Sexist Science; Benefits of Yoga and CBT for Insomnia; and Asymptomatic Infections Drive Many Epidemics

Kaitlin Edwards

September 02, 2022

Sexist Science: Data Show That Female Researchers Get Left Out

Women are credited for their work far less often than are their male peers, according to a new study that looked at data from 2000 to 2019.

Publications and patents: When compared with male counterparts, women are 13% more likely to be left out of publications and 59% more likely to be left off of patents.

No credit: Women were less likely to get credit in every scientific field, including health, where they are the majority.

Institutional problem: The researchers used survey responses and administrative records to find that the problem was rooted in the attribution system. The primary investigator generally decides who is named on a paper and usually names other senior researchers. It turns out, many senior researchers are men.

"If people's voices are not heard, they tend to exit. And that may be a factor contributing to the lack of diversity at the upper level," said study author Julia Lane, PhD.

Yoga, CBT Provide Long-term Improvement in Insomnia, Worry

Both yoga and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) provides improvements in worry, anxiety, and insomnia in older adults, new research shows.

The researchers used a two-stage randomized preference trial that included participants who were older than 60 years and whose scores had indicated heightened anxiety and worry on the Penn State Worry Questionnaire-Abbreviated test.

Preliminary results: After 11 weeks, both groups showed improvements from baseline in all areas. The improvements for anxiety and worry were similar in the yoga and CBT groups, but CBT had higher improvements in insomnia.

Lasting results: The improvements continued even 6 months after ending treatment.

"Clinicians can direct their patients toward interventions that may be beneficial, consolidate the results over time and avoid fueling the well-trained worry cognitive loop with concerns related to potential side effects," said Carmen Andreescu, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.

Asymptomatic Infections Drive Many Epidemics, Including Monkeypox, Polio, and COVID

Asymptomatic infections continue to be a large driver in epidemics, research shows.

COVID: Early pandemic data estimates that 40%-60% of COVID infections were spread asymptomatically. With new Omicron variants, those numbers are estimated to be even higher.

Polio: The first case of polio reported in the US in nearly a decade prompted investigations that determined poliovirus has been found in the wastewater of New York City and three surrounding counties. Up to 90% of infections are unrecognized because people have minimal or no symptoms.

Monkeypox: Cases have been increasing at a rapid rate since the first US case appeared on May 19, 2022. More than 18,000 cases have now been reported. It is largely spreading via sexual transmission, with many infected people being asymptomatic.

Recommendations: Experts suggest identifying asymptomatic carriers, increasing the availability and uptake of vaccines, and decreasing global disparities in care.

Editor's note: Because of the Labor Day holiday, 3 Things to Know Today will be on hiatus until Wednesday, September 7. 

Kaitlin Edwards is a staff medical editor based in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @kaitmedwards. For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


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