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Let's not ignore these gems on self-control, table saws and HPV infection

January 16, 2010 |  8:00 am

Pity the diligent researchers who went up against the Big Medical News of the week. Their papers might not have gotten as much attention as studies about PTSD (quick administration of morphine after a traumatic event might preempt the condition) or the nation's weight (Americans have finally grown weary of the term "obesity epidemic" and started cutting back), but they caught our eye. So we're sharing...

Cookies - Rather than curse your lack of self-control -- too many chips, cigarettes or drinks, too few morning jogs, salads or normal portions -- maybe you should just get new friends. That's our conclusion anyway. What University of Georgia researchers found was that people with good self-control enhance our ability to practice the same. Similarly, the excess-prone can erode our self-control. Simply thinking about the respective types was enough to have an effect on behavior.
On second thought, maybe you should keep your fun friends and just think about your dour acquaintances when you're out having a good time. Here's the news release -- plus the abstract
from the series of studies, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (this abstract's really only useful if you want to purchase a copy of the research).

- Table saws are a menace to fingers and thumbs -- and they're no less of a threat today than they were 18 years ago. Their nonoccupational (often translated as "amateur") use resulted in about 565,670 emergency room visits from 1990 through 2007, an average of about 31,000 a year. The total number of injuries rose 27%, but the rate of injuries, based on population, was pretty much the same.

Most injuries were, unsurprisingly, to the fingers and thumbs, and men accounted for 97% of the injuries. So say researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Here's the abstract, published online in the Journal of Trauma, and the news release.

- Ah, young love. It rarely spares a thought for HPV infection. But it should -- 56% of young adults in a new sexual relationship have human papillomavirus; 44% have a type that can lead to cancer. New relationships are when HPV transmission is most likely.

Here's the abstract in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases, another one in Epidemiology and the news release from McGill University. Also of note: The name of the study is the HITCH Cohort. And condoms were found more likely to protect men than women.

(In case you missed the Big Medical News, here's a link to the PTSD story and the obesity story.)

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: How many you eat could depend on your companions. Choose wisely.

Credit: Los Angeles Times