PARIS – Married people are less prone to heart attacks than singletons and more likely to recover if stricken, according to a Finnish study published Thursday.

Researchers collected data on 15,330 people in Finland between the ages of 35 and 99 who suffered “acute coronary events” between 1993 and 2002.

Just over half of the patients died within 28 days of the attacks.

The team found that unmarried men in all age groups were 58-66 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than married ones.

For women the nuptial benefit was even greater — single women were 60 to 65 percent more likely to suffer acute coronary events, the Finnish researchers wrote in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

For both genders, wedlock also considerably lowered heart attack mortality.

Unmarried men were 60-168 percent and unmarried women 71-175 percent more likely to die of a heart attack within 28 days, compared to their unhitched counterparts.

“Single living and/or being unmarried increases the risk of having a heart attack and worsens its prognosis both in men and women regardless of age,” the team wrote.

“Most of the excess mortality appears already before the hospital admission and seems not to relate to differences in treatment.”
Speculating on the reasons, the team said married people may have a higher, combined income, healthier habits and a bigger support network.

“It may be assumed that resuscitation or calling for help was initiated faster and more often among those married or cohabiting,” said the authors.

They could also not discount the psychological effects of marital bliss.

“Unmarried people have been found to be more likely depressed and according to previous studies depression seems to have an adverse effect on cardiovascular mortality ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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In the new study, scientists administered Viagra to mice and monitored the levels of UCP-1 in the rodents' fat. Over the course of a week, they found, levels of UCP-1 increased dramatically, and the formerly white fat began turning beige.
In his blog post, Rehman--who was not involved with the study--goes on to say that scientists have been trying lots of methods for "browning" fat, with the aim of combating obesity. But, he warns, "overweight people should not expect that "Super-Size" orders at their favorite fast food joint will come with a Viagra pill." The science is young, and doctors don't even know yet if brown fat is really healthier than white fat.

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China has ordered the recall of six types of tainted instant noodle products made by South Korean food company Nongshim, and strengthened inspection and quarantine procedures for instant noodle products imported from South Korea.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine made the announcement on its website Friday, noting that products that fail to meet China's quality standards would not be allowed to enter the country.

South Korean health authorities announced Thursday a recall of six types of instant noodle products from Nongshim, after benzopyrene, a cancer-causing substance, was found in the company's South Korea-produced products, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

Nongshim's Shanghai branch said in a statement Friday that the blacklisted products were produced in South Korea, and China-based products were not among the blacklist, the Xinmin Evening News reported. Nongshim has three independent factories in Shanghai, Shenyang of Liaoning Province and Qingdao of Shandong Province.

Products from domestic factories were sent to a third-party testing agency to detect traces of benzopyrene, and results from the tests will be made public as soon as possible, according to the statement.

"We sell Nongshim instant noodles made in China instead of those imported from South Korea," a customer service officer, surnamed Zhao, from the Wal-Mart store on Jianguo Lu in Beijing's Chaoyang district, told the Global Times on Friday.

Taiwan's health authorities also ordered the recall of two Nongshim instant noodle products imported from South Korea in the wake of the scandal, according to Taiwan media reports.

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They're the imperatives for well-being that have been drilled into us forever--"Drink eight glasses of water a day!" "Eat nine servings of fruits and veggies!" "Stay away from red meat!" But it turns out that taking care of yourself isn't quite so black-and-white, says Harvard Medical School psychologist Alice Domar, PhD, coauthor of Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Won't Break Your Health. "Research is revealing that whoever wrote the old guidelines didn't have the whole picture, and that there are more paths to optimal health than we previously thought," Domar says. Happily, the new rules are more user-friendly than the old ones. Here, four tips to live by.

RELATED: Get Smarter By Eating Chocolate and Zoning Out

Old Rule: Drink eight glasses of water a day.
New Rule: Eat your water.

