Eyespy: February 2012
Bringing you the latest quirky medical stories from around the world
Be my Valentine—Pregnant women, influenced by holiday symbolism, might be able to control the timing of spontaneous births, according to a retrospective cohort study from Yale’s School of Public Health (J Soc Sci Med 2011;73:1246-8, doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.07.008). Using birth certificate information from the United States spanning 11 years, researchers investigated how the symbolism behind Valentine’s Day and Halloween affected birth rate. Their analysis showed that the number of caesarean sections decreased by 16.9% on Halloween and increased by 12.1% on Valentine’s Day. Researchers also found a significant difference in the number of spontaneous births (5.3% decrease on Halloween v 3.6% increase on Valentine’s Day; P < 0.0001).
Online angst—Turning to the internet and blogging through a painful adolescence has therapeutic value, according to a prospective case control study from Israel (Psychol Serv 2011, doi:10.1037/a0026664). 124 girls and 37 boys identified as having social difficulties through a validated peer relationship index