Public Health Roundup: Changing Blood Pressure Guidelines; Are Video Games Harder To Turn Off?
And in other public health news: the health benefits of vacation; the efficacy of birth control apps; and gut health.
The Washington Post:
New Blood Pressure Guidelines Can Cause Problems For The Elderly.
In recent years, doctors have been urged to treat high blood pressure more aggressively, especially in older people. My mother’s doctors seemed intent on lowering her blood pressure despite what I thought were side effects that were diminishing her quality of life. (Neumann, 8/19)
Vacation Days Piling Up? Even A Short Get-Away Can Boost Well-Being
About half of full-time workers recently surveyed by the U.S. Travel Association didn't take all the paid vacation days they earned last year. ... If you're among this group, you could be missing out on some of the benefits of leisure time. It may seem obvious that vacation makes us feel good, but its health benefits are, in fact, measurable. For instance one study finds engaging in more frequent enjoyable leisure activities, including vacation, is linked to improvements in mood, sleep and blood pressure, and can help buffer "the negative psychological impact of stress." (Aubrey, 8/20)
The Associated Press:
Birth Control App Highlights Emerging Health Tech Market
The condom, the pill and now, the smartphone? Natural Cycles, a mobile fertility app, this month became the first ever digital contraceptive device to win FDA marketing approval. Women take their temperatures and track their menstrual cycle on the app, which uses an algorithm to determine when they’re fertile and should abstain from unprotected sex or use protection. In effect, it’s a form of the rhythm or calendar method. (Chan, 8/17)
The Wall Street Journal:
Gut Feeling: To Stay Healthy, Keep Your Body’s Microbes In Line
You probably know the human body hosts a variety of microbes, but you might be surprised by the volume. If the collection of bacteria, fungi and other organisms could be shed all at once, it would weigh 2 to 4 pounds and fill one or two quarts. En masse, scientists call it the microbiome and have come to believe it is as important to good health as a sound brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs. (McGinty, 8/17)