Researchers have found that the cancer patients in America are more than two times more likely to go bankrupt than the healthy people. I think this is the case not only in America but everywhere in the world.
Researchers collected data in Washington State from about 400,000 adults and found that the patients of cancer have more chances of bankruptcy, i.e. 2.65 times more chances, even if they have the health insurance as the high cost of cancer treatment is really high.
“Younger cancer patients had 2–5 times higher rates of bankruptcy than cancer patients age sixty-five or older, which indicates that Medicare and Social Security may mitigate bankruptcy risk for the older group,” Researchers wrote.
“People who have fewer assets, less income and less generous insurance because of entry-level jobs or no insurance are more vulnerable to severe financial distress,” lead author, Dr. Scott Ramsey, said in a statement.
These financial crises could be solved by the help from the governments and employers.
“The findings suggest that employers and governments may have a policy role to play in creating programs and incentives that could help people cover expenses in the first year following a cancer diagnosis,” Researchers wrote.
Think Progress, NBC News
Ramsey, S., Blough, D., Kirchhoff, A., Kreizenbeck, K., Fedorenko, C., Snell, K., Newcomb, P., Hollingworth, W., & Overstreet, K. (2013). Washington State Cancer Patients Found To Be At Greater Risk For Bankruptcy Than People Without A Cancer Diagnosis Health Affairs DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1263... Read more »
Ramsey, S., Blough, D., Kirchhoff, A., Kreizenbeck, K., Fedorenko, C., Snell, K., Newcomb, P., Hollingworth, W., & Overstreet, K. (2013) Washington State Cancer Patients Found To Be At Greater Risk For Bankruptcy Than People Without A Cancer Diagnosis. Health Affairs. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1263
A few entries ago I uploaded a fragment from a study that discusses an intriguing experiment with three chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) which were trained to tap regularly on a piano keyboard...... Read more »
Hattori, Y., Tomonaga, M., & Matsuzawa, T. (2013) Spontaneous synchronized tapping to an auditory rhythm in a chimpanzee. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep01566
Hasegawa, A., Okanoya, K., Hasegawa, T., & Seki, Y. (2011) Rhythmic synchronization tapping to an audio–visual metronome in budgerigars. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep00120
Honing, H., Merchant, H., Háden, G., Prado, L., & Bartolo, R. (2012) Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta) Detect Rhythmic Groups in Music, but Not the Beat. PLoS ONE, 7(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051369
If often seems as though policy-making has devolved into nothing more than a contest where the goal is to blame as many people as possible (but not yourself) for the country’s problems. Fossil fuel companies blame environmental regulations for economic stagnation and high energy prices. Neocons blame civil libertarians for national security weaknesses. And of [...]... Read more »
Rothschild, Z., Landau, M., Molina, L., Branscombe, N., & Sullivan, D. (2013) Displacing Blame over the Ingroup’s Harming of a Disadvantaged Group can Fuel Moral Outrage at a Third-Party Scapegoat. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2013.05.005
Prohibition and the “tobacco control endgame.”
Despite all our efforts in recent years to reduce the percentage of Americans who smoke cigarettes—currently about one in five—the idea of full-blown cigarette prohibition has not gained much traction. That may be changing, as prominent nicotine researchers and public police officials start thinking about what is widely referred to as the “tobacco control endgame.”
Considering the new regulatory powers given the FDA under the terms of the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, as a commentary in Tobacco Control framed it, “will the government be a facilitator or barrier to the effective implementation of strategies designed to achieve this public health goal?”
Two newer approaches have gained some traction in the research community: Reduce the level of nicotine in cigarette products (the FDA is prohibited by law from reducing nicotine content to zero), and continuing to emphasize the non-combustible forms. Plus, everybody pretty much agrees on higher prices.
Here are the six arguments for going all the way:
1) Death. Six million of them a year, worldwide, a number that will grow before it starts shrinking. A billion deaths this century, compared to 100 million in the 20th Century. Robert Proctor, author of The Golden Holocaust and a professor of history at Stanford, whose six arguments these are, calls the cigarette “the deadliest object in the history of human civilization.” So there’s that.
