Are You Heartbroken? Study Finds That Aspirin Can Prevent A Broken Heart

Taking aspirin after losing a loved one could reduce the risk of suffering a grief-driven heart attack, research has suggested.

In the 24 hours after losing a significant other, a person’s risk of having a heart attack increases more than 20-fold because of grief-related stress that causes spikes in risk factors such as high blood pressure.

Given previous evidence that aspirin can reduce many of those same risk factors, researchers from the University of Arizona set out to investigate whether taking the the over-the-counter painkiller could benefit people who are grieving.

The findings revealed that people who took aspirin had lower levels of heart attack risk factors as well as depressive symptoms and recovered from the loss more quickly overall.

Previous research has indicated that people are significantly more likely to die after losing a loved one in part because grief puts stress on a person’s heart.

Bereavement causes an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, constricted blood vessels and the build up of cholesterol plaque in the blood, all of which contribute to the likelihood of a heart attack.

Grief has also been tied to what is known as broken heart syndrome, a temporary condition wherein people feel chest pain similar to that of a heart attack.

Broken heart syndrome can be brought on by a variety of stressful situations but is most often caused by death of a loved one.

Grieving people have also been found to have higher levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in the brain, which increases their risk of depression.

In the study published this month in the journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, the researchers hypothesized that aspirin may be able to minimize the effect of grieving on the heart.

-Dailymail

Study Shows Long-term antibiotics increase women’s risk of death by 27%

Antibiotics increase women’s risk of an early death from heart disease by inflicting irreparable damage on their gut lining, new research warns.

Those who are prescribed a dose that spans two months or more are 58 percent more likely to succumb to terminal heart issues, the study found.

In fact, their risk of premature death from all causes bumps up 27 percent.

The findings come a month after the FDA warned people against a particularly common antibiotic sold under the brand name Biaxin – which is used to treat many skin, ear, sinus and lung infections – for its link to potentially fatal heart issues.

The study is one of the first to quantify how much antibiotics affect the gut lining and heart health.

While previous studies have found antibiotic use is associated with long-lasting changes to gut microbiota, no study had examined how significant this damage would be for relatively healthy people.

‘Gut microbiota alterations have been associated with a variety of life-threatening disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer,’ said lead author Dr Lu Qi, professor of epidemiology at Tulane University.

‘Antibiotic exposure affects balance and composition of the gut microbiome, even after one stops taking antibiotics.

‘So, it is important to better understand how taking antibiotics might impact risks for chronic diseases and death.’

In a collaborative study with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Qi led a team studying 37,510 women over the age of 60 who did not have heart disease or cancer at the start of the program, which spanned from 2004 until summer 2012.

Assessing each woman’s antibiotic use, they put them into four groups – not at all; fewer than 15 days; between 15 days and two months; or two or more months.

By the end, they found a clear correlation between antibiotic use and premature death risk, particularly if the course was longer.

This was true even after accounting for other factors such as diet, obesity, other medications and lifestyle.

The women who took antibiotics for two months or longer were 27 percent more likely to die from any cause, except cancer, than those who took no antibiotics at all.

In particular, a prescription for longer than two months increased risk of death from heart disease by 58 percent.

Death risk was higher still if these women had a history of antibiotic use in their middle age too.

‘Although we observed a notable association between long-term antibiotic use and risk of death, it isn’t yet clear whether long-term antibiotic use is the specific cause of the association,’ Dr Qi said.

‘For example, women who reported antibiotic use might be sicker in other unmeasured ways.

‘These results, however, contribute to a better understanding of risk factors for all-cause and cardiovascular death.

‘We now have good evidence that people who take antibiotics for long periods during adulthood may be a high-risk group to target for risk-factor modification to prevent heart disease and death.’

-Dailymail

Male babies with long ring fingers more likely to go bald – research

A newborn boy’s chances of going bald in later life can be predicted by the length of the fingers on his left hand, scientists claim.

Higher levels of testosterone – the male hormone associated with hair loss – in the womb are thought to result in a ring finger longer than the index finger.

