Coffee drinking tied to lower risk of suicide

first_imgDrinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent, according to a new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The study was published online July 2 in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.“Unlike previous investigations, we were able to assess association of consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, and we identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee,” said lead researcher Michel Lucas, research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH.The authors reviewed data from three large U.S. studies and found that the risk of suicide for adults who drank two to four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was about half that of those who drank decaffeinated coffee or very little or no coffee.Caffeine not only stimulates the central nervous system but may act as a mild antidepressant by boosting production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. This could explain the lower risk of depression among coffee drinkers that had been found in past epidemiological studies, the researchers reported.In the new study, researchers examined data on 43,599 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) (1988–2008), 73,820 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) (1992–2008), and 91,005 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII) (1993–2007). Caffeine, coffee, and decaffeinated coffee intake was assessed every four years by questionnaires. Caffeine consumption was calculated from coffee and other sources, including tea, caffeinated soft drinks, and chocolate. However, coffee was the major caffeine source — 80 percent for NHS, 71 percent for NHS II, and 79 percent for HPFS. Among the participants in the three studies, there were 277 deaths from suicide.In spite of the findings, the authors do not recommend that depressed adults increase caffeine consumption, because most individuals adjust their caffeine intake to an optimal level for them and an increase could result in unpleasant side effects. “Overall, our results suggest that there is little further benefit for consumption above two to three cups/day or 400 mg of caffeine/day,” the authors wrote.The researchers did not observe any major difference in risk between those who drank two to three cups of coffee per day and those who had four or more cups a day, most likely due to the small number of suicide cases in these categories. However, in a previous HSPH coffee-depression study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the investigators observed a maximal effect among those who drank four or more cups per day. One large Finnish study showed a higher risk of suicide among people drinking eight or nine cups per day. Few participants in the two HSPH studies drank such large amounts of coffee, so the studies did not address the impact of six or more cups of coffee per day.Other HSPH researchers participating in the study included senior author Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition; Walter Willett, chair, Department of Nutrition and Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition; and research associates Eilis O’Reilly and An Pan. Pan now works at the National University of Singapore.last_img read more

