2007 > Women's Health > Health Briefs - Women's Issues

Health Briefs - Women's Issues

Remember this: Getting eight hours of sleep each night can keep your memory healthy. That’s the finding of a recent study by the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers studied 48 people between 18 and 30 years of age. All 48 had healthy sleeping patterns and were not taking any medications.

The participants were divided into “sleep” and “wake” groups. Both groups attended training sessions where they were taught the same 20 pairs of words. The wake group participants were taught the word pairings at 9 a.m. and, after staying awake for 12 hours, were tested at 9 p.m. The sleep group was taught the word pairings at 9 p.m. and tested the next morning at 9 a.m. after a night of sleep.

The results showed participants in the sleep group were able to recall 12 percent more word pairs than the wake group, highlighting how a healthy night of sleep appears to strengthen the brain’s memory function.

Healthy News about Eggs

Not long after being written off as a high fat, high cholesterol food, eggs are making a comeback. Researchers at the University of Arizona used data from 224 dietary studies carried out over the past 25 years, and found no relationship between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease. The combined studies tracked the eating habits of nearly 117,000 health professionals over a span of eight to 14 years.

A medium-sized egg contains about 70 calories, is packed with vitamins and minerals, and is high in lutein, a fighter of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. It contains less than 5 grams of fat mostly the safer, unsaturated variety. Egg whites are an excellent source of protein. Eating one egg per day (hardboiled rather than fried) is a healthy choice.

Secondhand Smoke Increases the Risk of Dementia

As more countries outlaw smoking in public, there’s yet further proof of the dangers of secondhand smoke. Researchers at Boston’s Neurology Academy recently found a link between secondhand smoke and dementia.

The study monitored 3,602 people aged 65 and older. During a six-year period, researchers monitored participants’ level of exposure to secondhand smoke while also checking for any signs of dementia.

The study showed that elderly people with ‘high exposure’ (more than 30 years) to secondhand smoke were nearly 30 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who had little or no exposure to secondhand smoke.

This is one of the first studies to assess the risk of dementia in people who never smoked but were exposed to secondhand smoke. It provides even more support for restrictions on public smoking and yet another incentive for smokers to give up the habit.

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