen asleep at the wheel, and about one in ten admitted doing so during the past year, according to a study released Monday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research and educational organization. For the unlucky ones, driving drowsy can end in death, their own or another's, writes U.S. News's Deborah Kotz. In fact, one in every six deadly car crashes results from a fatigue-impaired driver, estimates the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That's compared to about one in three caused by a drunk driver. Yet only one state in the nation—New Jersey—has a law against driving while sleep deprived, whereas every state has laws against drunk driving. This seems ludicrous, especially when you consider research suggesting that sleep deprivation has effects similar to imbibing a few drinks: "Sleepiness decreases awareness, slows reaction time, and impairs judgment, just like drugs or alcohol," said AAA Foundation President Peter Kissinger in a statement released with the new study. Australian researchers, for example, have found that volunteers who hadn't slept for nearly 20 hours had response speeds that were 50 percent lower than well-rested folks on some cognitive tests; their performance was on par with those who had a blood-alcohol content of 0.05 percent, which is approaching the legal limit. [Read more: Driving Drowsy as Bad as Driving Drunk.]
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10 Signs You're Exercising Too Much
Regular workouts are supposed to increase your muscle mass and decrease your body fat, right? Well, yes, with a caveat. Some folks ramp it up too much especially when they start a new training regimen to prepare themselves for, say, a grueling marathon or triathlon, fitness blogger Chelsea Bush writes for U.S. News. Overdoing your workouts can actually lead to diminished strength and increased body fat—your body's way of begging for a break. While your body can handle a particularly tough workout, it also needs time to recover from the stress overload, says Corey Stenstrup, performance development trainer at IMG Academies.
The best way to recover from that particularly tough workout? A day or two of rest followed by a light bout of exercise, recommends Stenstrup. Also make a point to get at least eight hours of sleep a night which your body will need to repair those tiny muscle tears that occur during workouts and enable your body to build new muscle. Good nutrition is also key: Think lean protein (fish, skinless chicken breast, tofu), whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Here are the 10 ways your body will let you know if you're headed for exercise burnout.
1. Decreased performance. A drop in your workout performance is one of the earliest signs of overload, according to Jini Cicero, a conditioning specialist based in Los Angeles, Calif. Altered performance levels are often more apparent in endurance activities such as running, swimming and cycling, she says. [Read more: 10 Signs You're Exercising Too Much.]
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