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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Science Scene

Risk of heart disease strongly linked to waist size

 

Researchers have found more evidence that a larger waist size alone, even in those of normal weight, raises the risk for heart disease significantly.

The strong link was uncovered by analyzing data from over 80,360 Swedish men and women between the ages of 45 and 85 who were enrolled in two long-term health studies over a period of seven years ending in 2004. Over the course of the studies, over 1,100 of the participants were either hospitalized or died from heart disease.

Waist size, waist-to-hip ratio, body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio were all taken into account. All mentioned measures were associated with heart disease but waist circumference alone predicted heart disease regardless of other measures.

Researchers found that an increase of waist size by four inches was associated with an approximate 15 percent increase in risk for heart disease in both normal weight and obese people.

The study appeared in the Apr. 7 online edition of Circulation: Heart Failure.

(Source: nytimes.com)

 

Nevada considers reducing smoking bans

 

When it comes to restrictions on smoking, the state of Nevada may decide to go against the grain.

The Nevada Senate voted 16 to 5 on Friday to advance a measure to lessen a statewide smoking ban, making the state the first in the nation to potentially ease restrictions they’ve placed on public cigarette use.

The new bill would modify 2007s Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act that bans smoking in any indoor space where minors may be present or where food is served. The new bill, which would allow taverns that offer food to allow smoking if they prohibit persons under 21 from entry, will move to the Nevada State Assembly.

Nevada tavern owners claim gambling revenue has fallen considerably since the ban on smoking. Patrons instead gamble at local casinos, which were excluded from the ban.

Health advocates dismiss the link between lost business and smoking bans and say people get used to the prohibitions over time.

Gambling revenues in general have severely gone down all over Nevada, down 18.1 percent this February versus February 2008, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

 

(Source: nytimes.com)

 

ANNA OPALKA compiles Science Scene and can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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