December 17, 2008, 10:31 PM CT
Women Prefer Prestige Over Dominance in Mates
A new study in the journal Personal Relationships reveals that women prefer mates who are recognized by their peers for their skills, abilities, and achievements, while not preferring men who use coercive tactics to subordinate their rivals. Indeed, women found dominance strategies of the latter type to be attractive primarily when men used them in the context of male-male athletic competitions.
Jeffrey K. Snyder, Lee A. Kirkpatrick, and H. Clark Barrett conducted three studies with college women at two U.S. universities. Participants reviewed hypothetical potential mates described in written vignettes. The studies were designed to examine the respective effects of men's dominance and prestige on women's assessments of men.
Women are sensitive to the context in which men display domineering behaviors when they evaluate men as potential mates. For example, the traits and behaviors that women found attractive in athletic competitions were unattractive to women when men displayed the same traits and behaviors in interpersonal contexts. Notably, when considering prospective partners for long-term relationships, women's preferences for dominance decrease, and their preferences for prestige increase.
"These findings directly contradict the dating advice of some pop psychology experts who advise men to be aggressive in their social interactions. Women most likely avoid dominant men as long-term romantic partners because a dominant man may also be domineering in the household." the authors conclude.........
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December 16, 2008, 10:19 PM CT
Experts comment on importance of Christmas dinner
The menu might be different and families might be smaller, but Christmas remains among the most important holidays. "It is sacred," says Universit de Montral Psychology expert Luc Brunet. "It's part of our culture to come together to laugh and eat in a festive setting."
A recent survey showed that half of Canadians will travel over 200 kilometers to be with their families this holiday season, which is indicative of the importance of Christmas. "As a result of the demands of the workplace, this is often the only time families come together other than around the buffet at a funeral," says Brunet.
Marie Marquis is a professor at the Universit de Montral Department of Nutrition. She believes it's crucial to protect family dinners. "Quebecers are losing the habit of eating together," says Marquis. "Everyone eats at their own time and in their own place."
The dinner table is where relationships are forged, where children can express their joys and concerns. Yet Marquis is concerned that esthetics are changing how people get together.
"People are more concerned with how the Christmas table looks than how it brings people together," she says. "Before, Christmas dinner was a reason to get together. People sat around with mismatched china, while people of different generations would come together and talk. Nowadays, people want a Martha Stewart table. Kids are put on a separate table while adults have their own table. It's a shame".........
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December 16, 2008, 9:55 PM CT
Caffeine when pregnant may damage the heart of offspring
A new study published online in The FASEB Journal
shows that the equivalent of one dose of caffeine (just two cups of coffee) ingested during pregnancy may be enough to affect fetal heart development and then reduce heart function over the entire lifespan of the child. In addition, the scientists also observed that this relatively minimal amount of exposure may lead to higher body fat among males, when in comparison to those who were not exposed to caffeine. Eventhough the study was in mice, the biological cause and effect described in the research paper is plausible in humans.
As per Scott Rivkees, Yale's Associate Chair of Pediatric Research and a senior researcher on the study, "Our studies raise potential concerns about caffeine exposure during very early pregnancy, but further studies are necessary to evaluate caffeine's safety during pregnancy".
To reach their conclusion scientists studied four groups of pregnant mice under two sets of conditions for 48 hours. The first two groups were studied in "room air," with one group having been injected with caffeine and another injected with saline solution. The second two groups were studied under conditions where ambient oxygen levels were halved, with one group receiving caffeine and the other receiving saline solution. They observed that under both circumstances, mice given caffeine produced embryos with a thinner layer of tissue separating some of the heart's chambers than the group that was not given caffeine.........
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December 16, 2008, 9:49 PM CT
Benefits of breastfeeding outweigh risks
A study comparing breastfed and formula fed infants across time showed that the known beneficial effects of breastfeeding are greater than the potential risks linked to infant exposure to chemicals such as dioxins that may be present in breastmilk, as per a report reported in the December issue (Volume 3, Number 4) of Breastfeeding Medicine
, a peer-evaluated journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com) and the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. The paper is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/bfm.
This compelling study, entitled "The Heart of the Matter on Breastmilk and Environmental Chemicals: Essential Points for Health Care Providers and New Parents," encompassed an historical review of the medical literature and included time periods when levels of environmental chemicals were higher than they tend to be at present.
