brand logo

Am Fam Physician. 2007;75(8):1142


A study published in Pediatrics suggests that unmarried parents with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection may be unlikely to legally identify a future guardian for their children. Researchers interviewed 100 married and 222 unmarried parents with HIV infection. When the unmarried parents were asked whether a guardian had been arranged, 12 percent said they had not identified one; 6 percent had chosen a guardian but had not pursued the matter any further; and 53 percent said the person they chose had agreed. Only 28 percent had made legal arrangements, however, which could leave nearly 75 percent of these children at risk of an unstable transition after the possible death of a parent. By legally documenting a guardianship plan, these parents can prevent their children from experiencing additional difficulties in an already painful time. (Pediatrics, February 2007)


Do you feel like procrastinating? So does 15 to 20 percent of the population, suggest study results in Psychological Bulletin. According to the author, most New Year's resolutions are destined to fail, especially those involving diet restriction or sustained weight loss. Perfectionism is not the reason for procrastination; rather, procrastinators tend to have less confidence in their ability to complete a task. The author points out that there are costs to procrastination, especially if a person delays saving for retirement or fails to file taxes on time. Reasons why some people develop procrastinating behaviors and others do not are still unknown, but genetics may play a role. (Psychol Bull, January 2007)


Would you grab a cup of coffee before going to the gym? You may want to, suggests research published in The Journal of Pain. Moderate caffeine consumption (i.e., approximately two cups of coffee) was found to decrease postworkout muscle soreness. One to two days after exercising, nine women who did not regularly perform resistance training were given caffeine or placebo. They were then asked to complete two different quadriceps exercises; one was designed to produce a maximal force and the other a submaximal force. Compared with the women who were given placebo, the participants who consumed caffeine one hour before the maximal-force test had a 48 percent reduction in postworkout muscle pain and those who consumed caffeine before the submaximal test reported a 26 percent reduction in pain. These findings may not apply to everyone, though, especially heavy coffee drinkers who may be less sensitive to the effects of caffeine. (J Pain, February 2007)


Although the Environmental Protection Agency requires cities to test their water for contaminants and microorganisms that can potentially cause disease, the safety of U.S. city water supplies may still be compromised by rust. After the water is purified, which costs more than $50 billion every year, it travels through iron pipes that can be up to 100 years old. Not only do iron pipes corrode and break, they also rust and leak, which may explain New York City's loss of 1 billion gallons of water every month. Experts note that a large percentage of waterborne disease outbreaks are attributable to distribution system problems. There are approximately 1 million miles of possibly rusting pipes in the United States, and the price to replace them is high—experts estimate the cost to be $250 billion to $350 billion. (Reuters Health, January 24, 2007)


Adults living with children younger than 17 years are more likely to have high-fat eating habits, reports a study from the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. The dietary choices of 6,660 adults 17 to 65 years of age, living with or without children, were analyzed. Researchers found that adults with children in the home ate nearly 5 g of fat and 1.7 g of saturated fat more each day than their childless counterparts. They also were more likely to eat ice cream, cookies, pizza, salty snacks, cakes, and processed meats. Although households with children consumed more fat, they did not consume more calories. The researchers note that parents may keep these foods around the house because they think children prefer them. (J Am Board Fam Med, January/February 2007)

Continue Reading

More in AFP

Copyright © 2007 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See permissions for copyright questions and/or permission requests.