BEKASI, INDONESIA - FEBRUARY 10:  Patients lie...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeEven in resilient people, six months' unemployment has psychological impact, research shows

October 19, 2011

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Americans who were jobless for longer than 25 weeks in the past year were three times more likely than those who were continuously employed to suffer mental health issues for the first time, a new study finds.

Being jobless also has a greater psychological impact on people with more than a high school education than on those with less education, the researchers found.

The study involved people who had never had clinically defined emotional health issues in their life or who had their first bout of problems in the most recent year.

"In looking at this group of resilient individuals, we compared the psychological health of those who were fully employed with those who were exposed to short-term unemployment or less than 25 weeks of involuntary joblessness, and with people who were exposed to long-term unemployment over the past year," Arthur Goldsmith, an economics professor at Washington and Lee University, said in a university news release.

The findings were scheduled for presentation Wednesday at a Congressional briefing on the emotional impact of unemployment sponsored by the American Psychological Association.

"The reason we focus on this group is that if you're 55 years old, and you've never had a bout of poor emotional well-being that would be described clinically in that way, and have your first bout in the past year when you are exposed to unemployment, it's very unlikely that your poor mental health led to the unemployment rather than your unemployment leading to the poor mental health. Thus, we are able to address the issue of causality that has plagued prior studies of the link between unemployment and mental health," Goldsmith explained.

He and his colleagues found that the risk of first-time mental health issues was about the same for people who were fully employed and those who experienced short-term unemployment.

"On the other hand, we found that people exposed to long-term unemployment were three times as likely as employed people over the past year to be exposed to their first bout of psychological distress in a clinically defined way," Goldsmith said.

Depression and general anxiety are the two primary causes of poor mental health related to long-term unemployment, the study found.

"When people are exposed to long-term unemployment, they obviously feel that they've lost control of their capacity to earn a living and take care of their families," Goldsmith said. "They worry about their futures."

The study also found that the psychological impact of unemployment tends to be greater among people in minority groups and those with higher levels of education.

For a person in a minority group, unemployment likely heightens their concerns about their ability to do well due to a history of job discrimination because of race and ethnicity.

"People with a lot of education tend to believe that they have control of events in their lives and are self-blamers. That is really damaging to emotional well-being," Goldsmith explained.

The research should be considered preliminary because it has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information
The Canadian Mental Health Association offers tips for coping with unemployment.
Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Taken from, Health News; source article is below:
Long-Term Unemployment Can Tax Mental Health

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OCTOBER 17, 2011

By Phil Izzo

Just 1 in 7 U.S. workers is of normal weight without a chronic health problem, according toGallup polling data, and it could be costing the economy more than $153 billion a year in lost productivity from increased sick days.

Gallup polled more than 100,000 full-time workers, and found that two-thirds of the work force is either overweight or obese and nearly half are both overweight and have at least one chronic health problem. The numbers on obesity are calculated using self-reported height and weight, which means the numbers could be even higher. Studies have shown that people tend to underestimate their weight and overestimate their height.
Workers who were overweight or obese were more likely to miss work than those of normal weight, but chronic health problems were a much bigger factor. Even among those of normal weight, chronic conditions are prevalent, as nearly 60% of those workers report a continuing health issue. Chronic health problems included having ever been diagnosed with a heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, asthma, or depression; and recurring physical pain in the neck or back or knee or leg in the last 12 months.
Gallup estimates that 450 million days of work a year are missed because of weight and other health problems, resulting in an estimated cost of $153 billion in lost productivity.
“The $153 billion in lost productivity estimated in this analysis would increase if it included presenteeism, which is when employees go to work but are less productive in their jobs because of poor health or wellbeing. Including part-time employees would also add to the estimate of costs in lost productivity,” said Dan Witters and Sangeeta Agrawal who presented the data on Gallup’s Web site. They also point to a study that puts the figure much higher at $1.1 trillion.
The data were collected this year, and there is a chance that the slow-to-recover economy is making the problem worse. Workers are facing stressful conditions amid a stubbornly high unemployment rate and demands from wary employers to do more with less. The Mayo clinic notes that stress puts people at increased risk for developing health problems including obesity, depression and heart disease.

Taken from Wall Street Journa blogl; source article is below:
86% of Workers Obese or Have Other Health Issue

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 04:  Eliza Hender...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
October 17, 2011

UNDATED (WTVB) - If you are a full time worker, there’s an 86% chance you have weight or health problems. That eye-popping number is part of a Gallup Healthways study which says these workers are costing businesses in the U.S. more than 150-billion dollars a year in sick days.
Chronic health problems were defined as past heart attacks, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, asthma or depression.  Researchers found that overweight workers with at least three chronic health conditions reported an average of 42 days a year in which poor health kept them from their usual activities.  That's compared to about four days a year for workers of normal weight with no chronic health problems. 
Researchers found that workers took about one day off work for every three of these so-called "unhealthy days."

