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People With Autism at Higher Risk for Suicide, Self-Harm: Study

A significantly increased risk of self-harm and suicide among people with autism shows the need for programs to reduce that risk, researchers say.

For their study, the investigators analyzed 31 studies on the link between autism and self-harm/suicide that were posted to five databases between 1999 and 2021. Overall, children and adults with autism had a threefold increased risk of self-ha...

Nurses Have Suicidal Thoughts More Often Than Other Workers: Study

U.S. nurses think about suicide more often than other workers do, but are less likely to tell anyone about it, new research reveals.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the responses of more than 7,000 nurses and nearly 5,200 other general workforce members who took part in a national poll on well-being that was conducted in November 2017 and included questions on issues ranging from...

U.S. Gun Violence Rates Jumped 30% During Pandemic

FRIDAY, Oct. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Gun violence sky-rocketed by more than 30% across the United States during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Almost 39,000 injuries and deaths nationwide involved a gun in the year starting in February 2019 — and that number shot up to more than 51,000 between March 2020 and March 2021, according to

  • Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 22, 2021
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  • Depression, Anxiety Could Raise a Pregnant Woman's Odds for C-Section

    FRIDAY, Oct. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) – While anxiety and depression in pregnant women have already been linked to low birth weight and preterm birth, they may also contribute to higher rates of cesarean deliveries.

    Researchers called the study among the largest to document a link between mood and anxiety disorders and first-time C-sections among low-risk pregnant women.

    "Our fin...

    When Cancer Strikes, Who's at Higher Risk for Suicide?

    U.S. cancer patients in poor and rural areas are more likely to die by suicide than those in affluent, urban areas, a new study finds.

    "People who have received a cancer diagnosis are faced with a number of challenges, such as accessing reliable and affordable care, that can add to existing anxiety or depression associated with their illness," said lead author Ryan Suk. "But those who liv...

    Little Change Seen in Americans' Use of Mental Health Services During Pandemic

    With all of the fear, grief and isolation the pandemic has brought, it would stand to reason that there would be a big jump in the number of Americans seeking treatment for anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

    But that doesn't seem to be the case, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, the percentage of adults who had re...

    U.S. Psychologists See Big Spike in Demand for Mental Health Care

    The number of Americans seeking treatment for anxiety and depression has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating what a leading medical association terms a "mental health tsunami."

    That's the key takeaway from a nationwide survey of psychologists by the American Psychological Association (APA).

    "[The findings] highlight what we have been saying since the early days of the pan...

    Gender-Affirming Mastectomies Give Boost to Patients' Mental Health

    Gender-affirming breast removal (mastectomy) can greatly enhance a patients' mental well-being, a new study finds.

    Gender-affirming mastectomy is the most common type of gender-confirming surgery, but there's "not a lot of information out there about how exactly these types of surgeries help people," said study co-author Dr. Megan Lane. She is a plastic surgery resident at Michigan Medic...

    U.S. Pediatricians, Psychiatrists Declare 'Emergency' in Child Mental Health

    Fear, grief, uncertainty and isolation during the pandemic have triggered a national state of emergency in the mental health of America's youth, leading child health care groups warned Tuesday.

    Youngsters already faced significant mental health challenges, and the pandemic has made them worse, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolesc...

    One Big Factor for Survival After Spinal Cord Injury: Resilience

    Survivors of spinal cord injuries who develop resilience are able to adapt and thrive despite the challenges, according to a researcher who himself is a resilient survivor.

    "For someone with a cord injury, your margin for surviving even small mistakes when it comes to your health is really thin," said James Krause, professor and associate dean for research in the Medical University of Sou...

    More Middle-Aged, Older Women Getting 'Broken Heart' Syndrome

    The number of Americans diagnosed with "broken heart" syndrome has steadily risen in the past 15 years — with the vast majority being women, a new study finds.

    The condition, which doctors call stress cardiomyopathy, appears similar to a heart attack — with symptoms such as chest pain and breathlessness. But its cause is entirely different: Experts believe it reflects a temporary weak...

    Pandemic Grief Can Come Between Mothers and Their Newborns

    Among the many negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may be damage to the bond between mothers and their infants, researchers say.

    Women who experienced grief and depression due to pandemic-related losses may find it more difficult to form this all-important emotional connection with their babies, according to a new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston.

    "Becoming a...

    Treating Depression Could Lengthen Lung Cancer Patients' Lives

    Persistent depression can significantly shorten lung cancer survival -- even if patients receive the latest cancer treatments, new research shows.

