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Elders always see the brighter side

Older adults’ attention tilts toward positive feelings and associations, despite the time-limited future that comes with advancing age, concludes a Brandeis study in the journal Psychology and Ageing. The study suggests that the way individuals in late life process information enables them to stay emotionally balanced and feel good. In a novel application, eye-tracking technology enabled the researchers to record the duration and location of the subjects’ gaze patterns as they looked at synthetic faces portraying sadness, anger, fear and happiness, as well as a neutral image. The older participants (ages 57 to 84) preferred the happy faces and avoided the angry one. It suggests that when the future appears limited, humans focus on goals that make them happy in the present.

Passive smoking-diabetes link

Second-hand smoke can increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to a new paper published in the British Medical Journal. Researchers at Alabama’s Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center suggest that smoke toxins can affect the pancreas, which secrete insulin ' a hormone that regulates the glucose level in blood. Almost 17 per cent of non-smokers, who volunteered for the survey, were exposed to second-hand smoke. They went on to develop glucose intolerance in comparison to the 12 per cent who were never exposed smoke. It was also observed that smokers were more prone to develop glucose intolerance.

Drinking helps women

A drink or two a day may be associated with better cognitive function in women, according to the Journal of the American Heart Association. Clinton Wright, assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University, says women who had up to two drinks a day scored about 20 per cent higher on a mental exam than women who didn’t drink at all or who took less than one drink a week. He assessed alcohol intake in structured interviews, while carotid artery plaque was measured by carotid ultrasound. The results suggested that moderate drinking is protective in women do not support large vessel atherosclerosis (deposit of fat in an artery) as a mediating factor.

Cohabiting good for men

Cohabiting tends to make men healthier and women fatter, according to a review based on studies conducted by dieticians from Newcastle University. The researchers suggest that as men require more calories than women, the likelihood of women putting on weight is greater if they both eat equal portion.

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