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The Lonely Assassin Causing Almost One In Five Heart Deaths…Depression

According to the World Health Organisation, 350 million people across the world are affected by  depression . Lead researcher, Professor Karl-Heniz Ladwig, from the Technical University of Munich, said: “There is little doubt that depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.“The question now is, what is the relationship between depression and other risk factors like tobacco smoke, high cholesterol levels, obesity or hypertension?“How big a role does each factor play?”In order to find out, researchers led by Prof Ladwig, examined data the medical records of 3,428 male patients between the ages of 45 and 74. They looked at their health over a 10-year period. And, they compared the impact of depression on the heart, with the four major risk factors – smoking, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and obesity.

Prof Ladwig said: “Our investigation shows that the risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease due to depression is almost as great as that due to elevated cholesterol levels or obesity.”Their findings, published in the journal Atherosclerosis, show only high blood pressure and smoking are more dangerous, posing a greater risk to a man’s heart health.Looking at the population as a whole, Prof Ladwig said depression accounts for roughly 15 per cent of cardiovascular deaths.“That is comparable to the other risk factors, such as hypercholesterolemia, obesity and smoking,” he said.

These factors cause 8.4 to 21.4 per cent of all cardiovascular deaths.Prof Ladwig said he and his team invested a lot of time in their study, largely due to the fact it took a decade to gather all the results.But, it paid off, he said.“Our data shows that depression has a medium effect size within the range of major, non-congenital risk factors for cardiovascular diseases,” Prof Ladwig concluded.“In high risk patients, the diagnostic investigation of co-morbid depression should be standard.“This could be registered with simple means.”The study comes as another team of scientists at the University of Vermont found people who eat red hot chilli peppers are 13 per cent less likely to die early – particularly from heart attack or stroke.It’s thought the compound capsaicin is responsible for the protective nature of the fiery food, helping prevent obesity and ensuring good blood flow to the heart.


Emotional Problems Afflicting Baffling Percentage of Young People


Half of young people have so many emotional problems they cannot focus at school, a study has found. Some 48 per cent of youngsters said that they experienced problems during their school years that prevented them from concentrating on their academic work. Of these, 46 per cent did not talk to anyone about their problems, mainly because they did not want other people to know that they were struggling.

More than half (58 per cent) did not think that asking for help would solve the problem. The latest report from the Youth Index, which gauges how students feel about a range of topics from home life to health, showed that mental health is at its lowest level since the Index was first commissioned. Half of young people said they feel the pressures of getting a job are greater than they were a year ago and more than a third said they did not feel in control of their job prospects.The eighth Index, based on a survey of 2,215 young people aged 16 to 25, revealed many feel their circumstances are trapping them.

Dame Martina Milburn, chief executive at the Prince’s Trust said: “This report paints a deeply concerning picture of a generation who feel their ability to shape their own future is slipping away from them.”It’s shocking how many feel so desperate about their situation and it is vital that we support them to develop the confidence and coping skills they need to succeed in life.The rise of living costs is also a major issue for young people, with 37 per cent of those who felt their lives were out of their control worried their living costs are going up faster than their wages and salary.


Of those surveyed, 42 per cent said traditional goals such as buying a house or getting a steady job were unrealistic and 34 per cent said they thought they will have a worse standard of living than their parents did.Almost a fifth said they “don’t believe they can change their circumstances if they want to” and 16 per cent said they “think their life will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try”.Prof Louise Arseneault, ESRC mental health leadership fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, said: “Given the profound uncertainty surrounding recent political events and the fact that young people face the worst job prospects in decades, it’s not surprising to read that one in four young people aged 16 to 25 don’t feel in control of their lives.

“Although it’s obviously alarming that these concerns play on young minds, it’s encouraging to see that young people have an interest in actively shaping their own future.”Of those who do not feel they are in control of their lives, 61 per cent said they felt this was because they lack self-confidence, and that this holds them back.A range of factors that may contribute  to young people not feeling in control of their lives have been highlighted by the Index.One in 10 young people said they did not know anyone who “really cares” about them, 45 per cent felt stressed about body image and 37 per cent said they felt stressed about coping with work or school, the report found.The Youth Index showed that many feel confused, and 44 per cent of those surveyed claimed they don’t know what to believe because they read conflicting things in the media about the economy.


showed the current political climate is troubling young people with 58 per cent saying that recent political events had made them feel anxious about their future, with 41 per cent feeling more anxious than they did a year ago.Dame Martina said: “The single most important thing we can do to empower these young people is to help them into a job, an education course or on to a training programme.”Now, more than ever, we must work together to provide the support and opportunities they need to unlock a brighter future.”The Prince’s Trust has launched a new mental health strategy to give all its staff the confidence to deal with young people’s mental health needs, supported by the Royal Mail Group, as part of its ongoing work to help young people overcome emotional well-being challenges.


