social networks

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Moving To A Nicer Neighborhood Can Boost Your Health

Better neighborhoods for better health

Here’s an enticing new study about how simply moving to a better neighborhood can improve your health, concisely explained by our colleagues at DCentric:

It’s well documented that poverty and bad health have a strong connection. A team of researchers wondered if simply moving from a low-income to middle class neighborhood could make a person healthier.

Turns out that it does, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine does. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development researchers studied three groups. One group stayed in poor neighborhoods. Another group received rent subsidies to move into middle class neighborhoods. The third group received the same subsidies to help with rent, but remained in poor neighborhoods. The results: the group who moved to the middle class neighborhood were 5 percent less likely to be obese and show signs of diabetes. Continue reading

Social Networks For Diabetics: A Mixed Bag, Children’s Study Finds

A new look at social networks for diabetics finds an interesting mix of powerful pros and cautionary cons. Among the pros are helpful advice and much-needed support. Among the cons, the Children’s blog “Vector” reports here:

Only five of the 10 sites had content in line with diabetes science and clinical practice standards. Some didn’t trouble to communicate the definition of A1c, a biomarker widely used by diabetics to assess blood glucose levels. Others lacked clear, centralized information on having routine checkups, eye exams and lipid profiling, or on smoking cessation—all generally recommended for diabetics. Only three of the 10 sites included a disclaimer encouraging patients to discuss their care regimen with a health care provider.

Seven of the 10 sites didn’t allow members to restrict the visibility of their profiles. Five carried advertisements that weren’t labeled as such. And three went as far as to advertise unfounded “cures.”

Some suggestions for improvement, Vector reports:

Beyond adding basic guidelines for care, defining medical terms and distinguishing ads from other content, researchers Elissa Weitzman and Ken Mandl recommend more moderation—with credentials of moderators clearly posted—and periodic external review. Privacy policies should be easier to understand, and potential conflicts of interest, such as ties to the pharmaceutical industry, openly noted.

And for now, Children’s offers this handy guide for the growing number of patients who join with others online: Continue reading