10 Cute Sweatpants On Sale at Shopbop Just in Time for Hygge Season

If there’s one thing I consistently reach for after a long day of work, it’s a pair of sweatpants. No shade to my favorite pairs of leggings, but there’s something about the loose fit of sweatpants that I just seem to gravitate to when I’m feeling lazy. Not only are they ridiculously comfortable to wear around the house, but they also come in handy when I’m looking to take an athleisure look from the couch to the streets with minimal (read: absolutely no) effort.

Although sweatpants sometimes get a bad rap for looking too casual, there are plenty of really cute options on the market—and many are on deep discount right now during Shopbop’s surprise sale. The retailer has a number of cozy but stylish pants available from brands like Free People, Beyond Yoga, and more, for up to 40 percent off. Looking to get a jump start on your hygge routine this winter? Read on for a few discounted sweatpants you may never want to take off.

High exposure to radio frequency radiation associated with cancer in male rats

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) concluded there is clear evidence that male rats exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR) like that used in 2G and 3G cell phones developed cancerous heart tumors, according to final reports released today. There was also some evidence of tumors in the brain and adrenal gland of exposed male rats. For female rats, and male and female mice, the evidence was equivocal as to whether cancers observed were associated with exposure to RFR. The final reports represent the consensus of NTP and a panel of external scientific experts who reviewed the studies in March after draft reports were issued in February.

“The exposures used in the studies cannot be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone,” said John Bucher, Ph.D., NTP senior scientist. “In our studies, rats and mice received radio frequency radiation across their whole bodies. By contrast, people are mostly exposed in specific local tissues close to where they hold the phone. In addition, the exposure levels and durations in our studies were greater than what people experience.”

The lowest exposure level used in the studies was equal to the maximum local tissue exposure currently allowed for cell phone users. This power level rarely occurs with typical cell phone use. The highest exposure level in the studies was four times higher than the maximum power level permitted.

“We believe that the link between radio frequency radiation and tumors in male rats is real, and the external experts agreed,” said Bucher.

The $30 million NTP studies took more than 10 years to complete and are the most comprehensive assessment, to date, of health effects in animals exposed to RFR with modulations used in 2G and 3G cell phones. 2G and 3G networks were standard when the studies were designed and are still used for phone calls and texting.

“A major strength of our studies is that we were able to control exactly how much radio frequency radiation the animals received — something that’s not possible when studying human cell phone use, which has often relied on questionnaires,” said Michael Wyde, Ph.D., lead toxicologist on the studies.

He also noted the unexpected finding of longer lifespans among the exposed male rats. “This may be explained by an observed decrease in chronic kidney problems that are often the cause of death in older rats,” Wyde said.

The animals were housed in chambers specifically designed and built for these studies. Exposure to RFR began in the womb for rats and at 5 to 6 weeks old for mice, and continued for up to two years, or most of their natural lifetime. The RFR exposure was intermittent, 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off, totaling about nine hours each day. RFR levels ranged from 1.5-6 watts per kilogram in rats, and 2.5-10 watts per kilogram in mice.

These studies did not investigate the types of RFR used for Wi-Fi or 5G networks.

“5G is an emerging technology that hasn’t really been defined yet. From what we currently understand, it likely differs dramatically from what we studied,” said Wyde.

For future studies, NTP is building smaller RFR exposure chambers that will make it easier to evaluate newer telecommunications technologies in weeks or months, rather than years. These studies will focus on developing measurable physical indicators, or biomarkers, of potential effects from RFR. These may include changes in metrics like DNA damage in exposed tissues, which can be detected much sooner than cancer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration nominated cell phone RFR for study by NTP because of widespread public use of cell phones and limited knowledge about potential health effects from long-term exposure. NTP will provide the results of these studies to FDA and the Federal Communications Commission, who will review the information as they continue to monitor new research on the potential effects of RFR.

NTP uses four categories to summarize the evidence that a substance may cause cancer:

  • Clear evidence (highest)
  • Some evidence
  • Equivocal evidence
  • No evidence (lowest)

More information on the categories is available at https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/pubs/longterm/defs/index.html.

People link body shapes with personality traits

When we meet new people, our first impressions of their personality may depend, at least in part, on their body shape, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Our research shows that people infer a wide range of personality traits just by looking at the physical features of a particular body,” says psychological scientist Ying Hu of the University of Texas at Dallas, first author on the research. “Stereotypes based on body shape can contribute to how we judge and interact with new acquaintances and strangers. Understanding these biases is important for considering how we form first impressions.”

