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Women Reaching Equality with Men in Drinking

Women closing gap with men in alcohol use and related harms.

Researchers have found women have all but caught up with men in their alcohol drinking habits. During earlier decades men were far more likely to drink so much that it affected their health than women. That gap has closed. Women around the world are now nearly as likely as men to drink excessively and suffer harm from it.

PositiveTip: Choosing to live alcohol-free assures freedom from the health and social downsides of drinking.

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Treatment for 'Low-T' May Pose Hazzards

Evidence continues to question the safety of testosterone therapy.

Testosterone therapy in a group of veterans was found to increase the risk of mortality, heart attack, and ischemic stroke. The risk increase between those taking testosterone and those not taking it was 5.8%. This cohort included participants with and without coronary artery disease at baseline, raising a red flag about its safety. Prescriptions for testosterone have increased five-fold over 10 years, fueled largely by direct-to-consumer advertising.

PositiveTip: Falling hormone levels in both men and women is a normal part of aging, not necessarily a disease!

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Women Have Caught Men in Smoking Deaths

If you never smoked you are twice as likely to live to 80 compared to smokers.

"Most people in the U.S. assume that smoking is on its way out. But the grim reality is that smoking still exerts an enormous toll on the health of Americans," wrote Steven A. Schroeder, MD of UCSFO. Smoking killed about 100 million people in the 20th century, and is predicted to kill about 1 billion in the 21st century. Current data support that women who smoke like men, die like men.

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Diet, Exercise, and Weight Are Major Contributors to Health

Lifestyle may reduce risk of early death by 42%.

The Cancer Prevention Study ll Nutrition Cohort shows that  people who maintain a BMI within normal range, exercise 30 or more minutes daily, and eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains exhibit reduced deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause mortality. For those who met the criteria above, this study shows reductions of 48%, 30%, and 42% for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause mortality in men. For women, the numbers are 58%, 24%, and 42%, respectively.

PositiveTip:  Diet, exercise, and maintaining a normal weight significantly reduce the risk of disease and premature death.


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High Blood Pressure in College Freshmen Predicts Later Risk

Harvard freshman with pre-hypertension had higher risk in later life.

Men enrolling at Harvard between 1914 and 1952 who reported elevated systolic blood pressure their freshman year experienced a 20% greater risk for coronary heart disease later in life. Those diagnosed with hypertension in middle age had twice the risk of coronary deaths and stroke compared to those with normal blood pressures.

PositiveTip: Have you had your blood pressure checked recently? Get it taken even if you are young!

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Insomnia And Short Sleep Increases Risk Of Death In Men

Insomnia increases death rates in men four fold.

The Penn State Cohort Study of over 741 men followed for 14 years finds that men suffering from insomnia and sleeping less than 6 hours nightly had 4 times the risk of dying than men that had normal sleep. A trend of insomnia and short sleep coexisting with diabetes and/or hypertension brings with it increased risk of over 7 fold. In women their was no increase in deaths associated with insomnia or short sleep.

PositiveTip: If you suffer from insomnia do not ignore it. Set regular sleep/wake times, exercise daily at least 30 minutes, avoid caffeinated beverages, and skip late, large meals.

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Physical Activity Reduces Upper Respiratiory Tract Infection

Exercise reduces upper respiratory tract infection in men and women especially under stress.

A Swedish study of more than 1500 men and women found that moderate to high levels of physical activity was associated with reduced upper respiratory tract infections. Benefits of physical activity were greater for those under high stress.

PositiveTip: Exercise regularly. Brisk walking is an excellent form of physical activity, and improves immunity and lung function while reducing stress.