Blog | Thursday, November 6, 2008

Irony in medicine


It's been well established that stress leads to worse health outcomes, thus creating the paradox that reading health news can actually make you less healthy. But these recent studies in that vein seem particularly unfair:

Pregnant women who are stressed about being in debt are more like give birth prematurely. Then they can add the medical expenses of caring for a premature baby to their existing debt.

And in a study of heart attack survivors, patients who developed PTSD symptoms from the stress of having a heart attack are more likely to die within the next five years. That should make them feel lots better.

This last study probably fits better into Alanis Morrisette's definition of irony than Webster's, but what the heck:

A study of the germs on people's hands found that how much you wash your hands had little effect on the diversity of bacteria on them.