Previous research has shown that we infer a considerable amount of social information by looking at other people’s faces, but relatively little research has explored whether body shapes also contribute to these judgments.

“We wanted to know whether we could link personality descriptor words to body shape in predictable ways,” explains Hu. “That is, do people look at a person’s body and make snap judgments about whether the person is lazy, enthusiastic, or irritable?”

Hu and colleagues created 140 realistic body models, of which 70 were female and 70 male. The three-dimensional renderings were generated from random values along 10 different body dimensions, using data from laser scans of actual human bodies. Using these models allowed the researchers to know the precise physical measurements of each body shown in the study.

A total of 76 undergraduate participants viewed a set of models — they saw each body from two angles and indicated whether 30 trait words shown on screen applied to that body. The trait words reflected dimensions of the Big Five personality traits (a common measure of personality used in psychology research) typically seen as positive (e.g., enthusiastic, extraverted, dominant) or negative (e.g., quiet, reserved, shy).

The researchers analyzed whether participants consistently associated specific traits with certain types of bodies.

Generally, participants judged heavier bodies as being associated with more negative traits, such as being lazy and careless; they judged lighter bodies as having more positive traits, such as being self-confident and enthusiastic.

Furthermore, the participants perceived classically feminine (e.g., pear-shaped) and classically masculine (e.g., broad-shouldered) bodies as being associated with “active” traits, such as being quarrelsome, extraverted, and irritable. Male and female bodies that were more rectangular, on the other hand, were associated with relatively passive traits, such as being trustworthy, shy, dependable, and warm.

In additional analyses, the researchers found that they could reliably predict personality trait judgments from specific combinations of different body shape features.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to consider the role of more nuanced aspects of body shape — beyond height and weight — in personality judgments about people,” says Alice O’Toole, coauthor and professor of the University of Texas at Dallas.

The tendency to infer personality traits from body shape is likely universal, the authors argue, but they note that the exact inferences people make will vary according to their culture, ethnicity, and even age. And it remains to be seen how other characteristics, such as attractiveness or gender, interact with body shape to influence the inferences that people make.

These findings add a new layer to the science behind first impressions, revealing “the complicated and value-based judgments that people make about strangers based only on their bodies,” Hu concludes.

People with Internet addiction react the worst when WiFi fails

Do you get frustrated and angry when your WiFi connection stops working? It could be because of your personality. When digital technology stops working, people with a fear of missing out (FOMO) — the anxiety that you’re missing a social experience others might be having while you’re not online — or an internet addiction have more extreme reactions, according to a new study in Heliyon.

The researchers behind the study, psychologists Dr. Lee Hadlington and Dr. Mark Scase from De Montfort University in the UK, also show that certain personality traits directly influence people’s responses to failures in digital technology: people who were seen as being more neurotic and extroverted had more extreme reactions to failures in digital technology.

“The ‘frustration’ response is one of the things we all experience on a daily basis, so it seemed to be a logical step in our research,” said lead author Dr. Lee Hadlington. “Much of the existing research on this topic is from the 1940s — you could say that this research is the first of its kind to actually explore how individual react to failures with digital technology, and more importantly, places this in the context of the modern digital era.”

If something goes wrong with digital technology that prevents us from being online, we will react in different ways. ‘Maladaptive’ responses include getting angry, panicking or feeling depressed; these responses are not only unhelpful, they have also been shown to have a detrimental impact on productivity and achieving goals, and can therefore lead to poor job performance. If the digital technology failure is due to a malicious cyberattack, this could affect many people and businesses, so it’s important to understand the responses in order to limit the negative effects.

“If we can understand what leads individuals to react in certain ways, and why these differences occur, we can hopefully make sure that when digital technology does fail people are better supported and there are relevant signposts for them to follow to get help,” said Dr. Hadlington.

In the study, 630 participants aged 18-68 completed an online questionnaire in which they self-reported their responses to failures in digital technology, fear of missing out, internet addiction and answered questions that scored them on the BIG-5 personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism

The results showed that the fear of missing out, internet addiction, extroversion and neuroticism all have a significantly positive influence on maladaptive responses, meaning the people most psychologically dependent on digital technology are most likely to have maladaptive responses when it goes wrong.

