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Responding to the Research: Your Top Health Questions Answered

We hear the results of new medical studies daily in the news. With a never-ending supply of health information, consumers can be left guessing if they should change their daily habits and lifestyles based upon the new medical information. Five Star has cleared up the confusion surrounding three of these recent news reports. Watch the interview of Five Star Urgent Care Regional Medical Director Dr. LouAnne Giangreco on Bridge Street, or read the information below.

  1. E-cigarettes have been making waves in the health world for some time. A recent report in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly reported an increase in e-cigarette usage in middle school and high school students. In middle school students, usage increased from 120,000 to 450,000 students with an even bigger spike among high school students reporting an increase of 660,000 to two million. E-cigarettes are harmful to youth as nicotine can affect brain development, promote addiction and lead to sustained tobacco use. Talk to your kids about the dangers of using E-cigarettes.
  1. Shifting to traditional wisdom, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has been a staple of nearly every home growing up, but does it really keep diseases and other medical conditions at bay? A recent JAMA Internal Medicine article provided no statistically significant evidence that people who eat more apples have less doctor’s visits, however, these individuals appeared to use less prescription medications. Even though there is not a decrease in doctor’s visits, apples are a healthy, low calorie food that provides soluble fiber and potassium. If you love eating an apple a day, we encourage you to keep it up.
  1. In a study in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers looked at the potential impact of exposure to bleach in the home among more than 9000 children between the ages of 6 and 12. In this study, it was found that the risk of one episode of flu in the previous year was 20% higher and recurrent tonsillitis 35% higher among children whose parents used bleach to clean the home at least once a week. Similarly, the risk of any recurrent infection was 18% higher among children whose parents regularly cleaned with bleach. In this study, it is suggested that the irritant properties of bleach may cause inflammation in the lungs and make it easier for germs to take hold.
    1. Since this is an observational study, it is difficult to draw definitively conclusions about cause and effect. There may be other factors contributing to the increased risk of infection. At this point, there is not definitive evidence to stop regular cleaning with bleach. However, it does help to reinforce the importance of using adequate ventilation and appropriate dilution when cleaning.

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