Binge Drinking Kills 12,000 Women Annually

Plus: Hand sanitizer might be useless against norovirus and more health news.

By | Hub Health |

People that are bilingual have brains that¬†work more efficiently than people who speak only one language, according to new research¬†published¬†in The Journal of Neuroscience.¬†When we pass through middle age, our brains become slower at switching from one task to another and at shutting out unwanted distractions.¬†Neuroscientists have been accumulating strong evidence that knowing, and constantly using, a second language starting in childhood can significantly delay a decline in brain power. But that doesn’t mean you have to start at childhood to get the brain benefits.¬†Learning¬†a new language at any age can improve you brain power. [Today]

Hand sanitizer might be useless against the norovirus, the severe gastrointestinal illness that the nation is currently dealing with, according to the CDC. In 2011, the CDC studied 91 long-term care facilities. The facilities where staff members used alcohol-based sanitizers, were six times more likely to have an outbreak of norovirus than the facilities where the staff preferred using soap and water. The bottom-line is that hand sanitizers were not meant to replace hand washing. [New York Times]

A Miss America contestant is having a double mastectomy now that the pageant is over. Miss D.C. is a 24-year-old that is having both breasts removed as a preventive measure to reduce her chances of developing the disease that killed her mother, grandmother and great aunt. [NY Daily News]

Binge drinking contributes to the deaths of about 12,000 women and girls annually in the United States, according to the¬†Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A CDC report estimates that nearly 14 million U.S. women binge drink about three times a month, consuming an average of six drinks during each binge. Half of all high school girls who consume alcohol reported binge drinking.¬†CDC Director, Thomas Frieden, says that binge drinking can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, heart disease, unintentional pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and auto accidents. In a college city like Boston, the binge drinking numbers are especially high. [NBC News]

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