Today’s Headlines: Stressed Diabetics at Increased Risk for Heart Problems, the Relationship Between Mood and Surgery Success, and How Your View of the Elderly Can Affect Your Aging Process

If you’re stressed, depressed, and diabetic, your health may be at risk. A new study has discovered that while stress and depression cause negative health effects in people, the added element of diabetes could exponentially increase the risk for health problems. “For people with diabetes, having either stress or depression increased their risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 53 percent, compared with diabetics without these mental health problems. Diabetics with both stress and depression had more than double the death risk.” While this study was not completely conclusive it did point for the need for doctors to check more than blood pressure and blood sugars in patients with diabetes. (Fox)

The success of your surgical procedure may depend on your mood before the surgery. Feeling upset, nervous, or just being in a bad mood in general can affect your health—even when undergoing surgery. “The study authors found that people who were more likely to have a greater degree of these negative feelings had a greater occurrence of adverse events from the procedure, like slow heart rate or abnormal blood pressure.” The small study still needs more research, but researchers wanted to stress that their finding was only a correlation and should not be taken as a definitive cause because there are many other things that can affect the outcome and recovery of a patient. (Time)

If you have a negative view of old people and aging, you could be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s later in life. A recent study showed that negative thoughts about the slow elderly person walking in front of you or a bad outlook on aging in general can actually cause these stereotypes of old age to come true later in life. “By both measures, the brains of those who held negative views of aging looked strikingly different than did the brains of those whose views of aging were more positive. MRI scans showed that those who held the most negative stereotypes of aging, on average, experienced dramatically greater shrinkage of the hippocampus–the structure deep in the brain that is central to memory– than did those who held the most positive views of aging. Volume loss in the hippocampus is a key physical sign of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.” While this study is not the first of its kind, it is ‘“the first to suggest that a “culture-based risk factor predicts the development” of brain changes that are clearly linked to Alzheimer’s disease.’” (LA Times)