Mental health link to sexual assault
WOMEN are more likely to develop a mental disorder if they have been the victim of rape, sexual assault, stalking or intimate-partner violence, CNN reports. The Australian research, published in JAMA, found that 27% of women had experienced sexual assault, stalking or other “gender-based violence”. Among women who had experienced one form of such abuse, 57% had a history of mental disorders, compared with 28% of women who had not experienced gender-based violence. Almost 90% of women who had been exposed to at least three different types of violence had a history of mental disorders or substance misuse.

Asthma link to power
ELECTROMAGNETIC fields are under renewed suspicion as a possible health risk after research showed that the more emissions women were exposed to while pregnant, the greater the chances of their children developing asthma, The Australian reports. The research, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, was based on meters attached to more than 600 pregnant women for 24 hours to measure their typical daily dose from magnetic fields from sources such as powerlines, home appliances and Wi-Fi networks. It found a linear relationship in which the asthma risk in children rose in lockstep with the mother’s exposure. For each one-milligauss increase in a pregnant woman’s exposure to magnetic fields, the child’s asthma risk went up 15%.

Brain fights dieters
DIETERS may struggle to shed the kilos because their brains are working against them, The Advertiser reports. A US study of mice, published in Cell Metabolism, found that neurones in the hypothalamus started eating themselves when the animals were deprived of food, causing the body to make fatty acids, which increased feelings of hunger in the brain. The research may lead to the development of better treatments for obesity and the metabolic syndrome, the scientists said.

Eating disorders hit children
CHILDREN as young as 5 are being treated in hospital for severe anorexia, the UK’s Daily Mail reports. A total of 98 children aged between 5 and 7 years have been admitted to hospital in the past 3 years because of eating disorders. The tally of older children admitted over the same period was: 99 aged between 8 and 9 years, 400 aged 10 to 12 years, and 1500 aged 13 to 15 years. The statistics were released by NHS trusts in the UK through freedom of information laws.

Comfort beats the blues
EATING fatty foods may make us less vulnerable to sad emotions, ABC Science reports. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, 12 participants were subjected to mournful music and sad images while receiving an intragastric infusion of either fatty acids or a saline solution, without knowing which. The volunteers rated their mood, and those injected with fatty acids were only half as sad after watching the images and listening to the music as the participants who were given saline solution.

8 August 2011

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