In the News: Heart Stent Effectiveness Questioned, A Better Recovery Method for Marathon Runners Has Been Discovered, Number One Cause of Stress for Americans Revealed

Heart stent effectiveness questioned. In a new study, 200 people with chest pain were randomly assigned to either receive a stent, which requires a surgical procedure or undergo a placebo procedure in which the doctors only threaded a catheter through without inserting a stent. Six weeks later, they evaluated all of the people on a treadmill test. There were no significant differences in how much exercise the two groups could do, or in how much chest pain they reported. The findings of the study raise questions about whether or not stents should be used as often, or at all, to treat chest pain. Chest pain can also be a sign of a heart attack. Read up on the other warning signs of a heart attack here.  (NYT)

A new recovery method for runners discovered. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden published a new study in the Journal of Physiology that tested how best to help tired muscles recover after draining workouts and competitions. Several fit participants were instructed to do physically challenging interval exercises in a performance lab. Cuffs were placed on the muscles that either warmed to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or cooled to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, after which both groups were instructed to do the same exercises again. The physical strength and performance were found to be “markedly better” in the group whose muscled had been warmed up beforehand. According to an analysis of the data, warming muscles probably aids in recovery by supporting the muscles’ uptake of carbohydrates. (NYT)

The number one cause of stress for Americans revealed. The American Psychological Association (APA) just released the results of its annual Stress in America survey, which revealed that the biggest stressor Americans face is the state of the U.S. 63 percent of survey participants said the future of the nation is a “very” or “somewhat” significant source of stress. Other common stressors follow close behind, with money at 62 percent and work at 61 percent. The new survey results show similar levels of stress to last year, but the effects of stress on people’s health seem to be more pronounced today; more people than in 2016 reported symptoms of stress, like headaches, stomachaches, and feeling anxious or overwhelmed. More positively, over half of Americans reported that stress over the nation has inspired them to volunteer and support causes they love. Feeling stressed? Take this quiz to find out where you stand. (T)