Health bites

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2014, 10:51am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2014, 10:51am

Cynical? You may be hurting your brain

People with high levels of cynical distrust may be more likely to develop dementia, finds a study in Neurology. Nearly 1,500 people with an average age of 71 were given tests for dementia and a questionnaire to measure their level of cynicism. Based on their scores, participants were grouped in low, moderate and high levels of cynical distrust. Of the group, 622 people completed two tests for dementia, with the last one an average of eight years after the study started. People with high levels of cynical distrust were found to be three times more likely to develop dementia than people with low levels of cynicism, after adjusting for other factors that could affect dementia risk, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.

Poor diet linked with preterm birth

Women who consistently eat food with high fat and sugar before they become pregnant are about 50 per cent more likely to have a preterm birth than those on a healthy diet, according to a University of Adelaide study. Investigating the dietary patterns of more than 300 South Australian women, the researchers found that women who consistently ate a diet high in protein and fruit prior to becoming pregnant were less likely to have a preterm birth. Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant disease and death and occurs in about one in 10 pregnancies globally. The study was published in The Journal of Nutrition.

Gifts of hope

The Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation has launched a silver charm bracelet for children, with profits from the sales going towards the charity's cancer fund. Called The Gift of Mini Hope, the bracelet costs HK$450 and comes in pink, light blue, light green, orange and purple. It's a junior version of the adult Gift of Hope bracelet (HK$750) specially designed by House of Kamal's Janne Poulsen for the foundation. Both are on sale online at and