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Having more children could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease for both parents

Metrosmag,SA

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New research suggests that having more children could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease for not only mothers but also fathers too.

According to Professor Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, chairperson of the European Society of Cardiology “management of CVD During Pregnancy” guidelines task force, two recent studies suggest that the risk of cardiovascular disease in women could be affected by how many children they have, and in some cases that could also be a factor in cardiovascular risk for men.

In the first of the recent studies, which looked at half a million Chinese people, the research team found a statistically significant J-shaped relationship between number of children and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, which “means that the risk decreases with one child, then increases with two or more children,” explained Professor Regitz-Zagrosek.

Professor Regitz-Zagrosek also pointed out that the “striking” thing about the study was that the same association was found for both women and men, with further research also finding that a greater number of children was also associated with a greater risk of diabetes in both women and men.

In addition, a study published in the journal Circulation also suggests that experiencing multiple pregnancies could increase a woman’s risk of developing atrial fibrillation — a condition involving an irregular heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke — in later life.

However Professor Regitz-Zagrosek pointed out that “In the AF study, a J-shaped relationship was not statistically significant, but this may be because it was in around 34,000 women and relatively small in comparison with the Chinese study.”

On what could be causing the increase in cardiovascular risk Professor Regitz-Zagrosek explained that the studies’ authors believe that socioeconomic factors are at play.

“Having one child is protective because parents have social support in older age,” she explained, “But if they have a large number of children this benefit goes away because it increases the economic and social pressure on the parents.”

Professor Regitz-Zagrosek also added that, “There is evidence that pregnancy leads to alterations that change the body’s reaction to additional cardiovascular stressors. And this may happen by epigenetic mechanisms. But the findings in Chinese men favor the socioeconomic explanation.”

She added that further research should investigate both the biological and socioeconomic mechanisms involved to understand better the link between number of children and cardiovascular risk.

Metrosmag,sa ( inspired by Mzansi Lifestyle ) Mzansi is rich in Lifestyle, a nation diverse in race and culture. Mzansi Magazine explores the rich heritage , versitile culture and the celebrations of Life in Mzansi. Metros Magazine, SA is South Africa's informative Metropolitan lifestlye magazine with all the fresh and important news in Mzansi.

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Lifestyle

Give your dad the best gift on Father’s Day

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With Father’s Day fast approaching, sourcing the most suitable gift is top of mind.

But we overlook that the most valuable gift one can offer their father is their presence.

For several dads, living in old age homes, Father’s Day has lost its significance as they long for a call or visit from their children.

The Association for the Aged (Tafta) invites you to share your “presence” this Father’s Day, especially to those whom need it the most. It’s about opening our arms and hearts to our elders.

“For our residents, love is a place of safety, a warm bed, good food, a hug and a kiss when they are tired or sad. This is how we view love at Tafta,” says CEO Femada Shamam.

In Tafta’s commitment to providing comfort and support to the elders of our province, we open our arms and hearts with love and compassion.

“Our work at Tafta imparts a clear message of love, which gives every resident a feeling of belonging and contentment,” added Shamam, who stressed that the best gift we can give to our seniors is the gift of our time.

“Whenever guests drop by, regardless of what they are doing, our residents’ faces always light up at the sign of a visitor,” she said.

Spending an hour to have lunch with an elder brings joy, pleasure and a sense of pride. It breaks the monotony of the daily routine and reassures them that they are cherished and valued.

This Father’s Day listen to your dad tell his stories if he is able. If not, help him out by supplying the words or using other gestures to express your appreciation. However you plan to celebrate, take the initiative to make this Father’s Day rewarding for you both. The gifts of caring will most certainly provide you with memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.

While love is limitless, Tafta’s finances are far from limitless.

Tafta appeals to you at this time for a gift that will show your infinite love for our fathers, grandfathers and even great grandfathers. A gift that will help us help them, Your support is what makes our work possible.

You can also share the LOVE by SMSing “Donate” to 40555, SMS charged at R20.00, free SMSes do not apply.

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Lifestyle

What would happen if you didn’t shower for a year?

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We all know a person whose boasted about the length of time they’ve abstained from showering or bathing.

It’s either an odd point of pride or a self-deprecating knock on their personal hygiene.

Either way, if they kept it up — say, for an entire year — they’d smell awful, would run the risk of infection and could be covered in acne and bumps.

Keeping it au naturel for that long is, besides a slow way to alienate yourself, not recommended, advises Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Here’s what would happen:

You’d smell

Unsurprisingly, a person would develop quite a funk after 365 showerless days.

Rokhsar said your stench likely would come as a result of the bacteria and dead skin accumulating on you.

After a year, he said, you’d have a build-up of skin stratum corneum, or dead skin on top of your skin. It includes a build-up of a protein our skin produces that has a funky odor to it. Bacteria also would accumulate on the skin, giving off a nasty smell when it mixes with our sweat.