The authors of the report, Judy LaKind, PhD (LaKind Associates, Catonsville, MD), Cheston Berlin, Jr, MD (The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, PA), and CAPT Donald Mattison, MD (National Institutes of Health), advise health care providers to continue to encourage new mothers to breastfeed their babies. In agreement with the World Health Organization's (WHO's) continuing support of breastfeeding, this study's findings, based on epidemiologic data, do not downplay the adverse effects of exposure to dioxins and other environmental toxins. However, the authors distinguish between the statistical significance of risk/benefit assessments in an individual in comparison to population effects.........
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December 16, 2008, 9:47 PM CT
Vitamin D deficiency in infants and nursing mothers
Once thought to beimportant only for bone health, vitamin D is now seen as having a critical function in maintaining the immune system throughout life. The newly recognized disease risks linked to vitamin D deficiency are clearly documented in a report in the December issue (Volume 3, Number 4) of Breastfeeding Medicine
, a peer-evaluated journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com), and the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (www.bfmed.org). The paper is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/bfm.
Vitamin D deficiency is common across populations and especially among people with darker skin. Nutritional rickets among nursing infants whose mothers have insufficient levels of vitamin D is an increasingly common, yet preventable disorder.
Carol Wagner, MD, Sarah Taylor, MD, and Bruce Hollis, PhD, from the Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston), emphasize the need for clinical studies to determine the dose of vitamin D needed to achieve adequate vitamin D levels in breastfeeding mothers and their infants without toxicity.
In a paper entitled, "Does Vitamin D Make the World Go 'Round'?" the authors point out that vitamin D is now viewed not simply as a vitamin with a role in promoting bone health, but as a complex hormone that helps to regulate immune system function. Long-term vitamin D deficiency has been associated with immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, and cancer.........
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December 16, 2008, 9:45 PM CT
Unpasteurized milk poses health risks
With disease outbreaks linked to unpasteurized milk rising in the United States, a review published in the January 1, 2009 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases
examines the dangers of drinking raw milk.
Milk and dairy products are cornerstones of a healthy diet. However, if those products are consumed unpasteurized, they can present a serious health hazard because of possible contamination with pathogenic bacteria. An average of 5.2 outbreaks per year linked to raw milk have occurred in the United States between 1993 and 2006more than double the rate in the previous 19 years, according to co-authors Jeffrey T. LeJeune and Pivi J. Rajala-Schultz of the College of Veterinary Medicine in Columbus, Ohio.
Contamination can occur at the time of collection, processing, distribution, or storage of milk, the authors write. Many pathogens can be found in the dairy farm environment, which can contaminate the teat skin of dairy cows and consequently the milk at the time when cows are milked. For example, Salmonella and E. coli have been reported in pooled milk collected from farms., Outbreaks of salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, and E. coli related to raw milk consumption have been reported since 2005.
Although the sale of raw milk was illegal in 26 states as of 2006, the authors note that those who are opposed to pasteurization have found ways to circumvent the law and obtain raw milk. For example, participants in "cow-share" programs pay for the upkeep of the cow and receive raw milk in exchange, rather than buying raw milk outright.........
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December 16, 2008, 9:44 PM CT
A qualified endoscopist for your colonoscopy
A study released recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine
observed that colonoscopy is linked to lower death rates from colorectal cancer, however, the procedure missed lesions more often on the right side of the colon versus the left side. The study highlights the importance of seeking a qualified gastrointestinal endoscopist to perform a thorough colonoscopy and that patients must take the bowel prep as directed by their doctor allowing for a clear view of the colon to detect lesions. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), representing the specialists in colorectal cancer screening, recommends that patients seek out an expertly-trained gastrointestinal endoscopist to perform a colonoscopy and to ask questions about their qualifications before the procedure.
"Colonoscopy is the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening for its ability to detect and remove polyps before they turn into cancer. Colonoscopy's effectiveness is evidenced in the recent decline in the incidence and death rates from colorectal cancer announced last month by leading cancer organizations," said John L. Petrini, MD, FASGE, president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. "While colonoscopy is not a perfect test, this study should not deter anyone from undergoing a colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening. Approximately 70 percent of the colonoscopies performed in this study were not done by gastroenterologists. Studies have shown that missed lesion rates are higher for internists and family practice physicians doing colonoscopy. We urge patients to log on to www.asge.org to find a qualified, expertly-trained gastrointestinal endoscopist to perform their colonoscopy and to ask questions about their qualifications".........