2) Other product defects. The cigarette is defective, Proctor writes in defense of his six arguments in Tobacco Control, because it is “not just dangerous but unreasonably dangerous, killing half its long-term users.” Indeed, it is hard to imagine the FDA green-lighting a drug product like that today. In addition, Proctor claims cigarettes are defective because the tobacco has been altered by flue curing to make it far more inhalable than would otherwise be the case. “The world’s present epidemic of lung cancer is almost entirely due to the use of low pH flue-cured tobacco in cigarettes, an industry-wide practice that could be reversed at any time.”
3) Financial burdens. These can be reckoned principally in terms of the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses. This, in turn, leads to diminished labor productivity, especially in the developing world, a process that “in many parts of the world makes the poor even poorer,” Proctor observes.
4) Big Tobacco’s impact on science. By sponsoring shoddy and distracting research, by publishing “decoy” findings and by otherwise confusing and corrupting scientific discourse on the cigarette question in the advertising-dependent popular media. The tobacco industry has proved to everyone’s satisfaction that it can put politicians and regulators under intense pressure to see things its way. Not to mention other institutions that have been “bullied, corrupted or exploited,” according to Proctor: The AMA, The American Law Institute, sports organizations, Hollywood, the military, and the U.S. Congress, for starters. (Until 2011, American submarines were not smoke-free.)
5) Environmental harms. More than you might think falls into this category: Deforestation, pesticide use, loss of savannah woodlands for charcoal used in flue curing, fossil fuels for curing and transport, fires caused by burning cigarettes, etc.
6) Smokers want to quit. Smoking is not a recreational drug, as Proctor takes pains to point out. Most smokers hate it and wish they could quit. This makes cigarettes different from alcohol or marijuana, Proctor insists. He quotes a Canadian tobacco executive, who said that smoking isn’t like drinking; it’s more like being an alcoholic. This rings true to for the majority of addicted smokers I know, and was certainly true of me when I was a smoker.
So there it is, the case for tobacco prohibition. But hasn’t all this prohibition business been tried and found wanting? We know the results of drug and alcohol prohibition, whatever their rationales: Smuggling, organized crime, increased law enforcement, more money. This argument, says Proctor, has been central to the cigarette industry since forever: “Bans are ridiculed as impractical or tyrannical. (First they come for your cigarettes…)”
Proctor’s response is that smuggling is already common, and people should be free to grow tobacco for their personal use. He advocates a ban on sales, not possession.
There are at least two major obstacles to cigarette prohibition. First, an enormous amount of tax revenue is generated by the production and sale of cigarettes. And the troubling question of a steep rise in black marketeering goes largely ignored or unaddressed. In the same special issue of Tobacco Control, Peter Reuter has sobering thoughts on that front: “Cigarette black markets are commonplace in high tax jurisdictions. For example, estimates are that contraband cigarettes now account for 20-30% of the Canadian market, which has restrained government enthusiasm for raising taxes further. All the proposed ‘endgame’ proposals for shrinking cigarette prevalence toward zero run the risk of creating black markets.”
In the end, Proctor argues that the cigarette industry itself has repeatedly promised to quit the business if its products where ever found to be profoundly harmful to consumers. As recently as 1997, Philip Morris CEO Geoffrey Bible swore under oath that if cigarettes were found to cause cancer “I’d probably… shut it down instantly to get a better hold on things.” Incredible statements like this by company executives go back to the 1950s. Perhaps it’s time to let them stop lying. “The cigarette, as presently constituted,” writes Proctor, “is simply too dangerous—and destructive and unloved—to be sold.”
