What we're reading, March 23, 2016: moderate alcohol consumption may not have any health benefits; Johnson & Johnson researching the development of 2 diseases; and 2 more California hospitals received ransom demands from hackers.
A study comparing participants based on how much alcohol they drink has determined that there is little evidence alcohol has any benefit on living longer or on heart health. NPR reported that the findings cast doubt on the belief that moderate drinking has some health benefits. The researchers found that while moderate drinkers, those who have 1 to 3 drinks a date, usually are healthier, this group of people are also well-educated and more affluent, which is likely the link to their better health.
Johnson & Johnson will now be researching which pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes and identifying and treating people in the early stage or at risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The research is part of an ambitious project to learn how to predict which people will develop certain diseases and how to stop or prevent the disease early, reported The Washington Post. Researchers will be looking to discover biomarkers for the diseases as they develop and then determine what therapies can be used to stop the development of the disease in those people.
Two more California hospitals have received ransom demands from hackers. The company that owns both hospitals said that the attack has not affected patient safety or compromised records, according to Kaiser Health News. The hospitals are still operating despite the attack and some IT systems were shut down as a preventive measure.