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Social cure, what social cure? The propensity to underestimate the importance of social factors for health

Social cure, what social cure? The propensity to underestimate the importance of social factors for health | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

Rationale Recent meta-analytic research indicates that social support and social integration are highly protective against mortality, and that their importance is comparable to, or exceeds, that of many established behavioural risks such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, and obesity that are the traditional focus of medical research (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2010). The present study examines perceptions of the contribution of these various factors to life expectancy within the community at large. Method American and British community respondents (N = 502) completed an on-line survey assessing the perceived importance of social and behavioural risk factors for mortality. Results As hypothesized, while respondents' perceptions of the importance of established behavioural risks was positively and highly correlated with their actual importance, social factors were seen to be far less important for health than they actually are. As a result, overall, there was a small but significant negative correlation between the perceived benefits and the actual benefits of different social and behavioural factors. Men, younger participants, and participants with a lower level of education were more likely to underestimate the importance of social factors for health. There was also evidence that underestimation was predicted by a cluster of ideological factors, the most significant of which was respondents’ respect for prevailing convention and authorities as captured by Right-Wing Authoritarianism. Conclusion Findings suggest that while people generally underestimate the importance of social factors for health this also varies as a function of demographic and ideological factors. They point to a range of challenges confronting those who seek to promote greater awareness of the importance of social factors for health.

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Self–Other Agreement in Personality Reports: A Meta-Analytic Comparison of Self- and Informant-Report Means.

Self-report questionnaires are the most commonly used personality assessment despite longstanding concerns that self-report responses may be distorted by self-protecting motives and response biases. In a large-scale meta-analysis (N = 33,033; k = 152 samples), we compared the means of self- and informant reports of the same target’s Big Five personality traits to examine the discrepancies in two rating sources and whether people see themselves more positively than they are seen by others. Inconsistent with a general self-enhancement effect, results showed that self-report means generally did not differ from informant-report means (average δ = −.038). Moderate mean differences were found only when we compared self-reports with stranger reports, suggesting that people are critical of unacquainted targets. We discuss implications of these findings for personality assessment and other fields in which self-enhancement motives are relevant.

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The self–other knowledge asymmetry in cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, and creativity.

The self–other knowledge asymmetry in cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, and creativity. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free full text) The self-other knowledge asymmetry model (SOKA) assumes that some personality traits might be open to oneself and other persons ('open area'), while other traits are more accurately perceived by others ('blind spot'); a third group of traits might be visible only to oneself and not to others ('hidden area'), and finally a trait might neither be visible to oneself nor to one's peers ('unknown area'). So far, this model has been tested only for personality traits and general intelligence, not for more specific abilities; to do so was the novel intention of our study. We tested which of six abilities (verbal, numerical, and spatial intelligence; interpersonal and intrapersonal competence; and creative potential/divergent thinking ability) are in which SOKA area. We administered performance tests for the six abilities in two samples - 233 14-year-olds and 215 18-year-olds - and collected self- and peer-ratings for each domain. Numerical intelligence and creativity were judged validly both from self- and peer-perspectives ('open area'). In the younger sample verbal intelligence was validly estimated only by peers ('blind spot'), whereas the older group showed some insight into their own abilities as well ('blind spot' to 'open area'). While in the younger group only the pupils themselves could validly estimate their intra- and interpersonal competence ('hidden area'), in the older group peers were also successful in estimating other's interpersonal competence, albeit only with low accuracy ('hidden area' to 'open area'). For 18-year-olds, spatial ability was in the hidden area too, but in 14-year-olds this could neither be validly estimated by pupils themselves nor by peers ('unknown area'). These results implicate the possibility of non-optimal career choices of young people, and could, therefore, be helpful in guiding professional career counselling.

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Reappraisal of incentives ameliorates choking under pressure and is correlated with changes in the neural representations of incentives.