They also showed a link between age and response: as age increases, the level of frustration that a person experiences decreases.

“The more we use our devices, the more we get attached to them, so when they don’t work, we tend to just go a little bit ‘crazy’ or just switch off and stop doing things altogether,” said Dr. Hadlington. “But there are things people can do when technology fails to make their lives a lot easier — extreme reactions only make things worse!”

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Tennis elbow treatments provide little to no benefit, study finds

The painful condition known as “tennis elbow” results from overuse of the tendons in the forearm, typically in a patient’s dominant arm. A repetitive stress injury, tennis elbow affects not just athletes, but also tradesmen, food industry workers, manufacturers and office workers — anyone who uses the hands and wrists for hours each day. Numerous treatments are available to the 200,000 new patients diagnosed with tennis elbow in the United States each year, but few high quality trials have compared these approaches.

In the largest analysis to date, researchers and clinicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have compared the efficacy and safety of non-surgical treatment options for tennis elbow — also called enthesopathy of the extensor carpi radialis brevis (eECRB). Published today in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the meta-analysis reveals that none of the 11 non-surgical treatment options — including physical therapy, acupuncture, oral anti-inflammatory medications, local botulinum toxin injection therapy, ultrasound, laser therapy and more — performed significantly better than placebo in addressing patients’ pain and that all increased patients’ odds of adverse events.

“All 11 treatment options provided only small pain relief, while increasing the odds of adverse events,” said Ara Nazarian, PhD, a principal investigator in the Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. “More than 90 percent of the patients given placebo experienced pain resolution after four weeks.”

Nazarian and colleagues analyzed findings from 2,746 participants in 36 randomized, placebo-controlled studies evaluating 11 non-surgical treatment options for tennis elbow. The team looked at the treatments’ effects on pain and grip strength at within four weeks of diagnosis, between five and 26 weeks after diagnosis, and more than 26 weeks after diagnosis. Only studies in which treatments given as placebo (such as saline-filled injections, inactive sugar pills or inactivated therapeutic devices) were included in the analysis — those in which placebo was defined as no treatment or “watchful waiting” were excluded.

The team found that 99 percent of patients receiving only placebo reported little to no pain by 26 weeks after diagnosis. Next, using a meta-analysis method that allowed head-to-head comparison across treatments, Nazarian’s team found that none of the treatment modalities demonstrated any significant benefit within four weeks of diagnosis.

Five to 26 weeks after diagnosis, patients who underwent laser therapy or had local botulinum toxin injections reported trivial but statistically significant pain relief compared to the other treatment options. However, beyond week 26, only patients treated with shock wave therapy reported any long-term benefit compared to the other treatment modalities, while those who underwent cortico-steroid injections complained of worse pain than patients receiving placebo.

Further, the scientists demonstrated that the risk of adverse events was about the same across the 11 treatment modalities. However, the overall odds of an adverse event in all treatment groups were significantly higher than the placebo groups.

“That implies that, for most patients, tennis elbow is a self-limiting condition,” said corresponding author Amin Mohamadi, MD, MPH, a post-doctoral research fellow in the Nazarian lab at BIDMC. “We evaluated almost all of the non-surgical treatments available for tennis elbow and showed that they provide only minimal effect over placebo. Because almost all patients reported only minimal pain after the first four weeks, clinicians treating patients with tennis elbow may consider opting for a pain relief regimen to manage symptoms on a patient-to-patient basis.”

The scientists note that patients who work as manual laborers and those who present with worse baseline pain may benefit from treatment sooner rather than later. However, randomized, placebo-controlled trials are necessary to determine best-practices for these high-risk populations.

“Even though this is not evaluated directly in our study, manual laborers who are in acute and intense pain may benefit from an intervention to go back to their full function sooner,” said Nazarian. “Based on this analysis, our overall recommendation is “wait and see.” However, for some groups “wait and see” may not be a feasible option, so we recommend for these groups an intervention that is most effective in short-term.”

In addition to Nazarian and Mohamadi, co-investigators included Phillip Hanna MD, Aron Lechtig MD of BIDMC; Jayson Lian BA, David Hemmati BS and Jimmy J. Chan, MD of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York.

Strengthening self-regulation in childhood may improve resiliency later in life

Millions of families live in poverty in the United States. Associated stressors can often lead to adverse life experiences for children in those families, and negative socioemotional outcomes later in life.

