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August 9, 2019

Weekend reads: Why do Major League Baseball players live so long?

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Professional baseball players seem to outlive everyone else. Major League Baseball (MLB) players live 24% longer than the average male in the United States, according to a recent study of 10,451 major leaguers published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers also found that having a long career in the MLB was associated with a lower mortality rate from cardiovascular disease, but a higher mortality rate from cancer, specifically lung and skin cancer. Marc Weisskopf, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, suspected sun exposure or tobacco might explain those cancers. However, he also noted that baseball players had higher rates of blood cancer, which he called "surprising." The researchers also found differences in death rates by the position players played, with middle infielders living the longest.

    This TV star discovered she had a thyroid problem, thanks to her fans. Actress Denise Richards, who recently starred on the reality show "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," thanked her fans on Instagram Monday after many messaged her noticing she had an enlarged thyroid during a reunion episode of the show. The fans turned out to be right, Richards said. Generally enlarged thyroids are painless but can cause coughing and difficulty breathing. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the most common causes of an enlarged thyroid are autoimmune diseases, such as Graves' disease or Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    The truth about that electric scooter. Electric scooters aren't any better for the environment than buses—in fact, according to a recent study in Environmental Research Letters, they might be worse. The researchers estimated how much environmental harm came from different parts of an electric scooter's "life cycle," and found that most of the harm comes from manufacturing them. The second-highest amount of harm comes from contractors who use cars to transport the devices around the city to be recharged. So even though the scooters themselves don't produce greenhouse gas emissions, the researchers found that scooters produce more emissions in their life cycle than a bus, moped, and electric bicycle. 

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