Hair follicles develop at around the eighth week of pregnancy, which also sees a spike in testosterone levels. At the same time, fingers start to develop.

The theory is that testosterone affects growth of the ring finger, while the female hormone oestrogen stimulates the index finger.

‘We have shown that finger ratio can be used to estimate future hair loss,’ head researcher Dr Mehmet Unal wrote in the Journal Of Cosmetic Dermatology.

But it is not all bad news for those with the larger ring finger. Previous research has linked it to greater ability at football, being better dancers, having good maths skills, possessing a high IQ and being better endowed.

Read more: dailymail

Muscular Guys Make the Worst Boyfriends, Says New Study

Ladies, forget those muscular guys in tight t-shirts that you keep admiring, if this study is to be taken as the gospel truth.

According to a study conducted at the University of Westminster, men with fabulous physiques make awful boyfriends and is not the kind of guy you would want to bring home to mum as told on online site yourtango.

The study surveyed 327 straight British men, more than a third of whom were single, and discovered that the more muscular the participant, the more likely he was to have sexist beliefs and hostility towards women. Yikes!

The correlation between brawny men and sexist beliefs is rooted in traditional gender roles. “We think men who hold oppressive beliefs about women and gender equality are also more likely to endorse traditional stereotypes of masculinity, which includes the muscular physique,” the study authors wrote. So often times, men who are already sexist strive to be muscular, because that upholds their idea of what a “real man” should look like.

The researchers claimed that, in societies where patriarchal structures are being challenged, men may attempt to prove their masculinity by bettering their bodies. Basically, men who are around women in power tend to feel threatened and display this through gaining muscle.

Although the study was not conducted internationally and the number of men surveyed was rather low, on face, it does seem to hold true.

So before you dismiss the next scrawny guy who approaches you, consider that science thinks he’d make a better boyfriend.

Girls, in your experience, are muscular guys more sexist?

Study: Most Selfish Men Are LIkely To Be Good Looking

Quick question.. Do you remember that selfish guy you know or the one you dated? Is he good looking? Yes? Chances are that he is was or is good looking. According to a new research most selfish men happen to be good looking.

According to a study, carried out by psychology researchers at Brunel University London, 125 participants were used to test an evolutionary theory that more attractive individuals profit from social inequality and so perpetuate the practice in society.

Researchers found that although attractive men were less generous, attractive women did not display the same tendency towards continuing inequality.

Lead researcher Dr Michael Price was reported saying that the results suggested that better-looking men may be biased towards being more selfish and less egalitarian (the belief that all people are equal).

Participants’ bodies were measured using a 3D scanner, scored on a traditional physical attractiveness measures – i.e. body type, bust, hips etc and then rated by two separate groups. The first group of ‘raters’ scored the 125 on attractiveness and the second judged how altruistic and egalitarian they believed the images of people would be in real life.
Prior to this, the scanned participants were asked to fill out a personality questionnaire measuring their attitudes to selfishness, inequality and participated in a social experiment measuring their reactions after they were presented with money and asked to give it away.
The views of the ‘raters’ supported the results of the social experiment and questionnaire, which showed that only the men who were perceived as ‘better looking’ were more likely to act selfishly in order to further their own aims.

Dr Price was cautious about the results of his experiment, stating the correlation was “nowhere near perfect” and that many good-looking men could be altruistic.

How You Handle A Breakup Says A Lot About You : Research

No one likes dealing with a breakup no matter how “cordial” it may have happened. The pain and drama in some cases is simply unthinkable as it will affect you one way or another. While some chose to end it in drama, others ghost and others simply talk. Research now shows that the way you end things has an impact on you more than the other person.

A report published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, involving a series of studies where researchers asked 891 people about their personalities, as well as how they handle romantic rejection, concluded that the way you explain a breakup to yourself will determine how you move on.

Participants were also asked  how their view of themselves changed because someone broke up with them. Scientists discovered that those who think people’s personality traits don’t change and that it played a part in their breakup had a hard time moving on after a relationship ended. They also felt more haunted by past breakups years later.