Insomnia in a pandemic

first_img Harvard to help track the virus Harvard Chan School of Public Health will launch a series of weekly interactive forums to discuss issues and options Talking about the emotional toll of the pandemic Ways to redirect our response to COVID-19 anxieties MGH research finds chemical pathway from lack of shut-eye to atherosclerosis Citing a study by the National Initiative for Tracking and Evaluating Sleeplessness (NITES) at the University of Pennsylvania, Posner noted that in more than 72 percent of cases, short-term insomnia resolves itself. However, recovery was not always complete or final, and 6.8 percent developed full-blown chronic insomnia, defined by the DSM as having sleep issues at least three nights a week for at least three months.As new schedules have us resetting — or turning off — alarm clocks and often getting less outdoor time and exercise, these problems are getting worse. “The actions that we’re taking to protect ourselves can not only precipitate problems with sleep, but lead to chronic problems with sleep,” Posner said.The implications are severe. In addition to the cognitive consequences — from inability to focus to general irritability — chronic insomnia is correlated with a spectrum of serious health problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. Implicated in obesity, insomnia makes losing weight more difficult, and recent studies also link it to increased risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Mental health problems are complicated by a lack of sleep. Insomnia lasting two to four weeks increases the risk of depression, Posner said, while lack of sleep is also linked to a poorer response to treatment. “So it interferes with the ability to recover from depression as well,” he said. Related This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.Sleep is emerging as the latest casualty of the COVID-19 crisis. Too many sleepless nights can aggravate both physical and mental health problems, but a few simple adjustments to our already altered routines may resolve our bedtime issues before they snowball. “Coronavirus, social distancing, and acute insomnia: How to avoid chronic sleep problems before they get started” was the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health online forum on Wednesday, the fourth in a series of weekly sessions addressing the emotional and psychological effects of the pandemic.Calling the current situation a “perfect storm of sleep problems,” Donn Posner, the forum’s featured speaker, pointed out how disrupted daily routines worsen the sleep-robbing stress of the pandemic.“Think of sleep problems as infection,” said Posner, president of Sleepwell Associates and an adjunct clinical associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. “We want to jump on it quickly. Think of it as a risk factor that we want to get on top of lest it spread.”Even in normal times, approximately 30 percent to 35 percent of the population experiences acute, or short-term, insomnia, said Posner, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a founding member of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Defined in the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as difficulty going to sleep, staying asleep, or waking too early, this lack of rest is triggered by stress or any event that changes quality of life — a manifestation of the “fight or flight” response to danger — and is different from the sleep deficit caused by too-busy schedules. “If you can’t sleep do not try to force it. Good sleepers put no effort into sleep whatsoever.” — Donn Posner Students from Chan School are helping to boost the volunteer public health workforce Sleep, heart disease link leads from brain to marrow Third in series of Chan School forums offers tips for coping with the pandemic To nip insomnia in the bud, Posner recommended simple behavioral changes. For example, even though it may seem counterintuitive after a lost night’s sleep, avoid napping, or at least cut it short. Likening naps to snacks, he warned that napping for longer than 20 minutes or late in the day ruins our “appetite” for sleep. Likewise, he dispelled the idea that sleeping late on weekends or after a night tossing and turning can make up for lost sleep. “Do not try to compensate for a bad night’s sleep,” he said; it only further disrupts one’s regular rhythms.Posner noted that we do not have to maintain our former sleep and waking times, which may have been set by the necessities of a daily commute. “Keep a rhythm, even if it’s a different time of day than it used to be,” he said. Parents of adolescents in particular may want to let their children go to bed and rise later than usual, as their growing bodies are set differently than adults or young children’s. Once awake, however, try to get some sunlight, whether by taking a walk or sitting by a window. Keeping a regular schedule for meals and exercise helps, as does avoiding stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and electronic devices for several hours before bed. Finally, if sleeps proves impossible, get out of bed. Do something relaxing — read or do a puzzle. Worrying about sleep exacerbates the problem, so try to distract yourself and keep your bed a place of sanctuary.“If you can’t sleep do not try to force it,” said Posner. “Good sleepers put no effort into sleep whatsoever.”For more information about the series. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Cuomo Announces One Month With COVID Infection Rate Below 1%

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo wearing a mask. File image by Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Photo date: 06/24/20.ALBANY – For one month, New York State’s COVID infection rate has remained below 1%.Governor Cuomo made the announcement Monday, adding 0.88% of tests reported to the state were positive.The governor thanked New Yorkers for their hard work keeping the COVID rate down.“Our numbers have continued to remain stable even as we reach new milestones in our phased, data-driven reopening. As we close out this Labor Day Weekend, I urge everyone to remain smart so we can continue to celebrate our progress in the weeks and months ahead. It took the work of all of us to get here and to protect this progress we will need to all continue to wash our hands, wear our masks, remain socially distant, and above all, stay New York tough,” Cuomo said. A breakdown of each region’s percentage of positive test results over the last three days shows Western New York’s infection was 1.9% on Sunday.last_img read more

DuPont State Recreational Forest temporarily closed

first_imgAll trails, trailheads and forest facilities are closed until further notice. Parking areas, both designated and roadside, are barricaded in the interest of public safety. “Closing state forests to the public is a decision I do not take lightly, and much consideration has been given to this decision,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. DuPont State Recreational Forest temporarily closed to the public; public access restricted due to COVID-19 safety concerns Forest Service officials have temporarily closed DuPont State Recreational Forest and neighboring Holmes Educational State Forest effective at 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, restricting public access until further notice. NCFS officials note that crowds are gathering in parking areas and trailheads which compromises the degree of social distancing needed to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. “The bottom line is that these sites are beautiful and treasured places in our state where families and visitors can make positive, lasting memories. These state forests have experienced what many state parks and beaches have, too — unsafe and overcrowded conditions that tax these resources. This temporary closure to the public is necessary, but rest assured, it is temporary.”center_img For updated information about public access to North Carolina State Forests during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit and follow us on Facebook. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. Forest Service regret that temporary closure of DSRF and HESF is necessary. NCFS officials will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring both forests are reopened when conditions allow. DuPont Forest Covered Bridge in North Carolina – Getty Imageslast_img read more