Family-centered programs are a well-supported way of buffering against these effects. More than two decades of peer-reviewed research suggests family-focused interventions play a role in improving outcomes over a long period of time.

Now, a paper published in Child Development finally backs up that research with neuroimaging data.

“The current study represents one of the first investigations to explore whether participation in these types of programs can impact the brain,” said Jamie Hanson, a University of Pittsburgh assistant professor of psychology and first author on the paper.

The study showed that participating in a culturally sensitive family-centered prevention program, even for a short period of time, had enduring effects on brain network connections into young adulthood.

To collect this data, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and the Center for Translational and Prevention Science at the University of Georgia evaluated data from a sample of African American families recruited from low-income rural communities in the Southeastern U.S. When children were age 11, half the sample was randomly assigned to participate in the Strong African American Families (SAAF) program, while the other half was assigned to a control group, which did not receive the intervention.

The intervention focused on skill building in youth, improving parental emotional support, encouraging parent-child communication and helping youth set future goals.

Years later, at age 25, both groups underwent “resting state” brain imaging — lying awake in an MRI scanner, not engaged in any kind of task or activity. The technique helps researchers understand how the brain is organized, especially if and how strongly different regions communicate.

Neuroimaging showed that those who participated in the intervention had stronger connections (more interactions) between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex — areas involved with memory and decision-making — compared to the control group. The intervention group also self-reported fewer disruptive behavioral problems, from aggression to losing their temper.

This suggests that strengthening kids’ self-regulation skills and enhancing supportive parenting “may be one cost effective way of addressing social disparities and promoting the well-being of at-risk children,” Hanson said.

Data analysis was done at the University of Pittsburgh while the family-focused intervention and neuroimaging data collection was conducted through the Center for Family Research and the Center for Translational and Prevention Science at the University of Georgia.

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Single women freeze their eggs to avoid ‘panic parenting,’ study finds

Most single women who freeze their eggs for non-medical reasons are doing so to avoid ‘panic parenting’ (entering into unwise relationships to have a genetically-related child), a new study published in Human Fertility finds.

The research also indicates that clinics need to be clearer about the likelihood of having a baby with these eggs in the future.

Dr Kylie Baldwin and Professor Lorraine Culley, of the Centre for Reproduction Research at De Montfort University, interviewed 31 women who had frozen their eggs for ‘social’ reasons. The participants, 84 per cent of whom were single, were asked why they had chosen to do this, how they found the experience, and what information they were provided about the probability of eventually achieving a live birth with frozen eggs.

For the majority, the lack of a partner or having a partner unwilling to commit to fatherhood was the most common reason for egg freezing. Some described the process as something of an ‘end in itself’, providing them with more ‘breathing time’, and taking the pressure off the search for a suitable partner.

Many described how they hoped to never need to use their frozen eggs and instead expressed a desire to conceive naturally with a future partner. Several also reported that they found the process emotionally difficult as they fundamentally did not want to be freezing their eggs. Instead, they would have preferred to have been pursuing motherhood with a committed partner.

Worryingly, the information available to women considering freezing their eggs was found to be inadequate. Nearly all the women said that the clinics they approached were unable to provide an estimate of the likelihood of a future live birth with their frozen eggs. There was a lack of detailed discussion with doctors about post-freezing processes and outcomes, and the women, whose average age at the time of freezing was 37, were not given clinic- or age-specific information.

With rising numbers of women considering egg freezing, particularly in Europe, the study’s authors call for more to be done to support women going through this process.

Dr Baldwin said: “Whilst the number of women freezing their eggs remains small, many more are now considering this option as a way of extending the window of time they have to pursue genetic motherhood. Clinics providing this technology have a responsibility to support informed decision-making by providing women who enquire about egg freezing with detailed information about the likelihood of achieving a live birth specific to their age at freezing.

“Furthermore, women should be informed of the costs and risks, as well as the physical and emotional demands of egg freezing and any future IVF treatment.

“Clinics should also be aware of the specific emotional needs of women undergoing egg freezing who are more likely than IVF patients to be undertaking this uncertain and ambiguous process without the support of a partner.”

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Older fathers associated with increased birth risks, study reports

A decade of data documenting live births in the United States links babies of older fathers with a variety of increased risks at birth, including low birth weight and seizures, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The data even suggest that the age of the father can sway the health of the mother during pregnancy, specifically her risk for developing diabetes.