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December 16, 2008, 9:29 PM CT
Smoking and colorectal cancer
An analysis of prior studies indicates that smoking is significantly linked to an increased risk for colorectal cancer and death, as per an article in the December 17 issue of JAMA
Eventhough tobacco was responsible for approximately 5.4 million deaths in 2005, there are still an estimated 1.3 billion smokers in the world. While many cancers are attributable to smoking, the link between cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer (CRC) has been inconsistent among studies. "Because smoking can potentially be controlled by individual and population-related measures, detecting a link between CRC and smoking could help reduce the burden of the world's third most common tumor, which currently causes more than 500,000 annual deaths worldwide. In the United States alone, an estimate of approximately 50,000 deaths from CRC would have occurred in 2008," the authors write.
Edoardo Botteri, M.Sc., of the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy, and his colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to review and summarize published data examining the link between smoking and CRC incidence and death.
The scientists identified 106 findings based on observation, and the meta-analysis was based on a total of nearly 40,000 new cases of CRC. For the analysis on incidence, smoking was linked to an 18 percent increased risk of CRC. The scientists also found a statistically significant dose-relationship with an increasing number of pack-years (number of packs of cigarettes smoked/day, multiplied by years of consumption) and cigarettes per day. However, the association was statistically significant only after 30 years of smoking.........
Posted by: Sue Read more Source
December 16, 2008, 8:56 PM CT
First Pregnancies May Lower Mom's Blood Pressure Permanently
"In women with healthy pregnancies, blood pressure levels were lower among women after a first pregnancy, in comparison to women who did not give birth," as per the study's lead author Erica P. Gunderson, Ph.D., an epidemiologist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif. "Because lower blood pressure appears to persist years after delivery, pregnancy may offer insights into mechanisms that may be useful for controlling adult blood pressure".
Scientists examined blood pressure changes in 1,373 women who had never given birth at baseline. They observed that the average systolic blood pressure was lower by 2 millimeters of mercury and the average diastolic blood pressure was lower by 1.5 mm of mercury for the 635 women who'd had a first pregnancy uncomplicated by hypertension, in comparison to 738 women who did not give birth during the 20-year study period.
The lower blood pressure was sustained regardless of the number of subsequent births, as per the researchers. Lower blood pressure after a first pregnancy compared with no births remained after adjusting for blood pressure and body mass index before pregnancy, age, race, smoking, education, medications to treat hypertension, oral contraceptive use, and weight gain, they explained.
A 2-mm mercury reduction in mean blood pressure for women's long term health could translate into a 6 percent reduction in stroke mortality, a 4 percent reduction in coronary heart disease, and a reduction in total mortality for 3 percent of the population, Gunderson said.........
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December 16, 2008, 8:34 PM CT
Low-income men and advanced prostate cancer
Low-income men are more likely to present with advanced prostate cancers, most likely because they don't receive screening services shown to reduce the diagnosis of later-stage cancers, a UCLA study found.
The study focused on a group of disadvantaged men enrolled in the state's IMPACT (Improving Access, Counseling and Treatment for Californians with Prostate Cancer) program, which provides high-quality care to poor, underinsured and uninsured men. Scientists observed that of the 570 men studied, 19 percent had metastatic cancer at diagnosis, in comparison to 4 percent of men from the general population who were followed in other studies.
The study also observed that the diagnosis rates for lower-risk, less advanced cancers in the IMPACT patients did not increase over time, while the diagnosis rates of lower-risk, less advanced cancers did go up for men in more affluent populations.
Prior studies have shown that widespread adoption of PSA screening for prostate cancer has resulted in more men being diagnosed with organ-confined, low-risk disease. This trend has not been mirrored among the disadvantaged IMPACT patients, who don't have access to or don't take advantage of screening.
Reported in the February 2009 issue of The Journal of Urology,
the study sheds light on the challenges and opportunities that public assistance programs face in reducing cancer-related socioeconomic disparities.........
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