Reappraisal of incentives ameliorates choking under pressure and is correlated with changes in the neural representations of incentives. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free full text) It has been observed that the performing for high stakes can, paradoxically, lead to uncharacteristically poor performance. Here we investigate a novel approach to attenuating such ‘choking under pressure’ by instructing participants performing a demanding motor task that rewards successful performance with a monetary gain, to reappraise this incentive as a monetary loss for unsuccessful performance. We show that when participants applied this simple strategy, choking was significantly reduced. This strategy also influenced participants’ neural and physiological activity. When participants reappraised the incentive as a potential monetary loss, the representation of the magnitude of the incentive in the ventral striatum Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal was attenuated. In addition, individual differences in the degree of attenuation of the neural response to incentive predicted the effectiveness of the reappraisal strategy in reducing choking. Furthermore, participants’ skin conductance changed in proportion to the magnitude of the incentive being played for, and was exaggerated on high incentive trials on which participants failed. Reappraisal of the incentive abolished this exaggerated skin conductance response. This represents the first experimental association of sympathetic arousal with choking. Taken together, these results suggest that reappraisal of the incentive is indeed a promising intervention for attenuating choking under pressure.  [See helpful discussion at https://tinyurl.com/y8mrcxws in the BPS Digest].

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Breakfast Skipping Is Associated with Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes among Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies.

Breakfast Skipping Is Associated with Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes among Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

Epidemiologic studies have indicated that breakfast skipping is associated with risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the shape of the dose-response relation and the influence of adiposity on this association have not been reported.We investigated the association between breakfast skipping and risk of type 2 diabetes by considering the influence of the body mass index (BMI).In this systematic review and meta-analysis, PubMed and Web of Science were searched up to August 2017. Prospective cohort studies on breakfast skipping and risk of type 2 diabetes in adults were included. Summary RRs and 95% CIs, without and with adjustment for BMI, were estimated with the use of a random-effects model in pairwise and dose-response meta-analyses.In total 6 studies, based on 96,175 participants and 4935 cases, were included. The summary RR for type 2 diabetes comparing ever with never skipping breakfast was 1.33 (95% CI: 1.22, 1.46, n = 6 studies) without adjustment for BMI, and 1.22 (95% CI: 1.12, 1.34, n = 4 studies) after adjustment for BMI. Nonlinear dose-response meta-analysis indicated that risk of type 2 diabetes increased with every additional day of breakfast skipping, but the curve reached a plateau at 4–5 d/wk, showing an increased risk of 55% (summary RR: 1.55; 95% CI: 1.41, 1.71). No further increase in risk of type 2 diabetes was observed after 5 d of breakfast skipping/wk (P for nonlinearity = 0.08).This meta-analysis provides evidence that breakfast skipping is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and the association is partly mediated by BMI.

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Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors.

Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free fulll text) Porphyromonas gingivalis, the keystone pathogen in chronic periodontitis, was identified in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Toxic proteases from the bacterium called gingipains were also identified in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, and levels correlated with tau and ubiquitin pathology. Oral P. gingivalis infection in mice resulted in brain colonization and increased production of Aβ1–42, a component of amyloid plaques. Further, gingipains were neurotoxic in vivo and in vitro, exerting detrimental effects on tau, a protein needed for normal neuronal function. To block this neurotoxicity, we designed and synthesized small-molecule inhibitors targeting gingipains. Gingipain inhibition reduced the bacterial load of an established P. gingivalis brain infection, blocked Aβ1–42 production, reduced neuroinflammation, and rescued neurons in the hippocampus. These data suggest that gingipain inhibitors could be valuable for treating P. gingivalis brain colonization and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.

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Mm ... another excellent reason for good dental health.

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Facets of conscientiousness and longevity: Findings from the Health and Retirement Study.

Facets of conscientiousness and longevity: Findings from the Health and Retirement Study. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free full text) Objectives Conscientiousness is the strongest personality predictor of longevity. The present study examined which facets of conscientiousness are the most strongly related to mortality risk in a large longitudinal sample of middle-aged and older adults. Method Seven-year mortality data were obtained from participants (total N > 11,000) from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS, 2008–2014). Six facets of conscientiousness, demographic factors, disease burden, smoking and physical inactivity were assessed at baseline. Results Controlling for demographic factors, every standard deviation higher order, traditionalism, virtue, and responsibility was related to an approximately 10% reduced risk of mortality; industriousness was associated with an almost 25% lower likelihood of mortality. Except for traditionalism, these associations were partially accounted by health and behavioral covariates. Self-control was not related to longevity. When all facets and the covariates were simultaneously included, only industriousness was significantly associated with mortality. Conclusions The present study provides new evidence about the specific facets of conscientiousness that are related to longevity.

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Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective.

Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it
The WCRF/AICR Third Expert Report assesses the past decade of cancer prevention research and the links between diet, nutrition, physical activity and cancer
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Doing Despite Disliking: Self‐regulatory Strategies in Everyday Aversive Activities.

Abstract We investigated the self-regulatory strategies people spontaneously use in their everyday lives to regulate their persistence during aversive activities. In pilot studies (pooled N = 794), we identified self-regulatory strategies from self-reports and generated hypotheses about individual differences in trait self-control predicting their use. Next, deploying ambulatory assessment (N = 264, 1940 reports of aversive/challenging activities), we investigated predictors of the strategies' self-reported use and effectiveness (trait self-control and demand types). The popularity of strategies varied across demands. In addition, people higher in trait self-control were more likely to focus on the positive consequences of a given activity, set goals, and use emotion regulation. Focusing on positive consequences, focusing on negative consequences (of not performing the activity), thinking of the near finish, and emotion regulation increased perceived self-regulatory success across demands, whereas distracting oneself from the aversive activity decreased it. None of these strategies, however, accounted for the beneficial effects of trait self-control on perceived self-regulatory success. Hence, trait self-control and strategy use appear to represent separate routes to good self-regulation. By considering trait- and process-approaches these findings promote a more comprehensive understanding of self-regulatory success and failure during people's daily attempts to regulate their persistence. [Excellent commentary on this article in BPS Digest at https://tinyurl.com/y7ftccuo ].

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The effect of a narrative intervention program for people living with dementia.

Multiple areas in the cerebral cortex are active during the listening of narrative material, and these activations in the brain produce significant changes in connectivity. In a pathological population living in nursing homes, patients who underwent daily narrative training showed some improvements in many psychological and cognitive aspects. Here we aim to investigate the effects of such training in many cognitive aspects. At the beginning and end of a 40-day narrative training, participants with cognitive decline were tested with the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status to quantify any improvements in individual performance. Results were compared with those of a control group of patients. Results show a significant increase in performances of the experimental group in domains such as immediate memory, language, attention, and delayed memory. Results replicate and expand previous findings, indicating that this type of training could increase cognitive performance and could be implemented as an effective nonpharmacological treatment for the cognitive wellness in both the pathological and nonpathological elderly.

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Linking big five personality traits to sexuality and sexual health: A meta-analytic review.

This meta-analytic review addresses whether the major dimensions of trait personality relate to components of human sexuality. A comprehensive literature search identified 137 studies that met inclusion criteria (761 effect sizes; total n = 420,595). Pooled mean effects were computed using inverse-variance weighted random effects meta-analysis. Mean effect sizes from 100 separate meta-analyses provided evidence that personality relates to theoretically predicted components of sexuality and sexual health. Neuroticism was positively related to sexual dissatisfaction (r+ = .18), negative emotions (r+ = .42), and symptoms of sexual dysfunction (r+ = .16). Extraversion was positively related to sexual activity (r+ = .17) and risky sexual behavior (r+ = .18), and negatively related to symptoms of sexual dysfunction (r+ = −.17). Openness was positively related to homosexual orientation (r+ = .16) and liberal attitudes toward sex (r+ = .19). Agreeableness and conscientiousness were negatively related to sexually aggressive behavior (r+ = −.20; r+ = −.14) and sexual infidelity (r+ = −.18; r+ = −.17). Less robust evidence indicated that extraversion related negatively, and neuroticism positively, to child sexual abuse, and that openness related negatively to homophobic attitudes. Random effects metaregression identified age, gender, and study quality as important moderators of pooled mean effects. These findings might be of interest to health care professionals developing health care services that aim to promote sexually healthy societies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)

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Mediterranean diet adherence and rate of cerebral Aβ-amyloid accumulation: Data from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing.

