Health bites

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 11:32am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 11:32am

Genetic flaw linked to sudden cardiac death

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have found a specific genetic flaw that's linked to sudden death due to heart arrhythmia. In tests on mice, the functional impairment of a gene called KCNE2 was found to affect the regular heart rhythm. In addition, in mice in which the gene was removed, catalysts for sudden cardiac death were found, including high blood cholesterol, anaemia, high blood potassium and diabetes. The researchers say this discovery could lead to improved early detection and prevention strategies. The study appears in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, a publication of the American Heart Association.

Changing schools may lead to psychosis

Frequently moving schools during childhood can increase the risk of psychotic symptoms in later years, according to a study by Warwick Medical School in the journal American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Among a group of 12-year-olds who participated in the study, those who had moved school three or more times were 60 per cent more likely to display at least one psychotic system, like hallucinations or delusions, in the previous six months. The authors suggest that moving schools often may lead to feelings of low self-esteem and a sense of social defeat.

Magnesium may protect against hip fractures

Drinking water with a relatively high concentration of magnesium protects against hip fractures, says the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The correlation was found after studying variations in magnesium and calcium levels in drinking water, and the incidence of hip fractures, in different regions. The institute says water utility companies should add dolomite to water because it contains both magnesium and calcium.