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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #661
June 18, 2008

Infant Allergies

Almost 80 percent of children with asthma show some allergic symptoms during their first year, but it isn't always possible to identify the allergens involved.

That's why Harvard Medical School and the University of Virginia Medical School, worked together to find common factors in infants who had wheezing episodes in their first year of life.

As reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, low-birth weight infants are likely to have wheezing episodes. So are infants who develop respiratory infections in their first year of life, and infants whose mothers smoke.

The one risk factor that stood out -- independent of one's health history or family income -- your infant is likely to develop wheezing if you have cockroaches in the home.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #662
June 19, 2008

Have a Drink ...

Want to learn about somebody's character? Don't bother asking for their Zodiac sign; get them to order an alcoholic drink instead.

According to the Journal of Substance Abuse:
Wine drinkers are college educated and drink in moderation, usually with meals.
Beer drinkers have limited educations. They usually drink at times other than meal time.
Whiskey drinkers hang out at bars.
Wine cooler drinkers are usually single and have limited educations.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #663
June 20, 2008

Hospital Gossip :doh:

Ever call a hospital to get information on a friend's condition and get the message, "The patient is in satisfactory condition."

You need to go to the right source, it seems.

According to the American Journal of Medicine, the one place you can find out things the hospital doesn't want you to know is in the elevators.

Researchers from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Philadelphia, rode the elevators 36 times. In those trips they heard:
Eighteen discussions of patients' conditions, all of which should have been kept private.
Ten comments about the quality of medical care that didn't sound very encouraging.
Eight unfavorable comments about patients.

Physicians did the most gossiping, with nurses a distant second.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #664
June 21, 2008

Fingernail Frenzy
Fingernails grow an average of .02 inch each week, but if you're left-handed, the nails on your left hand will grow faster than those on your right.

According to Amazing Facts About Your Body, a book by Doubleday and Co, the nail on the middle finger grows faster than all the others.

And, in case you ever wondered, it is possible to transplant fingernails.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #665
June 22, 2008

Looks Are Deceiving

You know it's wrong to stereotype people according to their looks. And here's another reason why.

The stereotype is that boys with young faces really aren't as bright as children with more mature looking faces. And to compensate, the baby-faced boys are always better behaved.

Wrong on both counts. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, boys with young-looking faces generally have higher academic scores than their older-looking friends.

But when the baby-faced boys become delinquent, they can behave much worse than boys with an older appearance. That's because they're trying harder, in order to overcome the stereotypes.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #666
June 23, 2008

A Gem of an Idea

You've heard that cooking removes vitamins from a lot of foods, but did you know it could also effect the minerals in the food?

The European Journal of Cancer Prevention reports that the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Modena University in Italy, decided to make a dinner to see what would happen to the nutritional value of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.

None of the foods they cooked -- beef, filet of sole, cauliflower and vegetable soup -- had any folic acid left after preparation. But the fish still had 94 percent of its original retinol levels, even after it was grilled.

Copper levels in cauliflower dropped 37 percent as a result of cooking, but almost all the foods retained more than 90 percent of their iron content.

And while orange juice retained its vitamin C levels, fruit salad lost its vitamin C content very rapidly.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #667
June 24, 2008

Remember This...

There are two things that go when you get old: The first is your memory, and we forgot the second one. . .

You'd have to be pretty old to have forgotten that joke, but when you age, even if you're in good health, some abilities do decline. According to the American Journal of Public Health, they include: the ability to read the small print in a newspaper, the ability to lift a 10-pound weight, the ability to walk one-quarter mile and the ability to climb a flight of stairs.

They didn't list a fifth item, but the ability to laugh at jokes that begin, "You know you're getting old when . . ." goes pretty quickly, too.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #668
June 25, 2008

Knee News

You're better off doing the backstroke instead of making a slam dunk, if you've had a hip or knee replaced.

A group of doctors at the Mayo Clinic were surveyed on what sports they would and would not recommend for people after hip or knee replacement surgery.

