Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup (Dec. 9)

Wellness News
Every day, we scour the Web looking for compelling wellness stories that provide the information — and inspiration — you need to make good choices. Here are this week’s must-read wellness articles.

The Key to Longevity? Optimism!

Looking on the bright side could extend your life. That’s the upshot of a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, which found that older women who were positive about the future were less likely to die in the next several years than those who weren’t so sanguine. “Optimism may directly impact biological function,” says study author Eric Kim, a research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, by enhancing immune function and lowering inflammation. (NPR)

Youth Vaping is a Public Health Threat, Says Surgeon General

E-cigarettes are a growing health threat to the country’s youth, says Surgeon General Vivek Murthy in a new report. From 2010 to 2015, he noted, the number of high-school students saying they had vaped in the past 30 days went from a “negligible” number to about one in six students. “I’ve traveled around the country and many young people and many adults don’t recognize e-cigarettes are not harmless,” Murthy told CBS. “They think these are not tobacco products and that they are benign water vapor. But we know nicotine has harmful effects on the developing brain. We’re issuing this report to draw people’s attention to the scale of the problem.” (CBS)

The Top 11 Wellness Trends of 2017

“Has wellness ever been bigger, broader, or cooler than it was in 2016?” So begins a fun mindbodygreen feature story that predicts the top 11 wellness trends in 2017. Included in the mix? Personalized nutrition, the rise of “ugly” produce to help combat food waste, communal gathering and women-only social spaces, medicinal mushrooms, infrared saunas, and the ketogenic diet. (mbg)

Global Prescription Drug Spending to Reach $1.5 Trillion by 2021

The amount of money spent on prescription drugs will reach almost $1.5 trillion by 2021, according to a new forecast report by Quintiles IMS Holding. “That figure, based on wholesale pricing,” Reuters notes, “is up nearly $370 billion from estimated 2016 spending.” The United States, the world’s largest market for prescription drugs, will account for up to $675 billion of the $1.5 trillion, the report notes. (Reuters)

Healthy Lifestyle Can Prevent Cancer

Simple lifestyle habits, including regular exercise, healthy diet, and tobacco avoidance, can help prevent cancer, according to a new study in JAMA Oncology. The study looked at more than 135,000 men and women, analyzing both lifestyle habits and cancer risk and death, and found that healthy habits were associated with significant reduction in both cancer incidence and mortality. “These findings reinforce that primary prevention should remain a priority for cancer control,” says lead author Dr. Mingyang Song of Harvard Medical School. (Experience Life)

U.S. Life Expectancy Drops for the First Time in 20 Years

For the first time in two decades, the life expectancy of Americans has declined, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Specifically, it declined by about a month to hit 78.8 years of age. Although the top ten leading causes of death remained the same between 2014 and 2015, the death rates from the causes, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, has increased. (Time)

Teething Rings Contain BPA and More

Most commercial teething rings for babies contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Researchers studied 59 commonly sold teething rings and found that every one of them contained Bisphenol A (BPA) or BPA alternatives like Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bisephenol F (BPF). “These alternatives [to BPA] are equally toxic, or in some cases, more toxic,” study author Kurunthachalam Kannan, a research scientist at the New York State Department of Health, told FoxNews.com. Most of the teething rings contained other worrisome ingredients as well, including parabens and the antimicrobials triclosan and triclocarbon. The vast majority teething rings studied were labeled either BPA-free or non-toxic. (Fox)

Extreme Grooming ‘Down There’ Linked to More STDs

Frequent pubic hair removal is linked with a higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including herpes and syphilis, according to a new report in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections. People who remove all of their public hair more than 11 times a year were four times as likely to have had a sexually transmitted disease, researchers found, while those who did it at least once in their lifetimes were almost twice as likely to report having at least one STD. “We were surprised at how big the effect was,” says Benjamin Breyer, a urologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who led the study. “Right now, we have no way [of] knowing if grooming causes the increase in risk for infections. All we can say is that they’re correlated. But I probably would avoid an aggressive shave right before having sex.” (NPR)