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Depression doubles heart disease risk

Depressed people have double the chances of suffering from heart disease compared to people who are not depressed, a new study has suggested.

A new study led by Concordia University has found that depressed individuals have a slower recovery time after exercise in contrast to those who do not suffer from mood disorders.

These findings suggest that a dysfunctional biological stress system is at play among depressed individuals.

“There have been two competing theories as to why depression is linked to cardiovascular disease,” says first author Jennifer Gordon.

“Depressed people may have poorer health behaviours, which may in turn lead to heart problems. The other possibility is physiological: a problem with the stress system known as the fight or flight response.”

A total of 886 participants, who were on an average 60 years old, took part in the study.
Approximately 5 per cent of participants were diagnosed with a major depressive disorder.

All individuals were asked to undergo a stress test after which their heart rate and blood pressure were recorded.

Recovery heart rates and blood pressure levels were compared between depressed and non-depressed individuals.  “We found that it took longer for the heart rate of depressed individuals to return to normal,” said senior author, Simon Bacon, a professor in the Concordia University Department of Exercise Science.

“Heart rate recovery from exercise is one way to measure the fight or flight stress response. The delayed ability to establish a normal heart rate in the depressed individuals indicates a dysfunctional stress response.” Bacon added.

Coming soon, vehicles that are self-driven!
An Australian industrial designer has designed Autonomo, a self-driven vehicle that is touted to revolutionize the auto industry by 2030.  The concept vehicle, by Charles Rattray, would use principles of swarm behaviour – as noted in groups of birds and fish – and drafting to conserve energy while moving in the same direction.

Using swarm robotics and artificial intelligence Autonomos would travel in tight platoons while shifting their configurations to maintain an uninterrupted traffic flow.  Microwave sensors would allow cars to travel mere 7.8 inches apart, thus aerodynamically reducing vehicle drag and energy consumption.

Onboard computers would synthesize data from an array of sensors (radar, microwave, lidar, optical and infrared) and external feedback systems that would monitor the road 656 feet in front of and behind the vehicle or vehicle platoon, Discovery News reported.

It will also include hi-definition cameras equipped with object recognition technologies that would help predict the path of other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and other hazardous objects.

Groups of these vehicles would be a centralised database controlled by intelligent algorithms that could adjust as new spatial information is fed to them.

Mid-morning snacks may undermine dieting efforts
Eating meals during the short interval between breakfast and lunch may lead your weight-loss efforts to go in vain, a new study has revealed.  

According to a study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, women dieters who grab mid-morning snacks lose less weight compared to those who abstain from it.

The researchers found that mid-morning snackers lost an average of 7 per cent of their total body weight while those who ate a healthy breakfast but did not snack before lunch lost more than 11 percent of their body weight.

For the study, a snack was defined as any food or drink that was consumed between main meals. “We think this finding may not relate necessarily to the time of day one snacks, but rather to the short interval between breakfast and lunch.”

 “Mid-morning snacking therefore might be a reflection of recreational or mindless eating habits rather than eating to satisfy true hunger,” said Anne McTiernan, the lead author of the study.

She said that while snacking too close to a main meal may be detrimental to weight loss, waiting too long between meals also may sabotage dieting efforts.

“Snacking could be part of a dieter’s toolkit if they’re eating in response to true hunger. Individuals should determine if they experience long intervals – such as more than five hours – between meals.”

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