Personal Briefing Ideas & Trends

Posted: May 30, 1989

COFFEE AND HEART DISEASE. A study of more than 6,000 men and women has uncovered no evidence that drinking coffee leads to heart disease. Researchers reporting in the Archives of Internal Medicine also said they had found no evidence that people with existing cardiovascular problems run an increased risk if they drink coffee. They did say it would be prudent for such people to avoid coffee if they have heartbeat irregularities.

BREATHLESS. Your daily walk, run or bike ride may not always be good for you - especially if you live in a city. The American Lung Association says that exercising vigorously out-of-doors when air quality is poor can pose a serious threat to lung health. On days when the ozone level is "unhealthy," limit outdoor exercise to early morning or evenings, and on days when pollution levels are above the "very unhealthy" level, refrain from outdoor activities, the group says.

VOICE SAVERS. Good news for neck-cancer sufferers: A combination of chemotherapy and radiation shows promise of helping doctors to avoid mutilating surgery and to preserve the voices of victims. Until now, the standard therapy for people with advanced cancer of the larynx has been to remove the voicebox. The new approach was described at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

AUTISM. Relatives of autistic people may show some of the same problems but to a lesser extent, according to a finding that supports views the disorder may be inherited. In a new study, a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine reseacher found that people with autistic siblings were far more likely than others to have communication difficulties, social dysfunction and serious mood disturbances.

NO DOZE. Advances in the science of sleep are leading to drugs that could keep an army on its feet and fighting for three days and nights with no major side-effects. The drugs can prolong wakefulness without building up a "sleep debt" to be paid later or generating the fatigue, anxiety, dependence and paranoia associated with amphetamines, French researchers report.

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