According to the study feelings of rejection can cause problems in future relationships, because the people believed that they had been rejected because of their flaws. That thinking could affect their future relations as they thought of their flaws as “permanent”.

Study: Tips For Being Happy

Everyone craves happiness; it’s the one thing that seems elusive to many people yet it also happens to be the easiest to achieve. If anything, the choice to be happy is simply one that we can make ourselves yet we end up depending on others to do it for us.

According to various studies, happiness isn’t as hard to get as it seems. Here’s how to go about it:

Watch less TV: Unhappy people spend more time watching TV, according to a study in the Social Indicators Research journal. There is a lot more to life than being a potato couch. Go take a walk, swim, dance, drive etc. There is a lot to see and people to meet.

Get older: If you’re dreading the white hairs and health drawbacks of aging, know that there’s a silver lining. More studies are showing that happiness increases after middle age. It seems the older you get the happier you become, so don’t sweat it.

Plan a vacation: Researchers found that it’s the planning for a vacation and not necessarily the actual trip itself that increases happiness in people. Perhaps the anticipation of getting away from the daily grind causes us to grin more than when we’re actually on the beach without a worry in sight. Thinking of that random Mombasa plot? Do it ..go walk in the beach and enjoy those mabuyus and Bhajias.

Change it up: Even if you’re doing something that makes you happy, the joy may wear off if it becomes routine. Change things every once in a while, routine is boring, be spontaneous you will discover plenty of new things.

Be around happy people: Happiness is apparently infectious according to a study in the British journal BMJ, so surround yourself with positive people. That however doesn’t mean you should break up with your Debbie Downer friends, say the researchers. You can help spread happiness by doing things to improve their lives. Share the joy, spread the love.

Enjoy nature: Viewing greenery gives your brain a mental break. Go to the National park, Nairobi safari walk or even Uhuru park for a walk.

Do cultural activities: Go to the museum/Bomas of Kenya and learn about different cultures. A study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that men who take part in cultural activities are more happy and satisfied than those who don’t.

Own pets: A furry friend will increase your self-esteem, feeling of belonging, and meaning of your existence, says a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Quite a tall order for such compact creatures.

Do charity work and volunteer: Doing good for society has its perks. People who give away their money to charity or volunteer tend to be more satisfied, according to a study published in the journal Science.

-Popsugar

10 things you didn’t know about men, backed by research

They say men are from mars and women from venus right? This has led to all sorts of stories about women, but here are ten surprising facts about men that you didn’t know, according to science.

Scientific studies show:

— Being too rich and good-looking can actually hurt a man. Then again, marriage may be a bad deal for handsome guys.

— You can predict how many women a man has slept with by how funny he is.

— Yes, most TV commercials make men look like morons.

— Companies pay women more if a male CEO has a daughter.

— Poor and hungry men prefer heavier women. Rich and full guys like skinny girls.

— Attractive TV anchors make men unable to rememeber the news.

— What’s the chance that a man’s kids are not really his, biologically?

— Punching things does make men feel better.

— If men’s jobs didn’t affect their ability to attract women they’d be far less ambitious.

— Men fake orgasms too.

TIME

E-cigs make quitting harder, contested study claims

E-cigarettes, touted as an aide for giving up tobacco, in fact lowers the odds of quitting success, claimed research Thursday that was immediately criticised as flawed.

A research duo from the University of California, San Francisco reviewed the findings of 38 studies conducted across the globe into e-cigarette use, and concluded that smokers who use the devices were 28 percent less likely to quit smoking tobacco.

Published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, it claimed to be the largest review of e-cigarette’s value as a tool to help smokers kick the habit.

Looking at the data, it seemed that e-cigarettes in fact hampered attempts at quitting, the team said.

“The irony is that quitting smoking is one of the main reasons both adults and kids use e-cigarettes, but the overall effect is less, not more, quitting,” co-author Stanton Glantz said in a statement issued by the university.

“While there is no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less dangerous than a puff on a conventional cigarette, the most dangerous thing about e-cigarettes is that they keep people smoking conventional cigarettes.”

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat up a liquid containing nicotine and artificial flavouring. The vapour is inhaled — “vaped” — and exhaled, much like a cigarette.