“We tend to look at maternal factors in evaluating associated birth risks, but this study shows that having a healthy baby is a team sport, and the father’s age contributes to the baby’s health, too,” said Michael Eisenberg, MD, associate professor of urology.

Data from more than 40 million births showed that babies born to fathers of an “advanced paternal age,” which roughly equates to older than 35, were at a higher risk for adverse birth outcomes, such as low birth weight, seizures and need for ventilation immediately after birth. Generally speaking, the older a father’s age, the greater the risk. For example, men who were 45 or older were 14 percent more likely to have a child born prematurely, and men 50 or older were 28 percent more likely to have a child that required admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Still, these numbers aren’t reason to drastically change any life plans, as the risks are still relatively low, Eisenberg said. He compared the increased risks to buying lottery tickets. “If you buy two lottery tickets instead of one, your chances of winning double, so it’s increased by 100 percent,” he said. “But that’s a relative increase. Because your chance of winning the lottery started very small, it’s still unlikely that you’re going to win the lottery. This is a very extreme example, but the same concept can be applied to how you think about these birth risks.”

Instead, Eisenberg sees the findings as informational ammunition for people planning a family and hopes that they will serve to educate the public and health officials.

A paper describing the study will be published online Nov. 1 in the The British Medical Journal. Eisenberg is the senior author. Resident physician Yash Khandwala, MD, is the lead author.

Increased risks at 35

Back in 2017, Eisenberg published a study showing that the number of older men fathering children was on the rise. Now, about 10 percent of infants are born to fathers over the age of 40, whereas four decades ago it was only 4 percent.

“We’re seeing these shifts across the United States, across race strata, across education levels, geography — everywhere you look, the same patterns are being seen,” Eisenberg said. “So I do think it’s becoming more relevant for us to understand the health ramifications of advanced paternal age on infant and maternal health.”

Eisenberg and his colleagues used data from 40.5 million live births documented through a data-sharing program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics. The researchers organized the information based on the fathers’ age — younger than 25; 25 to 34; 35 to 44; 45 to 55; and older than 55 — and controlled for a variety of parameters that might skew the association between the father’s age and birth outcomes, such as race, education level, marital status, smoking history, access to care and the mother’s age.

The data suggested that once a dad hits age 35, there’s a slight increase in birth risks overall — with every year that a man ages, he accumulates on average two new mutations in the DNA of his sperm — but birth risks for infants born to fathers of the subsequent age tier showed sharper increases.

Compared with fathers between the ages of 25 and 34 (the average age of paternity in the United States), infants born to men 45 or older were 14 percent more likely to be admitted to the NICU, 14 percent more likely to be born prematurely, 18 percent more likely to have seizures and 14 percent more likely to have a low birth weight. If a father was 50 or older, the likelihood that their infant would need ventilation upon birth increased by 10 percent, and the odds that they would need assistance from the neonatal intensive care unit increased by 28 percent.

“What was really surprising was that there seemed to be an association between advanced paternal age and the chance that the mother would develop diabetes during pregnancy,” said Eisenberg. For men age 45 and older, their partners were 28 percent more likely to develop gestational diabetes, compared with fathers between 25 and 34. Eisenberg points out that possible biological mechanisms at play here are still a bit murky, but he suspects that the mother’s placenta has a role.

Beyond correlation

Moving forward, Eisenberg wants to look into other population cohorts to confirm the associations between age and birth risks, as well as begin to decode some of the possible biological mechanisms.

“Scientists have looked at these kinds of trends before, but this is the most comprehensive study to look at the relationship between the father’s age and birth outcomes at a population level,” said Eisenberg. “Having a better understanding of the father’s biological role will be obviously important for the offspring, but also potentially for the mother.”

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Other Stanford co-authors of the study are professor of obstetrics and gynecology Valerie Baker, MD; professor of pediatrics Gary Shaw, DrPH; professor of pediatrics David Stevenson, MD; and professor of biomedical data, Ying Lu, PhD.

Eisenberg is a member of Stanford Bio-X, the Stanford Child Health Research Institute and the Stanford Cancer Institute.

Stanford’s Department of Urology also supported the work.

The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation’s top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://med.stanford.edu/school.html. The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health. For information about all three, please visit http://med.stanford.edu.

