Getting the measles could leave you vulnerable to other infections for years. Poor sleep habits may play a role in developing dementia later in life. Higher air pollution could cause heart attacks, strokes and acute asthma attacks.
Getting the measles could leave you with “immune amnesia,” making you vulnerable to other infections for years, according to two new studies.
This year saw the largest outbreak of measles in the U.S. since 1994, with 1,250 cases reported as of Oct. 3, largely driven by families choosing not to vaccinate their kids. Worldwide, the disease has resurfaced in areas that had been declared measles-free.
Now, two new studies show that choosing to skip the measles vaccine carries a double risk, not only leaving children exposed to a highly contagious disease but also increasing their vulnerability to other infections for months or even years after they recover.
The researchers say measles can damage the immune system by erasing the body’s memory of previously encountered antigens—an effect they call “immune amnesia.” After measles, otherwise healthy kids lost on average about half—and as much as 73 percent—of their overall antibody diversity.
Not getting a good night’s sleep? It could be detrimental to your health. Researchers find that sleep deficits can lead to problems with cardiovascular and immune system health and may even play a role in developing dementia later in life.
Individuals who reported lower-quality sleep tended to have larger buildups of the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, called amyloid and tau, in the fluid surrounding their brains than those who reported sleeping well.
The researchers recommended trying to get at least seven hours of sleep per night.
Higher air pollution in the U.K. triggers hundreds more heart attacks, strokes and acute asthma attacks each year, research suggests.
Researchers looked at data from London, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford and Southampton. They calculated that days with above average pollution levels would see an extra 124 cardiac arrests throughout the year, 231 additional hospital admissions for strokes, and an extra 193 children and adults taken to the hospital for asthma treatment.
In addition, the research suggests cutting air pollution by a fifth would decrease incidents of lung cancer by between 5 percent and 7 percent across the nine cities surveyed.