Mediterranean diet adherence and rate of cerebral Aβ-amyloid accumulation: Data from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free full text) Accumulating research has linked Mediterranean diet (MeDi) adherence with slower cognitive decline and reduced Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk. However, no study to-date has examined the relationship between MeDi adherence and accumulation of cerebral Aβ-amyloid (Aβ; a pathological hallmark of AD) in older adults. Cognitively normal healthy control participants of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Study of Ageing completed the Cancer Council of Victoria Food Frequency Questionnaire at baseline, which was used to construct a MeDi score for each participant (score range 0–9; higher score indicating higher adherence). Cerebral Aβ load was quantified by Pittsburgh Compound B positron emission tomography at baseline, 18 and 36 months: Only individuals categorised as “Aβ accumulators”, and thus considered to be on the AD pathway, were included in the analysis (N = 77). The relationship between MeDi adherence, MeDi components, and change in cerebral Aβ load (baseline to 36 months) was evaluated using Generalised Linear Modelling, accounting for age, gender, education, Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele status, body mass index and total energy intake. Higher MeDi score was associated with less Aβ accumulation in our cohort (β = −0.01 ± 0.004, p = 0.0070). Of the individual MeDi score components, a high intake of fruit was associated with less accumulation of Aβ (β = −0.04 ± 0.01, p = 0.00036). Our results suggest MeDi adherence is associated with reduced cerebral AD pathology accumulation over time. When our results are considered collectively with previous data linking the MeDi to slower cognitive decline, it is apparent that MeDi adherence warrants further investigation in the quest to delay AD onset.

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Fruit intake seems especially important ...

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Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1·9 million participants.

Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1·9 million participants. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free full text) Summary Background Insufficient physical activity is a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases, and has a negative effect on mental health and quality of life. We describe levels of insufficient physical activity across countries, and estimate global and regional trends. Methods We pooled data from population-based surveys reporting the prevalence of insufficient physical activity, which included physical activity at work, at home, for transport, and during leisure time (ie, not doing at least 150 min of moderate-intensity, or 75 min of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or any equivalent combination of the two). We used regression models to adjust survey data to a standard definition and age groups. We estimated time trends using multilevel mixed-effects modelling. Findings We included data from 358 surveys across 168 countries, including 1·9 million participants. Global age-standardised prevalence of insufficient physical activity was 27·5% (95% uncertainty interval 25·0–32·2) in 2016, with a difference between sexes of more than 8 percentage points (23·4%, 21·1–30·7, in men vs 31·7%, 28·6–39·0, in women). Between 2001, and 2016, levels of insufficient activity were stable (28·5%, 23·9–33·9, in 2001; change not significant). The highest levels in 2016, were in women in Latin America and the Caribbean (43·7%, 42·9–46·5), south Asia (43·0%, 29·6–74·9), and high-income Western countries (42·3%, 39·1–45·4), whereas the lowest levels were in men from Oceania (12·3%, 11·2–17·7), east and southeast Asia (17·6%, 15·7–23·9), and sub-Saharan Africa (17·9%, 15·1–20·5). Prevalence in 2016 was more than twice as high in high-income countries (36·8%, 35·0–38·0) as in low-income countries (16·2%, 14·2–17·9), and insufficient activity has increased in high-income countries over time (31·6%, 27·1–37·2, in 2001). Interpretation If current trends continue, the 2025 global physical activity target (a 10% relative reduction in insufficient physical activity) will not be met. Policies to increase population levels of physical activity need to be prioritised and scaled up urgently.

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Put the Phone Down: Testing a Complement-Interfere Model of Computer-Mediated Communication in the Context of Face-to-Face Interactions.

Put the Phone Down: Testing a Complement-Interfere Model of Computer-Mediated Communication in the Context of Face-to-Face Interactions. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

If there ever was a key to happiness, this key would open a door that leads straight to a rich social life. And in the era of smartphones, this key to social connection is in our pockets anytime and anywhere. Or is it? Using the experience sampling method (ESM), we explore the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) in the context of face-to-face (FtF) social interactions, testing two competing hypotheses: (1) a complementarity hypothesis stating that more channels of communication should be associated with higher well-being and (2) an interference hypothesis stating that FtF interactions could be impoverished by adding computer-mediated channels of communication. We surveyed 174 millennials (Mage = 19.28; range: 17–22) 5 times a day over a period of a week (4,508 episodes). When participants reported a mix of CMC and FtF socializing in the same episode, they felt worse and less connected than when solely interacting FtF.

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The roles of altruism, heroism, and physical attractiveness in female mate choice.

