These stories were released by CFAH’s Health Behavior News Service between 2/13/2013 and 2/28/2013
Thank You for Being a Friend…
“We all know that friendships are good for us, but there’s a gap between this accepted wisdom and researched fact,” said Swati Mukerjee, Ph.D., associate professor at Bentley University. Her research, which appears in the American Journal of Health Promotion, studied patterns of social interaction and self-reported health and found that people reporting intense personal interactions were more likely to report good to excellent health. Mukerjee also found, unsurprisingly, that people who joined sports clubs, were more likely to report good health.
Obesity Lowers Quality of Life in Boys
A survey of more than 2,000 Australian schoolchildren found that being overweight or obese significantly reduces health-related quality of life (QOL) in boys, but not in girls. The study, which appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health, also found that boys and girls who were obese but lost weight over a five year period saw improvements in their quality of life.
“The fact that QOL improved with improvement in weight over time is also important,” commented Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. Cheskin added that parents, health care providers and teenagers need to understand the far-reaching effects that being too heavy can have on a young person’s enjoyment of life.
Patients Satisfied with Care from Community Health Centers
Low-income Americans are more likely to be satisfied with the care they receive at federally qualified health centers (FQHC), than at mainstream health care providers, reveals a new study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. Georges C. Benjamin, M.D., executive director of the American Public Health Association in Washington, D.C., noted that features such as flexible payment options and involvement in the community are some of the reasons for FQHCs success.
Diabetes + Depression = Increased Risk of Death
Up to 30 percent of people with diabetes in the U.S. also have symptoms of depression. In addition to worsening their quality of life, a recent evidence review in General Hospital Psychiatry finds that these patients are also at increased risk of death. “Depression is a highly treatable condition,” said lead review author Mijung Park, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. Because depression can make diabetes self-care more difficult and lessen quality of life, Park suggested that depression treatment should be considered when developing or reviewing diabetes care plans.