Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

Monthly Archive

Week Beginning 31 December 2001

More Intelligent Children Born To Mature Parents

The age at which couples are having children has risen considerably over the last few decades in the UK. Although there are increased risks of pregnancy and birth problems as mothers freach their mid-30s, there is now also evidence that startinga family at a later age has its benefits, not least for the children. In a study, published this week, and carried out a Leicester University, a research team of psychologists, headed by Dr Julia Berryman, uncovered some very interesting findings. They set out to discover if children born to parents in their late 30’s and 40’s had a significant differences compared to children born to younger parents. They found that in the first group, children had surprisingly better understanding of language and a larger vocabulary at any given age. The children also scored higher on IQ tests. The researchers conclusion is that the children benefited from their parents emotional and intellectual maturity.

Daily Mail

Increased Lung Cancer Amongst Asthmatics

New evidence, published this week in the European Respiratory Journal, shows that asthmatics have a considerably greater risk of lung cancer compared to the rest of the population. That is the the finding of a study and report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an agency linked to the World Health Organisation. The agency, based their work in Sweden at the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm and the University of Uppsala, and followed over 100,000 asthmatics and non-asthmatics for a period of 30 years. They found that asthmatics ultimately had a significantly greater risk of contracting lung cancer compared to the non-asthmatic group.

Daily Express

Evidence For Placebo Effect In Depression Management

There has been a long-held belief that in certain circumstances there is a significant placebo effect attached to any drug treatment of depression. This belief has now received some support from the latest research, published this week in the American Journal of Psychiatry. In work carried out at the University of California, Los Angeles, by a team of neuropsychiatrists, it has been revealed that placebo treatment alone of depression can have distinct and beneficial effects on the structure of the brain. In other words, the researchers conclude, there is strong evidence that merely by having a firm belief that their depression is being helped patients may note improvement in their mood.

The Times

Take Care With Post-Xmas Exercise

Xmas is a time for enjoying ourselves and usually putting on a few pounds. Post-Xmas is often, therefore, a time when people make a resoultion to improve their fitness and too exercise more. However, there was a warning this week from the Arthritis Research Campaign. The ARC warn that over-zealous exercise, especially amongst those not wholly used to it, may increase the risk of contracting arthritis. The ARC carries this message in its Sport For Life awareness week, which aims to provide exercisers with some very carefully devised guidelines, including a free booklet of simple advice. The booklet can be ordered directly from the ARC.

The Daily Mirror

Obesity Linked To Deteriorating Eyesight

More woeful news for those who are overweight this week There is now growing evidence that obesity is linked to certain eye diseases. Medical researchers at the USA Universities of Harvard and Tufts have discovered an association between central body fat levels and the onset of eye disorders such as the irreversible blindness of macular degeneration, and cataracts, to name but a couple of such disorders. The team believe this association is a result of firstly, the higher levels of diabetes amongst the obese, and, secondly, the propensity for excess body fat to over-absorb vitamins necessary for healthy functioning of the eyes, for instance Vitamin A.

The Daily Mirror


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