Category Archives: Uncategorized


Employees With Economic Instability More Prone to Drinking After Work Hours

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employee drinking alcohol outside work hours

Many studies in the past have revealed that people who lose their jobs have a higher risk of engaging in alcohol consumption. However, new research sheds light into a possibly similar trend with those who have kept their jobs but during economic instability.

Based on a recent study by researchers from the Research Institute on Addictions at the University at Buffalo in New York, alcohol consumption increased in employees during a time of economic recession. The study by Michael Frone and colleagues conducted surveys of more than 5,000 U.S employees, close to half of which were asked before the recent U.S. recession, and the rest asked after the economic downtrend. The survey was conducted over the phone.

Results showed that people who had work during and after the recession had a higher likelihood to drink alcohol outside work hours than those working prior to the economic struggle. “Despite the increased stress at work that came with the recession, employees decreased their alcohol use during the workday to avoid putting their employment in jeopardy… But perhaps to reduce stress, they increased both excessive alcohol use and drinking right after work,” Frone said in a news release.

The figures were most prominent in middle-age workers, who drank more frequently than the younger generation of employees.

The research team believes that the results of their study reveal a disturbing and vicious cycle for employees working during an economic crisis. “Excessive drinking can lead to absenteeism or coming to work hung over, which can affect productivity. Also, increased drinking after work may lead to family problems, which can affect performance at work,” Frone added.

The study was published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.



Happy New Year!

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Vegar Norman

Happy New Year from your friends at TestCountry! Have a wonderful 2016.


[Photo courtesy of Vegar Norman on Flickr]

Merry Christmas!

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Dustin Gaffke

Do you have your designated driver for the holiday season?

Wishing you a joyful and safe holiday season.



[Photo courtesy of Dustin Gaffke and Alfonso on Flickr]

New Study Shows Being Thankful for What You Have Makes You Healthier

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Happy Thanksgiving - Mark K

No study to report, but be thankful for what you have, anyway.

We at TestCountry are thankful for our friends, family and all the wonderful support from our wonderful customers. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

[Photo courtesy of Mark K. on Flickr]

Kids who take Medication for ADHD Twice as Likely to be Bullied

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As if they didn’t have enough problems dealing with their disorder, middle and high school students who have been diagnosed with  attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are twice as likely to be bullied as those who have not been diagnosed with the disorder.

University of Michigan study has found that students taking medication like Ritalin and other stimulants were twice as likely to be bullied as students without ADHD while those who sold or shared their medications were four-and-a-half times likelier to be victimized. This was true for both genders.

For the study, research assistant professor Dr. Quyen Epstein-Ngo and her colleagues surveyed nearly 5,000 middle and high school students over four years. About 15% had been diagnosed with ADHD while nearly 4% had been prescribed Ritalin or another stimulant within the past year. Of those who took pills, 20% said they’d been asked to sell or share them, and about half of the students did share or sell their pills with others.

The University of Michigan researchers recommend a closer collaboration between parents and doctors to ensure effective treatment of ADHD children without increasing their risk for victimization.




Study: Surgeons Have High Likelihood To Engage In Smoking

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doctors surgeons smoking

If you think health care professionals are absolutely free from the lures of smoking, a recent study discovered that they aren’t.

According to a team of researchers led by Filipino pulmonologist Dr. Angelo T. Adraneda, doctors who had either a high work burden or a stressful work schedule were more prone to smoking cigarettes. In a survey conducted on doctors working in Metro Manila hospitals, close to 28 percent of the physicians were identified to be smokers. Out of this crop, almost 40 percent of the smoking professionals were surgeons, followed by those who had to work every two days.

Another identified factor that increases the likelihood of physicians to engage in smoking is bring in the company of fellow doctors and superiors who also smoke.

The research team emphasized the irony behind this statistic. “A considerable number of physicians continue the habit despite knowing its ill effects and consequences,” said Adraneda in a news release. He further stated that doctors should shape the industry to become perfect examples of promoting healthy choices and staying away from bad habits such as smoking. “Health care professionals, particularly those who are considered specialists, should act as role models for health and wellness,” the study lead author added.

Details of the study will be presented on October 26 during CHEST 2015, the annual convergence of American College of Chest Physicians members.