Proctor R.N. (2013). Why ban the sale of cigarettes? The case for abolition, Tobacco Control, 22 (Supplement 1) i27-i30. DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050811
Photo: AAP/April Fonti
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Proctor R. N. (2013) Why ban the sale of cigarettes? The case for abolition. Tobacco Control, 22(Supplement 1). DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050811
While the internationalization of higher education is a hot topic at the moment and is widely seen as unique to the present, internationalization of higher education is not new. The politics of internationalization at Istanbul University in the early years … Continue reading →... Read more »
Ergin, M. (2009) Cultural encounters in the social sciences and humanities: western emigre scholars in Turkey. History of the Human Sciences, 22(1), 105-130. DOI: 10.1177/0952695108099137
In their 1968 book Pygmalion in the Classroom, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson presented their groundbreaking research that showed teacher expectations are self-fulfilling prophecies. If two students start the school year at the same achievement level, the student the teacher is told is a high achiever will make more gains than the student the teacher believes is [...]... Read more »
Sorhagen, N. (2013) Early teacher expectations disproportionately affect poor children's high school performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2), 465-477. DOI: 10.1037/a0031754
t’s sexier, we already knew that. But lower voices do more than just turning people on. It appears a deep sound also means more success in your career. A new study makes some pretty clear statements about the associations between wage, management power, tenure and the tone of voice.... Read more »
Mayew, W., Parsons, C., & Venkatachalam, M. (2013) Voice pitch and the labor market success of male chief executive officers. Evolution and Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2013.03.001
Most people recognise that we don’t speak in “sentences”. Still, speech is analysed and described using the concepts of sentence grammars, even when these writing-based systems must be bent and stretched, or vice versa – isn’t it cheating to “clean up” naturally occurring speech so it fits into a sentence grammar? In a previous post […]... Read more »
A couple of weeks ago, if you randomly woke me in the middle of the night and demanded to know the fundamental difference between evolution and learning as adaptive processes, I would probably respond: “how did you get into my house? and umm… I guess they are mostly the same, it is just a matter […]... Read more »
Brenner, T. (1998) Can evolutionary algorithms describe learning processes?. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 8(3), 271-283. DOI: 10.1007/s001910050064
Twitter has a pretty bad reputation caused by a lot of people twittering about their personal issues. But is that really what Twitter is about? Researchers just discovered that this typical Twitter behavior actually decreases your followers. Time for a do’s and don’t list.... Read more »
C.J. Hutto, Sarita Yardi, & Eric Gilbert. (2013) A Longitudinal Study of Follow Predictors on Twitter. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems . DOI: 10.1145/2470654.2470771
by amikulak in Daily Observations
Supporters of a political measure are more influenced by their initial preferences than cold, hard evidence suggesting that the measure won’t go their way, according to new research published in The post When Voting, Political Preferences Outweigh the Evidence appeared first on Association for Psychological Science.... Read more »
Krizan, Z., & Sweeny, K. (2013) Causes and Consequences of Expectation Trajectories: "High" on Optimism in a Public Ballot Initiative. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797612460690
(source)Hi Julie, WOW!Dogs in clothes. Corgis in bikinis at the beach. Greyhounds in onesies. We people do some weird things to our canine friends, no?! I'm pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy being dressed up in a padded outfit all day long, so I think I'll pass on sharing that experience with my dogs. As you said, cultural perceptions, ethics and expectations add a whole layer of extra consideration. It's not always easy to work out what dogs want or need. That's why I like science. It helps us work this stuff out.I've been super busy this week - working hard (as always!) and still thinking a lot about dogs living in kennel facilities. So I wanted to pull your head away from dogs dressed as flowers, back to dogs getting the opportunity to smell the flowers. No, really. Lavender in fact.