9 percent of people with access to guns have anger issues
About 1 out of 10 adults in the U.S. with access to firearms also have a history of anger issues, according to a new study conducted in response to mass shootings being associated with mental illness. Additionally, 1.5 percent of anger-prone adults were found to carry firearms in public.
According to researchers from Duke, Harvard and Columbia universities, angry people with access to firearms are typically young or middle-aged men who lose their temper with outbursts of breaking things and getting into fights. These men also tend to be married and live outside of urban areas.
To conduct the study, researchers examined data from 5,563 interviews conducted for the National Comorbidity Study Replication, a nationally representative survey of mental disorders in the US in the early 2000s.
The findings, which are published in Behavioral Sciences and the Law, found little association between serous mental illness, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and anger-prone participants with access to guns. The study did however find that angry people with gun access were at an increased risk of such conditions as PTSD and anxiety.
These findings suggest that current laws aren’t necessarily keeping guns from higher-risk people and that gun-buying restrictions might be more effective if they assessed a person’s previous violent offenses and past convictions of impaired driving, rather than focusing on mental health treatment history alone.
Short people at higher risk of heart disease
Short people may be at an increased risk of coronary artery disease because of certain genetic markers, according to a new study from the University of Leicester in the U.K.
Researchers looked at data from more than 65,000 people with coronary artery disease and 128,000 people without the disease. Coronary artery disease is a form of heart disease where plaque buildup in the arteries blocks the supply of blood to the heart.
The researchers then analyzed 180 genetic markers that affect a person’s height to see if there was any connection to coronary artery disease.
Their findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that, on average, for every 2.5-inch increase in height, the risk of coronary artery disease decreased by 13.5 percent. This means that for someone who is 5 feet tall, the risk of coronary artery disease would be about 32 percent higher than someone who is 5 feet 6 inches.
Additionally, the study found a link between height-increasing genetic markers and a decreased risk for coronary artery disease. People with the most height-increasing genetics were 26 percent less likely to have coronary heart disease than those with the least height-increasing genetic markers. Other findings linked the height genetic markers to a person’s cholesterol and fat levels, which are known contributors of heart disease, and suggest that the genetic link is partially a result of higher cholesterol and fat levels in shorter people.
The researchers pointed out that while this data is the first to show an association between increased height genetics and lower coronary heart disease, the link was only found in men and not women. But the fact that there were fewer women in the study could have affected its ability to detect the significance in women.
While the study found an association between height genes and heart disease, the findings weren’t a cause-and-effect relationship, so height genetics do not necessarily cause heart disease. Still, given the results. the researchers recommended that shorter people should consider beneficial lifestyle changes, such as eating a more plant-based diet, exercising regularly and avoiding smoking.
Stroke drug may fight Alzheimer's
A drug used to treat ischemic stroke in some Asian countries has shown promise in treating the degenerative effects of Alzheimer’s disease in mice, according to findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The drug, Edaravone, was able to improve learning and memory functions in mice with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a team of researchers in Australia and China. Their analysis showed that the drug seemed to be able to suppress the production of amyloid beta plaque–a major factor in the degeneration of nerve cells. It also inhibited the process by which tangles accumulate in brain cells and disrupt brain function.
The researchers emphasized, though, that because the drug’s impact on Alzheimer’s in humans has not yet been tested in clinical trials, people should not attempt to use it as a treatment of Alzheimer’s.
The Twinkie is born: April 6,1930
A confection with a somewhat dubious reputation is born near Chicago when a plant manager at the Continental Baking Company creates new kind of treat he calls a “Twinkie.”
Jimmy Dewar had become frustrated that he could use the baking pans for sponge cakes only during the summer when strawberries are fresh. So he took sponge cakes and injected them with banana crème. Dewar called his invention a “Twinkie,” inspired by a billboard near the plant advertising “Twinkle Toe” shoes. The company put two Twinkies in one package and sells it for a nickel.
The filling was switched to vanilla during World War II when it was hard for the company to get bananas. Also, because the original ingredients of eggs, milk and butter allowed Twinkies to stay fresh for only a few days, they were replaced with less natural ones. That change, along with airtight packaging, gave Twinkies a shelf life that became legendary.
That longevity, along with the exposure the brand received as a sponsor of the popular “Howdy Doody Show” in the 1950s, made Twinkies a favorite desert packed in the school lunch boxes of Baby Boomers. And then, during the height of the Cold War between the U.S, and the Soviet Union, they were celebrated as food that could be stored forever in fallout shelters. More recently, in 1999, President Bill Clinton placed a package of Twinkies inside a millennium time capsule, describing it as an “object of enduring American symbolism.”
In truth, the life of a Twinkie, which stays fresh longer because it contains no dairy products, was estimated to be about 25 day. Also, it developed a reputation as the type of junk food that was helping Americans gain too much weight. Again, though, that reputation isn’t quite merited. Each Twinkie has about 150 calories, which isn’t that bad as far as snacks go. (You could eat two and still consume fewer calories than in a chocolate donut at Dunkin Donuts.) A Twinkie does, however, contain 4.5 grams of fat, including 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 19 grams of sugar and no fiber.
So Twinkies aren’t recommended as a daily treat, although, according to legend, their inventor, Jimmy Dewar, ate 40,000 of them during his lifetime. He lived to be 88 before dying in 1985.
Over the years, chefs have done some exotic things with the iconic confection. It’s been deep-fried, converted into wedding cakes and served with sushi and tiramisu.
But the basic Twinkie endures, even surviving the bankruptcy of its parent company, Hostess Brands, in 2012. Under new ownership, Twinkies returned to grocery store shelves a few years ago, although they had been changed a bit. Their shelf life is now 45 days, about three weeks longer than before.
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