Parents' watch crucial for kids' future
If you want to help keep your teenagers out of trouble, keep a close eye on them. But not too close, or you may be asking for problems. The advice is from researchers who surveyed more than 1,300 students over four years as they went from middle school through high school. At one point, parents were also surveyed. According to a study by psychologists at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, published in Developmental Psychology, children with the most distant relationships with their parents were most likely to use drugs, steal, vandalise property and have sex. But those who said in seventh grade that they were not given enough independence and responsibility and that their parents were too intrusive also tended to have problems later.
Mercury and autism linked
Mercury released from coal-fired power plants contributes to an increase in the number of cases of autism, a Texas researcher said last week. A study to be published in the journal Health and Place has found that autism, a developmental disorder marked by communication and social interaction problems, increased in Texas counties as mercury emissions rose, said Claudia Miller, a family and community medicine professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. The finding showed that for every thousand pounds of environmentally released mercury, the researchers saw a 17 per cent increase in autism rates.
Blood count index for women
A simple look at white blood cell counts in women ages 50 to 79 may help doctors tell if they are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, even if they have no symptoms, concludes a study by researchers at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, US. In the study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers found that in postmenopausal women, an elevated white blood cell count, a sign of inflammation, appeared to be linked with greater incidence of coronary heart disease death and heart attacks. They also found that women with the highest counts had twice the risk of dying from heart disease as against women with the lowest counts. They also had a 40 per cent higher risk of heart attack and a 46 per cent higher risk for stroke.
More stressful than marriage
Looking after a software firm meant to keep computer viruses at bay must be one of the most stressful jobs. According to a research by Websense, a security firm in Europe, the mental anxiety of protecting computer networks from malicious attacks is even worse than getting married, moving house or separating from a partner.