Brazilian Navy Conducts PASSEX Exercise and Other Activities with the US Navy

first_imgBy Andréa Barretto/Diálogo December 09, 2020 On November 4, training ship Brasil docked at Mayport Naval Base, in Jacksonville, Florida. After two weeks at sea, sailing from Brazil to the United States, the stop at the American port was the first planned by the Brazilian Navy (MB, in Portuguese) ship, which is carrying out its 34th Midshipmen Training Trip. There are 400 students of MB’s Naval Academy onboard. This trip represents the cadets’ last training activity before they become MB officers and can serve aboard ships or in other military organizations.The visit at Mayport lasted eight days. On November 6, during an award ceremony, the Tamandaré Medal of Merit was presented to U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command commander, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Donald D. Gabrielson.On November 15, a ceremony was held aboard training ship Brasil, while it was bound to the city of Galveston, Texas, to honor the memory of the seamen who died when the R-12 U.S. submarine sank, on June 12, 1943, during World War II. Two MB officers were among the victims. The U.S. Navy ship USS Zephyr and the U.S. Coast Guard ship USCGC Charles Sexton took part in the events.Meeting in the Caribbean A Brazilian midshipman throws flowers in the ocean during a ceremony to honor the memory of the seamen who died in World War II. The U.S. Navy USS Zephyr can be seen in the background. (Photo: Brazilian Navy)Before arriving at Mayport Naval Base, training ship Brasil met with the U.S. Navy vessel USS William P. Lawrence, in Caribbean international waters. They met on October 28, when the crew of both ships completed the PASSEX exercise together. This joint exercise with the U.S. Navy launched the series of activities scheduled for the 34th Midshipmen Training Trip with foreign naval forces.“Exercises such as PASSEX happen when ships of different navies sail in the same region and their navigation routes promote opportunities to conduct joint training exercises,” said MB’s Public Affairs.As part of the training exercises to prepare the teams of both ships for communication, navigation, and joint operation tasks, service members conducted sea maneuvers and air maneuver escort with aircraft on board, practicing war tactics that are part of the doctrine of the Brazilian and U.S. naval forces.The exercise was particularly important to the midshipmen. During PASSEX, students had to calculate tactical maneuvers, to observe the Brazilian ship executing these maneuvers, and to communicate in English with the USS William P. Lawrence.The 34th Midshipmen Training Trip has been ongoing since October 21 and will conclude in February 2021.last_img read more

Existing-home sales at highest level since 2006

first_imgExisting-home sales skyrocketed 24.7 percent in July to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million units, representing an 8.7 percent increase in sales versus a year ago.“Existing home sales are now at their highest level since late 2006,” wrote NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long in a new Macro Data Flash report. “Loosened shutdowns and rock-bottom mortgage rates pushed many buyers into the market across the country with strong gains in all four census regions.”Sales rose in all four regions during the month, most significantly in the Northeast (+30.6 percent), followed by the West (+30.5 percent), the Midwest (+27.5 percent), and the South (+19.4 percent).“Overall sales growth should remain strong for the next several months given the surge in demand, but it will remain uneven as low-income areas are still shouldering most of the economic pains,” Long added. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Snowmobile safety tips after man falls through local frozen pond