Print media contact: Hanae Armitage at (650) 725-5376 (harmitag@stanford.edu)

Broadcast media contact: Margarita Gallardo at (650) 723-7897 (mjgallardo@stanford.edu)

To ward off fatty liver, breast is best for mom

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Kaiser Permanente have discovered that mothers who breastfed a child or children for six months or more are at lower risk for developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) years later during mid-life. With no other current prevention options aside from a healthy lifestyle, they say the finding may represent an early modifiable risk factor for a serious and chronic disease.

The findings are published in the November 1 issue of the Journal of Hepatology.

“Breastfeeding and its benefits to the child have been widely studied for years,” said Veeral Ajmera, MD, hepatologist at UC San Diego Health and an assistant professor of medicine at UC San School of Medicine. “However, this new analysis contributes to the growing body of evidence showing that breastfeeding a child also offers significant health benefits to the mother — namely, protecting her from developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in middle age.”

Ajmera and colleagues used data collected through the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a multicenter prospective cohort study of 844 black and white women who were monitored every two to five years for up to 30 years. The women were assessed for biochemical and other risk factors at enrollment in 1985 to 1986. Those who subsequently gave birth reported the duration of breastfeeding for each birth over the following 25 years. At the end of the study, participants underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan of their abdomens, which allowed researchers to look at levels of liver fat, a sign of NALFD.

“The CARDIA study’s unique strength is the evaluation of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in young women before pregnancy and across the childbearing years,” said senior author Erica P. Gunderson, PhD, MPH, a senior research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research and investigator at the Oakland, Calif., CARDIA field site. “This design accounts for pre-pregnancy risk factors and identifies more closely the specific relation of lactation to a woman’s future disease risk.”

According to study findings, women in the cohort who breastfed one or more children for longer than six months had a lower risk of NAFLD compared to those who did not breastfeed or breastfed for under one month. Typical of NAFLD, women diagnosed with the disease 25 years later had a higher body mass index, larger waist circumference, higher triglycerides and lower HDL cholesterol when compared to those without NAFLD.

NAFLD remains the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the United States. It is usually asymptomatic until advanced stages of liver disease and includes a spectrum of disease severity, with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) being the most aggressive type. Multiple genetic and environmental factors contribute to NAFLD, and certain health conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, can be predisposing factors. It is estimated that tens of millions of people globally are living with NAFLD and NASH. Weight loss and a healthier diet are the current standards of care.

Because these diseases are linked with obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance and lifestyle behaviors, Ajmera and team adjusted for these pre-pregnancy metabolic risk factors, physical activity and dietary intake. The analysis helped demonstrate that any beneficial impact of lactation duration goes beyond confounding factors of pre-pregnancy risk and lifestyle behaviors.

“Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and all metabolic diseases have a unique relationship with socioeconomic factors,” said Ajmera. “The inclusion of additional information regarding diet and exercise only further strengthen our claim that breastfeeding is beneficial in the prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.”

Ajmera said more studies are needed to look at the underlying mechanisms of how lactation affects NAFLD and whether it can reduce disease severity.

Co-authors include: Norah A. Terrault and Monika Sarkar, UC San Francisco; Lisa B. VanWagner, Northwestern University; Cora E. Lewis, University of Alabama Birmingham; and John J. Carr, Vanderbilt University.

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5 Preventable Eye Injuries Doctors See Way Too Often

It’s pretty scary that certain seemingly NBD habits can actually wreak havoc on your eye health. Preventable eye injuries are the perfect example of this. Here are some of the most common preventable eye injuries eye doctors wish they could shout from the rooftops.

1. Sleeping in your contacts can lead to part of your eye ripping off.

“By far, the number one cause for eye injuries that could have been prevented [is] people overwearing their contact lenses,” JP Maszczak, O.D., assistant professor of clinical optometry at the Ohio State University College of Optometry, tells SELF. That includes the classic contact lens mistake of sleeping in them.

When you sleep, you’re obviously not blinking. Blinking is essential because it helps you disperse basal tears over your eye, including your cornea (that clear, protective outer layer of your eye that a contact lens covers), according to the National Eye Institute (NEI). Basal tears keep your eyes nice and wet.

Sleeping in contact lenses, on the other hand, will suck moisture from your eyes, Carolyn M. Duong, O.D., an optometrist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, tells SELF.
(This is true even if your lenses are approved for overnight use, the American Optometric Association (AOA) says.)

