Even one alcoholic drink a day can increase risk of stroke, study says
A new study has shown that even light-to-moderate consumption of alcoholic drink increases blood pressure and the chances of having a stroke.
Published in the Lancet medical journal, the study contradicts previous findings that suggest moderate drinking could prevent health diseases.
Researchers from Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and the University of Oxford followed the effects of alcohol on stroke in 500,000 Chinese people for 10 years.
The researchers said Chinese formed the study group because of their distinct gene combination which reduces their alcohol tolerance level. This genetic variant can make consuming alcoholic drink an unpleasant experience and lead to flushing.
The scientists were able to study the impact of alcohol on people drawn from health, lifestyle and genetic data.
The study found that some didn’t drink because of their genetic mutation, while female-participants drank little despite their genetic variance.
The men on average drank four drinks a day and were at a far higher risk of suffering high blood pressure and strokes.
At the end, the study revealed that one glass of alcoholic drink a day increased stroke risk by 10 per cent to 15 per cent and that four drinks a day increased the risk of having a stroke by 35 per cent.
It means no matter the type of alcoholic drink you reach for, don’t expect it to protect you from stroke or other disease.
For the purposes of the study, one drink was a small glass of wine, a bottle of beer, or a single measure of spirits.
Zhengming Chen, co-author of the study, said in a press release that “there are no protective effects of moderate alcohol intake against stroke. Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the chances of having a stroke.”
Although many leading scientists agreed with the study’s findings, Stephen Burgees, a researcher at the University of Cambridge noted the study was limited to Chinese and focused on spirits, beer and not wine.
Burgees further agreed with the study’s findings “that risk of stroke increases even with moderate light alcohol consumption.”
Bald young men at higher risk of heart disease, study claims
Researchers say men who go bald or have grey hairs at a young age are more likely to have heart disease.
According to the study, both male-pattern baldness and premature greying pose a stronger risk factor for heart disease than obesity.
Sachin Patil, researcher of the UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre in India, said: “The incidence of coronary artery disease in young men is increasing but cannot be explained by traditional risk factors.
“Premature greying and androgenic alopecia – or male-pattern baldness – correlate well with vascular age irrespective of chronological age and are plausible risk factors for coronary artery disease.”
To arrive at the findings, an analysis was carried out on 790 men with coronary artery disease under the age of 40, and 1,270 age-matched healthy men.
The participants went through electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiography, blood tests, and coronary angiogram, after which they were scored based on levels of male-pattern baldness and grey hair.
Researchers found that young men with coronary artery disease were significantly more likely to be prematurely grey or balding than the healthy individuals.
Also, male-pattern baldness was associated with six times greater risk of coronary artery disease while premature greying was associated with a higher risk, five times more.
Seven tips to improve ear health
Most people often prioritize the wellness of their skin, eyes, and other organs, while overlooking one of the most vital parts of the body; the ears. Meanwhile, paying attention to the health of your ear is crucial for our overall well-being.
According to the World Health Organization, about 360 million people suffer from some degree of hearing impairment ( 328 million adults and 32 million children). With prevalence to sub Saharan Africa and 8.5 million Nigerians.
However, taking the right steps henceforth can help reduce your risk of hearing loss.
Without further ado, here are the essential dos and don’ts of maintaining good ear health.
- Practice safe listening habits
In this age, most people now use headphones or earbuds to distract themselves from reality.
However, while using these buds, make sure to keep the volume at a moderate level to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
Listening to loud music or volume can damage your hearing, especially when using earbuds that sit directly next to your eardrum.
So reducing the volume and limiting prolonged usage can improve your ear health.
- Avoid inserting objects into the ear canal
Never insert cotton buds, hairpins, or any other objects into your ear canal.
When you want to clean your ears be extra conscious, careful, and avoid using sharp or pointed objects. As these objects may injure the ear canal or eardrum and can even push wax deeper, irritate the ear canal, or cause injury.
Also using cotton buds is a common but inadvisable way to remove earwax. Earwax is normal and self-cleans the ear, preventing dust and particles from getting in.