The roles of altruism, heroism, and physical attractiveness in female mate choice. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

The role of prosocial behaviour in female mate choice has been extensively explored, focusing on the desirability of altruism in potential mates, as well as altruism being a mating signal. However, little research has focused on the desirability of heroism and altruism in potential partners. Furthermore, the synergistic effect of attractiveness on the desirability of prosocial behavior has only recently been explored, and to our knowledge, has not been explored in relation to the desirability of heroism in a romantic partner. We explored the effect of prosociality and attractiveness on female desirability ratings (n = 198), and whether desirability was influenced by whether women were seeking a short-term or long-term relationship. We find that women are attracted to men who display heroism and altruism, and this preference is higher when the male is attractive compared to unattractive. Furthermore, preferences for prosocial traits were higher when seeking a long-term compared to a short-term partner. Our findings add to the literature on prosocial behaviour and matechoice. Data and materials [Open Science Framework Project A76P8].

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Systemic inflammation during midlife and cognitive change over 20 years: the ARIC study.

Systemic inflammation during midlife and cognitive change over 20 years: the ARIC study. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

Objective To examine the association between systemic inflammation measured during midlife and 20-year cognitive decline.  Methods Within the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort study, inflammatory biomarkers were measured during middle adulthood. We created an inflammation composite score using 4 blood biomarkers measured at visit 1 (fibrinogen, white blood cell count, von Willebrand factor, and factor VIII); we measured C-reactive protein (CRP) at visit 2. Cognition was assessed over 3 visits spanning 20 years using measures of memory, executive function, and language.  Results A total of 12,336 participants (baseline age 56.8 [5.7], 21% black, 56% women) were included. After adjusting for demographic variables, vascular risk factors, and comorbidities, each standard deviation (SD) increase in midlife inflammation composite score was associated with an additional 20-year decline of −0.035 SD (95% confidence interval: −0.062 to −0.007) on the cognitive composite score. We found a similar association between each SD increase in midlife CRP level and additional 20-year cognitive decline (−0.038 SD, 95% confidence interval: −0.057 to −0.019). Participants with a midlife inflammation composite score in the top quartile had a 7.8% steeper cognitive decline, compared to participants in the lowest quartile; CRP in the top quartile was associated with an 11.6% steeper cognitive decline. In cognitive domain-specific analyses, elevated midlife inflammatory markers were most consistently associated with declines in memory. Results were similar after adjusting for attrition using inverse probability weighting.  Conclusions Our findings highlight what may be an early pathogenic role for systemic inflammation as a driver of cognitive decline in the decades leading up to older adulthood.

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Donald Trump, Populism, and the Age of Extremes: Comparing the Personality Traits and Campaigning Styles of Trump and Other Leaders Worldwide.

Donald Trump, Populism, and the Age of Extremes: Comparing the Personality Traits and Campaigning Styles of Trump and Other Leaders Worldwide. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free full text) A common narrative portrays Donald Trump as impetuous and quick to anger, thin skinned, constantly lying, brazen, vulgar, and boasting a grandiose sense of self and his accomplishments. Little systematic evidence exists that this is the case, however. With a novel data set based on expert ratings, we (1) provide systematic empirical evidence about Trump’s personality profile, (2) contrast his profile with 21 other populist leaders and 82 mainstream candidates having competed in recent elections worldwide, and (3) discuss the implications of such an extreme profile in terms of campaigning style and the use of negative and emotional campaigns. Our results illustrate Trump’s off-the-charts personality and campaigning style and suggest that even when compared with other abrasive, narcissistic, and confrontational political figures, he stands out as an outlier among the outliers. We conclude by discussing the implications and potential outcomes of such an extreme personality profile for Trump’s policy style and achievements while in office.

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Why I decided to provide assisted dying: it is truly patient centred care.

Sandy Buchman practices community, home based palliative care in Canada. He also provides palliative care to homeless people in hospices, shelters, and on the street. He is president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association. After more than two years of personal reflection, when medical assistance in dying (MAID) became legal in Canada in June 2016, he decided to become a provider. He believes that respect for patient choice and autonomy in controlling the timing and circumstances of death is a patient centred, compassionate end-of-life option to tackle human suffering in all its domains. In December 2018 he appeared before committees in the House of Lords and the Scottish parliament discussing the proposed legislation on assisted dying in the UK.
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Dietary flavonoids and the prevalence and 15-y incidence of age-related macular degeneration.

