Journal round up: Bagpipes, Arab spring and hair transplants

3 minute read

Here's TMR's pick of the most interesting research from the major medical journals


We’ve been keeping an eye out for the most interesting research published over the past two weeks. Here’s TMR’s pick from the major medical journals

Arab spring and health

Life expectancy has plummeted in eastern Mediterranean countries as a result of ongoing conflict in the region, a study shows.

An analysis of data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 revealed a sharp drop in life expectancy between 2010 and 2013 in Libya and Syria.

If the crisis had not occurred, life expectancy would have been nine years higher than observed for males and six years higher for females in Libya, with similar increases in Syria.

Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia also saw a decline in projected average life span over the same period.

“Based on our findings, we call for increased investment in health in the region in addition to reducing the conflicts,” the authors wrote.

Lancet Glob Health 2016, online 24 August

‘Bagpipe lung’ strikes

Mould and fungi lurking inside the moist interior of a set of bagpipes have been linked to the death of a man from the chronic inflammatory lung condition, hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

The condition is triggered by an immunological reaction to an inhaled environmental antigen, and is more usually associated with an occupational exposure to birds, particularly pigeons, or to smoking or living or working in a mouldy environment.

But University of Manchester doctors found, in this case, that seven types of fungus were living in the victim’s bagpipes were responsible for the condition.

They warned that wind instruments of any type “could be contaminated with yeasts and moulds that act as a potential trigger”.

Thorax; online 23 August

Hair’s looking at you

Do hirsute men really look younger and more attractive than their follicularly challenged counterparts? Apparently yes, according to results from a randomised controlled web-based survey.

Photographs of men taken before and after hair-transplant procedures were used to measure observer ratings of age, attractiveness, successfulness and approachability, and to quantify the effect of the hair transplant on each of these qualities.

The surveys asked 122 participants recruited via social media to compare 13 pairs of images with seven men having undergone a hair transplant and six men used as a control.

The men with the transplants were rated more favourably on all four qualities.

JAMA Facial Plast Surg; online 25 August

Diet link to ADHD

UK researchers may have discovered the biological mechanism behind the association between prenatal diet and ADHD symptoms.

Prenatal diets high in fat and sugar were linked with higher DNA methylation of the insulin-like growth factor 2 gene, which is involved in fetal and neural development, their study found.

Higher methylation of this gene at birth predicted ADHD symptoms in children aged seven to 13 who had early onset conduct problems such as lying or fighting.

The study highlights pregnancy as a promising window of opportunity for reducing the risk of ADHD symptoms, the authors said.

Jour Child Psych and Psychiatry; 18 August 

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×