first_imgAnd make sure to stick to the buddy system and when it comes to trails, stick to the ones with proper signage, saying, “you never know what’s going to be coming up.” “Be familiar with your area that you’re going to be riding in, have the proper equipment and clothing to stay warm,” said Zevotek. If you find an obstacle on a trail, like a fallen tree, or come across a trail that doesn’t have signage, report it to your local club members. President of the Broome County Sno-riders Dennis J. Zevotek has been riding snowmobiles for decades. He recommends keeping the following tips in mind when hitting the trails. When you do decide to take a spin, Zevotek says, “don’t ride over your head that’s the biggest problem I see these days is people get on it and they want to go as fast as they can, there’s no sense in it, enjoy the scenery and be careful.”center_img Clubs in our area include: AFTON (WBNG) — 12 News is taking a look at snowmobile safety after a man in Walton fell through the ice to his death December 6. If you’re a first time rider, he says before you hit the powder, take a snowmobile safety course. BC Sno-ridersRidge Riders Snowmobile ClubTioga Ridge Runnerslast_img read more

The power of social media: How a Facebook group has become a resource for Broome County

first_img“One thing I do as a hobby, I’m medically disabled so I don’t work, I’ve been running Facebook groups for various things. And it just occurred to me, this would be perfect, I could put together a centralized resource where people could find things,” he said. While the group covers a ton of people, it also covers a ton of topics. “We did not think that it was going to get this big this quick,” said Heather. BROOME COUNTY (WBNG) — Once the coronavirus pandemic made its way to the Southern Tier, people were looking for answers. Todd and his wife Heather started the Facebook group, ‘COVID-19 Broome County NY Support.’ From school updates, to donation drop-offs, to creative ways you can get involved in the community. They say they are appreciative of those who have stepped up to become moderators, ensuring the group runs smoothly. “So they have literally an access to all the local information right on their phone,” said Todd. “It brought out a lot of people that want to help in their communities,” said Todd. As of Thursday morning, the group had nearly 9,000 members. According to the most recent census data, that’s just under 5% of Broome County. And the number continues to grow. Todd thought he would be able to help out. The Quigleys started groups for surrounding counties as well, being run by volunteers. “We try to make as many resources as possible for our community because there’s so many needs everywhere and this way people know exactly what is happening right now,” said Heather. “Local friends were having difficulty finding things to buy. People were hoarding, people were running out of toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and I just saw a lot of people asking where they could get things,” said Todd Quigley of Endicott. And not only is it keeping people informed, it’s bringing Broome together when people need each other most. Click here to get to the COVID-19 Broome County NY Support group on Facebook. “We’ve been averaging about a thousand people a day joining,” said Heather. It’s all material available at your fingertips. “I think that’s just really amazing that our group inspired others to start helping out,” said Todd. “Surprisingly enough, we started getting members from all around the world actually. People who live in the area would invite everyone they knew on their friends list, or people who used to live in Binghamton,” said Todd. Reminding people while they’re isolated, it’s important to stay connected, even if it’s through a screen.last_img read more

