What's The Buzz

Even cycling at relaxed pace is good
Commuters need not ride their cycles as in the Hayden Roulston-style medal-winning sprint in lycra, but at just a relaxed pace, to gain full health benefits. Dr Graeme Lindsay and colleagues studied the likely effects of shifting five per cent of urban light-vehicle trips of 7km or less to cycling and found savings in fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions.

They also found that more than five lives would be saved through reduced air pollution from vehicles, and if there were more bikes, the ‘safety-in-numbers’ effect progressively reduced the cycling death rate.

But the biggest health effect would be through the reduced rate of conditions like heart attack and cancer among commuter cyclists and the kilos of body fat shed. All that pedalling would burn up the equivalent amount of energy of 40 million cans of Coke, a potential fat loss of 6,75,000kg, and 116 deaths would be saved by improved health.

Neighbourhood linked to diabetes
Individuals living in healthy neighbourhoods may have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, says a new study. Amy H Auchincloss, Drexel University, Philadelphia, and colleagues examined 2,285 adults age 45 to 84 who were initially examined between 2000 and 2002.

Participants were from three of the sites in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) for which neighbourhood level data were obtained: Baltimore; Forsyth County, New Carolina; and New York City/Bronx.

Blood glucose levels were obtained from study participants at baseline and at three follow-up examinations, during which other individual characteristics also were assessed.

Oxygen to H1N1 patients helps
A new study has revealed that adding oxygen to the blood of H1N1 patients suffering from respiratory failure can significantly improve their survival.
The researchers said that patients who developed severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), were treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
ARDS is a lung condition that leads to respiratory failure due to the rapid accumulation of fluid in the lungs. ECMO is a type of life support that circulates blood through a system that adds oxygen. The study showed that 68 patients with severe influenza-associated ARDS were treated with ECMO, including 53 with confirmed 2009 influenza A(H1N1).
An additional 133 patients with influenza A received mechanical ventilation, but not ECMO, in the same ICUs. The 68 patients who received ECMO had a median age of 34.4 years and half were men.

Drivers at risk of hearing loss
Love to drive with the top down? Well, you might be enjoying having the wind in your hair but you may be risking serious damage to your ears. According to a research cruising with the top down at speeds of 50-70mph exposes the ears to sound levels sometimes nearing those made by a pneumatic drill.

The prospective study of the convertible-driving experience measured noise levels at speeds of 50, 60, and 70 miles per hour (mph), and indicated that drivers are consistently exposed to between 88 and 90 DbA, with a high of 99 Db. Long or repeated exposure to sounds over 85 Db is widely recognised to cause permanent hearing loss.

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