Medical Notes this week…


People who’ve never smoked make up about 25 percent of those who develop the lung disease COPD…and researchers may have figured out who’s at risk. It turns out that some people have very small airways in the lungs in proportion to the size of the lungs themselves, and these people are much more likely to develop COPD. Others, meanwhile, have very large airways compared to the size of their lungs, and researchers say these are people who seldom develop COPD even if they smoke.

Resetting the body clock may be as simple as exercise. A study on mice in the Journal of Physiology shows that just 60 minutes of exercise, depending on when during the day it’s performed, can shift the muscle clocks an hour in either direction. Scientists say that means a prescription of timed exercise could help night shift workers and heart disease patients, groups that each suffer from disrupted body clocks.

And finally…people have joked about the “COVID 15,” the supposed weight gain of people staying home during the pandemic. But a new study shows it’s a real thing… Even if it’s not quite as bad as the name implies. a study in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice shows that about a quarter of people have gained weight during shelter in place rules, and that it’s usually between five and 10 pounds. Researchers say too little sleep, stress eating, and too little exercise are to blame.

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