Dietary flavonoids and the prevalence and 15-y incidence of age-related macular degeneration. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free full text) The majority of research performed to date has examined the effects of commonly known antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, and A and carotenoids on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) risk and progression. To date, there is limited research on promising phytochemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, including flavonoids.In this exploratory study, we aimed to assess the independent associations between dietary intake of total flavonoids and common flavonoid classes with the prevalence and 15-y incidence of AMD.In this population-based cohort study, 2856 adults aged ≥49 y at baseline and 2037 followed up 15 y later were included in prevalence and incidence analyses, respectively. Dietary intake was assessed by using a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Estimates of the flavonoid content of foods in the FFQ were assessed by using the USDA Flavonoid, Isoflavone, and Proanthocyanidin databases. AMD was assessed from retinal photographs.In cross-sectional analysis, each 1-SD increase in total overall flavonoid intake was associated with a reduced likelihood of any AMD (multivariable-adjusted OR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.58, 0.99). Each 1-SD increase in dietary intake of total flavonols and total flavanones was associated with reduced odds of the prevalence of any AMD [multivariable-adjusted OR (95% CI): 0.75 (0.58, 0.97) and 0.77 (0.60, 0.99), respectively].  A marginally significant trend (P = 0.05) was observed between increasing the intake of total flavanone and hesperidin (from the first to the fourth quartile) and reduced likelihood of incident late AMD, after multivariable adjustment. Participants who reported ≥1 serving of oranges/d compared with those who never consumed oranges at baseline had a reduced risk of late AMD 15 y later (multivariable-adjusted OR: 0.39; 95% CI: 0.18, 0.85).  Our findings suggest an independent and protective association between dietary intake of flavonoids and the likelihood of having AMD. Additional prospective cohort studies are needed to validate these findings.

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The role of masculine norms and gender role conflict on prospective well-being among men.

Masculinity has been theorized to be an anxiety-provoking state. Consequently, many researchers have examined masculinity in relation to negative psychological outcomes such as anxiety, depression, and alcohol or substance use. However, emerging research suggests that certain facets of masculinity may also be related to positive psychological outcomes and that there is a need for more empirical research examining the differential impact of distinct masculine norms on both negative and positive outcomes. Accordingly, this study longitudinally examined the influence of masculine norms and gender role conflict on eudaimonic psychological well-being among young adult college men (N = 278). Participants were recruited from a public university and completed Time 1 (baseline) measures of masculine norm conformity and gender role conflict as well as Time 2 (6 months follow-up) measure of eudaimonic well-being. Results demonstrated that both masculine norm conformity and gender role conflict were predictive of increased and decreased well-being among young adult men. Specifically, the masculine norms of power and playboy were negatively associated with prospective well-being. In addition, gender role conflict, particularly restricted emotionality, was negatively associated with well-being. The norm of winning was positively associated with prospective well-being. In sum, men’s baseline adherence to traditional masculine norms was predictive of both positive and negative psychological well-being at follow-up, highlighting the differential impact of masculine norms on men’s health. The study’s theoretical and clinical implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.

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Are students in some college majors more self-determined in their studies than others?

Are students in some college majors more self-determined in their studies than others? | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

Self-determination theory proposes that the extent to which students’ motivation is self-determined is critical to learning outcomes. Based on occasional research evidence and our perceptions, we hypothesize that college students in certain majors have profiles that are higher in self-determined motivation than students in other majors. Specifically, our primary hypothesis is that students in the social sciences and humanities tend to be more self-determined, whereas students in business-related majors tend to be less self-determined. The results from two studies using large samples and advanced analytical methods support the primary hypotheses. Comparison results were also obtained for other majors (e.g., engineering and natural sciences), and supplemental analyses supported the critical role of self-determined motivation in learning outcomes among students in all majors. Study 2 also found support for two mechanisms for such differences, i.e., the majors’ learning climates and students’ individual differences in autonomous functioning. The current evidence suggests the importance of promoting more humanistic learning environments in certain academic disciplines.

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Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults.

Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free full text) Importance  Food allergy is a costly, potentially life-threatening condition. Although studies have examined the prevalence of childhood food allergy, little is known about prevalence, severity, or health care utilization related to food allergies among US adults.Objective  To provide nationally representative estimates of the distribution, severity, and factors associated with adult food allergies.Design, Setting, and Participants  In this cross-sectional survey study of US adults, surveys were administered via the internet and telephone from October 9, 2015, to September 18, 2016. Participants were first recruited from NORC at the University of Chicago’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, and additional participants were recruited from the non–probability-based Survey Sampling International (SSI) panel.Exposures  Demographic and allergic participant characteristics.Main Outcomes and Measures  Self-reported food allergies were the main outcome and were considered convincing if reported symptoms to specific allergens were consistent with IgE-mediated reactions. Diagnosis history to specific allergens and food allergy–related health care use were also primary outcomes. Estimates were based on this nationally representative sample using small-area estimation and iterative proportional fitting methods. To increase precision, AmeriSpeak data were augmented by calibration-weighted, non–probability-based responses from SSI.Results  Surveys were completed by 40 443 adults (mean [SD] age, 46.6 [20.2] years), with a survey completion rate of 51.2% observed among AmeriSpeak panelists (n = 7210) and 5.5% among SSI panelists (n = 33 233). Estimated convincing food allergy prevalence among US adults was 10.8% (95% CI, 10.4%-11.1%), although 19.0% (95% CI, 18.5%-19.5%) of adults self-reported a food allergy. The most common allergies were shellfish (2.9%; 95% CI, 2.7%-3.1%), milk (1.9%; 95% CI, 1.8%-2.1%), peanut (1.8%; 95% CI, 1.7%-1.9%), tree nut (1.2%; 95% CI, 1.1%-1.3%), and fin fish (0.9%; 95% CI, 0.8%-1.0%). Among food-allergic adults, 51.1% (95% CI, 49.3%-52.9%) experienced a severe food allergy reaction, 45.3% (95% CI, 43.6%-47.1%) were allergic to multiple foods, and 48.0% (95% CI, 46.2%-49.7%) developed food allergies as an adult. Regarding health care utilization, 24.0% (95% CI, 22.6%-25.4%) reported a current epinephrine prescription, and 38.3% (95% CI, 36.7%-40.0%) reported at least 1 food allergy–related lifetime emergency department visit.Conclusions and Relevance  These data suggest that at least 10.8% (>26 million) of US adults are food allergic, whereas nearly 19% of adults believe that they have a food allergy. Consequently, these findings suggest that it is crucial that adults with suspected food allergy receive appropriate confirmatory testing and counseling to ensure food is not unnecessarily avoided and quality of life is not unduly impaired.

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Thinking “Outside the Box”: Unconstrained Creative Generation in Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Creative generation is structured around existing knowledge and task examples, yet overreliance on specific examples may limit imagination (Ward, T. B., Finke, R. A., & Smith, S. M., 1995). The constraining influence of knowledge during creative generation may be offset by conceptual expansion, a process of thinking outside traditional conceptual boundaries, which may be heightened by distractibility and mild executive dysfunction (Abraham, A., Windmann, S., Daum, I., & Güntürkün, O., 2005). The present study explored the constraining effects of knowledge in adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a disorder characterized by impaired attention and inhibitory control (Barkley, R. A., 1997). College students with and without ADHD were compared on two creative generation measures: an alien fruit invention task that required participants to imagine fruit that might exist on another planet (Ward, T.B., 1994), and a product label invention task wherein the goal was to invent product names without using elements of task examples (Kray, L.J., Galinski, A.D. & Wong, E.M., 2006). ADHD participants created alien fruit that diverged more from Earth fruit and labels that conformed less to examples, relative to non-ADHD peers. Results suggest that adults with ADHD may be less constrained by knowledge during creative generation. Findings are discussed in terms of theoretical import and practical implications for individuals with ADHD.

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Development of self-esteem from age 4 to 94 years: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.

Development of self-esteem from age 4 to 94 years: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

To investigate the normative trajectory of self-esteem across the life span, this meta-analysis synthesizes the available longitudinal data on mean-level change in self-esteem. The analyses were based on 331 independent samples, including data from 164,868 participants. As effect size measure, we used the standardized mean change d per year. The mean age associated with the effect sizes ranged from 4 to 94 years. Results showed that average levels of self-esteem increased from age 4 to 11 years (cumulative d = 0.34; cumulative ds are relative to age 4), remained stable from age 11 to 15, increased strongly until age 30 (cumulative d = 1.05), continued to increase until age 60 (cumulative d = 1.30), peaked at age 60 and remained constant until age 70, declined slightly until age 90 (cumulative d = 1.15), and declined more strongly until age 94 (cumulative d = 0.76). Moderator analyses were conducted for the full set of samples and for the subset of samples between ages 10 to 20 years. Although the measure of self-esteem accounted for differences in effect sizes, the moderator analyses suggested that the pattern of mean-level change held across gender, country, ethnicity, sample type, and birth cohort. The meta-analytic findings clarify previously unresolved issues about the nature and magnitude of self-esteem change in specific developmental periods (i.e., childhood, adolescence, and old age) and draw a much more precise picture of the life span trajectory of self-esteem.

