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Are Men & Women Created Equal In Studies?

Knight Pierce Hirst -- According to health studies, men and women are not created equal when it comes to various factors like injury and obesity.

Men's and women's brains are different. According to the author of The Male Brain, men's dorsal premammillary nucleus is bigger, making them more territorial. Their amygdala is bigger too, making them more alert to threats. Men's sexual pursuit area of the brain is 2.5 times bigger than women's. Add to that the 200%-250% testosterone increase from pre-adolescence and you get "man trance" -- that glazed-eye look men have when looking at attractive women. Nevertheless, male brains fall in love as hard and fast as female brains -- stopping their brain waves from waving at other women.

Obese men have a higher risk of injury in head-on car accidents. In a study published in the online journal Public Library of Science Medicine, fat crash dummies were used in a crash simulator; and the findings confirmed data from the National Automotive Sampling System on approximately 11,000 head-on crashes. Obese male drivers had a higher risk of serious injury and of injuries to the head, face, chest and spine. Overweight people had a lower risk of injury and women had more injuries to the abdominal area. In a perfect world this information would help drive down obesity.

Trans fats increase women's risk of sudden cardiac death. After analyzing data from more than 86,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study, Harvard researchers found that women with heart disease whose daily calories exceeded 2.5% trans fats were 3 times more likely to die from sudden cardiac death than women whose daily calories didn't exceed 1% trans fats. Trans fats are in processed foods and fried foods. They raise LDL, the bad cholesterol and lower HDL, the good cholesterol. They also increase heart disease risk, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Trans fats are put in food to extend shelf life -- not human life.

However, there is good news for women. Walking reduces stroke risk. A study published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke involved approximately 39,000 female health workers in the Women's Health Study. For 12 years the women, age 45 or older, were periodically asked about their physical activity. After taking into account age, aspirin use, smoking and other variables, women who walked for 2 hours a week -- at any pace -- had a 30% lower stroke risk. No links between more vigorous activities and reduced stroke risk were found, but another study is needed for men -- maybe a "walkmen" study.

Knight Pierce Hirst takes a second look at what makes life interesting and it takes only seconds at http://knightwatch.typepad.com.

© 2010 Knight Pierce Hirst

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