Taken from; source article is below:
Overweight Workers With Health Issues Have More Sick Days

Posted: 01 September 2011

The MOU signing ceremony between AWAK Technologies and University Children's Hospital Tubingen. (Photo Courtesy of SPRING Singapore)
SINGAPORE: AWAK Technologies on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with University Children's Hospital Tubingen, Germany, for clinical trials of automated wearable artificial kidneys on paediatric patients.

AWAK Technologies was incorporated in 2007 in collaboration with Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore to design and develop Automated Wearable Artificial Kidney (AWAK) to address end-stage renal disease market.

This marks AWAK's automated wearable artificial kidney's first trial on paediatric patients and the beginning of long-term collaboration in advancement of paediatric renal research.

The collaboration between AWAK Technologies and University Children's Hospital Tubingen aims to bring a much more effective and efficient therapy that suits the life of children while having dialysis.

Children on dialysis tend to have poor appetite which limits their nutritional intake. With little energy intake, this can lead to decreased in activity and resistance to infection. 

AWAK's automated wearable artificial kidney allows for better dietary protein intake.

Typical centre-based dialysis requires paediatric patients to spend four hours, three times a week at the centre. The new wearable artificial kidney allows children to undergo dialysis anytime and anywhere. 

The greatest benefit of the wearable artificial kidney to paediatric patients is their ability to travel freely, allowing them to attend school and participate in family and social activities. 

SPRING Singapore facilitated the meeting between AWAK Technologies and University Children's Hospital Tubingen during a Germany business mission trip in 2009.

"The automated wearable artificial kidney is a major breakthrough in the care of children with renal insufficiency. The children become independent from dialysis centres and will be able to continue a normal life with their families and friends. 

"It is an honour that AWAK has chosen our paediatric centre to bring this highly innovative and ground-breaking technique to clinical application," said Professor Rupert Handgretinger, Medical Director of General Paediatrics, Haematology, Oncology (Department I) and Managing Medical Director of the University Children's Hospital Tubingen.

"It is great honour to be able to partner University Children's Hospital Tubingen, a world renowned medical institution of paediatric care and research in the application of automated wearable artificial kidney.

"In our visits to Tubingen, facilitated by SPRING Singapore, we were impressed by the innovative, leading-edge paediatric medicine and great medical care through the leadership of Prof Rupert Handgretinger. I believe the enthusiasm of both parties in bringing an innovative therapy to the world will greatly benefits paediatric ESRD patients," said Mr Neo Kok Beng, Chief Executive Officer and President of AWAK Technologies.

The MOU signing ceremony was witnessed by Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive of SPRING Singapore and Dr Tim Philippi, Executive Director, Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

- CNA/de

Taken from; source article is below:
AWAK Technologies' wearable artificial kidney on clinical trials

Posted: 30 August 2011

1940 STD Research
WASHINGTON: At least 83 people died as human guinea pigs in macabre US research on sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala in the 1940s, a commission ordered by US President Barack Obama concluded Monday.

Nearly 5,500 people were subjected to diagnostic testing and more than 1,300 were exposed to venereal diseases by human contact or inoculations in research meant to test the drug penicillin, the presidential commission found.

Within that group, "we believe that there were 83 deaths," said Stephen Hauser a member of the commission, which has pored over 125,000 documents linked to the shocking episode since being set up by Obama last November.

Among the 1,300 people exposed to STDs during research between 1946 and 1948, "under 700 received some form of treatment as best as could be documented," Hauser said.

Obama personally apologised to Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom in October before ordering a thorough review of what happened. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the experiments as "clearly unethical."

This sentiment was clearly expressed by the commission, which said US government researchers must have known they were contravening ethical standards by deliberately infecting mental patients with syphilis.

Commission president Amy Gutmann called it an "historic injustice," and said the inquiry aimed to "honour the victims and make sure it never happens again."

"It was not an accident that this happened in Guatemala," Gutmann said. "Some of the people involved said we could not do this in our own country."

The US researchers "systematically failed to act in accordance with minimal respect for human rights and morality in the conduct of research," she said, citing "substantial evidence" of an attempted cover-up.

A Guatemalan study, which was never published, came to light in 2010 after Wellesley College professor Susan Reverby stumbled upon archived documents outlining the experiment led by controversial US doctor John Cutler.

Cutler and his fellow researchers enrolled 1,500 people in Guatemala, including mental patients, for the study, which aimed to find out if penicillin could be used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Initially, the researchers infected female Guatemalan commercial sex workers with gonorrhea or syphilis, and then encouraged them to have unprotected sex with soldiers or prison inmates.

Neither were the subjects told what the purpose of the research was nor were they warned of its potentially fatal consequences.

Cutler, who died in 2003, was also involved in a highly controversial study known as the Tuskegee Experiment in which hundreds of African-American men with late-stage syphilis were observed but given no treatment between 1932 and 1972.

The Guatemalan president has called the 1946-1948 experiments conducted by the US National Institutes of Health "crimes against humanity" and ordered his own investigation.


Taken from; source article is below:
US STD research killed 83