Health bites

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 July, 2013, 9:51am

Dual approach cuts risk

Simultaneously controlling your high blood pressure and high cholesterol may cut your risk for heart disease by half or more, according to new research in the journal Circulation. The findings are based on data of more than 17,000 American adults gathered between 1988 and 2010. Cholesterol readings need closer attention, says Dr Brent Egan, lead study author. "Unfortunately, not all HDL [which is the healthy, protective cholesterol] is equally protective and some people with a normal HDL are at high risk. In those patients, there might be a false sense of assurance that cholesterol really isn't a problem."


Don't remind me

Old and forgetful - seniors who remind themselves about such ageist ideas actually make their memory problems worse, reveals a new study from the University of Southern California's Davis School of Gerontology.

There's an easy fix, however. The researchers had adults aged 59 to 79 do a memory test. Some were first asked to read fake news articles about memory loss in older adults, and others did not. In addition, half earned money for each word remembered; the other half lost money for each word forgotten. Participants confronted with age stereotypes who had something to gain fared about 20 per cent poorer on the tests. But those who had to prevent losses actually scored better than those who were under no stereotype threat.


Night owls weighed down

A new study suggests that healthy adults with late bedtimes and chronic sleep restriction may be more susceptible to weight gain due to the increased consumption of calories during the late-night period of additional wakefulness. The lab study, by the University of Pennsylvania and published in the journal Sleep, comprised 225 non-obese individuals of 22 to 50 years. Sleep-restricted subjects who spent only four hours in bed for five consecutive nights gained more weight than control subjects who were in bed for 10 hours each night. The proportion of calories consumed from fat was higher during late-night hours than at other times of day.