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5 studies you may have missed
If watching "The Real Housewives" franchise stresses you out, you may want to assess your real-life relationships.
May 9th, 2014
02:57 PM ET

5 studies you may have missed

Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Don't fight for a longer life
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

If watching "The Real Housewives" franchise stresses you out, you may want to assess your real-life relationships.

Researchers in Denmark analyzed the effect of tense social situations on mortality in a large group of middle-aged men and women. They found people who frequently worried about or felt pressured by their partner or children, and those who had frequent conflicts in their relationships had a higher risk of dying in middle age.

Men, the study authors say, seemed to be particularly vulnerable to the effect. And the findings held true even if the study participants' fights were mostly with neighbors, not friends or family.

So forgive and forget - or you may be holding that grudge from the grave.

Read more from USA Today

Breastfeeding may help your baby's gut
Journal: Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Scientists believe the bacteria in our gut affects our risk for everything from allergies to obesity. Babies are born without this bacteria, researcher Tine Rask Licht says, so it's important to study what influences its development in our early years.

"We have become increasingly aware of how crucially important a healthy gut microbial population is for a well-functioning immune system," Licht said.

Licht and his team tracked 300 children during their first three years of life. They found breastfeeding encouraged the presence of lactic acid bacteria in infants. Babies who were weaned onto solid foods earlier had less of this helpful bacteria.

Read more from Medical News Today

Climate change will change your lunch
Journal: Nature

Add this to the list of reasons why we should be paying attention to global warming. Scientists at Harvard say growing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could make our food less nutritious. They found that as CO2 increases, minerals such as zinc and iron decline in crops like wheat, corn and soy.

“We are radically changing the entire global environment,” lead study author Dr. Samuel Myers told TIME. “We are moving into a set of environmental conditions we haven’t adapted to, and there will be impacts that affect our well-being that will be hard to anticipate.”

Read more from TIME

Athletes really do 'choke' in competition
Presented at the British Psychological Society's annual conference

Don't be too angry at your favorite batter when he strikes out in the bottom of the ninth with two runners on.

A new study suggests stress may hinder our coincidence anticipation timing (CAT) - our ability to anticipate an event and coordinate our actions to react, such as when we want to hit a moving object.

Researchers had 18 young adults do two identical tests. They were told one was a "practice" and the other was a "competition." The study participants' CAT was significantly worse during the competitive test.

Read more from PsychCentral

Breaking news! Exercise is important
British Journal of Sports Medicine

Staying active after age 30 may be more important to your heart health than quitting smoking, losing weight or lowering your blood pressure, a new study suggests.

Australian researchers analyzed data on more than 32,000 women, and found physical inactivity was the leading risk factor for heart disease at every age from the early 30s to late 80s. They estimate that 2,000 women could be saved each year if everyone met the recommended amount of exercise: 150 minutes of at least moderate-intensity physical activity each week.

"If you want to do one thing to prevent heart disease, you should exercise," Dr. Michael Scott Emery, co-chair of the American College of Cardiology's Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council, told HealthDay. "Make it part of your life, like brushing your teeth."

Read more from U.S. News & World Report


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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.