In the last few years, health experts and watchdogs have been embroiled in debate as to whether the gadgets, often not strictly regulated, are safe.

They can also be used with nicotine-free liquids, but some fear e-cigarettes could be a gateway to “real” cigarettes for teenagers.

Experts who were not involved in the new study were cautious, some scathing in their comments.

Peter Hajek, direct of the Queen Mary University of London’s Tobacco Dependence Research Unit, called it “grossly misleading”.

The work, he said, looked only at current smokers who had at some point used an e-cigarette — thus excluding any former smokers who may have used exactly such a device to quit.

Ann McNeill, a King’s College London professor of tobacco addiction, said the review was “not scientific”. It included data from two studies she had co-authored, but used in ways she claimed was “either inaccurate or misleading”.

“I believe the findings should therefore be dismissed.”

Steven Bernstein of the Yale School of Medicine, in a comment carried by The Lancet, said that despite concerns over the data, the study did raise questions about the usefulness of e-cigarettes as quitting aides.

Photo Credits : AFP

Having Good Friends Is Just As Important As Exercising: Study

According to a new study by the University of North Carolina, having good friends is just as beneficial to your health and lifespan as exercise.

The study found that having a solid social group resulted in better health in early and late life, and that those with good social connections tended to live longer.

According to the research, if you are lonely and sad you’ll probably die sooner. The researchers found a link between isolation and issues such as obesity, inflammation and high blood pressure, which can lead long term health issues.

The study also found that our needs for friendship, and how this affects health, change over the years.

In our early years, the size of our social network is most important for health. This is the same in late adulthood, when our health improves if we have a greater number of friends.

But in the main portion of adulthood, it isn’t so much the number of friends that affect health, but how those friendships help in terms of social support.

The key to a long, happy life is to have loads of friends when you’re young, focus on a small group of supportive mates in your twenties to 50s, then go back to meeting lots of new people as you get older.

But remember to exercise as the friendship won’t shed the calories you consume.

-Metro

Three Secrets To Happiness According To A Psychiatrist

Happiness is something many of us seek but it seems to be elusive for a majority of us. We may depend on others for our happiness which is part of the reason why we fail at happiness especially when in relationships.

Robert Waldinger a director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, described some of the secrets to happiness revealed in a recent study. The study followed two cohorts of white men for 75 years, starting in 1938: 268 Harvard sophomores as part of the “Grant Study” led by Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant.

The researchers surveyed the men about their lives (including the quality of their marriages, job satisfaction, and social activities) every two years and monitored their physical health (including chest X-rays, blood tests, urine tests, and echocardiograms) every five years. They came away with one major finding: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Here are three key lessons about happiness:

1. Close relationships – The men in both groups of the Harvard study who reported being closer to their family, friends, or community tended to be happier and healthier than their less social counterparts. They also tended to live longer. By comparison, people who said they were lonelier reported feeling less happy. They also had worse physical and mental health, as defined above.

A 2014 review of dozens of studies published in the journal Social and Personality Psychology Compass suggests that loneliness can get in the way of mental functioning, sleep, and well-being, which in turn increases the risk of illness and death.

2. Quality (not quanity) – It’s not just being in a relationship that matters. Married couples who said they argued constantly and had low affection for one another (which study authors defined as “high-conflict marriages”) were actually less happy than people who weren’t married at all, the Harvard study found.

However, the effect of relationship quality seems to depend somewhat on age. A 2015 study published in the journal Psychology and Aging that followed people for 30 years found that the number of relationships people had was, in fact, more important for people in their 20s, but the quality of relationships had a bigger effect on social and psychological well being when people were in their 30s.

3. Stable, supportive marriage – Being socially connected to others isn’t just good for our physical health. It also helps stave off mental decline. People who were married without having divorced, separating, or having “serious problems” until age 50 performed better on memory tests later in life than those who weren’t, the Harvard study found.

And other research backs this up. A 2013 study in the journal PLOS ONE found that marriage, among other factors, was linked to a lower risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia. All of this suggests that strong relationships are critical to our health.

