Today in medicine: Women more likely to die from ‘broken heart syndrome’

The US birth rate is down again.

Topic of Study: Women more likely to die from a broken heart
Study subjects: 6,229 heart cases from federal database    
Location of study: U.S.
Results: Women are seven to nine times more likely to die from “broken heart syndrome,” according to CBS News. Serious emotional traumas like breakups or deaths of a loved one are possible causes for broken heart syndrome.
Significance: The syndrome has a physical basis: Shock causes a jump in adrenaline and the release of other stress hormones, causing the heart to expand, in turn affecting rhythm and blood quality.

Topic of Study: Poor economy slows population growth
Study subjects: National records
Location of study: U.S.
Results: A federal report says that the U.S. birth rate has fallen for the third year in a row. The rate for teens and 20-something women had the sharpest decline.
Significance: Though the recession is attributed in many women delaying starting a family, a general trend to having smaller families of one or two children is also a factor.

Topic of Study:
Syphilis down, but STDs still a problem
Study subjects: STD patients
Location of study: U.S.
Results: For this time in a decade, the number of new syphilis cases in America has dropped, says the CDC. However, other sexually transmitted diseases contribute to the country’s 19 million new infections every year.
Significance: Condom use, check-ups and treatment can prevent the spread of STDs.
 
Topic of Study: Higher intelligence and drug use
Study subjects: 8,000 people
Location of study: U.K.
Results: Research from an ongoing study of drug use found that people who had high IQs at the ages of 5 and 10 were more likely to use illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin at ages 16 and 30.
Significance: The researchers theorized that drugs’ novelty and stimulating properties might appeal to the very intelligent.


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