The recommendation to chug all that H2O was likely based on guidelines published in 1945. However, says Howard Murad, MD, author of The Water Secret, much of your daily requirement is contained in foods: Fruits, vegetables, beans, and cooked whole grains like oatmeal and quinoa (which soak up moisture in the pot) all deliver servings of water. And, as Murad points out, they offer the added bonus of nutrients: "Watermelon and cucumber are more than 90 percent water, but they also contain antioxidants. With a glass of water, all you get is water." You'll know you're hydrated when your urine is colorless or pale yellow and you're rarely thirsty.

RELATED: Top 10 Rules for Eating Right

Old Rule: Eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables.
New Rule: Fill half your plate with produce.

A serving of broccoli ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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"Conjoined twins have been born in Brazil with two heads, two functioning brains and two backbones - but a single heart.

The rare condition is thought to have occurred when one of the pair failed to fully develop in the womb.

Doctors say separating the twins, named Jesus and Emanuel, is not currently an option because there is only one set of organs, Reuters reports.

They are being monitored by specialists to see how they develop.

Dr Neila Dahas, who is treating the newborns, said surgery was not being considered at the moment.

But she said separating the boys would be impossible because of the single set of organs - and that it was difficult to choose which head to remove because both brains were functioning well.

"What we know statistically is that the children who undergo surgery and survive are the children who have less organs in common," she added.

"What we've got to think about at this moment is to maintain the children in good condition and see how they will develop."

'No scans' The condition, known as dicephalic parapagus, is rare.

However there have been other known cases, notably Abigail and Brittany Hensel who were born in the US in 1990. They aim to live as normal a life as possible, even taking their driving test when they were 16.

Jesus and Emanuel were born by Caesarean section weighing 9.9lbs (4.5kg) on Monday morning in a small hospital in the northern state of Para." Read More

- BBC News

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Nearly 20% of women in the US are raped or suffer attempted rape at some point in their lives, a US study says.
Even more women, estimated at 25%, have been attacked by a partner or husband, the Centers for Disease Control said.

The findings form part of the first set of results from a nationwide study surveying sexual violence by intimate partners against men and women.

More than 24 people a minute reported rape, violence, or stalking, it says, with 12 million offences reported.

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) described the results of the first year of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey as "astounding".

Among the key figures included in the survey's findings were:

- more than one million women reported being raped in the 12 months prior to the survey

- more than six million women and men were a victim of stalking

- more than 12 million women and men reported rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner over the course of a year.
Lifelong hurt

"People who experience sexual violence, stalking or intimate partner violence often deal with the effects for their entire life," said Dr Linda Degutis, director of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Many of those attacked experience rape or sexual assault in their early years, with almost 80% of rape victims suffering their ordeal before before the age of 25.

Some 35% of women raped before they were aged 18 were also raped as adults, Dr Degutis added.

Among the effects measured by the study, Dr Degutis said, were increased fears for safety and incidents of post-traumatic stress among victims.

Clinical conditions including asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids doesn't appear to stave off the blues in women, U.S. researchers have found.

Their study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adds to the conflicting evidence on the benefits of fish oil, which some research has hinted might help certain people with depression.

"We know that omega-3s are important in brain function," study researcher Dr. Alberto Ascherio, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, told Reuters Health.

"We approached this work thinking that when it comes to preventing depression, it's conceivable that you are what you eat," he said.

But the researchers' findings didn't bear out that prediction.

The team followed nearly 55,000 nurses over 10 years. All the women, between 50 and 77 years old, were free of depression when the study began in 1996.

Over the next decade, five percent of them eventually developed clinical depression. But the risk was the same regardless of how much DHA and EPA -- two omega-3 fatty acids -- women got from eating fish.

Fish rich in omega-3s include salmon, trout, sardines and herring.

The researchers did find preliminary signs that a plant-based omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid could play a role in mood.

For every increase of half a gram in daily intake of the substance --common in walnuts and canola oil, for instance -- there was an 18-percent reduction in the risk of depression.

A study like the current one can't prove cause-and-effect, and Ascherio said the area needs further research before any recommendations can be made.

