Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Monday, 12 May 2014

Nagging can be a health hazard, study says - and Men may be more significantly affected -

Nagging can be a health hazard, study says - and Men may be more significantly affected - 

Keep nagging your man and you'll send him to an early grave, a new study claims.

Carried out by scientists at the University of Copenhagen and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the study says men may be more significantly affected because they tend to keep problems bottled up and have weaker support networks than women.

According to The Independent, scientists studied data from 9,875 men and women between the ages of 36 and 52. All were asked questions about their everyday social relationships.

Researchers analyzed the connection between recurrent arguments and general worry in relationships and mortality, and discovered that people who had reported frequent demands from a partner had a 50-100% increased mortality risk. Those who experienced regular conflicts within any type of relationship had a two to three times increased mortality risk, they claim.

“Having an argument every now and then is fine, but having it all the time seems dangerous," study researcher Rikke Lund, an associate professor of medical sociology at University of Copenhagen, said. “Worrying about people is a character of us loving them. It's just when it takes up all of your time that it's unhealthy."

About one in 10 participants in the study said their partners or children were a frequent source of worry or placed excess demands on them.


SHOCK CLAIM: Chemicals in soap, toothpaste can cause male infertility... -

SHOCK CLAIM: Chemicals in soap, toothpaste can cause male infertility... - 

Chemicals in common household products such as toothpaste, soap and plastic toys have a direct impact on human sperm which could help explain rising levels of male infertility, scientists have found.

One in three “non-toxic” chemicals used in the manufacture of everyday items significantly affected the potency of sperm cells, which may account for the high incidence of unexplained infertility in the human population, the researchers said.

It is the first time that a study has found a direct effect of the many ubiquitous man‑made chemicals in the environment on a vital function of human sperm. The findings will raise further concerns about the hidden toxicity of chemicals deemed safe by toxicology tests.

But the researchers believe they have developed a new way of testing the impact of household chemicals on human sperm which will allow regulatory authorities in Europe to decide whether to ban or impose restrictions on their use in certain products.

The study was part of wider research into so-called “endocrine‑disrupting” chemicals that for several years have been linked with declining sperm counts and widespread male infertility.

In some cases, these chemicals are thought to mimic female sex hormones – oestrogens – and in other cases act as anti-androgens, the male sex hormones, thereby interfering with the male reproductive system.

However, the scientists found that one in three common household chemicals found in products such as sun screens, detergents and plastics directly sabotaged the human sperm’s swimming behaviour and caused them to prematurely release the critical enzymes needed to penetrate and fertilise the egg cell – which would render the sperm infertile.

They also found that the concentrations needed to trigger these adverse reactions were similar to the very low levels commonly found within the human body. In addition, they showed for the first time that there was a “cocktail effect”, when a number of chemicals worked together to amplify their individual effects.

“For the first time, we have shown a direct link between exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals from industrial products and adverse effects on human sperm function,” Professor Niels Skakkebaek, of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, said.

“In my opinion, our findings are clearly of concern as some endocrine-disrupting chemicals are possibly more dangerous than previously thought. However, it remains to be seen from forthcoming clinical studies whether our findings may explain reduced couple fertility which is very common in modern societies,” Professor Skakkebaek told The Independent.

Professor Skakkebaek has pioneered the scientific investigation of rising male infertility. In 1991, he produced the first evidence showing that human sperm counts had fallen by nearly 50 per cent in less than 50 years – low sperm counts are a major cause of male infertility.

Some years later, scientists found that some common chemicals have an “oestrogenic” or “antiandrogenic” effect on the male reproductive system, which could be particularly important in the development of male foetuses in the womb during the critical first six months when the reproductive tissues form.

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