“When you sleep in your contacts and your eyes get really dry, you can rip part of your cornea off when you try to remove your contacts,” Dr. Duong says. This is especially likely if you have the health condition dry eye, which basically means your eyes are always dehydrated.

If this kind of injury happens to you, you might need antibiotics to prevent infection, or your doctor may actually need to patch up the tear on your eye, Dr. Duong says. Just avoid it and pop out your contacts before bed.

2. Sleeping in your contacts can also give you eye ulcers.

Oh, you thought the fun stopped at ripping off part of your eyeball? Cute. Actually, sleeping in your contacts (or misusing them in other ways, like not cleaning them properly) can lead to corneal inflammation called keratitis as a result of reduced oxygen flow, Dr. Maszczak says. If not treated quickly enough, keratitis can spiral into a corneal ulcer, or open sore on the front of your eye.

As you can imagine, a corneal ulcer doesn’t feel like you’re eating bonbons while lying around in a bed made of clouds. Having one can cause pain, excessive tearing, itching, discharge, blurry or hazy vision, bloodshot eyes, and sensitivity to light, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says. It’s not pretty.

If you develop a corneal ulcer from contacts, your doctor will recommend that you stop wearing your lenses until you heal, but you may not need any other treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic. It depends on whether the original keratitis was from the contact overuse itself or because your contact lens was contaminated with something like bacteria, in which case you could need antibacterial eye drops to fend off any pathogens.

3. Ignoring the fact that you have dry eye can leave you with dry and scratched eyes.

Letting a more severe case of dry eye go untreated can make you develop little injury-induced scratches on your cornea, Vatinee Bunya, M.D., co-director of the Penn Dry Eye & Ocular Surface Center, tells SELF. These are known as corneal abrasions. They can happen with dry eye if your eyes are sapped of moisture and you try to do something simple like take out your contacts, Dr. Bunya says. If you’re treating your dry eye properly using methods like artificial tears, your well-lubricated eyes aren’t as prone to this type of injury.

A corneal abrasion can cause pain, a gritty feeling in your eye, tearing, redness, sensitivity to light, and headaches, the Mayo Clinic says. Although this kind of injury typically heals on its own in a day or two, you should still see an eye doctor to prevent an infection and ulcers, the Mayo Clinic says.

4. Not wearing safety goggles in certain situations can lead to serious debris-related eye injuries.

Racquetball. Mowing the lawn. Installing that amazing new shelving unit you found on sale. All of these activities (and many more) can send tiny objects flying through the air before slamming into your eyeballs, Dr. Duong says.

This is why you should always wear protective glasses (ideally with side shields, you should be able to find some at your local home improvement stores) when you’re doing home repairs. That’s especially true for anything that involves nails, drilling, or wood or metal work, because…ow.

Activities like mowing the lawn warrant protective eyewear, too, as do sports that involve balls or other things flying at your face. (You should look for special eyewear made for the sport in question.) If you feel weird wearing protective eyewear on the tennis court, just pretend you’re starting a new trend. Scrunchies are back in style. Anything is possible.

5. Not wearing sunglasses puts you at risk for a sunburn…on your eyeballs.

Your eyes, like your skin, can get sunburned when they’re exposed to too much sunlight. This is called ultraviolet keratitis, and it can damage your cornea and conjunctiva (the clear, thin membrane that covers part of the front surface of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids), according to the Cleveland Clinic. This isn’t just a summertime concern, Dr. Duong says. Even when it’s cloudy or overcast, glare from snow, ice, sand, and water can still burn your eyes.

This can result in symptoms like burning eyes, blurry vision, swelling, and even a temporary loss of vision, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Luckily, your eyes should heal on their own if this happens to you, although self-care methods like putting a cold washcloth over your eyes and taking pain relievers may help in the meantime, the Cleveland Clinic says. If you’re still dealing with pain or reduced vision after two days, see your doctor to make sure you don’t have an infection.

And to avoid ultraviolet keratitis altogether, when you’re heading outside, you should wear sunglasses that block or absorb 99 to 100 percent of UV light, the Cleveland Clinic says. Ideally, they’ll wrap around or have side panels for full protection. When you feel like going without them, remind yourself that making it to the eye doctor for your regularly scheduled appointments can be tough—rushing there because your eyes got sunburned isn’t going to be better.

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