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Women less likely than men to get CPR from bystanders -- and more likely to die -- study suggests

New research funded by the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health shows gender may play a major role in whether or not someone receives life-saving CPR from bystanders.

And it may come down to a person’s reluctance to touch a woman’s chest in public, The Associated Press reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers presented the findings Sunday at an American Heart Association Conference in Anaheim, California.

It’s the first study to examine gender differences in receiving heart help from the public versus professional responders.

The study, which involved nearly 20,000 cases around the country, found only 39 percent of women suffering cardiac arrest in public received CPR, compared to 45 percent of men.

Men were also 23 percent more likely to survive a cardiac arrest occurring in public.

» RELATED: Do heart stents even work? New study finds they fail to ease chest pain

Researchers don’t know why exactly rescuers were less likely to assist women and did not find a gender difference in CPR rates for people suffering from cardiac arrest at home, where a rescuer is more likely someone who knows the person needing help.

» RELATED: Study: Patients who undergo heart surgery during this time of day have better chance for survival

“It can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center of a woman’s chest,” and some people may fear they are hurting her, said lead researcher Audrey Blewer, from the University of Pennsylvania.

And, according to Dr. Benjamin Abella, another study leader, rescuers may also worry about moving a woman’s clothing to get better access or touching breasts to do CPR.

But proper CPR shouldn’t entail that, Abella said.

“You put your hands on the sternum, which is the middle of the chest. In theory, you’re touching in between the breasts,” he said. “This is not a time to be squeamish, because it’s a life and death situation.”

The Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Roger White, who co-directs the paramedic program for the city of Rochester, Minnesota, said he has long worried that large breasts may impede proper placement of defibrilator pads if women need a shock to restore normal heart rhythm.

“All of us are going to have to take a closer look at this” gender issue, he said.

» RELATED: Common painkillers increase risk of heart attack by one-third, new study finds

More than 350,000 Americans who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease suffer a cardiac arrest each year in areas other than a hospital, and about 90 percent of them die. According to the American Heart Association, CPR can double or triple survival odds.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Disneyland shuts cooling towers after Legionnaires’ outbreak

Disneyland shut down two cooling towers in October after people who visited the Southern California theme park were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

A dozen cases of the bacterial illness were discovered approximately three weeks ago, the Orange County Health Care Agency confirmed to The Associated Press. All the patients lived or had spent time in Anaheim and nine had visited Disneyland in September. One patient, who hadn’t visited the park, has died.

>> Read more trending news

Legionnaires’ can cause severe pneumonia. It is spread by mist from contaminated water. 

Disneyland says it learned about the Legionnaires’ cases in late October and shut down and disinfected two cooling towers that tested for high levels of the bacteria. The towers will reopen once they are no longer contaminated, park officials said.

The health agency told The AP that no new cases have been reported.

Too much Christmas music is bad for your health, psychologists say

The holiday season is upon us and that probably means the icicle lights are going up at your local hangouts, your neighbors are starting to set up the decor in their front yards and, of course, Christmas music is likely on a continuous loop everywhere you go — or it will be soon.

» RELATED: Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree

If you’re not all that excited about the last bit, you’re not alone.

In fact, according to some mental health experts, hearing Christmas music can be psychologically draining, especially for those working in retail who have to listen to holiday tunes blasting in their stores regularly. 

» RELATED: 9-year-old battling cancer to celebrate Christmas early this year

“People working in shops at Christmas have to learn how to tune it out -- tune out Christmas music -- because if they don’t, it really does make you unable to focus on anything else,” Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist in the United Kingdom, told Sky News. “You’re simply spending all your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”

» RELATED: 7 tips on doing Christmas dinner on a budget

Music tends to bypass rationality and go straight for our emotions, Blair said. "It might make us feel that we're trapped. It's a reminder that we have to buy presents, cater for people, organize celebrations.”

>> Read more trending news

While previous research has shown that adding Christmas music or scents to the shopping experience yields a positive experience for shoppers, it could also lead to impulse buys, due to the music’s emotional influence, Blair said.

