Schneck Medical Center

SUM 2015

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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5 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m S U M M E R 2 015 S P I R I T O F W O M E N SHUTTERSTOCK H E A L T H C E N T R A L N E W S Silence is golden Handy news for singles If you're checking a man's hand for the absence of a wedding band, look at the relative length of his fingers as well: Men with short index fingers and long ring fingers are on average nicer to women, according to a study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. These characteristics stem from the hormones a man was exposed to in his mother's womb. Fortunately, most men's index fingers are generally shorter than their ring fingers, say the researchers, who add that the difference in finger length is less pronounced in women. • Sleep habits and strokes Sleep deprivation is a concern for many women, but excessive sleep may also lead to health issues, reports the journal Neurology. Older adults who sleep for more than eight hours a night are more likely to have a stroke than their counterparts who sleep for six to eight hours, which is considered an average amount of sleep. In addition, people who shifted over time from sleeping less than six hours to more than eight hours a night were nearly four times as likely to have a stroke as people who consistently slept an average amount. Researchers followed more than 9,500 adults with an average age of 62 for nine and a half years, and found that those who were "long sleepers" had a higher percentage of strokes during the study period. However, the researchers haven't yet determined whether long sleep is a cause or an early marker of poor health. • A lthough music can be relaxing, it may cloud your memory when you're doing tasks as you get older, suggests a study from the Georgia Institute of Technology. College-age participants and older adults looked at a series of faces and names and determined whether the person "looked like" the assigned name. The faces were shown again a few minutes later, and participants had to decide whether the name and face combinations were the same as before. Sometimes the participants did their matching in silence, and other times they listened to music. The younger volunteers had no problem with music playing in the background. However, older adults remembered 10 percent fewer names with music than when they tried to recall the names in silence, according to the research published in The Gerontologist. If you count yourself as an older adult, you may want to turn off the tunes next time you take on a task like doing the family finances. • Tooth talk Concerned about periodontal disease? Medical experts have a new system that may allow for earlier detection by analyzing the genetic makeup of the affected tissue, according to recent findings in the Journal of Dental Research. The current practice of classifying periodontal disease as either chronic or aggressive based on symptoms, such as gum swelling and bone loss, could mean that people with severe symptoms receive more treatment while those with less severe symptoms don't get enough treatment. But the new technique would let your dentist determine how to manage your individual periodontal problems without having to wait for severe symptoms to develop. To help protect your teeth and gums from problems like periodontal disease, a water flossing device can clean and floss deeper than a toothbrush and traditional string floss, removing hard-to-reach bacteria, according to Water Pik Inc. The company's Aquarius Designer Series Waterpik Water Flossers come in a choice of four fun colors: Radiant Pink and new Vibrant Teal, Brilliant Black, and Pearly White, with 10 pressure settings for personalized control, seven flossing tips and a storage case. The water flossing devices also feature a new control pulse modulation technology that provides better plaque removal and enhanced gum stimulation. •

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