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Reading Room

The reading room includes articles and videos of potential interest to consumers and medical professionals. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the NC Medical Board, its members and staff. Note: Some links may require subscriptions.

Why doesn’t the U.S. have at-home flu tests?

November 22, 2022
Flu season is underway. RSV is putting record numbers of children in hospitals. And health professionals are gearing up for another Covid winter. With so many potential viruses in play, it would be helpful if Americans had a way to distinguish between different ailments at home. And when it comes to the flu in particular, at-home testing could help telehealth doctors decide when it makes sense to prescribe treatments like Paxlovid and Tamiflu, which need to be administered within a specific time frame after the onset of symptoms.

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Exercising between 8–11 am may be best for cardiovascular health

Medical News Today
November 21, 2022
Although exercise is always generally good for health, a large new prospective study finds that one particular time of day may offer the greatest benefit when it comes to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke. The study found that physical activity in the morning, between 8 and 11 a.m., had the greatest positive effect on a person’s risk of CVD and stroke compared to activity at other times of day. The association applied equally to individuals who described themselves as morning or evening people.

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Why daylight saving time is worse for your body than standard time

The Washington Post
November 2, 2022
Within days, 48 states and the District of Columbia will reset their clocks and fall back into standard time. From a health standpoint, most sleep and circadian experts say we should stay there.

Experts say early-morning sunlight is key to maintaining our circadian rhythms, sleep-wake cycles and overall health. Phyllis Zee, a neurologist and chief of sleep medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said without that sunlight, we can slip into circadian misalignment — “when your internal body clocks fall out of sync with that of the sun clock and your social clocks.”

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Why do we procrastinate? Experts explain the science

Medical News Today
October 24, 2022
Many people procrastinate, some of us chronically, but why do we do that? Is there a way to counteract procrastination, and does this habit ever bring benefits? In this Special Feature, we explore the science of procrastination: What happens in the brain, what happens in the mind, and can we change it?

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FDA’s vaccines chief sees possibility of more Covid boosters — sooner than he’d like

October 21, 2022
Peter Marks, who leads the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccines operation, is still losing sleep over Covid. Yes, vaccines for all age groups have been authorized or approved. Yes, an updated vaccine is now available. And, yes, multiple products are in use and hundreds of millions of doses have been given in this country. But Marks said there are other issues that weigh on him.

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Science may finally know why some people get eaten alive by mosquitoes

Mental Floss
October 20, 2022
For some, heading outdoors in warm weather can be stressful. Sitting on a patio and minding their own business, they seem to attract mosquitoes at a rate that far outpaces that of the people sitting next to them. Even insect repellent may not ward off bites for these unfortunates. What turns people into mosquito buffets? Science may finally know. According to a new study by researchers at Rockefeller University in New York and published in the journal Cell, mosquitoes appear to be attracted to humans with high levels of carboxylic acids on their skin.

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