Study Finds Divorced, Widowed Have More Health Problems
People who have been widowed or divorced report more chronic health conditions compared to those who have stayed married, a new study shows. Researchers looked at a 1992 survey of nearly 9,000 middle-aged or older Americans and found that those who had been divorced or widowed had 20 percent more chronic health conditions than people in lasting marriages. The study, published in a September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, also showed that people who remarried fared better than people who have never been married, but still had more health problems than adults who stayed married.
Having a baby adds stress to a marriage, U.S. News's Nancy Shute reports. In fact, 90 percent of couples say the quality of their relationship declined after their first child was born, Shute writes. Consider 3 ways to avoid the new-baby blues. Here are 7 myths about marriage and retirement.
Fighting the High Cost of Obesity—and 7 Other Secrets to Living Longer
New research shows that medical spending averages $1,400 more a year for an obese person than for someone at a healthy weight, according to a study published yesterday in the journal Health Affairs. As obesity rates continue to increase, so do many of the chronic conditions that go along with obesity: heart disease, diabetes, cancer. These conditions age us more rapidly and shorten lives, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz reports. Two new studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association identify specific health habits that help us avoid heart failure and high blood pressure. Kotz rounds up 7 secrets to living longer based on their findings.
Keeping your weight at a healthy body mass index below 25—less than 156 pounds for a 5-foot-7 person—was found in both studies to be a factor in preventing heart risks. Both studies also found that some alcohol—one to two drinks per day—is protective but that three daily drinks or more is detrimental for the heart. Other ways to live longer include using pain relievers sparingly and eating breakfast cereal. Avoiding nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen was associated with a reduced risk of hypertension in one study.
Can Blue M&M's, Blue Gatorade Protect Your Spine? Surprisingly Helpful Foods
New research suggests that a compound nearly identical to the common food dye that gives M&M's and other foods their blue hue may have an unexpected application—treating spinal cord injuries. Rats given through-the-vein injections of the compound Brilliant Blue G soon after they received paralyzing spinal injuries regained the ability to walk, though with a clumsy gait, while injured rats that didn't get BBG were permanently paralyzed, researchers report yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. BBG is chemically similar to FD&C blue dye No. 1, the artificial colorant in blue foodstuffs ranging from those melt-in-your-mouth chocolates to blue Gatorade. U.S. News offers a look at the candy's potential and a few other vibrant foods whose health benefits may surprise you.
Learn how to turn your kitchen into a clinic with advice from an expert who says cooking can be scientifically applied to fight disease. View a photo-guided tour of foods used as medicine. And consider these 10 healthful snacks that won't break the calorie bank.
— Megan Johnson
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