So inserting buds or tissues in the ear could cause serious harm to the ear drum and canal with the potential for temporary or even permanent damage.
- Keep the ear dry
It is also important to always keep the ear dry to prevent ear infections called otitis media.
Otitis media is an outer ear infection that is caused when there is water residue inside the ear canal, so it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
To avoid this, always dry your ears thoroughly after bathing or swimming, as excess moisture can cause bacterial build-up, compromising the ear canal.
If you sense water residue, drain your ear by tilting your head to one side.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to loud noises
Loud noises that emanate from power tools, concerts, construction sites, and firearms can all gradually lead to hearing loss, especially when you’re exposed to them on a regular basis.
Be sure to always use ear protection such as earplugs and earmuffs if you are constantly going to be in a noisy environment. As exposure to these noises can lead to noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus.
Also, be mindful of the noise levels in your environment and take necessary precautions.
- Avoid ignoring any ear pain or discomfort
Whenever you experience ear pain, fullness of the ear, drainage, or signs of infection; don’t hesitate to seek medical attention promptly.
Treatment for ear problems should not be delayed as the pain won’t improve without the right treatment.
The longer you leave an ear problem, the longer it may take to treat it. So seek professional help and avoid self-medication.
- Give your ears a break
You read right, just like the other part of the body, the ears also need breaks to function well.
This is mostly related to people who are constantly exposed to loud noise from environmental sources, concerts, and so on.
The noises from these sources have the potential to cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
So when in a very loud environment, take frequent breaks by stepping outside to separate yourself from the noise, even if it is just for five minutes.
After the event, try to spend time in a quiet environment for at least one day to allow your ears to rest and recover.
Research has found that you need about 16-48 hours of quiet rest to recover from the previous noise.
- Visit the doctors for regular ear check-ups
Just like every other part of your body, your ears also need a periodic check-ups by professionals.
Hearing screening and exams are important as they help quickly detect hearing loss and promote instant treatment.
You should get recommendations and advice from your medical professional as hearing tests are done according to the person’s risk and environment.
Take care of your ears. Always take preventative measures to stay ahead of hearing loss.
5 unhealthy and deadly snacks almost all Nigerians enjoy
Do you know just how deadly these roadside meals are?
We all love delicious roadside snacks, but they might not be the best thing for us.
Every Nigerian loves this roadside staple but do they know quite unhealthy and even deadly? Here are five snacks Nigerians need to stay away from.
Almost everyone loves shawarma. The marinated strips cut off from a revolving cone of meat already have fat running through them and will receive additional fat during the cooking process.
The meat has been extensively seasoned, which raises the sodium content. The health consequences of eating chicken, sausages and cream make it a high-calorie meal, and cabbage doesn’t miraculously make shawarma healthy.
Red meat increases the risk of dying from many health conditions.
According to research, eating red meat like suya also increases the risk of dying from diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Additionally, eating beef, lamb, and pork makes you more vulnerable to infections, kidney, liver, and lung illnesses.
There is evidence that eating roasted foods like boli can increase your risk of developing certain cancers like colon and pancreatic cancer.
According to studies, the charred or blackened parts of boli include chemicals like acrylamide, which may increase the risk of developing cancer by altering DNA.
Boli is usually eaten with oily stew or sauce which may cause hyperlipidemia (abnormally high levels of fat or cholesterol) and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries due to the deposition of fats).
The high sodium content in this dried meat similar to beef jerky can lead to kidney failure and high blood pressure.
The environment where the Kilishi is prepared is also important. Sometimes, the meat surface gets contaminated during slaughtering, dressing and cutting.
During cutting and drying, it can be contaminated with non-pathogenic bacteria that cause spoilage like Coliforms and Escherichia coli and pathogenic microorganisms like Escherichia coli, and Salmonella and this causes food poisoning.
5. White bread
White bread can cause a blood sugar surge due to its high glycemic index. White bread is particularly harmful to diabetics since a sudden change in blood sugar level can be deadly. Plus, its high calories make it a no-no if you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.
She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others
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