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The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd Edition).

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd Edition). | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free full text) Importance  Approximately 80% of US adults and adolescents are insufficiently active. Physical activity fosters normal growth and development and can make people feel, function, and sleep better and reduce risk of many chronic diseases.  Objective  To summarize key guidelines in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition (PAG).Process and Evidence Synthesis  The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee conducted a systematic review of the science supporting physical activity and health. The committee addressed 38 questions and 104 subquestions and graded the evidence based on consistency and quality of the research. Evidence graded as strong or moderate was the basis of the key guidelines. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) based the PAG on the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report.Recommendations  The PAG provides information and guidance on the types and amounts of physical activity to improve a variety of health outcomes for multiple population groups. Preschool-aged children (3 through 5 years) should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development. Children and adolescents aged 6 through 17 years should do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. Adults should do at least 150 minutes to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes to 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. They should also do muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week. Older adults should do multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. Pregnant and postpartum women should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. Adults with chronic conditions or disabilities, who are able, should follow the key guidelines for adults and do both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. Recommendations emphasize that moving more and sitting less will benefit nearly everyone. Individuals performing the least physical activity benefit most by even modest increases in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity. Both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity are beneficial.  Conclusions and Relevance  The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, provides information and guidance on the types and amounts of physical activity that provide substantial health benefits. Health professionals and policy makers should facilitate awareness of the guidelines and promote the health benefits of physical activity and support efforts to implement programs, practices, and policies to facilitate increased physical activity and to improve the health of the US population.

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Prostate cancer screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Prostate cancer screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: a systematic review and meta-analysis. | Healthy Living & Healthy Aging Research | Scoop.it

(Available in free full text) Objective To investigate the efficacy and safety of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing to screen for prostate cancer.  Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.  Data sources Electronic search of Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, Embase, Scopus, OpenGrey, LILACS, and Medline, and search of scientific meeting abstracts and trial registers to April 2018.  Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Randomised controlled trials comparing PSA screening with usual care in men without a diagnosis of prostate cancer.Data extraction At least two reviewers screened studies, extracted data, and assessed the quality of eligible studies. A parallel guideline committee (BMJ Rapid Recommendation) provided input on the design and interpretation of the systematic review, including selection of outcomes important to patients. We used a random effects model to obtain pooled incidence rate ratios (IRR) and, when feasible, conducted subgroup analyses (defined a priori) based on age, frequency of screening, family history, ethnicity, and socioeconomic level, as well as a sensitivity analysis based on the risk of bias. The quality of the evidence was assessed with the GRADE approach.  Results Five randomised controlled trials, enrolling 721 718 men, were included. Studies varied with respect to screening frequency and intervals, PSA thresholds for biopsy, and risk of bias. When considering the whole body of evidence, screening probably has no effect on all-cause mortality (IRR 0.99, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.01; moderate certainty) and may have no effect on prostate-specific mortality (IRR 0.96, 0.85 to 1.08; low certainty). Sensitivity analysis of studies at lower risk of bias (n=1) also demonstrates that screening seems to have no effect on all-cause mortality (IRR 1.0, 0.98 to 1.02; moderate certainty) but may have a small effect on prostate-specific mortality (IRR 0.79, 0.69 to 0.91; moderate certainty). This corresponds to one less death from prostate cancer per 1000 men screened over 10 years. Direct comparative data on biopsy and treatment related complications from the included trials were limited. Using modelling, we estimated that for every 1000 men screened, approximately 1, 3, and 25 more men would be hospitalised for sepsis, require pads for urinary incontinence, and report erectile dysfunction, respectively.  Conclusions At best, screening for prostate cancer leads to a small reduction in disease-specific mortality over 10 years but has does not affect overall mortality. Clinicians and patients considering PSA based screening need to weigh these benefits against the potential short and long term harms of screening, including complications from biopsies and subsequent treatment, as well as the risk of overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

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