» RELATED: Are the holidays the most miserable time of year?

The United Kingdom’s Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers also told Sky News it “ask(s) employers to consider the staff who have to listen to Christmas music all day, because playing the same songs repeatedly can become very irritating and distracting.”

» RELATED: President Trump says you'll be hearing 'Merry Christmas' a lot more this year

Increased stress during the holidays is also a major trend in the U.S., according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Some common holiday stressors could include financial demands of the season, dealing with the interpersonal dynamics of family and maintaining personal health habits, including an exercise regimen, a 2015 Healthline study on consumer health found.

» RELATED: 12 expert-approved tips to avoid holiday weight gain

Ellen Braaten, a psychology professor at Massachusetts General Hospital, shared some tips in a Harvard Medical School report on holiday stress and the brain:

“People who feel stressed during the holidays should evaluate how they spend their time, decide what they want the holidays to mean to them, and keep their expectations for the season realistic.”

“The holidays are just another time of year,” Braaten said, “certainly something to mark, but not the end-all, be-all.”

Read more about holiday stress and the brain at neuro.hms.harvard.edu.

Women who use IUDs may have reduced risk of cervical cancer, study says

Are you on birth control? If you use an intrauterine device, also known as an IUD, you may have a lower risk of developing cervical cancer, according to a new report

»RELATED: 7 surprising things that can increase your risk of cancer

Researchers from the University of Southern California recently conducted an experiment, published in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal, to determine the link between IUDs and the disease.

>> Read more trending news 

To do so, they took a look at 16 previous studies that examined more than 12,000 women from around the world. Each study included information about the participants’ IUD use, history of cervical cancer and other health risk factors, including prevalence of HPV and the age of a woman’s fist vaginal intercourse. 

»RELATED: Newborn baby photographed with mother's IUD in hand

After analyzing the results, they found that the rate of cervical cancer was one-third lower in women who used IUDs compared to those who did not. 

“The pattern we found was stunning. It was not subtle at all," lead author Victoria Cortessis said in a statement. "The possibility that a woman could experience some help with cancer control at the same time she is making contraception decisions could potentially be very, very impactful."

»RELATED: Sugar can fuel cancerous cells , study says

Scientists, however, did note that their analysis did not include any clinical work. Therefore, IUDs have not been proven to prevent cervical cancer. 

But they do have a few theories about IUDs’ protective benefits. 

Some believe the placement of the IUD causes an immune response in the cervix that helps the body ward off an HPV infection that could one day lead to cervical cancer. Also, when an IUD is removed, they think it may contain harmful cells that contain the HPV infection. 

Scientists plan to continue their research to understand how IUDs can be used as protection against the illness. 

“The results of our study are very exciting,” coauthor Laila Muderspach added. “There is tremendous potential.”

»RELATED: Just 1 percent of women are aware of this common ovarian cancer symptom, study says

Florida woman ends up in hospital, has surgery after getting pedicure

A woman in Tampa, Florida, blames a pedicure for her weeklong stay at a local hospital. 

>> Read more trending news 

Tara Batista told WFTS that a few hours after she left a nail salon where she got a pedicure, she began to feel weak, and the next day felt severe pain in her leg. 

Family members drove Batista to the emergency room a day and a half later, when her foot turned black and she could not stand on her leg, WFTS reports. 

Doctors told Batista that she suffered a severe leg infection and needed to undergo surgery. Medical records obtained by WFTS revealed Batista had a deep injury on her left big toe that turned into a severe bacterial infection. 

The nail salon refused to comment since there is “no conclusive proof” Batista got the infection there, but she said the woman who gave her the pedicure dug too far into her skin, and she told her “to ease up a bit,” according to WFTS. 

Batista said she now has a catheter in her leg and needs care from a home health nurse for six weeks, WFTS reports. 

Read more here.

READ: Potentially deadly parasite found in 5 Florida counties

Americans more stressed about future of country than work or money, study says

Money and career woes can be triggers for anxiety, but there’s one topic Americans are stressed about the most. It’s the country, according to a new report from the American Psychological Association. 

