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Health scan

health-and-fitness Updated: May 28, 2012 11:45 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Stress makes men friendlier

It's often said that when stress strikes, women turn to their social ties for support and men become aggressive. But a new research suggests that these gender stereotypes don't always hold true and like women, stress-hit men are more likely to trust others, behave in a trustworthy manner and to share resources.

The higher the men’s heart rates and cortisol levels, the more trusting, trustworthy and generous they become, shows research from Germany. In other words, stress made men friendlier.

The new study, published in the journal Psychological Science, finds that stressed men are also tenders-and-befrienders.


Email holidays boost heart health

Ignoring email messages altogether can reduce stress by having a positive effect on your heart. Researchers, who attached heart-rate monitors to office workers, found they remained in a state of “high alert” throughout the day if they had constant access to email.

Whereas those who didn’t check their messages for up to five days at a time had much healthier heart rates, found the study. Study authors suggest employers consider offering email “holidays”' to preserve workers'' health and boost their concentration levels.


Belly fat raises dementia risk

Belly fat is known to increase the risk for heart disease, and now scientists say it might also increase the risk of dementia. Among 733 middle-aged participants, more fat around the abdomen was associated with less total brain volume.

The current findings suggest belly fat, rather than overall fat level, is a more specific culprit.

“If you aren’t as concerned about reducing belly fat for concerns of heart attack and stroke, do consider that it might also increase your risk of dementia,” said study author Dr. Sudha Seshadri, of Boston University School of Medicine, in the journal, Annals of Neurology.


IUDs work better than the Pill

Women who choose birth control pills, the patch or vaginal ring are 20 times more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy than those using long-term methods such as intra uterine devices (IUDs) and implants, a study found.

In young women under 21, choosing pill, patch or vaginal ring, the risk of unintended pregnancy is twice as that for older women, according to researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.


Vit-D deficiency makes babies fat

Children are more likely to be obese if their mothers lacked vit D during pregnancy, say British scientists. A study of nearly 1,000 pregnant women in the UK showed that those with low levels of vit D gave birth to children who had more body fat at the age of six than youngsters whose mothers were not deficient in vit D during pregnancy, reports the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Recent studies have linked low vit D levels with high body fat in children and adults, and suggested the connection may begin in the womb.