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Latest News Around the Web

Study: Depressed Mothers May Disrupt Infants’ Sleep.

The CNN (4/17, Bixler) “The Chart” blog reports that according to a study published in the journal Child Development, “if mom is depressed, she’s more likely to wake her baby up in the middle of the night, even if the baby is fine.” After observing 45 families with infants and toddlers for about a week, researchers found that mothers “who had higher levels of symptoms of depression were more likely to respond to minor sounds, wake their baby up and nurse them (even if they weren’t hungry), or pick their sleeping child up and put them in bed with them.” The UK’s Telegraph (4/17, Smith) also covers the story.

Related Links:

— “Depression and baby sleep: Vicious cycle?,”Jennifer Bixler , CNN Health, April 17, 2012.

Parents’ Emotional Support May Help LGB People Have Better Long-Term Health.

HealthDay (4/14, Preidt) reports, “Receiving emotional support and acceptance from parents benefits the long-term health of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults,” according to a study published in the Journal of Homosexuality. Investigators found that “about three-quarters of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults aged 18 to 64 surveyed in Massachusetts said they had revealed their sexual orientation to their parents, typically when they were about 25 years old.” The story adds, “Rates of mental health and substance-abuse problems were significantly lower among those who received support from their parents than among those who felt rejected, the study found.”

Related Links:

— “Gay Adults Rejected by Parents Have Worse Health, Study Finds,”Robert Preidt, HealthDay, April 13, 2012.

Exercise May Help Reduce Fatigue, Depression In Breast Cancer Patients.

The Huffington Post (4/14, Chan) reported, “Exercise could be the secret weapon to help breast cancer patients combat common side effects of cancer and cancer treatments,” according to research presented at a Society of Behavioral Medicine meeting.

HealthDay (4/14, Preidt) reported, “University of Miami researchers examined the physical activity levels and mental/physical health of 240 women with non-metastatic breast cancer…who were recruited for the study four to 10 weeks after surgery.”

WebMD (4/14, Boyles) reported, “Half the women took part in a 10-week, group-based behavioral therapy program aimed at reducing stress, while the other half participated in a much less intensive, single-day educational session.” The investigators “found that women who increased the time they spent engaged in physical activity between the time of surgery and other treatments had less fatigue-related disruptions in everyday activities.” The researchers reported that “women in both groups who exercised more also experienced less depression and scored higher on tests measuring quality of life.”

Related Links:

— “Exercise Could Lower Fatigue And Depression In Breast Cancer Patients: Study,”Amanda L. Chan, The Huffington Post , April 13, 2012.

People With Mental Illnesses May Be More Likely To Report Chronic Health Conditions.

HealthDay (4/14, Preidt) reported, “Adults with mental illness are more likely to have certain types of chronic physical health problems than those without mental illness,” according to a report (pdf) issued April 5 by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “The report said adults aged 18 and older who had any type of mental illness in the past year had higher rates of high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.” In addition, “people with mental illness had higher rates of emergency-department use and hospitalization,” the report found.

“Those with any mental illness, serious mental illness, or a major depressive episode also had greater use of healthcare resources,” MedPage Today (4/14, Neale) pointed out. “Among those with any mental illness, for example, the rate of emergency department use was 38.8% (versus 27.1% for those who reported no mental illness) and the rate of hospitalization was 15.1% (versus 10.1%).”

Related Links:

— “Mental Illness Tied to Higher Rates of Physical Problems: Report,”Robert Preidt, HealthDay, April 13, 2012.

Former Senators Say Administration Should Issue Regulations On Mental-Health Parity.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post (4/13), former Sen. Pete Domenici, a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and former Sen. Gordon H. Smith, president and chief executive of the National Association of Broadcasters, call on the Obama administration to “issue its final regulations to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act for mental health parity in health insurance.” They note that when Congress passed the Act in 2008, then-Sen. Obama voted for it, and “all indications are that he remains supportive” as President. However, “regulatory action has stalled since 2010. The final rule that would provide clarity to the millions who have a mental illness or substance-use disorder, and to their employers, has not been issued.”

Related Links:

— “Waiting for mental health parity,”Pete Domenici, The Washington Post, April 12, 2012.

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