Daily Rounds: Life Expectancy Dips; Imagining Chocolate; Local Kidney Swap; Mice With Two Dads

Outlook For Americans' Longevity Dips, As Deaths Of The Most Elderly Rise : Shots - Health News Blog : NPR "Death rates declined for most Americans in the most recent analysis done by the government. How long newborns can expect to live slipped a tiny bit. The reason? An increase in deaths among the oldest of old people affected the estimates for the future. People born in 2008 can expect to live 77.8 years, a decline of a little more than a month from 77.9 years in 2007, according to a report just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Little boys born in 2008 can expect to live to be 75.3 and little girls born then can look forward to an 80.3 year lifespan." (

BBC News - Thinking about food makes you want it less, study says "A small-scale study in Science showed that people who had imagined they were eating chocolate wanted it less than those who had not been thinking of it. The researchers said that imagining eating a favourite food could be a substitute for actually eating it, thereby reducing the desire for it."(The BBC)

Kidney swap a connection saving lives on both ends - The Boston Globe "The new program is being run under a federal contract by the Virginia-based United Network of Organ Sharing, and combined with the efforts of existing regional networks, they hope to make as many as 3,000 transplants a year through “kidney paired donation.’’ That process involves a stranger donating a kidney to another stranger, so long as the donor’s relative or friend receives a compatible kidney in return." (Boston Globe)

Study Questions Cranberry Juice's Power Against Infections | WBUR & NPR "If you want to avoid pesky and painful urinary tract infections, you can start by drinking more cranberry juice. That, at least, has been the conventional wisdom. But a new study suggests cranberry juice might not be as effective at stopping repeat UTIs as some people think." (WBUR | 90.9 FM)

U.S. Report Details Harm of Even Light Smoking - "Cigarette smoke causes immediate damage to a person’s lungs and DNA even in small amounts, including from secondhand smoke, federal officials said Thursday in a new report."(The New York Times)


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