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Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?

by Bob Curley on October 24, 2014

eldercoupleJennDurfeyFlickrA baby girl born in the U.S. will live an average of nearly five years longer than a baby boy born at the same time –  81.2 years versus 76.4 years — Health reported Oct. 23. Here’s some reasons why:

  • Boys develop more slowly in utero, so they’re more likely to die if born prematurely.
  • Men are greater risk-takers than women, meaning they are far more likely to die of unintentional injuries than women.
  • While both men and women are at risk of heart disease, the illness typically takes a decade longer to kill a woman than a man.
  • Women tend to have stronger social networks than men — an important buffer against deadly stress.
  • Women see the doctor more and generally take better care of their health than men.

(Photo © Jenn Durfey/CC by 2.0)


Long Term Decline in Trans Fat Consumption in U.S.

by Bob Curley on October 24, 2014

butterRobertSDonovanFlickrGreater consumer knowledge and voluntary cutbacks by food manufacturers may be behind a one-third reduction in trans-fat consumption in the U.S. between 1980 and 2009, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota.

Reuters reported Oct. 23 that the findings were based on data from the Minnesota Heart Study, which includes information on the dietary habits of 12,500 people gathered over a period of 30 years.

The study found that while total fat, saturated fat and trans fat consumption have declined, all three remain over the health levels set in guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Key findings included:

  • Total fat declined from 39 percent of daily calorie intake to 33 percent.
  • Trans fat intake decreased by 32 percent for men and 35 percent for women.
  • Saturated fats still accounted for more than 11 percent of daily calories for men and women, compared to the less than one percent recommended by the AHA.

(Photo © Robert S. Donovan via Flickr)

Heavy Drinking Raises Blood Pressure Even in Young Men

by Bob Curley on October 24, 2014

beeremptiesPsflanneryFlikrResearch has long shown a relationship between heavy alcohol use and high blood pressure, and a new study says that men who binge drink as early as their 20s may be raising their risk of cardiovascular illness.

HealthDay News reported Oct. 21 that researchers noted that the link between heavy alcohol consumption among young men was similar to findings for older men and women, but no such association was observed among young women who drank heavily.

Binge drinking was defined as consuming five or drinks at a sitting for men and four or more for women. ”The thought is that in your 20s, you’re invincible and immune to all these middle-aged diseases like heart disease and hypertension, but this study shows that young adult males who binge drink have higher instances of blood pressure,” said Guy Mayeda, study co-author and a cardiologist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.

(Photo © psflannery via Flickr)

Think Yourself Happier

by Bob Curley on October 24, 2014

happyheartWikiHappiness is a state of mind, and changing how we think can be the key to greater happiness. Writing in the Huffington Post, psychotherapist Joyce Marter offers some important reminders on how to choose to be happier, including:

  • Avoid attaching your happiness to anything external.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Give freely of yourself.
  • Receive happiness openly.
  • Play and be silly.
  • Stay rooted in the present moment.
  • Surround yourself with people and things that make you smile.
  • Take good care of your physical and mental health.
  • Set healthy boundaries.
  • Express yourself freely and openly.
  • Like yourself.
  • Be true to yourself.

(Photo © Wikipedia)

Obese People More Likely to Be Depressed

by Bob Curley on October 24, 2014

For every overweight person who is “big and proud” there’s another who suffers from low self-esteem, and that’s reflected in new research showing an association between obesity and depression.

HealthDay reported Oct. 16 that 43 percent of adults with depression are obese, as are 55 percent of individuals taking antidepressant medication. Though no cause-and-effect relationship is shown in the research from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, the data shows that obesity increases alongside the severity of depression.

“Both depression and obesity impact many aspects of life, and their relationship is naturally complex,” noted Tony Tang, an adjunct professor in the department of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. “Some of the connections are obvious: Obesity can cause low self-esteem, social isolation and stressful health problems. All of them can cause depression. Depression can lead some patients to binge eat and get obese.”


“Living a healthier lifestyle, eating healthy food, drinking only moderately, spending less time on TV and on the Internet, and spending more time exercising can help prevent both depression and obesity,” added Tang.

Study Explores Interaction of Drugs and Diet

by Bob Curley on October 23, 2014

salmonThe effectiveness of the medications you take could be influenced by your diet.

Medical News Today reported Oct. 20 that a study found that antidepressant drugs seemed to work better among people who ate a diet high in fatty fish. The findings is especially noteworthy because 42 percent of people who receive SSRI-class drugs for depression report that they have no effect.

Researchers found that patients who did not respond well to SSRI drugs were more likely to have abnormal metabolism of fatty acids.

“We were looking for biological alterations that could explain depression and antidepressant non-response, so we combined two apparently unrelated measures: metabolism of fatty acids and stress hormone regulation,” said researcher Roel Mocking of the University of Amsterdam. ”Interestingly, we saw that depressed patients had an altered metabolism of fatty acids, and that this changed metabolism was regulated in a different way by stress hormones.”



Even Decaf Coffee Has Liver Benefits

Research shows that any coffee — regular or decaf — can protect against abnormal liver enzyme levels, suggesting that it is something other than caffeine that’s beneficial. The New York Times reported Oct. 20 that researchers led by Qian Xiao of the National Cancer Institute found that people who drink cups of coffee daily enjoy a […]

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Music Can Make Your Intense Workout Seem Easier

You can ease the pain of a strenuous workout by loading up your iPod with some favorite tunes, the New York Times reported Oct. 22. High-intensity interval training lasting 15 or 20 minutes can be highly beneficial to your health, but taxing enough that many people try to avoid it. Music, however, can make such […]

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No Link Found Between Vaccines and MS

Vaccines for hepatitis B and human pappiloma virus (HPV) are not associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis, according to researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. LiveScience reported Oct. 21 that the study was conducted in response to concerns raised by some anti-vaccination groups, which claimed that the Hep B and HPV vaccines contain ingredients […]

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Weight Affects Women’s Earning Ability

Overweight women earn less money and occupy less-prominent positions in the workplace than normal-weight women, NBC News reported Oct. 22. Vanderbilt University researchers found that companies are less likely to place overweight women in public-facing positions. “But morbidly obese men don’t seem to be underrepresented in these personal-interaction jobs, nor do they seem to be over-represented […]

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