WHAT'S THE BUZZ

Why smoking increases heart disease

Researchers at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California have discovered why smoking increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

They have found that nicotine promotes prediabetes, also known as insulin resistance, in smokers, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Lead author Theodore Friedman, suggests previous theory that nicotine and cigarette smoking induce high levels of the stress hormone cortisol was correct.

Friedman said: “As cortisol excess is known to induce insulin resistance, it has been suggested that glucocorticoids, such as cortisol, are the missing (causative) link between cigarette smoking and insulin resistance”.

Experts found that nicotine induced prediabetes, a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The study authors were also able to undo some harmful effects of nicotine in mice to some extent by treating them with the nicotine antagonist mecamylamine, a drug that blunts the action of nicotine.

Marriage can make you fat
People who marry are up to three times more likely to become obese than those who just keep dating, according to a new study.

According to the study, soon after a groom carries his bride over the threshold both end up carrying extra weight.

Moving in with a romantic partner also increased the odds of obesity, but there were interesting nuances by sex: for women, the risk increased after just one year of living together, while for men the risk kicked in between the first and second year.
Couples blamed a lack of exercise, watching too much television and an over-use of computers.

Lens implantation best for myopia
Some people with nearsightedness may be provided with stable correction through the implantation of lenses made of a collagen-like substance, suggest the promising findings of a study.

“Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) has gained widespread popularity as a safe and effective surgical method for the correction of myopia, but patients with high (severe) myopia or thin corneas face some restrictions in avoiding the risk of developing keratectasia (a weakening of the cornea),” researchers said.

To overcome these disadvantages, they say, an implantable lens consisting of a biocompatible collagen copolymer was developed, and it appears to be effective in correcting moderate to severe vision problems.

According to them, the implantation procedure is largely reversible, and the lens is interchangeable, unlike LASIK.

Child intellectual disability diagnosis
Despite efforts to create awareness, children are often older than three years before they are diagnosed with common inherited form of intellectual disability, according to a new study.

The researchers said that even with increased patient advocacy and professional recommendations regarding genetic testing, no significant changes in the age of diagnosis have occurred in the past seven years.

Fragile X is not obvious at birth, and must be discovered as intellectual delays become evident.

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