The Health News – 10 April 2014

Overview

  • A new study from researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Public Health suggests that Autism in children may be linked to obesity in the father.
  • The search zone for flight MH370 has narrowed down to 1300 square kilometres after more audio signals consistent with the plane’s black box were detected from the depths of the Indian Ocean.
  • Almost half of all Americans believe that the government and corporations are involved in medical conspiracies, according to research conducted at the University of Chicago.

Obese Fathers More Likely To Have Autistic Kids
http://www.rttnews.com/2299157/obese-fathers-more-likely-to-have-autistic-kids.aspx?

by RTT Staff Writer 4/2014

A new study from researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Public Health suggests that Autism in children may be linked to obesity in the father. Researchers examined records collected as part of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study including data from over 90,000 children at 3, 5, and 7 years of age.  They found that those children born to obese fathers faced an increased risk of developing autism as compared to children born with normal weight fathers: “We were very surprised by these findings because we expected that maternal obesity would be the main risk factor for the development of ASD,” the researchers explained. “It means that we have had too much focus on the mother and too little on the father. This probably reflects the fact that we have given greater focus to conditions in pregnancy, such as the growth environment for the fetus in the womb, than both environmental and genetic factors before conception.”

THE search zone for flight MH370 has narrowed down to 1300 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean.

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/planes-14-ships-continue-mh370-search/story-e6frfku9-1226878589857

By Rebecca Le May

The furthest distance between the four most recent pings is about 25 km, a dramatic narrowing of the focus zone, considering the Indian Ocean search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane began with a 305,000 square kilometre area to scour. Search co-ordinator and former defence force chief Angus Houston said a signal was picked up by Australian vessel Ocean Shield on Tuesday afternoon and was held for five minutes and 32 seconds. A second signal, detected by the same ship almost six hours later, was held for about seven minutes. According to Chief Houston, they are are searching in the right area, but need to visually identify aircraft wreckage before confirmation can be made with certainty that this is the final resting place of MH370. The signals came three days after Ocean Shield picked up a signal that held for some two hours and 20 minutes, and another that held for about 13 minutes. It is 33 days since the plane went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing – three days beyond the battery’s life – but they are known to last several days longer. He also said the separate effort in the southern part of the search zone involving Chinese ship Hai Xun 01 and British ship HMS Echo had not picked up any further audio signals since a detection was reported on Sunday. The search continues for debris on the surface of the ocean.

Almost Half Of Americans Believe In Medical Conspiracy Theories

http://www.rttnews.com/2289523/almost-half-of-americans-believe-in-medical-conspiracy-theories.aspx?

by RTT Staff Writer 3/2014

Almost half of all Americans believe that the government and corporations are involved in medical conspiracies, according to research conducted at the University of Chicago. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, claims 49% of those questioned believed at least one of six conspiracy theories presented. For example, 37% believe that the FDA is preventing the accessibility to natural cures for cancer and other diseases because of “pressure from drug companies,” while 20% believe doctors and health officials push child vaccines even though they “know these vaccines cause autism and other psychological disorders.”  “Although it is common to disparage adherents of conspiracy theories as a delusional fringe of paranoid cranks, our data suggest that medical conspiracy theories are widely known, broadly endorsed, and highly predictive of many common health behaviors,” the team wrote in their report. The researchers added that it is important for doctors to understand the thinking of their patients. “It’s important to increase information about health and science to the public,” said J. Eric Oliver, the study’s lead researcher. Additionally, Oliver say “I think scientific thinking is not a very intuitive way to see the world. For people who don’t have a lot of education, it’s relatively easy to reject the scientific way of thinking about things.”