Saturday, June 05, 2010

Air pollution 'could help to trigger heart attacks' (?)

This total rubbish got reported only because people liked its conclusions. I could say more but I think the rubric below is sufficient

The dirtier the air, the more likely people are to suffer sudden heart attacks, researchers have found.

Particulate matter - tiny specks of soot, dust, and other pollutants in the air that can be breathed deep into the lungs - has been 'consistently' linked to increases in deaths from heart disease and clogged arteries.

But studies looking at whether air pollution specifically ups the risk of heart attack or cardiac arrest have had mixed results.

Now scientists from Monash University in Melbourne have found a direct link between the increase of airborne particles and the likelihood of heart attack.

The Australian authors, led by Dr Martine Dennekamp noted that airborne particles could also trigger heart attack or even sudden death in people with no apparent symptoms of heart disease.

The team looked at more than eight thousands cases of sudden heart attack among people 35 and older that occurred in Melbourne between 2003 and 2006.

After a rise in concentration of the tiniest airborne particles (particles less than 2.5 microns across), the likelihood of heart attack rose and stayed higher than average for two days.

For every 4.26 micrograms per cubic metre increase in PM2.5 concentrations, the risk of cardiac arrest was four per cent higher than average for the next 48 hours.

None of several other pollutants the researchers measured, including larger airborne particles, affected risk. The effect was strongest for people 65 to 74 years old.

However, the study does not prove that pollution causes more cardiac arrests, as the researchers did not find out whether participants in the study also smoked or had other risk factors for heart disease.


Yoghurt slashes risk of children developing tooth decay 'by 22 per cent'

Data dredging in mother-report data: Strong stuff (NOT). And to cap that, the study was of 3-year-olds only. Why? How generalizable are data from baby teeth? And the effect is tiny anyway. I like yoghurt but this is no reason to buy any

Eating yoghurt regularly could slash a child's risk of developing tooth decay, according to new research. Consuming the dairy product at least four times a week reduced the chances of three-year-olds developing cavities by 22 per cent, compared to those who ate it less than once a week.

The findings, published in the Journal of Dentistry, came from a Japanese study which was investigating earlier claims that dairy foods generally could ward off dental decay in children.

But while butter, cheese and milk appeared to have no major benefit, high consumption of yoghurt did have a protective effect in young children. It's not clear why yoghurt reduces the need for fillings. But one theory is that it contains proteins that 'bind' to the surface of teeth and seals them against attack from harmful acids. This seal means the calcium and phosphate which makes up tooth enamel is not broken down over time.

The research, by experts at Fukuoka University and the University of Tokyo, supports earlier work by Australian scientists who exposed extracted teeth to yoghurt and found it kept decay at bay.

In the latest study, Japanese researchers looked at more than 2,000 children aged three and quizzed parents on their eating habits. Each child also had a dental check to assess the state of their teeth. The results showed a clear link with yoghurt but not with other popular dairy produce.

In a report on their findings the researchers said: 'High consumption of yoghurt may be associated with a lower prevalence of dental cavities in young children.'

But British Dental Health Foundation chief executive Dr Nigel Carter warned: 'It should be remembered that many yoghurts in the UK contain added sugar and it is well established that increasing the frequency of sugar containing foods and drinks leads to an increase in dental decay. 'Yoghurts are also quite thick and will tend to coat the teeth for longer which can also lead to problems. If parents wish to increase their children's yoghurt intake it is therefore important that this be confined to meal times.'

Last week, British experts warned adults who fail to brush their teeth twice a day are putting themselves at increased risk of heart disease. It's thought that inflammation in the body, including the gums, increases the likelihood of clogged arteries.


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