His team also examined omega-6 fatty acids, but was unable to come up with conclusive findings on its impact on depression. Omega-6s are found ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Infants with a family history of allergies might be less likely to develop a peanut allergy if they start solid foods before the age of four months, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among 2- and 3-year-olds whose parents suffered from allergies, those who were started early on solid foods or cow's milk were about five times less likely to be sensitized to peanuts.

"Sensitized" means that a child has immune-system antibodies directed at a potential allergen -- in this case, peanut proteins -- and is at increased risk of having a full-blown allergy to that substance.

Still, the findings do not prove that early introduction of "complementary" foods prevents peanut allergies, said Christine Joseph, the lead researcher on the study and an epidemiologist at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

The study, she told Reuters Health, shows an association, but cannot prove cause-and-effect.

So it's too early to make any recommendations to parents on when to introduce solid foods or cow's milk, Joseph said.

And in general, she noted, there is controversy over which infant feeding tactics, if any, might cut the risk of food allergies.

At one time, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents not give children cow's milk until after their first birthday, eggs until the age of two, or peanuts until age three. But the group reversed that position in 2008, after studies showed no good evidence that the advice lowered kids' food allergy risks.

Right now, experts generally recommend that infants be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life because it is the best form of nutrition. Whether that has any benefit on food allergy risks, though, remains unclear.

The new findings are based on ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Doctor visits, hospital care, and lost work days due to food allergies come with an annual $500 million price tag, according to a new U.S. study.

Visits to the doctor's office make up the bulk of the medical costs, researchers estimate, amounting to at least $118 million.

Food allergies among children have climbed 18 percent from 1997 to 2007, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Today, about four of every 100 Americans suffer from the exaggerated immune response, which can be triggered by peanuts, milk, eggs and other products.

Using several databases, the researchers tallied up the cost of emergency room care, hospitalizations, and visits to the physician's office for allergic reactions. They then used those numbers to estimate the nationwide cost of treatment and reported their results in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Total medical costs ranged from $225 million to $307 million, depending on the type of calculation the researchers performed.

Visits to the emergency department cost $45 million, about 20 percent of the total medical fees.

David Holdford, a pharmacist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond who worked on the study, told Reuters Health he had expected emergency room visits to make up a bigger chunk of the medical costs.

Food allergies can trigger anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that can cause breathing difficulty, heart problems and death and requires immediate attention.

Doctor visits comprised 52 percent of medical costs.

"We were surprised that physician visits were more than half of the costs," said Holdford, who is also an investor in Johnson and Johnson, which makes allergy medications.

"I think what's happening is a lot of these (doctor) visits are not for acute visits," but for ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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A computer that claims responsibility for a terrorist bombing might typically be cause for alarm, but one particular computer's delusional tale delighted researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. The computer's neural network had successfully mimicked the strange stories of schizophrenic patients by having an abnormally high learning rate.

That case of virtual schizophrenia gave support to a new theory about how schizophrenic patients lose the ability to forget irrelevant details or filter information in meaningful ways. The inability to forget may lead the brain to form false connections -- such as finding secret CIA messages in newspaper stories about Osama bin Laden's killing -- or create completely incoherent views of reality.

A brain chemical called dopamine may help encode what counts as relevant information in the human brain, researchers say.

"If we say that dopamine controls the intensity of memory learning and consolidation, we can simulate that by intensifying the learning in the neural network," said Uli Grasemann, a graduate student in computer science at the University of Texas at Austin.

Grasemann used a neural network, called DISCERN, which can learn natural languages. DISCERN can also remember simple stories, such as the sequence of events from going to eat at a restaurant. It processes grammar and can follow basic scripts to follow the overall structure of stories.

"You tell it stories and it remembers those stories in a way that is hopefully how humans remember and encode stories in memory, and then it tells those stories back at you," Grasemann told InnovationNewsDaily.

The University of Texas researchers tried simulating many different types of brain damage in DISCERN, in hopes of finding the mechanism behind schizophrenia. But they only hit the jackpot when they elevated DISCERN's learning rates so that it did not ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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