Tedtalk/Independent

Study: Coffee Could Boost An Athlete’s Performance

Seems like besides kick starting your day in the morning, coffee could boost your performance as an athlete, according to a new study.

The scientists reviewed more than 600 scholarly articles and screened them for those that focused only on caffeinated-coffee conditions, measured the caffeine dose and measured their endurance.

Of these, nine randomised control trials specifically used coffee to improve endurance. Participants either cycled or ran after drinking coffee. They then exercised vigorously and the results were measured. In a majority of cases, endurance was noticeably improved after the use of coffee.

Looking at the nine trials, the study author Simon Higgins from University of Georgia in the US found that between three and seven milligrams (mg) per kilogram of body weight of caffeine from coffee increased endurance performance by an average of 24 percent.

The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary from 75 mg to more than 150, depending on the variety and how it is roasted and brewed. Coffee appears to be just as helpful as taking caffeine in the form of powder or tablets, Higgins stated.

“New research could mean that athletes could have a cup of coffee versus taking a pill,” Higgins explained.
The study was published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism

-TOI

Reasons Why People Fall In love

Love is a beautiful thing and happens in the most unusual way and for many reasons. According to the research, your hormones, interests, and upbringing all help determine who you fall for and who falls for you.

Here are some of the psychological reasons two people fall in love.

If you’re alike – Decades of studies have shown that the cliché that “opposites attract” is totally off. According to a study done on couples who met online via eharmony dating site, being alike makes it easier for partners to understand each other.

If you look like their opposite-sex parent – University of St. Andrews psychologist David Perrett and his colleagues found that some people are attracted to folks with the same hair and eye colour of their opposite-sex parents, as well as the age range they saw at birth.

If you smell good – A University of Southern California study of women who were ovulating suggested that some prefer the smell of T-shirts worn by men with high levels of testosterone. This matched with other hormone-based instincts: Some women also preferred men with a strong jaw line when they were ovulating. 

If you keep your hands and torso open – Body-language experts agree that posture speaks louder than words. Keeping your hands stuffed in your pockets and your shoulders turned inward sends the signal that you’re not interested. But talking with your hands and standing in an open stance shows that you’re available.  

If you literally “warm” your date up – Yale psychologist John Bargh performed an experiment in which participants held warm or cold beverages and had to rate whether someone’s personality was warm or cold. Participants who held warm beverages judged the person to have a warm personality, because their minds were already primed to think that way. If you take someone on a coffee date instead of an ice-cream date, they may feel more warmly toward you.

-Independent

Being Messy Is A Good Thing

Have you ever looked at your siblings/friend’s messy room or your colleagues messy desk and wondered how they function? It seems so disorganized and untidy. But according to science, its a positive thing.

As part of the study published in the journal ‘Psychological Science’, researchers asked participants to complete questionnaires in either a clean or untidy office littered with paper among other stationery provisions.

Participants were then asked to donate to charity, then to choose between eating an apple or a piece of chocolate on the way out. 

Scientists found that those who were in the tidy room donated more money and opted for the apple.

However, participants exposed to the messy setting in a separate test and asked to invent new uses for ping-pong balls came up with more creative and interesting ideas, according to impartial judges. 

Professor Vos reasoned that orderly environments “encourage convention and playing it safe”, while people are subconsciously encouraged to think creatively in a messier setting. 

A similar study using cluttered desks and shop fronts by researchers at the University of Groningen, Germany, made similar conclusions.

Messy desks may not be as detrimental as they appear to be, as the problem-solving approaches they seem to cause can boost work efficiency or enhance employees’ creativity in problem solving,” the authors noted in their journal article, The Daily Mail reported at the time.

Here’s How To Tell If He’s Committed According To Science

How do you tell if he’s really and truly committed to you? Is it in the way he behaves, talks or treats you? According to science, if he can practice a little self-control and be selfless, he’s in it for the long haul. 

Researchers from the Netherlands looked into what it really takes to make us commit to others and the main ingredient is “executive control,” a label used to categorize a particular group of mental capabilities, which allow an individual to relinquish their self-interest. These mental abilities include resisting temptation, ability to multi-task, and ability to retain new information.