(source)Dogs should stop to smell the flowers. Especially lavender.When I talk to people about the body of research that's been conducted in the area of environmental enrichment for dogs housed in kennels, they never fail to be amazed at what has been studied. Or what hasn't. One topic that usually results in a snort, a laugh or a quizzical raised eyebrow is olfactory (smelly) stimulation. Which is kind of weird. Because we know that dogs can smell on a level that's basically in another galaxy compared to our smelling experiences. Research conducted in a rescue shelter kennel in 2005 exposed dogs to five different diffused aromas: - a blank control, or essential oil of- chamomile - lavender - peppermint- rosemary The study showed that olfactory stimulation had a significant effect on behaviour. Dogs were more likely to rest and less likely to bark when exposed to the smells of lavender and chamomile. Peppermint and rosemary exposure resulted in more active and noisy behaviour. The researchers suggested that the welfare of dogs in shelter kennel environments (and also their attractiveness to potential adopters) could be improved by using this kind of aromatherapy. What a dog's nose knows.Further research has shown a similar effect of lavender in effecting the behaviour of dogs with travel-induced excitement in cars: they spent more time sitting, resting and less time vocalising when they were exposed to the smell of lavender.Interestingly, human studies show a similar effect of lavender on us: reduced mental stress.So if a dog is in a kennel environment and can't get out to romp in a field of flowers, or chomp them up (as dogs tend to do!), perhaps we can help them out by giving them something... Read more »
Wells Deborah L. (2009) Sensory stimulation as environmental enrichment for captive animals: A review. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 118(1-2), 1-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.01.002
Graham Lynne, Wells Deborah L., & Hepper Peter G. (2005) The influence of olfactory stimulation on the behaviour of dogs housed in a rescue shelter. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 91(1-2), 143-153. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2004.08.024
Wells Deborah L. (2006) Aromatherapy for travel-induced excitement in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 229(6), 964-967. DOI: 10.2460/javma.229.6.964
The Intercultural Communication Special Interest Group of the British Association of Applied Linguistics is hosting a seminar at Newcastle University next week devoted to “Intercultural Communication in Higher Education – principles and practices.” Given that internationalization of higher education is … Continue reading →... Read more »
When you think of drum circles taking place in the United States, visions of hippies, Birkenstocks and the vibrant green lawns of private colleges may appear. The bacteria Bacillus anthracis, or anthrax, does not often materialize alongside the skunky mix of patchouli and ganja hovering above the crowd in one’s visions of (ar)rhythmic drumming events.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010) Gastrointestinal anthrax after an animal-hide drumming event - New Hampshire and Massachusetts, 2009. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 59(28), 872-7. PMID: 20651643
Like Mother, like baby! Photo from freedigitalphotos.net.Moms give us so much more than we ever give them credit for. Biologically speaking, we all have a mom and a dad (unless you’re a flatworm or some other species that can reproduce without sex) that provide us with one of each chromosome type (our chromosomes contain our genes, commonly thought of as our “biological blueprints”). So it makes sense that we tend to think of ourselves as being half-our-mom and half-our-dad. But not so! All of us are slightly more-our-mom and slightly less-our dad.Our genes are encoded in our DNA, which is coiled and tightly packed into dense little chromosomes. Most of our cells contain 23 different pairs of chromosomes (for a total of 46), and one from each pair comes from each parent. One of those pairs is the sex chromosomes. Individuals with two X sex chromosomes are genetically females and individuals with an X and a Y sex chromosome are genetically male. Because genetic males are the only ones with Y chromosomes, all Y chromosomes are inherited from dad. But compared to X chromosomes, Y chromosomes are piddly little things that don’t contain as many genes. So if you’re a guy, you already have more genes from mom than from dad.In addition to our 46 chromosomes that we keep in the nucleus of each cell, we also have a tiny set of genes in another cell structure, the mitochondria. This mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from the mother, so regardless of whether you are XX or XY, you have a few more genes from mom than from dad.Wait! My genes are where?? Your genes are lined up on the doubled-stranded DNA, which is tightly coiled and packed into chromosomes. You have 23 different pairs of chromosomes, where one of each pair came from mom and the other came from dad. A copy of each of these 23 pairs of chromosomes (46 chromosomes in total) is in the nucleus of every cell you have (except for sperm or egg cells, which only have one of each pair, or 23 chromosomes in total). Get it? Figure adapted from an image by KES47 at Wikimedia.But we are not simply a product of our genes. If we were, identical twins would be, well… identical. But they’re not. The