    "We need to help these patients, not only at diagnosis, but throughout treatment to take depressive symptoms out of the equation and let these impressive new therapies do their jobs," said lead author Barbara Anderson, a professor of psychology...

    State Lotteries Didn't Help Boost Vaccination Rates

    A shot at winning $1 million did nothing to budge the number of people who got the COVID-19 jab.

    According to a new study, lotteries in 19 states designed to encourage people to get vaccinated ...

    Big Worry for Folks Heading to Hospital: Who'll Care for My Pet?

    Dr. Tiffany Braley works with patients who have experienced strokes and other serious health conditions, treating them at the Michigan hospital where she works as they begin their recovery.

    Braley noticed there was a trend among patients who resisted being admitted to or staying in the hospital: They just wanted to get home, because they had no one to care for their beloved pets.

    "I...

    Many Addicts Turned to Telemedicine During Pandemic, But Does It Beat In-Person Care?

    The coronavirus pandemic forced a significant shift to telemedicine treatment for addiction, but it's not clear whether that approach is better than in-person care, a new study finds.

    Before the pandemic, addiction treatment services in the United States had many restrictions on telemedicine use, so only about 27% of addiction facilities offered telehealth services, while telehealth was u...

    Survey Finds Who's Most Likely to Give to Charity and How

    Older adults are more likely than younger ones to give to charity, but are more likely to support ones in their own country, an international study reveals.

    "As countries, including the U.K., are announcing cuts to foreign aid budgets, there will be an increasing reliance on global charities," said senior author Patricia Lockwood, of the Center for Human Brain Health at the University of ...

    Men, Women Behaved Differently During Pandemic Lockdowns

    How do men and women respond to a crisis?

    A look at their behavior during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 offers a clue: Women flocked to their phones for long conversations with a few trusted contacts.

    Men, chafing at being cooped up, headed out and about as soon as they could, European researchers report.

    "The total shutdown of public life was like a population-wide liv...

    Study Confirms Rise in Child Abuse During COVID Pandemic

    FRIDAY, Oct. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News)-- Physical abuse of school-aged kids tripled during the early months of the pandemic when widespread stay-at-home orders were in effect, a new study finds.

    Exactly what triggered the surge is not fully understood, but other studies have also reported similar upticks in child abuse. A pediatrician who was not involved in the new research suspects COVID...

    Kids With Food Allergies Are Often Targets for Bullies

    Life is challenging enough for teens and pre-teens with food allergies. But bullying often comes with the territory, making their situation worse.

    In a new study of more than 100 kids with food allergies, nearly one-third said they had been subject to some form of food allergy-related bullying.

    "We also found that only 12% of parents reported that their child was bullied for ...

    Depression in Early Life May Up Dementia Risk Later

    Happy young adults may be somewhat protected from dementia, but the reverse may be true, too: If you're a depressed young adult, your odds for dementia rise, a new study suggests.

    "Generally, we found that the greater the depressive symptoms, the lower the cognition and the faster the rates of decline," researcher Wi...

    1 in 10 People Have Gastro Issues After a Meal

    If you often have a stomachache after eating, you're not alone, a new survey finds. One in 10 people experience frequent meal-related pain.

    This includes 13% of women and 9% of men, and is most common in 18- to 28-year-olds (15%), according to an online survey of more than 54,000 people in 26 countries.

    "The take home message from this study is that people who experience meal-relate...

    Pandemic Stress Altered Many Women's Menstrual Cycles

    From the fear of getting sick to lockdown isolation, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically increased stress levels, and for many women, the uptick led to changes in their monthly periods.

    More than half of respondents to an online survey reported changes in their menstrual cycles during the pandemic, including...

    'Personalized' Brain Zaps May Ease Tough-to-Treat Depression

    Imagine battling debilitating depression for years, trying everything but finding little or no relief.

    That's what Sarah, 36, lived with most of her adult life.

    "I had exhausted all possible treatment options," recalled Sarah, who did not want her last name used. "It [depression] had controlled my entire life. I barely moved. I barely did anything. I felt tor...

    Special Therapy Brings Relief to Patients With Chronic Back Pain

    Many people with long-term back pain have tried physical therapy and medication, to no avail. A new study suggests they might "unlearn" their discomfort in weeks -- using psychological therapy.

    "For a long time, we have thought that chronic pain is due primarily to problems in the body, and most treatments to date have targeted that," said Yoni Ashar, who led the study while earning his P...

    Sibling Bullying Carries Long-Term Mental Health Costs

    Bullying by a brother or sister in childhood can have lasting effects, threatening mental health in the teen years, new British research suggests.