Plant Compound May Decrease Risk of Breast Cancer in Women Under Hormone Replacement Therapy

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woman breast cancer

A number of women under post-menopausal stage undergo hormone replacement therapy by taking a combination of estrogen and progesterone. However, this treatment increases the risk of these women to develop breast cancer tumors. A new study aims to send hope to post-menopausal females through a recently identified natural compound that combats the effects of tumor-causing hormones.

The breakthrough compound is called luteolin, a naturally-occuring substance found in some plants — parsley, thyme, broccoli, and celery, to name a few. A team of researchers from the University of Missouri led by Salman Hyder discovered that the compound inhibits the connection of blood vessels in a woman’s breast tissue to cancer cells.

Laboratory tests were done in-vitro on human breast cancer cells, as well as on mice with breast cancer. Both tests showed that luteolin exhibited anti-tumor characteristics.

“Research has proven that a higher incidence of breast cancer tumors can occur in women receiving therapies that involve a combination of the natural component estrogen and the synthetic progestin,” said Hyder in a news item. With the discovery of luteolin and its promising advantages to human health, the researchers believe that more studies should be conducted to develop the compound as a real treatment option. “We feel that luteolin can be effective when injected directly into the bloodstream, so IV supplements may still be a possibility,” Hyder said.

While the compound has not yet been studied in great detail, Hyder believes that women can benefit from a healthy diet. “Until the supplement is tested for safety and commercialized, which we hope will happen after further testing and clinical trials, women should continue consuming a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.”



Diabetes Hotline Helps Maintain Blood Sugar in People From Minority Areas

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mobile phone diabetes hotline

A recent study successfully conducted a clinical trial that aims to prove that telephone counseling is a cost-effective method to help people maintain their blood sugar and keep diabetes complications at bay.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, sought to discover more effective ways to assist people diagnosed with diabetes in regulating their blood sugar levels. Dr. Elizabeth A. Walker, who facilitated the trials, expressed the need for a more personal approach in treating diabetes aside from insulin shots and informational brochures. “People with diabetes need ongoing counseling about problem-solving and goal-setting for behavior change,” Walker said via a news item.

Close to 1,000 adult diabetics residing in the South Bronx took part in the trial, courtesy of the Health Department’s A1c Registry. One year after receiving self-help brochures and random phone calls from health educators involved in the study, the participants were monitored for any changes in their A1c (an indication of a person’s long-term blood sugar level).

Results showed that for patients with extremely high A1c levels at the beginning of the trial, those who received help via phone experienced an 18-percent decrease in their A1c.

The study proponents believe that this kind of approach can do wonders to the lives of diabetic patients and their families. “An intervention like this can be adopted by health systems and other organizations looking to improve diabetes outcomes through diabetes self-management interventions,” said study lead author Dr. Shadi Chamany.

The trials were conducted by a research team from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in coordination with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.



Extremely Obese People Face Great Odds in Achieving Normal Weight

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obesity obese overweight

Apart from experiencing the vicious cycle of improper eating habits, people who are extremely obese have a very slim chance of returning to a normal weight.

This is according to a research team from King’s College London, whose recent study looked into health data of close to 280,000 people in the U.K. diagnosed with obesity. Results of the study, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health and reported in a news release, revealed that people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above have difficulty getting their target weights — that is, only one in every 1,290 males and 1 in 477 females can achieve this monumental feat.

Study first author Dr. Alison Fildes emphasized how important it is for people to lose weight. “Losing 5-10% of your body weight has been shown to have meaningful health benefits and is often recommended as a weight loss target,” Fildes said. However, the study confirmed the challenge that extremely obese people have to go through. “These findings highlight how difficult it is for people with obesity to achieve and maintain even small amounts of weight loss… Once an adult becomes obese, it is very unlikely that they will return to a healthy body weight,” Fildes added.

However, she believes that their study should pave the way for improvements in addressing obesity by preventing further weight gain in diagnosed patients. “Obesity treatments should focus on preventing overweight and obese patients gaining further weight, while also helping those that do lose weight to keep it off. More importantly, priority needs to be placed on preventing weight gain in the first place,” Fildes further stated.



Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter - JD Hancock

Happy Easter, everyone!


[Photo courtesy of JD Hancock on Flickr]