slight differences between twins results from differences in how our environment interacts with our genes. (By environment, I’m not just talking about temperature and air quality, but rather all external influences). Our environment plays a big role in shaping the individuals we become, and our mothers have more effect on our environment than our fathers do. When we are developing in the womb, our moms’ bodies single-handedly provide us with nutrients, hormones, and antibodies (and sometimes pathogens). During this time, her circumstances and decisions will determine what kind of setting we are born into. After we’re born, the social interaction, nutrition, and antibodies (through breast feeding and/or vaccines) she provides will all influence our gene activity and thus how we develop. Collectively, the traits that we develop due to these factors and all mom’s other nongenetic influences are called maternal effects.Mom gives us more genes, and has more input in determining how active each gene is. In the end, we are who we are in large part because of our moms.So Mom, this is for you: Happy (early) Mother’s Day! Want to know more? Check these out:1. BERNARDO, J. (1996). Maternal Effects in Animal Ecology Integrative and Comparative Biology, 36 (2), 83-105 DOI: 10.1093/icb/36.2.832. Wolf, J., & Wade, M.J. (2009). What are maternal effects (and what are they not)? Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 364, 1107-1115 ... Read more »
What subjects were important for both modern humans and our ancestors? A new study into the Eurasian primal language offers some important clues. Researchers found 23 words that are approximately 15.000 years old. ... Read more »
Pagel, M., Atkinson, Q., S. Calude, A., & Meade, A. (2013) Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1218726110
Our modern lives don't have a lot in common with those of our ancestors. Still, scientists found 23 words that were already being used 15.000 years ago.... Read more »
Pagel, M., Atkinson, Q., S. Calude, A., & Meade, A. (2013) Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1218726110
New research demonstrates that male soldiers' faces may predict their military rank and how many children they ultimately father... Read more »
Carré J. M, & McCormick C. M. (2008) In your face: facial metrics predict aggressive behaviour in the laboratory and in varsity and professional hockey players. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1651), 2651-2656. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0873
Wong E. M., Ormiston M. E., & Haselhuhn M. P. (2011) A Face Only an Investor Could Love: CEOs' Facial Structure Predicts Their Firms' Financial Performance. Psychological Science, 22(12), 1478-1483. DOI: 10.1177/0956797611418838
Tsujimura H., & Banissy M. J. (2013) Human face structure correlates with professional baseball performance: insights from professional Japanese baseball players. Biology Letters, 9(3), 20130140-20130140. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0140
Stirrat Michael, Stulp Gert, & Pollet Thomas V. (2012) Male facial width is associated with death by contact violence: narrow-faced males are more likely to die from contact violence. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33(5), 551-556. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2012.02.002
Stirrat M., & Perrett D. I. (2012) Face Structure Predicts Cooperation: Men With Wider Faces Are More Generous to Their In-Group When Out-Group Competition Is Salient. Psychological Science, 23(7), 718-722. DOI: 10.1177/0956797611435133
Prescriptions of antipsychotic (aka neuroleptic) drugs in North American children and adolescents have been rising rapidly in recent years. But why? Gabrielle Carlson of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital offers her thoughts in a brief paper: The Dramatic Rise in Neuroleptic Use In Children: Why Do We Do It and What Does It Buy Us? Carlson [...]... Read more »
Carlson GA. (2013) The dramatic rise in neuroleptic use in children: why do we do it and what does it buy us? Theories from inpatient data 1988-2010. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology, 23(3), 144-7. PMID: 23607407
It struck me recently that one of the key differences between economists and neuroscientists studying decision-making is their interest in dynamics. Economists seem more interested in explaining how behavior operates (or should operate) on average whereas neuroscientists would like to explain trial-to-trial variability. Decisions are rarely made just once in a lifetime, but are instead made repeatedly. [...]... Read more »
Hampton, A., Bossaerts, P., & O'Doherty, J. (2008) Neural correlates of mentalizing-related computations during strategic interactions in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(18), 6741-6746. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0711099105
Zhu, L., Walsh, D., & Hsu, M. (2012) Neuroeconomic Measures of Social Decision-Making Across the Lifespan. Frontiers in Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2012.00128
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