    Researchers found that mental health was affected whether one was the bully or the victim.

    "Of particular note was the finding that even those who bullied their siblings, but weren't bullied themselves [i.e. the bullies] had poorer mental...

    LGBQ Teens More Likely to Contemplate Suicide

    Kids who are gay, bisexual or questioning their sexuality may be vulnerable to contemplating suicide at a tender age, a new U.S. government study finds.

    It has long been known that teenagers who are part of sexual minorities have a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, compared to their heterosexual peers. That includes kids who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or...

    Stopping Antidepressants Raises Relapse Risk

    People who stop taking antidepressants after long-time use may face a high likelihood of spiraling into depression again, a new study suggests.

    British researchers found that among patients who stopped taking their antidepressants because they felt well, 56% relapsed within a year. That compared with 39% of patients who stayed on medication.

    Experts said the results offer some hard ...

    Fruits, Veggies a Recipe for Mental Well-Being in Kids

    Teens who eat lots of fruits and vegetables are likely to enjoy better mental health.

    That's the key takeaway from a new study that also tied a nutritious breakfast and lunch to emotional well-being in kids of all ages.

    "This study provides the first insights into how fruit and vegetable intake affects children's mental health and contributes to the emerging evidence around 'food an...

    For Boys, Sports Key to Mental Health

    Trying to fit soccer or Little League into your son's busy schedule? Canadian researchers offer some compelling reasons to do so.

    Little boys who play sports are less apt to be anxious or depressed later in childhood and more likely to be active in their early teens, according to the University of Montreal study.

    "We wanted to clarify the long-term and reciprocal relationship in sch...

    Childhood Trauma Linked With Higher Odds for Adult Neurological Ills

    Kids who suffer abuse, neglect or household dysfunction are more likely to have neurological problems like stroke or headaches as adults, researchers report.

    "Traumatic events in childhood have been linked in previous studies to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, riskier health behaviors like smoking and drug use, and decreased life expectancy," said researcher Dr. Adys Mendizabal...

    Sexual Assault Could Affect a Woman's Long-Term Brain Health

    It's known that sexual assault affects a woman's physical and mental health. Now, researchers say these traumatic incidents may also harm her brain health.

    A new study found that traumatic experiences, including sexual violence, may be linked to greater risk of dementia, stroke and other brain disorders.

    "Identifying early warning signs of stroke and dementia are critical to provid...

    Dealing With Grief in the Time of COVID

    That feeling that many people are collectively experiencing right now? It's grief.

    Some may be living through the loss of family, friends or colleagues who have died from the COVID-19 virus. Others have had losses that would be considered major life events, such as a job layoff. Many have lost recreation, social support and relationships.

    Grief can be part of all of these types of ...

    Neighborhood Gun Violence Means Worse Mental Health for Kids

    Living within a few blocks of a shooting increases the risk that a child will end up visiting the emergency department for mental health-related problems, researchers say.

    The new study found significant increases in mental health-related ER visits in the two weeks after a neighborhood shooting, especially among kids who lived closest to it and those exposed to multiple shootings.

    "...

    Depression During Menopause: How to Spot It and Treat It

    Emotional changes in the run-up to menopause can sometimes lead to depression.

    It can be important to see a doctor to help determine whether you're just feeling stressed or "blue" -- or whether you might have clinical or major depression, a condition associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain.

    Changing hormones during perimenopause -- the time when a woman's body is preparing...

    Do Your Genes Up Your Odds for Alcoholism? One Factor Cuts the Risk

    Even when genetics and personality are working against you, having a strong network of supportive friends and family may help lower alcoholism risk, researchers say.

    "Genes play an important role in alcohol use," stressed Jinni Su, an assistant professor of psychology at Arizona State University in Tempe, and lead author of a new study.

    But "genes are not our destiny," she added.

    In Your Sights: How Eye Contact Enhances a Conversation

    Seeing eye to eye -- literally -- makes conversations more appealing, a new study finds.

    "Eye contact is really immersive and powerful," said researcher Sophie Wohltjen, a graduate student in psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth College.

    "When two people are having a conversation, eye contact signals that shared attention is high -- that they are in peak synchrony with one ...

    Anxious? Maybe You Can Exercise It Away

    Anxiety prevention may be just a snowy trail away.

    New research suggests cross-country skiers -- and perhaps others who also exercise vigorously -- are less prone to develop anxiety disorders than less active folks.

    Researchers in Sweden spent roughly two decades tracking anxiety risk among more than 395,000 Swedes. Nearly half the participants were skiers with a history of competin...

