Alcohol linked to poor brain health; weight loss surgery leads to both marriages and divorces: Health roundup for Aug. 2, 2022


CLEVELAND, Ohio – Studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption is linked to worse cognitive function, and weight loss surgery leads to higher rates of of both marriages and divorces.

Cleveland.com is rounding up some of the most notable local and national health news making headlines online. Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Alcohol consumption linked to lower brain function

Moderate alcohol consumption is linked to worse cognitive function, an observational study out of the United Kingdom suggests.

Among nearly 21,000 people in the United Kingdom Biobank cohort, alcohol intake above four standard drinks per week was associated with markers of higher brain iron in multiple basal ganglia regions, according to researchers.

Markers of higher brain iron were in turn associated with poorer scores on tests of executive function, reaction speed and problem solving.

The findings suggest a way in which alcohol can cause cognitive decline. The study results were published in the journal PLoS Medicine.

Weight loss surgery leads to more marriages, divorces

Americans who have weight loss surgery are more than twice as likely to get married or divorced within five years, as compared to the general U.S. population, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health looked at changes in marital status among nearly 1,500 adults who had gastric bypass or gastric sleeve weight loss surgery from 2006 to 2009.

The majority kept the same relationship status for five years after their surgery, and 18% of single people got married, compared to 7% in the general American population. The study also found that 8% of married couples got divorced — double the rate for their counterparts in the general population. Another 5% of married people got separated.

People who lost more weight were more likely to get separated or divorced, as were those who reported an increase in sexual desire after surgery, the research team found.

The journal Annals of Surgery recently published the findings.

Black patients at risk for advanced vision loss, study suggests

Black patients have a dramatically higher risk of advanced vision loss after being newly diagnosed with primary open angle glaucoma when compared to white patients, suggests a new study from New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.

The findings suggests that African-Americans have a risk factor for this illness, and that more early glaucoma detection is needed in this community.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and primary open angle glaucoma is the most common type.

Researchers analyzed nearly 210,000 participants from three databases of nurses and health professionals from the Nurses’ Health Study (enrolled between 1980 and 2018, and 1989-2019), and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (enrolled between 1986 and 2018).

Within the study group, 1,946 patients developed glaucoma. Black patients made up 1.3% of the study, but had a nearly twofold increased risk of early visual loss, and a sixfold higher risk for advanced visual loss, when compared to white patients.

The study, published in Translational Vision Science and Technology, is among the first to use an artificial intelligence algorithm to break down visual field loss in new-onset glaucoma cases among Americans.



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