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Combined, High Maternal Stress And Prenatal Covid-19 Infection May Affect Attention Span In Infants

For mothers who experience high stress during their pregnancy, prenatal COVID-19 infection may be associated with an increased risk for impaired attention and delayed socioemotional and cognitive functioning in their infants, according to a small study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health. The findings highlight maternal stress as a modifiable target to potentially reduce negative outcomes from prenatal COVID-19 infection and the possible protective benefits to expectant mothers of getting vaccinated for COVID-19 during their pregnancy.

The study, which appears in Pediatric Research, was led by Denise Werchan, Ph.D., Moriah Thomason, Ph.D., and Natalie Brito, Ph.D., at New York University, New York. It included 167 mothers and their infants—50 who reported COVID-19 symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test during their pregnancy and 117

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Pregnancy Complications Increase And Unmask Short- And Long-Term Cardiovascular Risk For People With Obesity

Having obesity before and during early pregnancy appears to be a strong indicator of risk for developing future cardiovascular disease and was significantly linked with adverse outcomes during pregnancy such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes, according to a study published in Circulation Research(link is external) that was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Researchers have known obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and pregnancy complications related to blood pressure. However, they did not know which factors – obesity or the pregnancy complications – played larger roles in influencing a person’s cardiovascular disease risk years after pregnancy.

While having adverse pregnancy outcomes was linked with increased cardiovascular disease risks during pregnancy, the complications accounted for a small percentage of increased cardiovascul

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Why We Get Annual Flu Shots—and How Universal Vaccines Could Knock Out Viruses

The worst pandemic in the last century was caused by a coronavirus, which came as a surprise to many. Influenza was long thought to pose a greater risk. “Before 2020,” said Scott Hensley, PhD, a professor of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, “if you had asked any virologist what virus they worried about the most, the answer would have been almost exclusively flu.”

It would have been a reasonable assessment. Flu is a devious killer. Globally, it causes around 400,000 deaths each year. While we have decades of experience creating vaccines against the influenza virus, flu, ever-shifting, still catches us on the back foot each season. Year after year, it ducks and weaves to evade human ingenuity.

The viral strains responsible for pandemic outbreaks are generally new ones that first infected humans from an animal host—and these jumps can be hard to predict. Still, every year,

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Workplace Ostracism Is Clearly Associated With Healthcare Workers’ Job Satisfaction, Stress, And Perceived Health

Workplace ostracism refers to someone being excluded from social interaction in the workplace without any explanation. Published in Journal of Advanced Nursing, a recent study by the University of Eastern Finland shows that workplace ostracism weakened healthcare workers’ job satisfaction and perceived health, and increased stress. The study also explored the mediating effects of loneliness and self-esteem on the aforementioned factors. A key observation was that loneliness did not weaken job satisfaction as much as ostracism alone did.

“This finding speaks volumes of the crushing effects of workplace ostracism. Experienced loneliness weakens job satisfaction as such but, according to our study, ostracism is far worse,” says the lead author, Doctoral Researcher Sirpa Manninen of the University of Eastern Finland.

Previous studies on workplace ostracism in the healthcare sector have not

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