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That extra slice of ham might just worsen your asthma: Here’s why

London: Love to gorge on ham, sausages and salami? Beware, a new study suggests that higher intake of cured and processed meats can worsen asthma symptoms.

Cured and processed meat is rich in nitrites, which may have a role in airway inflammation — a typical feature of asthma, the study said.

Cured and processed meat are not good for asthmatic patients says new study. Wikimedia Commons

Cured and processed meat are not good for asthmatic patients says new study. Wikimedia Commons

The findings showed that individuals who consumed four or more weekly servings of cured and processed meat were 76 percent more likely to experience worsening asthma symptoms.

This could include difficulty in breathing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

“This research extends the deleterious effect of cured meat on health, and the effect of diet on asthma in adults, and provides a novel analytic approach regarding the role of BMI in the diet-asthma association,” said Zhen Li from Paul Brousse Hospital in Paris, France.

The results showed that cured and processed meat plays a potential role in lung function and health, the researchers added.

For the study, the team examined 971 adults (49 per cent men). Their dietary intake was measured using food frequency questionnaires encompassing 118 items in 46 food groups.

Cured meat intake (ham, sausage, salami) was classified as low (for one or fewer) weekly servings, medium (for one-four) weekly servings and high for four or more.

Being overweight or obese, which was previously linked to worsening asthma, accounted for just 14 percent of this association, thereby suggesting that meat intake was independently linked to symptoms.

The study was published online in the journal Thorax.

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 13:07 IST

Menopausal hormone therapy can improve bone health: Study

London: Women who undergo hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes can not only increase bone mass, but also can improve bone structure, according to a new study.

According to previous studies, menopausal hormone therapy can have positive impact on bone mineral density.

The new study showed that menopausal hormone therapy also can improve bone mass and structure and that the bone health benefits persist for at least two years after women stop treatment.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“When used specifically, in postmenopausal women younger than 60-years-old for whom the benefits outweigh risks, menopausal hormonal therapy is effective for both the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis,” said lead author Georgios Papadakis from the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland.

Osteoporosis is a progressive condition in which bones become structurally weak and are more likely to fracture or break. Menopause, which usually occurs when a woman is in her 40s or 50s, significantly speeds bone loss.

For the study, the team conducted a cross-sectional analysis on 1,279 women aged 50 to 80.

The researchers found higher trabecular bone scores — used to predict fracture risk in post-menopausal women — in those who used the therapy, compared to women who had never used it.

Past users of the therapy exhibited higher bone mass density and a trend for higher bone micro architecture values compared to women who had never used menopausal hormone therapy.

The findings can help optimise the use of menopausal hormone treatment in menopausal women at risk of osteoporosis, the researchers noted.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

First Published On : Nov 18, 2016 22:50 IST

Awesome sex life doesn’t just happen, you have to work hard to sustain it, says study

Toronto: The secret to a happy sex life is the belief that it takes hard work and effort, instead of expecting sexual satisfaction to simply happen, says a study.

“Your sex life is like a garden, and it needs to be watered and nurtured to maintain it, says a new study,” said researcher Jessica Maxwell from the University of Toronto.

These “sexpectations” — the need to work on sexual growth or rely on sexual destiny — are so powerful they can either sustain otherwise healthy relationships or undermine them, she added.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“People who believe in sexual destiny are using their sex life as a barometer for how well their relationship is doing, and they believe problems in the bedroom equal problems in the relationship as a whole,” Maxwell said.

“Whereas people who believe in sexual growth not only believe they can work on their sexual problems, but they are not letting it affect their relationship satisfaction,” she pointed out.

The findings are based on research involving approximately 1,900 participants from both heterosexual and same-sex relationships.

Maxwell said there is a honeymoon phase lasting about two to three years where sexual satisfaction is high among both sexual growth and sexual destiny believers.

But the benefit of believing in sexual growth becomes apparent after this initial phase, as sexual desire begins to ebb and flow, she added.

The study, published online in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, showed that, while sexual-growth beliefs can buffer the impact of problems in the bedroom, they do not help as much if the problems become too substantial, Maxwell noted.