The recommended list: swimming, scuba diving, cycling, golfing and bowling.

Not recommended: running, water-skiing, football, baseball, basketball, hockey, karate and soccer.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #669
June 26, 2008

Cheers

Two 10-minute counseling sessions can dramatically change people's drinking habits -- and may be enough to get problem drinking under control.

That's what the University of Wisconsin Medical School found in a study of 774 problem drinkers.

All the drinkers got a health booklet, but half also had two short sessions with their doctors.

A year later, on average, those in the counseling group had cut their weekly alcohol consumption from 19 to 11 drinks, and had reduced their binge-drinking episodes by almost half -- significantly more than those who only got the booklet (although they also improved somewhat).

Excess drinking ups the risk of heart disease, stroke, liver problems, cancer and other conditions. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, women who have eight or more drinks per week, or four or more at a time, are problem drinkers. For men, it's 15 or more drinks a week, or five or more at a time.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #670
June 27, 2008

Mineral Supplements

Like tuning up your car to increase its gas mileage, eating more magnesium-rich foods improves your body's conversion of food to energy.

According to studies by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, women ages 55 to 70 were able to ride an exercise bike for equal lengths of time regardless of whether they were getting enough magnesium. But they burned 15 percent more oxygen while on a magnesium-poor diet, and their heart rates averaged nine beats a minute faster.

In other words, they got fewer miles to the metabolic gallon.

To get more magnesium, eat more greens (especially spinach, Swiss chard, kale and lettuce) and grains (especially bran). You can also take a mineral supplement that includes magnesium -- but don't take more than 350 milligrams a day. An oversupply of magnesium will cause neurological problems and can also be dangerous to people who have reduced kidney function.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #671
:glasses:June 28, 2008

Under Pressure

Got high blood pressure? Don't be surprised if your doctor starts telling you to check it yourself.

A study from the American Journal of Hypertension confirms that many of the newest home blood-pressure machines provide readings that are as accurate -- or even more so -- than those taken in a doctor's office.

In the study, a group of men and women monitored their pressures with traditional doctor's tools -- stethoscope and sphygmomanometer -- for two weeks. Then they used a home monitor for two more weeks. The home monitor turned out to be just as accurate, and was much simpler to use.

Home readings also help show whether medication and lifestyle changes are lowering blood pressure -- and seeing results helps motivate people to stick with their program.

Which home monitor should you use? The traditional upper-arm style is favored, rather than the wrist or finger models, even though it can be a little more cumbersome to use.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #672
June 29, 2008

Plaque Attack :yawn:

You wake up in the morning, your eyes still stuck together, squirt some toothpaste in the general direction of the brush, and then brush as hard as you can as if you were trying to wake your mouth up by shaking your lower molars.

According to the Journal of Clinical Peridontology, you're wasting your energy, that extra force doesn't do any good.

In a study of plaque removal, results display that a brushing force of about 10 ounces of pressure removes plaque most efficiently. Any more force than that might wear down both the toothbrush and the teeth a little bit faster, and has no added effect on removing the dental plaque.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #673
June 30, 2008

Some Age-Old Advice

What does it take to live to the age of 100?

According to the journal Nippon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi, the Japanese Journal of Geriatrics, a study of 4,152 Japanese centenarians came up with these rules:
Eat lots of protein
Keep calories down
Get enough sleep
Live in an area with very, very good medical care facilities.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #674
July 1, 2008

Footing the Bill

Who's doing more work, a 150-pound man jogging for a mile barefoot or a 149-pound man jogging for a mile wearing a pair of running shoes that weigh a total of one pound?

That's the same total weight going the same distance, but the second man is working harder than the first one, according to the Journal of Applied Physiology.

A team from the Thermal Physiology Research Group in Soesterberg, The Netherlands, studied the workload imposed by footwear. They found that the extra workload produced by a pair of heavy shoes can be 2 to almost 5 times as much as the work of carrying the same amount of extra body weight.