>> Read more trending news 

The APA determined its results for its 2017 Stress in America study by surveying about 3,400 American adults who were 18 years old and older and resided in the U.S. between Aug. 2 and Aug. 31.

Researchers discovered that 63 percent of U.S. citizens believe the future of the nation is a “very” or “somewhat” significant form of stress. That figure is higher than other stressors, including money, which was a source of stress for 62 percent of the people surveyed, as well as work, a source of stress for 61 percent. 

When researchers dug a little deeper, they found that 59 percent of adults reported the current “social divisiveness” was also stressful. Of that number, 73 percent were Democrats and 56 percent were Republicans. 

“We’re seeing significant stress transcending party lines,” APA’s CEO Arthur C. Evans said in a statement. “The uncertainty and unpredictability tied to the future of our nation is affecting the health and well-being of many Americans in a way that feels unique to this period in recent history.”

These are the political topics Americans are most concerned about:

Health care: 43 percent

Economy: 35 percent

Trust in government: 32 percent

Hate crimes: 31 percent

Wars/conflicts with other countries: 30 percent

Terrorist attacks in the United States: 30 percent

Unemployment and low wages: 22 percent

Climate change and environmental issues: 21 percent

» RELATED: Georgia among the most stressed states in the U.S., study says 

Furthermore, keeping up with the news is also stressful for adults. About 95 percent of people are following the news regularly, but 56 percent say it causes them stress and 72 percent think the “media blows things out of proportion.”

“With 24-hour news networks and conversations with friends, family and other connections on social media, it’s hard to avoid the constant stream of stress around issues of national concern,” Evans said. “These can range from mild, thought-provoking discussions to outright, intense bickering, and over the long term, conflict like this may have an impact on health.”

But despite the stress levels among Americans, 51 percent say they are more inspired to volunteer or support a cause. About 59 percent said they had taken some form of action, such as signing petitions or boycotting companies, within the last year.

Want to learn more about the results? Read the details about the findings here

» RELATED: Talking to yourself can reduce your stress levels

Company will give non-smoking employees 6 extra days off

A Japanese company will give its non-smoking employees an additional six days off to promote fairness and simultaneously acknowledge the amount of time smokers use to take smoke breaks. 

>> Read more trending news 

Piala, a marketing firm based out of Tokyo, begun offering its non-smoking employees extra paid days after an employee complained that colleagues who take breaks throughout the day to smoke often end up working less.

Piala employees told leadership their smoking coworkers generally spend about 15 minutes on each smoke break. 

Coupled with the time employees took to commute from the office’s 29th floor to the smoking area in the building’s basement, employees spend about 40 minutes each day away from their desks for smoke breaks, Piala spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima said, according to CNN

“One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems,” Matsushima said, according to The Telegraph. “Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”

Piala began offering the days-off incentive in September, at which point the company employed about 120 people, of which more than three dozen were smokers. Since then, four have quit smoking, Matsushima said.

“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives, rather than penalties or coercion,” Takao Asuka, Piala CEO, said.

“We don’t give punishment for smoking,” Matsushima said. “Instead, we offer a benefit for not smoking. Without doing anything, (nonsmokers’) vacation increases by six days.”

At least 30 people have taken advantage of the extra time, including Matsushima, who said he used the extra time to visit a hot spring resort for a couple of days with his family. Shun Shinbaba, 25, told CNN he plans to use the extra time to play tennis.

Alabama student dies weeks after being hit in head with soccer ball

A University of Alabama freshman died Saturday, three weeks after she was hit in the head with a ball while playing soccer with friends.

Allie Brodie, 18, of Danville, California, succumbed to complications of pneumonia, according to the Tuscaloosa News. She was in a medically-induced coma at the time of her death.

“Heaven has gained a beautiful guardian angel, and we continue to seek peace in God’s plan for our sweet girl,” her mother, Cindy Brodie, wrote in announcing her death, according to a GoFundMe page in her name

The fundraising page, established to help with her medical costs, stated that Brodie was struck in the head with a soccer ball as she played Oct. 7 with new friends she had made on campus. Over the next few days, she suffered worsening symptoms that led her to the emergency room.

