Studies are showing that people who train hard and long at running have death rates similar to couch potatoes, while those who exercise moderately or even lightly are likely to live much longer. Experts discuss how much exercise is enough and how to make the most of light exercise.
Workers are currently protected from having to take genetic tests for employers. However, a bill under consideration in the US House—HR1313—would allow corporate wellness plans to ask workers for a test, and penalize them through markedly higher health insurance premiums if they refuse. The bill also provides no protections against how or to whom the information is distributed.
Most of the attention on concussions in sports has centered on football, but a new study presented to the American Academy of Neurology shows that female athletes are more likely than men to suffer a concussion, even when football is considered. A study of 228 college athletes shows that 23% of women and 17% of men suffered concussions during their careers. Symptoms were similar except that men suffered more amnesia and women suffered more insomnia.
People who live extremely healthy lifestyles and have no family history, yet still develop cancer may wonder, “why me?” The answer? It’s a typo. A study in the journal Science finds that DNA typos are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the genetic changes that cause cancer, far more than those triggered by heredity or the environment. Researchers say overall, 66% of cancer mutations result from copying errors, 29% are due to lifestyle or the environment, and 5% are inherited.
And finally, firstborn children get all of their parents’ attention, at least for awhile, and don’t have to wear hand-me-downs. Now a study in the Journal of Human Resources finds that firstborns are also typically smarter than their younger siblings. Researchers say the results show up as early as age 1 and result from more parental engagement with the first-born child.