    Could You Help Prevent a Suicide? Know the Warning Signs

    Knowing the warning signs of suicide can save a life, experts say.

    Suicide is the 10th leading overall cause of death in the United States, and number two among people between the ages of 10 and 34.

    Most suicides result from depression. It can cause someone to feel worthless, hopeless and a burden on others, making suicide falsely appear to be a solution, according to the

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  • September 12, 2021
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  • Getting Your First COVID Shot Can Boost Mental Health: Study

    When you got your first COVID-19 jab, did you breathe a sigh of relief? If so, you're not alone.

    U.S. adults who got the vaccine between December 2020 and March 2021 experienced a 4% reduction in their risk of being mildly depressed and a 15% drop in their risk of severe depression, researchers reported Sept. 8 in the journal PLOS ONE.

    "People who got vaccinated experienced a reduct...

    Would More Free Time Really Make You Happier?

    Many people feel their to-do list is overloaded, but there is also such a thing as too much free time, a new study suggests.

    In a series of studies, researchers found that having either too little or too much free time seemed to drain people's sense of well-being.

    It's no surprise that constantly feeling pressed for time -- and the stress that creates -- can take a toll on well-bein...

    Adults With Autism, Mental Illness May Be at Higher Risk for Severe COVID

    Adults with autism, intellectual disabilities or mental health disorders are at increased risk for COVID-19 and severe illness, researchers report.

    Being aware of the heightened risk is important in prioritizing COVID-19 prevention measures, such as vaccination, testing, masking and distancing for these groups, the researchers said.

    "These high-risk populations should be recognized ...

    Annoyed When Watching Others Fidget? You're Not Alone

    If other people's fidgeting drives you nuts, you may be one of many people with a condition called misokinesia, which means "hatred of movements," Canadian researchers report.

    They conducted experiments with more than 4,100 people and found that about one-third have the condition.

    Typically, folks with misokinesia "experience reactions such as anger, anxiety or frustration" watching...

    Transgender People Face Twice the Odds for Early Death: Study

    Transgender people have double the odds of dying early compared to folks whose identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender), a long-term study finds.

    And the added risk did not decrease over time, according to an analysis of data collected from more than 4,500 transgender people in the Netherlands between 1972 and 2018.

    Study author Martin den Heijer said the ri...

    Mind & Body: Marriage, City Living May Help When Heart Disease Strikes

    Feelings of despair and hopelessness can raise the odds of death in people battling heart disease, and new research suggests that where you live, as well as your marital status, can also play a role.

    The study found that heart disease patients who lived in rural areas and were unmarried were more likely to feel hopeless.

    "Because we know hopelessness is predictive of death in p...

    College Is Even More Stressful for Girls: Study

    Even before COVID-19, college could be a challenging experience, but a new study suggests those stresses are much higher for female students.

    Still, in the face of a continuing pandemic, all students may need interventions to develop healthy coping strategies, the study authors said.

    "They're balancing work, classes, relationships and family -- and then now you're throwing COVID on...

    Feel Guilty About 'Useless' Leisure Time? Your Mental Health Might Suffer

    Struggling to decide whether to spend another hour at the office or take a late afternoon stroll?

    Put on your walking shoes.

    Making leisure time a priority is good for your mental health. For many, though, especially folks who prize productivity above all, it's a hard sell, a new study finds.

    "There is plenty of research which suggests that leisure has mental health benefits ...

    Parents, Look Out for Mental Health Issues as College Kids Return to Class

    This year of pandemic isolation and anxiety has been tough for many, but an expert says college students are at particularly high risk for mental health issues as they transition from adolescence to adulthood.

    As students return to their campuses, it's important for parents to monitor their young adults' mental health, said Dr. Richard Catanzaro, chief of behavioral health at Northern Wes...

    Having Someone Who'll Listen May Be Good for Your Aging Brain

    Could the constancy of a sympathetic ear help guard your brain against the ravages of aging?

    Yes, claims new research that analyzed data on nearly 2,200 American adults and found those in their 40s and 50s who didn't have someone to listen to them had a mental ("cognitive") age that was four years older than those who had good listeners in their lives.

    Having an ear to bend when you...

    Only 1 in 10 Kids With ADHD Will Outgrow It

    Struggling with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a child is heart-breaking enough, but now new research confirms what many have long suspected: These patients will often continue to be plagued by ADHD symptoms as adults.

    Only about one in 10 kids with the disorder are likely to have a full and lasting remission of their symptoms, according to new data gleaned from tracki...

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