So for a maximum workout, you might want to add army boots to your tank top and running shorts.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #675
July 2, 2008

An RX Remedy

Your doctor examines you, and gives you a prescription -- but what happens after that is up to you.

Lots of people say they're taking their drugs correctly when they're really skipping doses. Some people lie to avoid an argument, others just don't remember.

That's why the department of medicine at the University of Washington did a study. First they asked patients how regularly they were taking their medications -- then they tested each patient's blood level to see if they were telling the truth.

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, the accuracy of the answers varied by drug:
For patients taking aspirin, which is used to prevent blood clotting and reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke, the answers matched up with blood levels only 16 percent of the time.
Patients taking propranolol, which is used to reduce blood pressure, gave answers that matched the blood tests 43 percent of the time.
Hydrochlorothiazide, another blood-pressure drug, did a little better. The answers patients gave matched the blood level reports 63 percent of the time.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #676
July 3, 2008

A Sour Note

If you’re a woman, you could actually do yourself harm by drinking grapefruit juice on a daily basis.

A long-term study of 80,000 female nurses, conducted by the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, found that the possibility of kidney stones was boosted by 44% for those who drank an 8-ounce glass of the juice each day.

On the other hand, researchers found, a cup of tea decreases a woman's chances of getting kidney stones by 8%. Coffee cuts it by 9% and moderate consumption of wine by 20%.

But grapefruit juice does have its proponents. A newly identified compound in it named bergamottin boosts the potency of a wide variety of drugs, according to joint University of Michigan, Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Company research. In the test tube, bergamottin incapacitates an enzyme that breaks down drugs, hence greatly increasing the amount of the drug available to the body.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #677
July 4, 2008

Nap Time
Remember nap time when you were a small child? You might still need an afternoon nap to refresh you.

Sleep researchers cite the "midday trough" -- the period between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. -- as when people lose energy and feel sleepy. This time period also has a significantly higher number of industrial and traffic accidents than at other times. A parallel trough occurs between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., when humans are most likely to die.

Many countries in Europe and South America have a leisurely lunch followed by a rest before returning to their business schedules. Maybe in the on-the-go United States, we need to take a break.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #678
July 6, 2008

Pay Attention
If a man uses the television remote control to change channels every 30 seconds, it's considered normal. But if a woman does the same thing -- it may be a sign that she's dieting too much.

According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that when obese women diet, there can be a reduction in the absorption of iron, even when there's enough iron in the diet to meet all normal needs.

And the first casualty of iron deficiency in women is their attention span.

It gets shorter -- much shorter.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #679
July 7, 2008

Now Hear This :nasty:

If you work around heavy machinery, which piece of machinery do you think is the least damaging to your ears: cranes, forklifts or dump trucks?

According to the American Journal of Industrial Hygiene, any job working around those heavy machines can be harmful to your hearing because of loud engine noise.

Truck drivers, power-shovel and fork-lift operators are normally exposed to a noise level of 90 to 92 decibels all day long. That's an average, because they get to move away from the machines now and then, so the noise isn't constant.

But the crane operator sits in relative quiet. The noise level in an insulated cab is about 85 decibels.

However, even if you do get to operate the crane, you may still be at risk of damaging your hearing. That's because the safe level for long-term noise exposure is only 75 decibels.

 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #680
July 8, 2008

Feeling Blue? :cry:

When you look sick, it usually means you have a runny nose and your eyes are red and baggy.

But what happens when you feel emotionally ill?

According to the psychology department at the University of Michigan, one of the key signs of emotional distress is facial asymmetry.

As reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, symmetry, when the two sides of the face look like each other, is known to be a standard of good looks and sexual attractiveness.

But when you're sick or emotionally upset, the two sides actually get unbalanced, and you really don't look as good.

And, the research concludes, if you're having emotional problems, the lack of symmetry may be the only sign that something is wrong.
 
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