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Laughter may not be good for asthmatics

This makes laughter a serious matter for 40 per cent per cent of Australia’s two million asthma sufferers, according to a new study.

The online poll of 200 sufferers, conducted by a drug company, has backed university research that revealed laughter can spark the chronic respiratory illness in up to half of asthmatics.

A more serious concern from this research is that three quarters of asthmatics believe their asthma is well managed but the majority put up with lifestyle restrictions because of their illness.

Almost two thirds found themselves breathless when doing housework or shopping, while half struggled to do their favourite activities.

More than one third felt tired because of disturbed sleep. A further one in five cancelled social engagements because of their asthma.

Concord Hospital thoracic physician Christine Jenkins said well-managed asthma should not hamper the enjoyment of any of life’s pleasures.

Smoking related to malnutrition
Smokers may exacerbate the problem of malnutrition in developing countries because they tend to finance their habit by dipping into the family food budget, say researchers.

Steven Block and Patrick Webb, of Tufts University, have revealed that their finding is based on a study conducted in Java, Indonesia.

They say that their findings suggest that the costs of smoking in the developing world go well beyond the immediate health risks.

The researchers surveyed 33,000 households, most of which were poor, and found that the average family with at least one smoker spent 10 per cent of its already tight budget on tobacco.

Daylight could help fight obesity
A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Nottingham, has suggested that daylight could help control weight.

Previous studies have revealed that the activity of calorie-burning ‘brown fat’, also known as brown adipose tissue (BAT), is reduced with obesity. Therefore, promoting BAT function could prevent or reduce obesity in some people.

Now, the new study has shown that daylight is a major factor in controlling BAT activity.

“Our research has suggested a previously unknown mechanism for controlling BAT function in humans and this could potentially lead to new treatments for the prevention or reversal of obesity,” said lead author Michael Symonds.

Winter was traditionally a time of the year that was accompanied with increased thermal demands and thus energy expenditure, but the body’s requirements for BAT has been reduced in recent times by central heating plus global warming.

‘Kids develop diabetes in winter’
Kids under the age of 15 are at a higher risk of developing Type 1 diabetes in winters, finds a new study.

Researchers from National Institute for Health and Welfare have found that this winter trend was more prevalent in boys as well as in both sexes from the older age groups 5 to 14 years old.

Unlike Type 2 diabetes, which develops in middle age, the Type 1 form typically arises in childhood and requires lifelong supplements of insulin.

The condition develops when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed.

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