Friday, November 18, 2005

Cancer Risk Factors

A study by the Harvard School of Public Health of the 7 million people worldwide who died of cancer in 2001 showed that more than a third of these deaths stemmed from nine potentially modifiable risk factors:

Being overweight or obese
Physical inactivity
Low intake of fruits and vegetables
Alcohol use
"Unsafe" sex
Indoor smoke from household use of solid fuels
Contaminated injections in health care settings
Air pollution

According to the research, smoking, alcohol use, and weight problems (being overweight or obese) were "the most important causes of cancer" in high-income countries while sexual transmission of the human papillomavirus (HPV) -- which can cause cervical cancer -- was a big risk factor for women in low- and middle-income countries.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Loosing Sleep Over It

A recent Gallup survey of adults over 50 years old showed that stress hindered nearly one in four in their ability to fall asleep in the month before the survey. Being overweight or having health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer were also sighted as sleep burdens. Of course, sleep wasn't always interrupted by a grave health issue. A little less than half of all participants (43%) said they had often gotten up at night to go to the bathroom in the past month. The study also found that one in five participants reported getting less than six hours of nightly sleep and 45% agreed that they felt they needed more sleep than they had in their 20s.