Excessive messaging at night can affect grades in teens

Messaging by teens during bedtime can disrupt sleep and affect grades at school while cancer risk remains high even in those who have quit smoking—studies and research tips for a healthier you


The blue light emitted from smartphone display intensifies when viewed in a dark room, and can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Photo: iStock
The blue light emitted from smartphone display intensifies when viewed in a dark room, and can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Photo: iStock

Smokers face risk of cancer even after quitting

People who have quit smoking for more than 15 years are still at risk of getting cancer, a US study has found. Researchers from Mayo Clinic Cancer Centre followed over 6,000 people who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. They found that patients who had not smoked in the last 15 to 30 years accounted for the highest percentage of patients with lung cancer. “The common assumption is that after a person has quit for so many years, the lung cancer rate would be so low that it wouldn’t be noticeable. We found that assumption to be wrong. This shows we need to pay attention to people who quit smoking more than 15 years ago,” said lead author Ping Yang. The study appeared in the journal of Thoraic Oncology.

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Messaging at night linked to poor grades at school

Teens who use messengers during bedtime are more likely to perform poorly at school, warns a study. Researchers from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School carried out surveys in three New Jersey high schools and received 1,537 responses on grades, time spent on messaging and when they were sent. It was found that students who messaged for less than 30 minutes after lights out got better grades in school compared to those who messaged longer than 30 minutes after lights out. The blue light emitted from smartphone display intensifies when viewed in a dark room. Blue light can delay melatonin release, making it more difficult to fall asleep and can affect learning and memory. The study was published in the Journal of Child Neurology.

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Risk of premature birth higher in pregnant women living in polluted areas

Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy can increase risk of premature birth by 19%, a US study claims. Researchers from University of Cincinnati pointed out that the risk was greater during the third trimester of pregnancy. Researchers examined nearly 225,000 single live births in Ohio between 2007 and 2010 and found that over 19,000 of them were preterm. It was found that 91% of those preterm births occurred in urban areas where exposure levels were the highest. The particulate measurements recorded by 27 EPA network air monitoring stations found fine particulate matter of 2.5 microns in these areas. The study was published in journal Environmental Health.

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People with better health are more likely to be intelligent

People with better overall health are more likely to have higher levels of intelligence too, claims study. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh studied data from previous genetic studies on mental and physical health factors—such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and autism. When they compared the participant’s mental test data with their genome, they found that some traits linked to disease and intelligence had common genetic influences. “The study supports an existing theory which says that those with better overall health are likely to have higher levels of intelligence,” said lead researcher Saskia Hagenaars. The findings were published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

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Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar

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