They asked couples to take a survey pertaining to their level of commitment within their current relationship. In order to measure sacrifice they randomly selected one partner to do an undesirable task while the other one watched entertaining videos.

The “frustrating task” consisted of typing out random strings of text for as long as possible. However, whenever they chose to stop, their partner couldn’t continue watching the video because they then had to takeover the typing task.

Their willingness to keep going so their partner could continue enjoying themselves, showed ability and willingness to sacrifice.

-Tosin

This Is What People Look For In An Ideal Partner

What do you look for in a relationship? You want someone who will make you laugh, share in your dreams, push you to success, love you etc. Everyone has what they are looking for.

Many studies have shown that there are factors that all of us look for, and ones where men and women differ according to preference.

According to a study by Shackelford, Schmitt, used data from a survey of 4,499 men and 5,310 women from 37 cultures located on six continents and five islands, with an average age of 22-23 years showed that preferences can be aligned on certain “trade-offs” seen in four different “dimensions”:

Love vs. Status/Resources – People make psychological trade-offs to either seek out a partner who is ambitious, with good financial prospects and high status, or who is loving and attracted to them.

Dependable/Stable vs. Looks/Health – A person looks for a lover who is primarily either stable and mature, or good looking and healthy.

Education/Intelligence vs. Desire for Home/Children – Individuals pick a mate who is either more highly educated and intelligent, or more oriented toward desiring a home and children.

Sociability vs. Similar Religion – People seem to either focus on finding a partner who has a sociable and pleasing disposition overall, or someone who has a similar religious background.

Shakelford’s research highlights how men and women often differ on how they choose between different aspects of a person’s appearance, personality, education and dependability.

Men were found to regularly seek a loving partner who is physically attractive and healthy, while women tended to opt for a partner with status and resources, as well as someone who was educated, dependable and intelligent. The researchers found no difference between the sexes when it came to preference for sociability or matching religion.

The results suggest that, while we desire a unique combination of traits and characteristics in the person we choose to spend our lives with, it could be helpful to keep the most basic criteria in mind from the beginning, and then decide on the more specific attractive qualities.

-Independent

Women Are Attracted To Men Who Have Pets

A recent research shows they also might be the next best thing for men to find a soulmate. According to an international study, there are indications that owning a dog or a cat can signal to a potential partner that you possess care-giving abilities.

The sensitivity of a person is personified by his actions. Apart from physical attributes, a woman is drawn to a man due to his emotional traits like caring, compassion, concern for all, so it is true that a woman will find a man to be more attractive when he is seen to be caring and empathetic to his pets.

Love for animals also shows that you will be a good parent. Women tend to think of men as un-organised but when they see them with pets, they take it as a symbol of being kind, considerate and disciplined.

So take your pet for a walk when you know women around and watch them fall inlove.

-TNN

Study: The Internet Makes Us Think Less

Many people will “google” something instead of taking time to think of the answer because it’s easier and faster but it doesn’t do you any good because you rely on the internet to “think” for you.

According to a new study, researchers from the University of Waterloo in  Canada asked about 100 participants a series of general-knowledge questions, such as naming the capital of France. Participants were required to indicate whether or not they knew the answer.

For half of the study, participants had access to the internet. They had to look up the answer when they responded that they did not know it. In the other half of the study, participants did not have internet access.

The team found that the people who had access to the web were about 5% more likely to say that they did not know the answer to the question. Furthermore, in some contexts, the people with access to the internet reported feeling as though they knew less compared to the people without access.

“With the ubiquity of the internet, we are almost constantly connected to large amounts of information. And when that data is within reach, people seem less likely to rely on their own knowledge,” said professor Evan F Risko, from the University of Waterloo, who led the study .

In interpreting the results, the researchers speculated that access to the internet might make it less acceptable to say you know something but are incorrect. It is also possible that participants were more likely to say they did not know an answer when they had access to the web because online searching offers an opportunity to confirm their answer or resolve their curiosity, and the process of finding out is rewarding.

PTI