To help vulnerable young people access the appropriate care at the earliest opportunity mental health support will be embedded in all the Trust’s employability and personal development programs The Trust will partner with relevant mental health services and organisations to build a suite of training resources with the ambition to locate mental health related services at Prince’s Trust Centres. During this year The Trust will support 60,000 disadvantaged young people to develop confidence and skills to succeed in life.Three in four young people supported by the Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training.David Fass, CEO of Macquarie Group EMEA, said: “We have seen first-hand how the work of organisations such as the Prince’s Trust can transform young lives.”Macquarie is committed to investing in young people and we hope the findings of this year’s Index will help inform the development of the policy and programs designed to address the issues facing young people today.”



Thou Shall Let Food Be Thy Medicine

 The magical elixir to a healthy life  taste great too according to this written by BRIAN SYUKI.  Hormonal imbalances and inflammation are common conditions in the U.S. They are often the culprit behind symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue, high blood pressure, headaches and bloating. Unfortunately they can also increase the risk of more serious diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.The good news? Eating certain foods will help balance your hormones and reduce inflammation. To help lower your risk for disease,  in addition to weight loss goes beyond “calories in, calories out.” Balancing hormones and reducing inflammation will help you reach your weight goal faster, so eat these superfoods  frequently. READ MORE



Alcohol Fools The Brain Into Thinking It Is Releasing Chemicals That Calm Us Down

After a busy day at work, many of us want to unwind with a glass of wine.Now scientists have found that reaching for the bottle is part of the body’s natural response to stress.Increased stress levels alter the brain’s chemical make-up by changing what it thinks it needs to survive.Signals in the brain released by stress – designed to protect and calm our bodies – are similar to those given out after using addictive substances such as alcohol, caffeine and drugs.The brain is therefore tricked into thinking the alcohol is helping us, encouraging the drinker to come back for more.

This change in the brain’s reward centre could lead to excessive levels of drinking, scientists say.The research was conducted by a team from the University of Pennsylvania, who found rats exposed to stress voluntarily drank more alcohol compared to those not put under the same stresses.Professor Dr John Dani, chairman of Neuroscience in the Perelman School of Medicine, said: ‘The stressed rats drank significantly more than controls, and the increase was maintained for several weeks.

‘The stress response evolved to protect us, but addictive drugs use those mechanisms and trick our brains to keep us coming back for more.’Rats were exposed to an acute stress for one hour, and then 15 hours later, researchers measured the amount of sugar water laced with ethanol that the rodents drank.The team is now talking with other researchers to study a way to normalise the firing of neurons in the brain’s reward system to help control the over-consumption of alcohol.The study was published in the journal Neuron.


A Sedentary Path To The Graveyard

  A study, stretching over almost half a century, shows that physical inactivity is second only to smoking as a risk factor for mortality.
Physical inactivity was found to be second only to smoking as a mortality risk factor.Fitness levels have long been known to play an important role in staving off a number of serious illnesses.At the same time, evidence has been steadily mounting that demonstrates the negative health implications of a sedentary lifestyle, according to this article written by Tim Newman     READMORE

The Mindfulness Prescription

 As highlighted in an article by Samantha Olson,  research is showing promising insight on how mindfulness is beginning to help patients heal  .  Over the course of 12 weeks, participants who were diagnosed with conditions Including  generalized, social, and separation anxiety disorder  underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans while they practiced mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, a wide range of therapeutic techniques that included meditation, yoga, and learning how to pay nonjudgmental attention to one’s life . READ MORE 

How To Check Your Self Before You Wreck Your Self

How To Know If You’re Stressed Out Or Suffering From Anxiety

We live in a society that applauds stress. You have too much to do? You don’t have a moment to breathe? Good, you’ve made it. Add in the violent current events that seem to be in our newsfeeds every single day, and it’s no wonder we’re all constantly worrying about one thing or another. Both stress and anxiety are normal feelings everyone experiences, Julie Pike, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, tells SELF. Feeling either one so intensely that it  READ MORE

How Checkmate Stress

It helps to think of stress as a challenge rather than a threat. “Making that mental switch, just re-framing it reduces stress and improves performance. Also, faking it until you make it really does work. “If you adopt the external manifestation of confidence and positivity, you can trick your brain into creating the mental correlates of that fake external posture, according to this article written by Olivia Goldhill… READMORE  


An Implausible Path Towards Mindfulness

Peace, love, and eff off. In a perfect world, meditation is all soft smiles, cooing voices, perfect posture, and no flinching. Heck, in a perfect world, you probably wouldn’t even need meditation. But this is the real world, people—and to deal with it, you may need something a bit more…aggressive.Seems ironic, even counterproductive, to use profanity as a source of purification, right? But check this: “A swearing type of meditation can be an absolutely wonderful release,” says global meditation expert and life coach Tom Cronin. “When you have emotional toxins in your system, you need to expend that negative energy to get them out. They won’t just go away on their own. Curse words are, by nature, vigorous, angry words. Saying or even shouting them can clear the anger.” READ MORE


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