Review finds no supplement mends the heart
Which dietary supplements should you take to improve heart health? The answer may be none. Research published in Annals of Internal Medicine shows that many supplements do not reduce your risk of heart disease. Dr. M. Hassan Murad, a Mayo Clinic preventive medicine specialist, is a co-author of the study.
"There's really no supplement that can prevent heart disease at the present time," says Murad.
He and the research team analyzed 277 studies and found that supplements such as multivitamins, as well as vitamins E, D and B, don't improve heart health.
"Several of the interventions that we used to do in terms of diet and nutritional supplements actually do not have evidence to support them," says Murad. "Out of all the things that we studied, salt reduction was the one that found to be most effective in reducing the risk of heart disease among these dietary interventions."
Murad says regular exercise, not smoking, limiting alcohol and eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils and lean meats can reduce your risk of heart disease.
— Mayo Clinic News Network
Waist size linked to health risks in older women
A woman's body shape, and not just her weight, may have an impact on her health.
Women with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more face an increased risk for obesity-related health issues, including premature death, according to new research culled from the long-term Women's Health Initiative study. And that was so even if a woman's weight or body mass index was within a normal range.
Post-menopausal women with excess fat in their midsection — known as central obesity and sometimes referred to as an apple shape — were 31 percent more likely to die prematurely, including from cardiovascular disease and obesity-related cancer, than were normal-weight women who did not have extra belly fat. That risk was considered comparable to the risk faced by someone deemed obese by BMI standards.
The results, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, were based on data that tracked the health of 156,624 postmenopausal women for more than two decades. Whether the findings apply to younger women or to men was not tested. A commentary published along with the study says the findings serve as "a reminder that the scale is not everything" and that people with a low BMI are not automatically fit and at low risk. Rather, where fat accumulates on your body can affect your health.
— Linda Searing, The Washington Post
Almost a fifth of U.S. teens have gotten sexts
Nearly 1 in 5 students in U.S. middle and high schools — 18.5% — said they have received sexually explicit images or videos on their phones or computers, a practice known as sexting, a study says.
Those numbers do not include adolescents who have received sexually explicit or suggestive text messages or emails without an image, another form of sexting. The study's data, restricted to video and photo sexting, was compiled from a nationally representative sample of 5,593 students ages 12 to 17 and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
In addition to sexts received, about 13% of adolescents say they have sent a video or photo sext. Most (64%) sent these images or videos after being asked to do so by a current boyfriend or girlfriend. About a third of those who sent or received explicit images say they did so just once.
The researchers found that boys said they sexted more often than girls, and older adolescents more than younger ones. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to start that conversation as soon as a child is old enough to have a cellphone, and not wait until a problem develops.
— Linda Searing, The Washington Post