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Sun, 07 Feb 2016
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Teenage Birthrate Increases For Second Consecutive Year

© The Washington Post
The rate at which teenage girls in the United States are having babies has risen for a second year in a row, government statistics show, putting one of the nation's most successful social and public health campaigns in jeopardy.

Teen births in the District, Maryland and Virginia mirror the national trend, the numbers show, and local health experts say they are alarmed by the shift.


Traffic Jams Triple Risk of Heart Attack

A recent study showed that getting stuck in traffic and getting frustrated about it triples the chances of having a heart attack.

The study conducted by a German research team involved more than 1400 people who went through a heart attack and survived. The result of calling all those people and asking them questions related to their heart attacks were somewhat surprising: many of them had been caught in a traffic jam about one hour before having the heart attack.


'We See Children As Pestilent'

Adults are suffering from ephebiphobia - a fear of young people - says psychologist and TV presenter Tanya Byron, and it is destroying a generation's chances.

We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They frequently inhabit taverns and have no self-control." These words - expressing the all-too-familiar contemporary condemnation of young people - were actually inscribed on a 6,000-year-old Egyptian tomb.

Later, in the fourth century BC, Plato was heard to remark: "What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets, inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?"

And then, a few hundred years later, in AD1274, Peter the Hermit joined the chorus. "The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint ... As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress."


Pious 'fight death the hardest'

People with strong religious beliefs appear to want doctors to do everything they can to keep them alive as death approaches, a US study suggests.

Researchers followed 345 patients with terminal cancer up until their deaths.

Those who regularly prayed were more than three times more likely to receive intensive life-prolonging care than those who relied least on religion.

The team's report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Eye 2

Egypt pressured to end underground organ trade

© Middle East Online
A year later, penniless once more

Poverty of Cairo's slums forces young couple to sell nearly everything they had including a kidney each.

For years, word has spread among Egypt's destitute that selling a kidney - sometimes for as little as $2,000 - can be a quick way out of a debt or to keep from sinking deeper into poverty. At rundown cafes, they are hunted by middlemen working for labs that match donors and recipients, many of whom are foreigners drawn to Egypt's thriving, underground organ trade.

Egypt is one of a half dozen countries identified by the World Health Organization as organ-trafficking hot spots. Under international pressure, other trouble spots like China, Pakistan and the Philippines have outlawed organ sales and barred foreigners from undergoing transplants to stop "transplant tourism."

Egypt, however, has long ignored the problem, experts say. Transplant surgeons working to stop the global trade fear that foreign patients finding it harder to go to Asia could flood into Egypt in search of organs.


Religious people less anxious, brain activity shows

© Frederic Sierakowski / Rex Features)
Deeply devout people exhibit lower activity in a brain region linked to anxiety when they give the wrong answer on a simple test
If the deeply devout seem less self-doubting than others, perhaps it's because religion helps them shrug off mistakes. So say researchers who found religious people exhibit lower activity than non-believers in a brain region linked to anxiety when erring on a simple test.

"Religion offers an interpretative framework to understand the world. It lets you know when to act, how to act, and what to do in specific situation," says

Michael Inzlicht, a neuroscientist at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, who led the new study. "It provides a kind of blueprint on how to interact with the world."

Religion - and perhaps other strongly held belief systems - buffer against second-guessing decisions, he says.


People with higher IQs live longer

People with higher IQs are more likely to live into healthy old age, according to a study.

Unfortunately, those who do not perform so well in intelligence tests could suffer a higher risk of heart disease, fatal accidents and suicide.

The discovery was made after researchers looked into the medical records of one million Swedish army conscripts.


A Silenced Drug Study Creates An Uproar

The study would come to be called "cursed," but it started out just as Study 15.

It was a long-term trial of the antipsychotic drug Seroquel. The common wisdom in psychiatric circles was that newer drugs were far better than older drugs, but Study 15's results suggested otherwise.

As a result, newly unearthed documents show, Study 15 suffered the same fate as many industry-sponsored trials that yield data drugmakers don't like: It got buried. It took eight years before a taxpayer-funded study rediscovered what Study 15 had found -- and raised serious concerns about an entire new class of expensive drugs.


Tough economy sets teeth grinding

As the economy is grinding to a halt, it's taking our teeth with it.


Dentists across the nation report higher numbers of patients grinding their teeth than before the recession started in December 2007.

"We are very stressed right now, and one of the ways that stress manifests itself is we grind our teeth," said Dr. Robert Emami, a dentist in Dedham, Mass. "It's a serious problem that can lead to the movement of teeth, and ultimately to the loss of teeth."

In his practice - he has two offices just south of Boston - the number of teeth grinding cases has doubled in the past year, Dr. Emami said.


Your Favorite Organic Brands? Take Another Look -- They May Not Be What They Seem

Confident that you are buying good, socially conscious brands? Find out the real story behind all that marketing money and store visibility.

My first introduction to natural, organic and eco-friendly products stems back to the early '90s, when I stumbled upon Burt's Bees lip balm at an independently owned health food store in the heart of Westport, Kansas City, Mo.

Before the eyesore invasion of '98, when Starbucks frothed its way into the neighborhood, leading to its ultimate demise, Westport was the kind of 'hood I still yearn for. It was saturated with historically preserved, hip and funky, mom-and-pop-type establishments, delivering their goods people to people.

I was surprised more recently when I saw Burt's Bees products everywhere -- in grocery stores, drug stores, corner bodegas and big-box stores like Target and Wal-Mart. I thought to myself, fantastic; the marketplace is working, and good for Burt. He has made his mark, and the demand for his products is on the rise.