SIRC Media Watch Archive
Panics and Scares – March 2001

Small men 'less likely to marry'. Men with low birth weight may be doomed to the single life, say researchers. Scientists from Southampton and Finland found that early growth restriction could play a part in partner selection. And that this could lead to a life of health disadvantages. BBC.

Pregnant pause. The real No. 1 killer of pregnant women and new moms is not complications of childbirth … but homicide. Murder, while still rare, occurs twice as often among those pregnant or recently pregnant, compared with other women of the same age. Researchers have no explanation. Time.

'Air-filled' trainer danger. Trainers with air pockets in their soles could be leading to sports injuries, research suggests…The report's authors suggested that the air cells may make the foot less stable, increasing the risk of twists and sprains as the player jumps and turns. BBC.

Your golf health should start at ground level. As millions of avid golfers prepare for another round of birdies and bogeys, they should be aware of potentially serious foot problems that can result from years of playing the game. The physical act of repeatedly swinging a golf club in practice and on the links can lead to jamming and deterioration of the big toe joint, a condition called hallux limitus. The movement and weight transfer that occur during the swing's follow through can cause this problem and other chronic foot ailments. PGA.

Doctors warn guns are a health risk. America's doctors are preparing to add an unexpected new element to their traditional bedside manner by delivering discreet lectures to their patients on the risk of gun ownership. The Age.

Teletubbies 'encouraging child obesity'. The Teletubbies and other obese cartoon characters are bombarding Australian children with the unhealthy message that it's fine to be fat, it has been claimed. Television characters such as the stars of the hit British show, are not helping children develop sensible eating patterns, says Dr Gavin Frost. Ananova.

Prolonged breast feeding warning. Breast feeding could increase infants' risk of developing heart disease in later life. Researchers said prolonged breast feeding was linked to the stiffening of the arteries, which is an early symptom of cardiovascular disease. BBC. But, cf Does the duration of breast feeding matter? Maybe, but not enough to counter current support for breast feeding. BMJ.

Fussing can double risk of heart attack. Are you an obsessive lover of routine, overconscientious, and think cleanliness is next to godliness? Beware. You may be nearly twice as likely to die from a heart attack as more laid back friends and colleagues. Guardian.

Laptop Batteries May Have Higher Fire Risk. Like many people, Mark Bridger, a math professor in Newton, Mass., has relied on a laptop computer to help him keep up with his work when he travels. So he took his Dell Inspiron 3800 along on a trip to his Maine vacation home last fall. But one morning, while Mr. Bridger and his wife were in the garden, they noticed that smoke had started to fill their living room, where he had left his computer, and that a bookcase in the corner had caught fire. New York Times.

Eat a tuna burger for lunch, and you just might end up sleeping with the fishes. That's the conclusion of a new study that cites this popular seafood fare as a major source of histamine poisoning -- a potentially deadly food-related illness that causes serious allergic-type symptoms in folks who don't have a seafood allergy. Yahoo!Health.

No Mir mushrooms for me. Some alien strain of slithery mould has begun to kling on to Mir’s starboard bow…What if these mutants are already in touch with our own earth fungi? Think about that, then. They’ve already got athlete’s foot and thrush working for them. It’s nightmare stuff. I won’t be scoffing at films like Alien any more. And certain things will be absent from my diet for a while. I don’t want platefuls of mushroom soup squirting through my belly button when I stand on a chair to change a light bulb. Scotsman.

Personality is key to leisure time health. Hard to believe, but some individuals appear to have no problem punching the clock for a 12-hour bout at the office, but display a variety of symptoms--headaches, muscle pain, fatigue--during a work-free weekend or vacation. Researchers now suggest that this so-called "leisure sickness" arises from the stress some people experience when they are unable to relinquish control and relax. Reuters.

Post-traumatic stress linked to tooth erosion. The emotional toll of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can leave sufferers prone to teeth-grinding and jaw-clenching, in turn making them vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease, dental researchers report. Reuters.

New homes harbour 'toxic chemicals'. Those who have just bought a brand new house may be feeling sick at the expense they have just incurred. But researchers say they could also be at risk from the presence of toxic chemicals. BBC.

And so to bed …"Beauty sleep" is all very well, but too much could lead to depression…The study also concluded that lying in bed for longer could hamper blood supply to the brain, resulting in a decrease in the supply of oxygen, which would explain the increased risk of stroke. Scotsman.

TV 'link' to Alzheimer's. Watching too much television, and doing too little physical activity could be linked to Alzheimer's disease, according to US researchers. BBC.

Study finds deodorants spark health problems. Scientists have concluded deodorants can cause health problems such as cancer…The Research Society in Ahmedabad is advising people to bathe several times a day and wipe sweaty armpits with a damp cloth instead of using sprays. Ananova.

Defining liability for a death tied to alcohol. In the ever-expanding universe of people deemed responsible for alcohol-related accidents – from drunk drivers to bartenders to people who throw a keg party – add another candidate: the friend on the next bar stool. Boston Globe.