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5 Careers That Can Majorly Wreck Your Health

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Americans are known for our tendency to work until burnout. And a recent survey from NPR adds to a growing pile of research that some jobs can really, really hurt your health.

For their survey, NPR collaborated with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health to ask about 1,600 Americans how they feel their jobs affect factors like their eating and sleep habits, stress levels and social lives. Overall, 16 percent of workers said they think their jobs have a bad impact on their health as a whole. But in some industries, that number was significantly higher.

These 5 industries included the highest percentage of respondents who said work has a negative impact on their health:

  1. Retail outlets, 26 percent

  2. Construction or outdoor work, 23 percent

  3. Factory or manufacturing, 21 percent

  4. Medical, 19 percent

  5. Store, 16 percent

The NPR survey gave both “store” and “retail outlet” as options for respondents, so there may be a bit of a discrepancy here. In any case, working on a retail floor of any kind seems to bring up fears about negative health effects.

Among survey respondents, the biggest concerns about workplace health were chemicals and contaminants, unhealthy air and accidents or injuries. A very telling 24 percent of office workers cited long sitting hours as a concern, echoing recent research that shows sedentary jobs can contribute to all sorts of health problems.

What’s the fix?

Of course, there are many ways to ease the tension between your job and your health. But one of the most obvious self-care tricks, taking a vacation day, goes widely underused, according to the report.

Some workers are given vacation days but neglect to use them. Among workers whose companies give them paid vacation days, only 49 percent said they used most or all of their available days last year, according to the survey.

However, vacation isn’t a given in many of the industries mentioned above. Forty-seven percent of workers in low-paying jobs ― that’s almost half! ― don’t get paid vacation days from their employer, the report says. Forty percent of these same low-paying jobs don’t offer health insurance, either.

That’s a huge shame when you consider the positive effects of vacation on stress levels, creativity and productivity.

Health & Lifestyle

Experts recommend natural remedies to Diabetes.

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Medical practitioners have recommended some natural remedies that could curb the increasing rate of diabetes in the country.

The practitioners offered the remedies in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

They spoke against the backdrop of this year’s World Diabetes Day, which is celebrated globally on November 14.



The practitioners said the awareness had become imperative because diabetes is a condition that impairs the body’s ability to process blood glucose.

“Diabetes usually is prevalent in middle aged and older adults but now becoming common in children. Adults are still at the highest risk than children,’’ Dr. Iorwuese Charles told NAN on phone.

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He said that diabetes has to do with an increase sugar level in the blood caused by an absolute deficiency of insulin that affects one out of three adults.

Charles, a medical practitioner at Police Hospital Ado, Ekiti State, said that diabetes is a group of diseases that usually ends up in too much amount of sugar in the blood.

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He advised families to always maintain good lifestyle habits to curb diabetes in their homes.

Charles said the symptoms in diabetes include increased frequency of urination, increase thirst, dry mouth, increase in eating with weight loss.

Other signs, he said, are: “Blurring of vision, tiredness, fatigue, mood swings, irritability, frequent urination at night and headaches.”

According to him, the symptoms of diabetes are endless with no permanent cure but with proper maintenance one could live a healthy life.

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Health & Lifestyle

Benefit of Vitamin D, fish oil supplements to heart health

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Two new randomized trials challenge the view that vitamin D and fish oil supplements hold any real benefit in the fight against chronic conditions, such as cancer and heart disease.



The results of the first and second trial were presented at Scientific Sessions, held by the American Heart Institute (AHA) in Chicago, IL, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Vitamin D and fish oil supplements have lately been the subject of much hype in the medical research community, mass media, and among the general public, due to their alleged benefits in combatting cancer and heart disease.

For example, recent studies in mice found that vitamin D benefits heart cells and suggested that the vitamin may prevent cardiovascular blockages.

Other studies identified persistent links between a lack of vitamin D and the development of breast cancer and bowel cancer.

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 Experts also believe that omega-3 fatty acids — which are in seafood, some nuts, and seeds — benefit the heart. The AHA, for example, recommend an intake of at least 2 servings of fish every week for optimal cardiovascular health.

As a result, many Americans have turned to omega-3 fish oil supplements to stave off heart disease. A survey carried out by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that almost 19 million Americans are taking fish oil supplements.

But do vitamin D and fish oil supplements really work?

Vitamin D, fish oil no better than placebo

The two new studies were randomized, placebo-controlled trials led by Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, the chief of the division of preventive medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

The trials examined the effect of a daily intake of vitamin D and omega-3-containing fish oils on the prevention of heart disease and cancer.

 The studies involved almost 26,000 healthy adult participants, 20 percent of whom were African-American. None had a history of heart disease or cancer. The men in the study were at least 50 years old, and the women were at least 55.

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Some participants took a daily dosage of 2,000 international units of vitamin D and 1 gram of fish oil.

Other participants received the same dosage of vitamin D plus a placebo, and others took the same daily dosage of fish oil with a placebo. The final group received two dosages of placebos.

Dr. Manson and the team followed the participants for 5 years. By the end of the study period, they had found no overall benefits.

 In the first trial, they conclude:

Supplementation with [omega-3] fatty acids did not result in a lower incidence of major cardiovascular events or cancer than placebo.”

In the second trial, they surmise that “Supplementation with vitamin D did not result in a lower incidence of invasive cancer or cardiovascular events than placebo.”

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Does fish oil stave off heart attacks?

Dr. Manson and the team did find a link between fish oil and a lower risk of heart attacks, particularly among people who did not eat fish regularly, as well as among African-Americans.

Overall, fish oil supplements reduced the risk of a heart attack by approximately 28 percent. Among African-Americans, fish oil supplements lowered this risk by 77 percent, compared with participants who took only a placebo.

Finally, the researchers found that no supplement involved in the trial led to severe side effects, such as bleeding, excessive calcium, or gastrointestinal problems.

The New England Journal of Medicine also published an editorial related to the trials. In it, authors Dr. John F. Keaney and Dr. Clifford J. Rosen warn that the trials’ “positive” results regarding fish oil supplementation and heart attack risk “need to be interpreted with caution.”

They continue, noting that other large randomized trials of omega-3 fatty acids do not support these findings.

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-Medical News Today

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