Uber arrived in Rijeka

first_imgAs of today, Uber is officially coming to Rijeka, and the seventh city in Croatia where uberX, uberSELECT and uberVAN services will be available.People from Rijeka and many tourists who come to this city have shown incredible interest in Uber, and precisely because of this great interest, as well as because of the tourist prosperity of Rijeka, Uber wants to give everyone access to an additional option to move through the city. “The incredible number of 14 openings of Uber’s application was an invitation that we could not refuse and that is why we are glad that we will connect another city in Croatia with our service. With the arrival of Uber in Rijeka, in the coming months, at least 300 new jobs will be created in the companies and trades of the partner – drivers. We are sure that our service will simplify the movement of many Rijeka residents, but also tourists who will spend this summer on the Croatian coast.”Said Davor Tremac, Uber’s CEO for Southeast Europe.The uberX service will be available in Rijeka, while all those who want additional comfort and quality in more spacious vehicles with the best rated drivers can choose uberSELECT. The UberVAN service is intended for larger groups of people up to eight users traveling together. In the city zone, the prices of the uberX service will be 6 kuna to start, 3 kuna per kilometer and 0.4 kuna per minute of driving. The minimum ride price is 10 kuna. In the suburban zone, the price will be 9 kuna start, 5 kuna per kilometer and 0.5 kuna per minute of driving, and the minimum price will be 15 kuna.For UberSELECT and UberVAN the price will be the same in the urban and suburban area. That is, 11 kuna start, 6.5 kuna per kilometer driven and 0.65 kuna per minute of driving with a minimum driving price of 20 kuna. For UberVAN, the starting price will be 13 kuna, 8.5 kuna per kilometer driven and 0.8 kuna per minute of driving. The minimum ride price is 25 kuna. All the above Uber services will be available from Brseč to Selce and on the island of Krk.Rijeka – a great example of the beginning of market liberalizationRijeka has a liberalized market as much as possible within the existing Law, which is an excellent first step in ensuring a better price for moving through the city. However, at the state level, the next step needs to be taken in line with the positive examples of 21st century regulations – and that is full liberalization through the introduction of a new category, pre-negotiated transport.Full liberalization means that dual administration with state-level licenses and city-level permits should be prevented. “Double issuance of licenses and permits is unnecessary because it is a lengthy process, leaves room for local corruption and restricts entrepreneurship. Likewise, for the successful growth of the entire industry, it is necessary to remove outdated rules such as setting a minimum or maximum price – because that ultimately means higher transport prices for citizens. The Rijeka administration is a good example that proves that a liberalized market works well, and the removal of administrative barriers can create even more jobs in the field of passenger car transport.”, Said Davor Tremac, Uber’s CEO for Southeast Europe.Also, the new regulations should allow the choice of the method of calculating the price, either by GPS or by renegotiating the price with the service providers, and not as the only method to leave the taximeter. It is necessary to remove the existing condition of professional qualification through a three-year school – it is enough to have a category B driver’s license and driving experience of at least 3 years. Finally, a regular medical examination and an advanced safe driving course should be added.Full liberalization in line with the European Commission’s recommendations increases choice for the end user and creates at least 15.000 new jobs, reduces waiting times for vehicles and does not restrict freedom of movement.Related news: UBER AS THE AMBASSADOR OF CROATIAN TOURISMlast_img read more

Women seeking help from violence almost doubles in Mexico lockdown

first_imgMexico, which has been gradually easing a nationwide lockdown that began at the end of March, confirmed this week that more than 40,000 people had died of the coronavirus, among the highest death tolls in the world.With families stuck at home under official lockdowns for months to halt the spread of the virus, tensions over household chores coupled with economic fears after nationwide job losses are more likely to escalate into violence.The constant time together makes already-aggressive men more likely to lash out, and the majority of women seeking help had already experienced some form of violence before the pandemic, said Wendy Figueroa, head of the National Network of Shelters.”COVID awoke situations of violence that were camouflaged, hidden,” Figueroa told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “During this lockdown, the violence gets stronger.” Topics : Attacks against women have surged across Latin America during the pandemic.The region is home to 14 of the 25 countries with the world’s highest rates of femicide – when a woman is killed because of her gender, which claims the lives of a dozen women per day in Latin America, according to the United Nations.In Mexico, emergency calls reporting attacks on women in Mexico jumped more than 50% in the first four months of the year compared with the same period last year, government data shows.The National Network of Shelters said overall, including by phone and social media, it had helped more than 20,000 people during the pandemic, an increase of 71% compared to the same period last year.Nearly half the calls and messages received by the group during lockdown had come from Mexico City, which has also been among the hardest hit areas by the pandemic.More than 500 children and adolescents received by the shelter network had been victims of sexual violence, the group said. Four out of 10 women who sought help from the group had experienced physical violence.center_img The number of women and children seeking help at shelters for victims of violence has surged by more than 80% in Mexico under the coronavirus lockdown, according to the country’s largest network of shelters for victims of violence.The National Network of Shelters, which includes about 69 refuges across Mexico, also said the number of calls and texts it had received about family or gender-based violence had risen by 55% between March and June compared to a year ago.”Women in Mexico are facing two pandemics: COVID-19 and family violence,” the group said in a statement.last_img read more