Surgery soon followed, after doctors discovered bleeding in Brodie’s brain.

“The emergency surgery for intracranial hemorrhage required her to be put into a medically-induced coma and led to a diagnosis of a very serious condition: brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a condition she was born with,” the GoFundMe page read. “The trauma of being hit by the soccer ball and AVM triggered internal bleeding in her brain stem.”

>> Read more trending news

According to the Mayo Clinic, AVM is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels that connect the arteries and veins in the brain. The condition, which affects fewer than 1 percent of the population, most often occurs in the brain or spine.

An AVM in the brain disrupts the veins’ ability to carry oxygen-depleted blood back to a person’s lungs and heart. Though some cases of AVM cause symptoms, like headaches or seizures, it is common for them to be diagnosed when a person is being treated for another medical issue, or for them to be discovered only after the vessels rupture and cause a brain bleed. 

Brodie is survived by her mother and two sisters, including a twin sister who is studying at Kings College in London, the GoFundMe page said

The University of Alabama’s Alpha Delta Chi chapter, of which Brodie was a member, is holding a candlelight vigil Wednesday night in her honor. 

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our sister, Allie Brodie,” the Christian sorority’s Facebook page read on Sunday. “Though we only knew her a short time, Allie made a significant impact on our sisters.”

A high school friend, Stephen Zipkin, wrote on social media that Brodie’s death had “absolutely torn (him) apart.”

“There are so few people on the earth as intelligent, kind or passionate as she is,” Zipkin wrote. “I have been lucky to learn and graduate alongside her, to talk to her and to know her. I am happy that she was here and saddened that she was not here longer.” 

Daith piercing could help alleviate headaches

Intense and often sudden headaches can be debilitating.

Migraine sufferers may find relief in a unique technique: an ear piercing.

>> Read more trending news 

Paula Nicholls has suffered from migraine headaches since second grade. The pain is so intense, she's hoping a trip to a tattoo studio will bring relief.

Migraine medicines haven't worked, so Nicholls is trying out a new trend that involves piercing a portion of the ear known as the daith.

Daith piercing was the topic of an essay by University of Florida health neurologist Edward Neely presented at the American Headache Society this June.

“I've seen some patients with good response and other with virtually no response,” Neely said.

Neely said one patient has been headache free for at least 18 months. He said the daith piercings go through the vagus nerve.

“So potentially piercing that nerve can act like a permanent acupuncture needle,” Neely said.

Professional piercer Kelly Buscher said while these kinds of piercings are nothing new, thanks to social media, the trend for the method of headache relief has grown in the past year. 

“There have been days where I've done 10 piercings where it's just the daith only,” Buscher said

For Nicholls, a chance to be pain-free was worth exploring.

Within a minute, Nicholls’ piercing was done and she said the pressure in the left side of her head was gone. 

“I usually have a lot of sinus pressure and a lot of pressure near my face, but I automatically felt the difference between my left side and my right side -- it feels more free on this side and it feels amazing,” Nicholls said.

“People are tired of the medications, Botox, so they're using this as one of the last resorts and taking a jump to see if it works,” Buscher said.

Neely said the procedure may not work for everyone, but it’s something more people may decide to try, hoping for even a chance to live a life pain free.

What is Narcan? 12 things to know about the drug

Walgreens pharmacy now sells over-the-counter Narcan nasal spray, a life-saving medicine that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, at its more than 8,000 locations nationwide, company officials announced Tuesday.

» RELATED: Trump declares ‘public health emergency’ to fight opioid use in US

President Donald Trump also declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency Thursday, as estimates from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day.

>> Read more trending news

Here’s what you need to know about Narcan:

What is it?

Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is a drug that can temporarily reverse the potentially deadly effects of opioid overdose during an emergency.

According to Time, naloxone itself comes in three FDA-approved forms, including a shot (usually for more professionally trained individuals), an easier shot called Evzio for untrained users that works like an EpiPen and a nasal spray that can be administered by both trained and untrained users.

