Entries in University of Cincinnati (3)


Study: 14 Percent of Strokes Happen When Asleep

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) -- New research suggests that 14 percent of all strokes may be so-called wake-up strokes.

The study from the University of Cincinnati examined almost 2,000 cases of strokes seen in the Cincinnati and northern Kentucky region. Of the case studies, about one in seven occured while the person was asleep.

The average age for these wake-up stroke victims was 72. Most of these patients would have needed a clot-busting drug if they had been awake.

The study did not find major differences in habits or risk factors between wake-up stroke and conscious stroke victims.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study Raises New and Troubling Questions About Energy Drinks

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Despite the growing popularity of energy drinks that tout enhanced concentration and the ability to keep you awake for long periods of time, a study released Monday warns that adolescents and young adults should be aware of the potentially unknown side effects of their beverage choices.

The study, Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults, was released by a group of doctors at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami.

The group found that the amount of caffeine and other stimulants in energy drinks, which are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, can be harmful to young adults and adolescents -- especially those with diabetes or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

The survey shows that while 30 to 50 percent of the target group had consumed an energy drink, 46 percent of reported caffeine overdoses in 2007 occurred in those 19 or younger.

A lack of governmental regulation is just one of the many reasons medical professionals say the younger age group needs to be careful with energy drinks and supplements.

"The marketing is usually geared towards children, so you have to educate your child to not listen to these marketing schemes. They do a really great job at making kids feel like they need this product to enhance their performance at school or in their activities, and they don't," said Tara Haywood, a pediatric nutritionist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Haywood warns that energy drinks can have caffeine levels up to three times as high as a regular 12-ounce can of soda.

Those with special conditions should be especially aware of what they're putting into their bodies, another doctor warns.

"There's a lot of children who are on medication for ADHD, who would potentially be harmed by high doses of caffeine, also if a child has a heart condition or diabetes, these energy drinks can cause abnormal fluctuations in their blood sugar," said Dr. Kyle Kaufman, assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati.

If those blood sugar levels do get too high, Kaufman said, an abnormal heartbeat can be the dangerous result.

So with pressure to perform both at school and on the job, what are those who can't kick the energy drink habit to do?

"Think critically about what the drink is offering. Certainly certain combinations of energy drinks or supplements with certain medical conditions can be problematic. I would generally recommend [that someone with medical problems] not take those supplements," said Dr. Kaufman.

Because energy drinks and supplements are not regulated by the FDA, the advertisements for these products can make unproven statements, and their ingredients are uncontrolled.

"In a world where a lot of both adults and kids are being asked to be awake for longer periods of time, these type of energy drinks and supplements purport to make you better at what you're doing, help you stay awake longer and that kind of marketing is very persuasive," Dr. Kaufman warns.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Eating Comfort Food, Having Sex Relieve Stress

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(CINCINNATI, Ohio) – Although it has been known for some time that eating calorie-rich foods can help reduce stress, new research suggests that simply the act of performing such “pleasurable behavior” really does the trick.

By testing rats, researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that it wasn’t the calories associated with comfort food but rather the feeling of the comfort food hitting the taste buds that helped to ease stress. It was also discovered that other pleasurable behavior, such as sex, does the same thing.

Over a two-week period, rats that were confined in narrow tubes – a stressful situation, even for a rat – were fed a sugar solution (the rat version of comfort food) twice each day.

Their heart rate and stress hormone levels dropped significantly, as expected. They were also more sociable with other rats.

The same result occurred when the rats were given a sugar substitute with fewer calories. Rats that were introduced to a willing sexual partner also saw their stress indicators drop.

Finally, they introduced a sugar-rich drink directly into the rats' stomachs, thus bypassing the taste buds. It had no significant effect on the rats' stress levels.
"This indicates that the pleasurable properties of tasty foods, not the caloric properties, were sufficient for stress reduction," said post-doctoral researcher Yvonne Ulrich-Lai, lead author of a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Rather, if it feels good, it will work. But in the case of comfort food, it’s going to show up in your gut. Many research projects have linked stress and the use of comfort food to relieve it to the obesity crisis that threatens public health.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio