Putting a Crimp in the Hookah

May 31st, 2011

Kevin Shapiro, a 20-year-old math and physics major at the University of Pennsylvania, first tried a hookah at a campus party. He liked the exotic water pipe so much that he chipped in to buy one for his fraternity house, where he says it makes a useful social lubricant at parties.

Like many other students who are embracing hookahs on campuses nationwide, Mr. Shapiro believes that hookah smoke is less dangerous than cigarette smoke because it “is filtered through water, so you get fewer solid particles.” (more…)

Warning signs of pregnancy-related diabetes

May 30th, 2011

Diabetes stemming from pregnancy can cause a host of problems for baby and mother alike, including birth complications and a higher risk of developing the more serious type 2 diabetes later in life.

In a new study, researchers say they’ve identified a series of routine health measures that can help doctors predict years in advance which women will develop pregnancy-related diabetes, paving the way for lifestyle changes and other early prevention efforts. (more…)

Irregular periods in teens linked to health risks: study

May 27th, 2011

Teenagers who have irregular periods are more likely to be overweight and obese and to have early warning signs of diabetes and heart disease than those with regular menstrual cycles, a study said.

While the link between irregular periods and heart disease and diabetes is well-established in older women, the findings, published in “Fertility and Sterility,” suggest that doctors might be able to identify this risk much earlier — and try to do something about it. (more…)

Menopause age related to when mom went through it

May 27th, 2011

The age at which women go through menopause depends a lot on when their relatives did, according to new study findings.

Specifically, women whose mothers or sisters experienced menopause by age 45 were roughly 6 times more likely to do the same. Women who underwent menopause at a relatively late age – 54 or older – were also 6 times more likely to have seen the same thing happen to their mothers, and twice as likely to see it in their sisters. (more…)

Why your brain needs vacations

May 25th, 2011

Mary Kole loves her job, but she’s been feeling like she’s lost the line between “work” and “not work.”

A literary agent for children’s books in Brooklyn, New York, Kole works from home and checks in with clients electronically around the clock — sometimes writers will even call her in the middle of the night with an idea. Stepping outside isn’t exactly relaxing either. “In New York, it’s just subway, office, people, talking, yelling, honking, all the time,” she said. (more…)