Gender's possible effect on resistance to infections
Study subjects: Various data
Location of study: U.S.
Results: A study published in BioEssays states that men have a greater frequency of infections and more chronic infections, but women are more susceptible to succumbing to disease if infected.
Significance: Researchers are looking into both genetic and hormonal factors in virus resistance. With better, fuller knowledge of how a virus works in the body, treatment that is more effective can be administered.
Pregnancy complications in bipolar mothers
Study subjects: Bipolar and nonbipolar mothers
Location of study: Sweden
Results: A new BMJ study states that mothers with bipolar disorder (treated or not) have an increased risk of giving birth prematurely. Common mood-stabilizing drugs are used to treat bipolar disorder, but previous research has linked some of these drugs to pregnancy and birth complications.
Significance: Since complex issues such as whether the mothers with bipolar disorder had other risk factors (such as smoking, obesity and alcohol or substance abuse) are unclear, the researchers concluded that mood-stabilizing drugs are one of many risk factors babies of bipolar mothers face.
Black tea linked with lower diabetes
Study subjects: Consumers in 50 countries
Location of study: Worldwide
Results: A BMJ Open study on black fermented tea consumption indicates a beneficial link between black tea and the development of diabetes. In countries where people consume a lot of black tea, fewer cases of type 2 diabetes were found. Ireland was at the top of the list of black tea drinkers, while South Korea, Brazil, China, Morocco and Mexico had very low consumption rates.
Significance: The research is inconclusive, but the new findings add to previous research of black tea as an aid against diabetes and obesity.
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Booze may shorten life more than smoking
Study subjects: More than 4,000 men and women
Location of study: Germany
Results: Women who are alcohol-dependent have a death rate that is 4.6 times higher than nondrinking women, and men who are alcohol-dependent have a rate 1.9 times higher, reports the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. The mean age of death for the alcoholics studied for 14 years was 60 for women and 58 for men. Both ages are about 20 years younger than regular life expectancy rates.
Significance: Deaths related to smoking, which are usually because of cancers, often occur in later stages of life. Deaths from alcohol abuse can occur earlier. metro/lc