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Health scan

health-and-fitness Updated: Mar 19, 2011 21:56 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life.

Swimming ups the risk of cancer
People who regularly swim in chlorinated water or take lots of showers or baths could increase the risk of developing bladder cancer.

The benefits of drinking bottled water - to avoid the health risks posed by drinking tap water - get cancelled out if people swim more or take more showers, shows a study of 1,270 people in Castilla La Mancha, Spain.

Using swimming pools and exercising more results in more frequent and longer baths, increasing risk of THM exposure, says the study in the online journal BioMed Central.

Women deal with pain better than men
Women are the stronger sex when it comes to dealing with extreme pain. And it's not just because they undergo childbirth. Women are simply better prepared for pain because they deal with it differently.

Brain scans show that men avoid dealing with pain, while women link it to negative emotions and try to deal with the situation. So, while men put their energy into fearing a painful procedure, women think of ways to cope with it, reports a study of men and women undergoing excruciating medical test.

Cholesterol drugs cut clots, stop heart attacks
Drugs which can regulate levels of cholesterol in the blood may also reduce the risk of dangerous clots, say scientists. Blood clots are the biggest cause of stroke or heart attack in young people.

Researchers, writing in the journal Blood, said cholesterol drugs reduced the size and stability of blood clots in mice and said the discovery could lead to new drugs.

The University of Reading team found that the protein, LXR, was involved in clot formation. LXR is already known to control levels of cholesterol. The drugs worked very well in reducing clots in mice.

"While blood clotting is essential to prevent bleeding, inappropriate clotting known as thrombosis, is the trigger for heart attacks and strokes. This study paves the way for more effective medicines to prevent thrombosis," says Professor Jon Gibbins.

Saline wipes help bug-freeing cellphones
Swiping your cell phone or keyboard just three times with a tissue moistened with saline gets rid of most of the bacteria. But if you only have time for a single swipe, use a disinfectant wipe. Saline wipes work for three common types of bacteria that infect surfaces, showed a US study.

Bacterial counts drop each time a surface is wiped, with swiping three times lowering the bacterial load by 88% on an average, compared to just swiping it once.