Results: Work got you stressed out? A new study suggests that stressing on the job may increase your odds of suffering a stroke. People who held high-stress positions were found to be 22 percent more likely to experience a stroke. What’s more is that women in high-stress positions were 33 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than women in low-stress positions.
Significance: “Having a lot of job stress has been linked to heart disease, but studies on job stress and stroke have shown inconsistent results,” Dingli Xu, M.D. of Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China said in a press release. “It’s possible that high-stress jobs lead to more unhealthy behaviors, such as poor eating habits, smoking and a lack of exercise.”
Location of study: Tanzania, Namibia and Bolivia
Study subjects: Three groups of modern hunter-gatherers
Results: It’s a long-held belief that our ancestors slept more than today’s average person—likely because they weren’t exposed to 24/7 technology. But new research out of UCLA and the University of New Mexico is telling a different story. After observing the sleep patterns of three different groups of people whose lifestyles mirror those of our ancestors, researchers found that modern-day hunter-gatherers actually sleep less than the rest of us. They also rarely nap.
Significance: “There’s this expectation that we should all be sleeping eight or nine hours a night and that if you took away modern technology people would be sleeping more,” lead author Gandhi Yetish, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Mexico, said in a press release. “But now for the first time we’re showing that’s not true.”
Study location: U.S.
Results: Experts have long been baffled by the fact that elephants rarely develop cancer. While humans have an 11 to 25 percent cancer mortality rate, the rate for elephants is less than 5 percent, according to researchers at the University of Utah. A new study suggests that our genes may have a lot to do with it—more specifically, modified copies of a gene that encodes a tumor suppressor known as p53. It turns out that elephants have an additional 38. Humans? We have just two.
Significance: “Nature has already figured out how to prevent cancer,” co-senior author Joshua Schiffman, M.D. said in a press release. “It’s up to us to learn how different animals tackle the problem so we can adapt those strategies to prevent cancer in people.”
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