Showing posts with label British Medical Journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label British Medical Journal. Show all posts

Jan 1, 2014

Clowns and Laughter

Being a clown is a noble profession. Clowns have proven to improve lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Genuine laughter for a whole day could burn 2,000 calories and lower the blood sugar in people with diabetics, a review published in the British Medical Journal found.

Laughter also enhanced fertility, Thirty six percent of would-be mothers who were entertained by a clown after in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer became pregnant compared with 20 percent in the control group. OK, women, no jokes please.

Jul 13, 2011

Laughing Cures

Laughing helps get blood flowing round the body.

A good old belly laugh can help heal leg ulcers, according to experts. The Leeds University team said good nursing and the occasional laugh was a better way to get the body healing than using the latest technology.

Hospitals and health clinics are increasingly using low-dose ultrasound for leg ulcers, but the five-year study of 337 patients found it did nothing to speed up recovery, the British Medical Journal reported.

Instead, lead researcher Professor Andrea Nelson said, "They key to care with this group of patients is to stimulate blood flow back up the legs to the heart. The best way to do that is with compression bandages and support stocking coupled with advice on diet and exercise. Believe it or not, having a really hearty chuckle can help too. This is because laughing gets the diaphragm moving and this plays a vital part in moving blood around the body."

During the study, the team concentrated on patients with hard-to-heal ulcers that had not cleared up after six months or longer. They found that adding ultrasound to the standard approach to care - dressings and compression therapy - made no difference to the speed of healing or the chance of ulcers coming back. And that's no laughing matter.

Jan 15, 2010

Look Young, Die Old

A study published December, 2009 in the British Medical Journal reports that longer survival of 1,826 twins correlated with the “perceived age” of the subjects. Perceived age was significantly associated with survival, even after adjustment for chronological age, sex, and environment. The bigger the difference in perceived age within a pair, the more likely that the older looking twin died first.

The study began in 2001 and concluded in 2008. There are a variety of factors which are instrumental, including smoking status, body mass index, and sun exposure. 

Physicians traditionally compare perceived and chronological age, and for adult patients the expression "looking old for your age" is an indicator of poor health. The study indicates that this practice, which has existed for centuries, is actually a useful clinical approach especially given that in a clinical setting perceived age is based on an array of indicators in addition to facial appearance. The next time someone says 'you look good for your age', make sure they know how old you really are.