Here's a roundup of five medical studies published recently that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.
Athlete endorsements may be detrimental to kids' health
Could sports superstars be encouraging bad eating habits in children? A new study takes a hard look at the products that professional athletes endorse, and the news isn't good.
"Seventy-nine percent of the 62 food products in athlete-endorsed advertisements were energy-dense and nutrient-poor, and 93.4% of the 46 advertised beverages had 100% of calories from added sugar," study authors wrote.
The awards for most endorsements for energy-dense, nutrient-poor products goes to football player Peyton Manning and basketball player LeBron James. Bleacher Report has more on this study.
Scientists have brain breakthrough in mice
Journal: Science Translational Medicine
Researchers have discovered the first chemical compound that stops brain tissue from dying in a neurodegenerative disease, TIME.com reports.
This drug could be instrumental in fighting brain conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, scientists say. But so far, the research has only been done in mice; further investigation is necessary to see if it would work in humans.
"This isn't the compound you would use in people, but it means we can do it and it's a start," lead researcher Giovanna Mallucci told BBC.
Airplane noise associated with heart problems
Journal: BMJ (British Medical Journal)
Gaggles of planes flying over your neighborhood may be doing more than disrupting your sleep. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Boston University School of Public Health found a connection between aircraft noise and heart problems among adults enrolled in Medicare, ages 65 and up.
Specifically, on average, these individuals living in zip codes exposed to 10-decibel higher aircraft noise were found to have a 3.5% higher rate of hospital admission for cardiovascular problems.
"It was surprising to find that living close to an airport, and therefore being exposed to aircraft noise, can adversely affect your cardiovascular health, even beyond exposure to air pollution and traffic noise," senior author Francesca Dominici said in a statement.
Depression in pregnancy may have repercussions on kids
Journal: JAMA Psychiatry
Mental health may get shaped by events occurring early in life, perhaps even before birth. A new study suggests that children whose mothers are depressed during pregnancy are more likely to have depression, too, by age 18.
Postpartum depression in mothers with low education, as well as in fathers, was also associated with a higher likelihood of depression in their children. Among more highly educated parents, this effect was not seen.
But education did not seem to prevent the risk of depression in children if their mothers were depressed during pregnancy, suggesting that there could be some influence from genetics and the chemicals in which the baby incubates in the womb, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Income inequality associated with depression
Journal: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Income gaps within a community can also be bad for mental health, a new study finds. Such disparities may make people feel poorer than they really are statistically speaking, Reuters Health reports.
Researchers used state-level data and a nationally representative sample of Americans. They found that in women specifically, residing in a state that has higher income inequality raises the risk for developing depression. This pattern was not observed in men.
Nancy Beauregard, from the University of Montreal in Canada, who was not involved in the research, told Reuters Health that this research suggests that "where you live matters, unfortunately."
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Mack Brown's attorney and the university's new athletics director say the Texas coach has not resigned, denying a report that Brown was ready to step down after 16 seasons with the Longhorns.
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