Brown clumps would grow on you

Initially, said dermatologist Dr. Lauren Ploch, the skin would become oily or dry and become infected with fungus or yeast and then bacteria. The dirt on the skin could then cause warty growths.

Dr. Caroyln Jacob, director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, said the oily parts of your body would collect dirt and pollutants. This would happen most in places where your body produces the most oils, such as your underarms, behind the ears, on the neck and under a woman’s breasts.

The body’s dead skin normally rises to the surface and is flaked off through normal washing, said Jacob, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. When that stops, the dead skin clumps together with your body’s oils. The clumps would grow in patches and take on a brown hue once they collect dirt and other pollutants.

You’d be at higher risk for infection

We’re taught early the first step to take when you get a cut is to wash it.

If you haven’t washed in 365 days and you suffer an abrasion, the building bacteria on your skin means you may be more likely to suffer a soft tissue infection, notes Rokhsar.

“While infection may not be a concern in the beginning, carrying a large load of bacteria on the skin can pose a problem if the skin barrier were to become compromised in some way. i.e. through a cut or scrape,” said Ploch, a member of the AAD.

Your head would itch

Dead skin would build on the scalp. We commonly call this dandruff, which causes your head to itch. But after a year, explains Rokhsar, your head would become “extremely itchy.”

If not groomed, Jacob said hair becomes heavy with oil secreted from the scalp and the collected dirt and pollutants that stick to it. It would later, Rokhsar said, look matted and knotty.

You could break out in acne or puss bumps

As bacteria builds on your skin, said Jacob, it risks inflaming hair follicles, causing pimples. Rokhsar adds something called sebum would build up on your face, causing acne or puss bumps.

Your groin area will become a big problem

Jacob warns people to watch out for the groin area. She said you’re likely to get rashes or something called intertrigo, a yeast and inflammation combination that goes from itchy and red to burning and painful.

Scum between your toes

Speaking of the groin, the fungus that will grow between your toes could easily spread to the pelvic area.

Jacob said dead skin would build up between your toes and become crusty. It could then harbor fungus, which could be transferred to your groin while putting your feet through your pants or underwear.

It could take weeks to return to normal

Turning yourself around could take time.

Rokhsar predicts it would take about a week to get back on track. However, Ploch hints it could take longer.

Some of her patients have gone months without washing a certain part of their body. It can take weeks, she said, for the skin to return to its normal state.

P.S.  – Not everyone needs to shower every day

Dr. Elaine Larson, the associate dean for research at the Columbia School or Nursing and School of Public Health, said “frankly” showering and bathing is mostly for “aesthetics.”

Showering every day, she said, is unnecessary. Every two, three or even four days is acceptable as long as you don’t stink up the place. She said, generally, the organisms naturally found on her skin protect us from picking up harmful germs.

The exception, she said, are people with fragile immune systems, such as newborns, the elderly and people suffering from cancer.

 

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Health & Fitness

Benefits of drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning

Metrosmag,SA

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Your normal a.m. routine goes something like this: Wake up, check Instagram, make a beeline to your coffee machine. But starting your day with a glass of water instead actually has tons of good-for-you health benefits. (Don’t worry, you can still get your caffeine fix immediately after.)

1. It Can Improve Your Metabolism

Drinking water (approximately 20 ounces) can increase your metabolic rate by 30 percent, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Having a glass on an empty stomach helps put your body on a path toward more efficient digestion the moment you start your day.

2. It Can Help Alleviate Heartburn and Indigestion

When you sip a glass first thing in the morning, it cleanses any food acids from your esophagus that worked their way upward while you slept. (It also helps flush acids off your teeth.)

3. It Can Prevent Kidney Stones

Drinking water first thing is key to diluting the substances in your urine that can cause kidney stones to form. But remember: Your water intake should amount to at least a half gallon a day to really ward them off, experts say. (Adding a slice of lemon—rich in citric acid—also helps, FYI.)

4. It Can Stop a Headache in Its Tracks

Dehydration is one of the leading causes of that throbbing pain in your skull. Think of a glass of water first thing in the morning as a measure that helps prevent a headache from developing. (Just be sure you keep sipping throughout the day.)

5. It Helps Flush Toxins from the Body

It’s all about keeping your small intestine hydrated and your body’s water balance in check. Your gastric emptying rate (i.e., how much you pee) is accelerated by how much water you consume. The more you pee, the more toxins you flush out. Simple as that.

6. It Keeps Things Moving, Too

Yep, a glass of water on an empty stomach also helps regulate your digestion (ahem, your bowel movements) so you get it out of the way first thing.

7. It Can Keep You from Getting Sick

To dodge a cold or the flu, you need to keep your lymphatic system—a vital part of your immune system—hydrated. A glass of water in the morning will help ward off congestion and ensure proper (and efficient) drainage.


 

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