Monday, November 30, 2009

Guys: For Longevity, Marry Smart

Swedish scientists discovered that long life and good health have nothing to do with a man’s education and everything to do with his wife’s. Men married to smart women, live longer.

This cute piece comes from UK’s the Sunday Times.

It makes a solid point about the health benefits of marriage, which are quite well known. Here is the link to the actual research……a very impressive sample size of 1.5 million people studied over a 12 year period.

If you speak UK, please translate for me:
Green and Blacks
Tea towel
Car bonnet

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This Bogus “Winter Babies” Research is Starting to Get Interesting

The idea that babies born in winter months are less intelligent is raising its ridiculous head again.

But a recent Wall Street Journal article that my son-in-law sent me is surprisingly good. It describes how sound research methodology is being applied to the question of winter babies and intelligence.

Factors that were studied include:
Mother’s educational level
Age that a teen drops out of school
Vitamin D (winter babies get less sunshine)
Pesticides in surface water

This article changed me from a cynic on this topic to an interested observer.
To see all of my Winter Babies posts, click here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Global "Burden" of Preemies (I Call it Tragedy) But No Mention of - Don't Delay

A new March of Dimes study found that over one million babies worldwide die each year because they are born too soon, according to the first report to estimate the "global burden" of premature births.

Liz Szabo in USA Today states: “The preterm birth rate in the USA is especially high: 12.7% of all babies are born early, according to the March of Dimes. That rate has increased 36% in the past 25 years, partly because of an increase in elective cesarean section, an increase in older mothers and the growing use of assisted reproduction, which increases the risk of twins, triplets and higher-order multiple births, the report says.”

She added, “Doctors can do far more to save preemies than they could only a generation ago but they still have no reliable way to prevent preterm birth. At best, doctors can delay delivery by a day or two — just long enough to give women drugs to mature their babies' lungs.”

Discussion in Szabo's article only addresses medical solutions. Was I off-base when I suggested that parents should tell their adult children not to delay starting a family? In a May 2008 post, I suggested that these trends are sequential: delayed marriage, delayed child birth, infertility, increased multiple births, and increased number of pre-term births. I believe that we need more than a drug-related medical solution to this mammoth global tragedy.

Care to discuss?