Dis­tress and anx­i­ety are bad for the brain

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Health - THE PULSE Com­piled by Dr Chris­tine White

DIS­TRESS and anx­i­ety may not only ruin your day, they could also dam­age your brain. New re­search in Neu­rol­ogy this week shows that peo­ple who are eas­ily dis­tressed and have more neg­a­tive emo­tions are more likely to suf­fer from me­mory loss than more re­laxed peo­ple. Re­searchers com­bined the re­sults of two large stud­ies in­volv­ing 1256 peo­ple with no brain dam­age at the start of the study. Dur­ing up to 12 years of fol­low-up, 482 peo­ple (38 per cent) de­vel­oped ‘‘ mild cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment’’ — the stage in be­tween nor­mal age­ing and de­men­tia. To judge their lev­els of neg­a­tive emo­tions, par­tic­i­pants were asked whether they agreed with a range of state­ments, in­clud­ing ‘‘ I am­not a wor­rier’’, ‘‘ I of­ten feel tense and jit­tery’’, and ‘‘ I of­ten get an­gry at the way peo­ple treat me’’. Those who most of­ten ex­pe­ri­enced neg­a­tive emo­tions were 40 per cent more likely to de­velop me­mory loss than those who were least prone to neg­a­tive emo­tions. Neu­rol­ogy 2007;68:2085-2092 (Wil­son RS, et al) ANTI-SMOK­ING ads at the movies re­duce the ap­peal of smok­ing, but only among non­smok­ers, ac­cord­ing to an Aus­tralian study in To­bac­co­Con­trol this week. The study, led by doc­tor Chris­tine Ed­wards of North­ern Syd­ney Cen­tral Coast Health, in­volved 3091 movie­go­ers aged 12 to 24 years, 18.6 per cent of whom were cur­rent smok­ers. They were sur­veyed af­ter watch­ing the same movie at cine­mas in three Aus­tralian states dur­ing a three-week pe­riod. In the sec­ond and third weeks, an ad­ver­tise­ment was shown be­fore the movie warn­ing the au­di­ence not to be ‘‘ sucked in’’ by the images of ac­tors smok­ing. Af­ter see­ing the ad, 47.8 per cent of non­smok­ers said that the smok­ing scenes in the movie were not OK (up from 43.8 per cent among those who didn’t see the ad). But it had no sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on the opin­ions of smok­ers. In fact, the per­cent­age of smok­ers who in­tended to con­tinue smok­ing rose from 25.6 per cent to 38.6 per cent af­ter see­ing the ad­ver­tise­ment. To­bac­co­Con­trol 2007;16:177-181 (Ed­wards C, et al) CHIL­DREN given an­tibi­otics be­fore their first birth­day are more likely to de­velop asthma by age 7, claims a study in the cur­rent is­sue of Chest . Us­ing med­i­cal records, re­searchers looked at the use of an­tibi­otics in 13,116 chil­dren born in 1995. Six per cent of th­ese chil­dren had cur­rent asthma at age 7, while 65 per cent had taken at least one course of an­tibi­otics dur­ing the first year of life. Nine­tythree per cent of pre­scrip­tions were given for chest, si­nus or ear in­fec­tions, and 7 per cent for other in­fec­tions. As chest, si­nus and ear in­fec­tions could be a sign of fu­ture asthma even with­out an­tibi­otic treat­ment, re­searchers looked only at those chil­dren who were given an­tibi­otics be­fore the age of 1 for other kinds of ill­nesses. Asthma at age 7 was 86 per cent more likely in th­ese chil­dren than in those who did not re­ceive an­tibi­otics in the first year of life. Chest 2007;doi:10.1378/chest.06-3008 (Kozyrskyj AL, et al) BREAST can­cer pa­tients can dou­ble their chances of sur­vival by eat­ing a healthy diet and ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly, con­cludes new re­search in the Jour­nalofClin­i­calOn­col­ogy , and they must do both to be pro­tected. The study found that even in over­weight women, eat­ing at least five serv­ings of fruits and veg­eta­bles a day and walk­ing briskly for 30 min­utes, six days a week, re­duces the risk of death from the dis­ease by 50 per cent. The study in­cluded 1490 women aged 70 years and younger (av­er­age age 50 years) with earlystage breast can­cer. Each wo­man had com­pleted ini­tial treat­ment for the dis­ease be­fore en­rolling in the study. Diet and ex­er­cise pat­terns were as­sessed at the start of the study, and women were fol­lowed for be­tween five and 11 years. Those who were both phys­i­cally ac­tive and had a healthy diet had a 7 per cent chance of dy­ing dur­ing the fol­low-up pe­riod, half that of those with less healthy habits. JClinOn­col 2007;25:2345-2351 (Pierce JP, et al) FOR­MER sol­diers are twice as likely to com­mit sui­cide as those who have never been to war, ac­cord­ing to re­search in the Jour­nalof Epi­demi­ol­o­gyandCom­mu­ni­tyHealth this week. The find­ings sug­gest that doc­tors should be on the alert for men­tal health prob­lems in sol­diers re­turn­ing from com­bat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Amer­i­can re­searchers fol­lowed 320,890 men over 18 years of age for 12 years. They found that those who had served any time in the armed forces be­tween 1917 and 1994 were twice as likely to die from sui­cide com­pared to men in the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion. Sui­cide risk was high­est in vet­er­ans with a health prob­lem that pre­vented them from par­tic­i­pat­ing fully in home, work or leisure ac­tiv­i­ties. Com­pared to men in the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion who com­mit­ted sui­cide, for­mer sol­diers who killed them­selves were more likely to be older, white and bet­ter ed­u­cated, and less likely to have never been mar­ried. JEpi­demi­olCom­munHealth 2007;61:619-624 (Ka­plan MS, et al) DI­A­BET­ICS have a shorter life­span and fewer years free of heart dis­ease com­pared to non­di­a­bet­ics, finds a new study in the Archivesof In­ter­nalMedicine . The find­ings were based on in­for­ma­tion from the Fram­ing­ham Heart Study, in which 5209 men and women aged 28 to 62 years were re­cruited be­tween 1948 and 1951 and fol­lowed for more than 46 years. In those aged 50 years and older, di­a­betes in­creased the risk of heart dis­ease by 2.5-fold in women and 2.4-fold in men. The chance of dy­ing from ex­ist­ing heart dis­ease was also higher in di­a­bet­ics com­pared to non-di­a­bet­ics (2.2-fold for women and 1.7-fold for men). The av­er­age life­span of di­a­betic men and women was 7.5 and 8.2 years shorter, re­spec­tively, than that of non-di­a­betic men and women. And the num­ber of years free from heart dis­ease was 7.8 and 8.4 less in di­a­betic men and women com­pared to non-di­a­bet­ics. ArchIn­ternMed 2007;167:1145-1151 (Franco OH, et al) Want to know more? Items are ref­er­enced where pos­si­ble. A ref­er­ence such as ‘‘ 2007;35:18-25’’ means the source ar­ti­cle was pub­lished on pages 18-25 in vol­ume num­ber 35 of the pub­li­ca­tion, in 2007. A doi num­ber or web­site ad­dress is used for re­search pub­lished on a jour­nal’s web­site.

Crav­ing: Non-smok­ers are im­mune to the in­flu­ence of smok­ing ac­tors, but smok­ers see a role model

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.