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Health scan

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

health and fitness Updated: Dec 15, 2012 23:55 IST

Tea lowers odds of cancer?
Drinking tea seems to lower odds of ovarian cancer, Australian researchers have found out. It's not just the duration of tea drinking but also quantity of tea and the frequency of intake as well that makes the difference. The more cups you drink per day and the more the quantity, the better the result (the lower the risk). Apart from the green tea, oolong and black tea drinking also has a similar effect.

As a relatively safe beverage with no toxic or any other negative associated effects, the health message of tea drinking needs to be promoted, according to the researchers.

Facebook prompts overeating, spending
Facebook may lower one's self-control and tempt him or her into excessive eating or spending, according to a new study. Using online social networks can have a positive effect on self-esteem and well-being. However, Facebook users are more likely to choose an unhealthy snack after browsing the social networking site due to enhanced self-esteem.

Immunisation? Sugar helps
A cry-free jab! Next time your baby is frightened by an injection needle, pop some sugar pills in his mouth. Studies suggest that sugar may help the medicine go down easily and a few drops can comfort babies who are taking their jabs, and they cried far less than those given water. Researchers reviewed 14 studies involving more than 1,500 infants going for routine childhood immunisations or a heel-prick blood test.

Even light smoking raises heart risks in women
Women who are light smokers - including those who smoke just one cigarette a day double their chance of fatal heart attacks, according to a new study.

The study has found that light-to-moderate smokers were twice more likely to die of sudden heart problems than those who had never smoked. But those who quit smoking saw their risk begin to go back down within years.

For every five years of continued smoking (between 1 and 14 cigarettes a day), the risk of a sudden cardiac arrest went up by 8%.

In people aged 35 or younger, this is usually because of a heart condition that runs in the family. However, in older people, it can be the first sign of coronary heart disease, where the heart's arteries become blocked by fatty deposits.

Flexibility adds years to our life
If your are over 50 years old and getting up from the floor requires both hands, you better watch out. You may not live as long as your flexible counterparts.

Those who can sit down and get up using only one hand - or no hands at all - are likely to live for longer, a study found. But those needing extra assistance, such as getting up on their knees or using two hands, are up to six times more likely to die prematurely.

Researchers said the ease with which someone could stand up from a sitting position on the floor - and vice versa - was 'remarkably predictive' of physical strength.