» RELATED: Is America’s opioid epidemic killing the economy?

What are the signs and symptoms of an opioid emergency?

Signs and symptoms may include breathing problems, severe fatigue and unusual sleepiness and “pinpoint pupils,” where the eye’s pupil becomes very small.

How much naloxone is in the nasal spray?

There is a concentrated 4-miligram dose of naloxone in the spray.

» RELATED: What is fentanyl? 10 things to know about the potentially deadly drug

How does Narcan work?

Because opioids affect the part of the brain that regulates breathing, opioids in high doses can lead to severe breathing problems, unresponsiveness and potentially, death.

When Narcan or naloxone is administered to someone with signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, naloxone molecules travel through the body to the brain and attach to receptor sites in the brain with a greater affinity than most opioid molecules and can easily displace them.

By displacing the opioid molecules, naloxone can quickly reverse the potentially fatal effects of an opioid overdose, specifically targeting any breathing issues, referred to as respiratory depression.

What are Narcan’s side effects?

According to the official Narcan website, Narcan may result in symptoms of acute opioid withdrawal. Those symptoms can vary depending on age and occurrence of opioid use.

For those using opioids regularly, symptoms may include body aches, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sweating, shivering or trembling, weakness, increased heart rate and blood pressure, goose bumps, stomach cramping and more.

Sudden withdrawal for infants under four weeks old who have been receiving opioids regularly may be life-threatening if not treated properly. Symptoms in these infants may include seizures, increased reflexes and crying more than usual.

For more information about Narcan’s side effects, contact your health care provider.

What if the patient doesn’t wake up or the opioid symptoms return after using Narcan nasal spray?

Administer a second dose of Narcan in the alternate nostril and watch the person closely as you wait for emergency medical care.

Additional doses can be given every 2-3 minutes until the person responds or receives emergency care.

» RELATED: Walgreens to begin selling OTC Narcan to combat opioid epidemic

Do you still need to get emergency medical care after administering Narcan nasal spray?

Yes. Narcan nasal spray is not a substitute for emergency medical care. It’s advised that you seek medical attention right away after taking the first dose or giving the first dose.

» RELATED: Study says opioids cost economy at least 1.4 million workers (and that’s just the men)

Is the nasal spray safe to administer on children?

Yes, Narcan nasal spray is safe and effective in children for known or suspected opioid overdose.

Is there anyone who can’t use Narcan nasal spray?

Narcan should not be used on anyone allergic to naloxone hydrochloride or any of the other ingredients in the spray.

If you take opioids yourself, be sure to consult with your health care provider before using the spray.

Why is it in nasal spray form?

Its design was meant for emergency overdose situations both inside and outside of health care settings. The nasal spray is ready-to-use and easy-to-use for nearly anyone, including family members and caregivers.

Firefighters, other first responders and emergency medical personnel also carry naloxone.

Where can you get Narcan?

Narcan is available at pharmacies both by prescription and, in some states, over the counter as well.

CVS offers naloxone over the counter in 43 states, and Walgreens now sells Narcan in its 8,000 stores nationwide. Walgreens stores in 45 states will sell Narcan over the counter.

How much does Narcan cost?

Without insurance, Narcan typically costs about $130 for a kit with one or two doses, but the over-the-counter prices could be 25 percent lower depending on current price points and discounts for other pharmacies already carrying the drug, company officials said in a news release.

Based on your personal insurance plan, you may have a copay between $0 to $20 to buy the drug. The majority of prescriptions, according to IMS Heath data, have a co-pay of $10 or less (75 percent) and $20 or less (80 percent).

» RELATED: Questions and Answers: Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) open enrollment

Though Medicare and Medicaid cover brands like Narcan, the coverage varies by state.

According to Time, some community-based organizations focused on treating drug addition may provide the drug for free.

Sources: CDC, Narcan.comFDA.gov

Read more about Narcan nasal spray at narcan.com.

Read the FDA approval for additional information about dosage, warnings and more.

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