All Articles Tagged "Journal of the American Medical Association"
We know you get tired of the depressing, we suck, someone called us the n-word, can’t find a man, need to lose weight, racial discrimination news just like we do, which is why we want to try to give you at least one reason to smile each week. With the world beating up on us every chance it gets, there ought to be one place you can go to to find something to make you feel good about you and your fellow sistahs and that’s why we’re bringing you the good (black girl) news. No bashing, no advice, no side-eyeing, no shade, just a random feel good fact to let you know just how incredible you are—and something we hope you’ll pass on to the other fab ladies in you’re life so they know they’re the business too. Deal?
Here’s the good news this week: We’re living longer!
Let every other study tell it, black people have one foot in the grave and the other in the hospital between the diseases we’re affected with and random acts of violence, but we’re actually living longer now and starting to close the gap on life expectancy. In a new study comparing life expectancy between the five-year period from 2003 to 2008, black men’s age expectancy increased from 68.8 to 70.08 years and black women had nearly a 2-year increase as well, going from a life expectancy of 75.7 years to 77.5.
“For the most part, blacks are making small but important gains in terms of life expectancy,” said Sam Harper of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, who is the lead author of the new report, published as a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “The gap at the present time is as low as it’s ever been since we’ve been measuring life expectancy.”
And if we keep focusing on our personal health and encouraging our families to do the same, these numbers will only increase!
The human papillomavirus (HPV) sometimes seems harmless because there are rarely any symptoms associated with it, but researchers believe the virus is responsible for the increased rates of mouth and throat cancer during the past 25 years, and new research says 7% of Americans now have HPV in their mouths.
The study, published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association is the first to assess the prevalence of oral HPV in the U.S. population, and from the ages of 14 to 69, across men and women, the incidence was found to be 6.9%.
The findings also indicate that oral sex, rather than kissing, is the main cause for the spread of the virus—most likely because people still don’t understand that the practice can lead to disease.
“I don’t think people think of oral sex in the same way they do with traditional intercourse,” said Fred Wyand, director of the HPV Resource Center at the American Social Health Association in Research Triangle Park, NC. “Sometimes younger people engage in oral sex so they don’t have to worry about pregnancy. They may not even make the link between oral sex and STDs.”
Since most oral HPV infections are harmless and oral cancers are still somewhat rare, there isn’t a total cause for alarm, but there could be down the line. This is why the researchers say doctors, parents, and sexual partners need to talk about the use of protection upfront.
“It’s something people are not comfortable talking about, but it is protective,” Dr. Hans Schlecht, assistant professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia who wrote an editorial accompanying the study said in an interview. “If you are going to be intimate with someone, there are some adult conversations you need to have.”
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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