March 14th, 2012
01:30 PM ET
The millions of people whose genes make them prone to obesity aren't at the mercy of nature. How they choose to spend their free time can make a big difference in their waistline, according to new research presented today at an American Heart Association (AHA) meeting in San Diego.
Watching TV for two hours each day increases the effect of certain obesity-related genes by as much as 25%, the researchers estimate.
If, on the other hand, people with a strong genetic predisposition to obesity spend one hour each day walking briskly or engaging in comparable exercise, they can halve the genes' effect.
"In terms of evolution, this makes sense," says Dr. Roxanne Sukol, a preventive medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in the study. "We didn't evolve to sit still for hours a day."
February 6th, 2012
06:45 PM ET
The list of reasons to quit smoking just got longer.
A new study published today on the website of the Archives of General Psychiatry has found that smoking appears to accelerate the pace of age-related cognitive decline in middle-aged men.
The mental function of the average 50-year-old male smoker can be expected to decline as quickly as that of a 60-year-old who has never smoked, the researchers estimate, even after factors such as educational level and overall health are taken into account.
"While we were aware that smoking is a risk factor for lung diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, this study shows also its detrimental effect on cognitive aging," says lead author Séverine Sabia, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at University College in London. "This detrimental effect is evident as soon as [age] 45."
November 14th, 2011
04:41 PM ET
Getting kicked in the chest by a horse - that's how cardiologist Steven Cook, M.D., describes what it feels like when an implanted defibrillator shocks the heart.
And fear of that shock is making it difficult for many patients with these devices to enjoy sex, according to new research Cook presented Monday at a meeting of the American Heart Association.
It's a legitimate fear, since roughly one-quarter of patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator will suffer from an inappropriate shock over a five-year period, says Cook, director of the center for adult congenital heart disease at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
May 16th, 2011
05:39 PM ET
After a night of partying, it's not uncommon for college students to wake up with a fuzzy recollection of the evening’s events. But a new study suggests that binge drinking may impair memory in young people long after the hangover has worn off, perhaps because of damage to the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning.
In the study, which appears in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, researchers in Spain gave a series of simple language and memory tests to 122 college students between the ages of 18 and 20, roughly half of whom were self-identified binge drinkers. The other half also drank alcohol, but more moderately.
In the first test, for instance, the students read lists of words and then tried to recall as many of them as they could in increasingly difficult exercises. In another, they were told two stories and asked to recount them as accurately as possible. FULL POST
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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.