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Mind + Body, April 2011

Published on: March 28, 2011

Female cancer survivorsStaying alive
The ranks of cancer survivors in the U.S. are growing fast, nearly quadrupling since 1971, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are more than 11.7 million cancer survivors alive today. Some reasons for this include earlier detection, better diagnostic methods and treatments, and better follow-up. The most common cancers among survivors are breast, prostate and colorectal; women are more likely to be cancer survivors because breast and cervical cancer usually affect younger women, and can be detected and treated early. Nearly 2.6 million women were breast cancer survivors as of January 2007, the last year of the report

Women suffering from miscarriage depressionSad news
There’s new evidence that the emotional consequences of miscarriage may persist for years. A new study in the British Journal of Psychiatry finds that women who have a miscarriage may suffer from depression and anxiety for almost three years after the birth of a healthy baby. Possible reasons for this include biological triggers and lack of sufficient emotional support. Depression and anxiety can be bad news for moms and newborns.

Women and sleep statisticsPillow talk
More than one-third of adults in the U.S. get fewer than seven hours of sleep a night, according to a new report from the CDC. That’s causing problems at work: About 38 percent of people said they’d dozed off during the day at least once in the past month. What’s worse, 5 percent said they’d nodded off while driving. Snagging fewer than seven hours of z’s hurts your concentration and memory, too. Sleep isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity!

Pear-shaped and apple-shaped womenPear down
Are you an apple or a pear? Used to be, people with fat around the middle — so-called “apple” shapes — were considered at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. But no more! A big new study finds that belly fat (also called “central obesity”) is no worse for you than fat on the hips and buttocks (hello, “pears”!). University of Cambridge researchers found that both kinds of obesity create risk for cardiovascular disease.

Women and coffee statisticsGreat perk!
Coffee lovers, here’s some good news: A major new study found that women who drink more than one cup of coffee per day have up to a 25 percent lower risk of stroke than do those who drink less. Stroke is the third-most-common cause of death in the U.S. (behind cancer and heart disease. Coffee contains antioxidants and has been shown to boost vision and heart health, but scientists aren’t sure yet why it seems to protect against strokes.

Women getting stressed from textsTotal phoney
If you’re a working mom, perhaps you can relate: A new study finds that women get really stressed when they get phone calls, email or texts from work during their off hours. Men, on the other hand, don’t get as worried when they receive such calls. Why do women stress? Not because the contact actually interferes with family time, according to University of Toronto researchers, but because they feel guilty that it might! The study’s authors say men and women have different expectations regarding the boundaries separating work and family life — and that has emotional consequences.

April’s List
It’s all Greek to me!
Ever try the Mediterranean diet? You might want to, once you read this: A new study finds that the diet is not only healthy for the heart, but it reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome, which boosts the risks of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The diet can help with blood pressure and cholesterol, too. The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Greek dietEat like a Greek! Here’s how:
1. Eat primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

2. Replace butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil and canola oil.

3. Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.

4. Limit red meat to no more than a few times a month.

5. Eat fish and poultry at least twice a week.

6. Choose low-fat dairy.

7. Avoid fast and processed foods.

8. Drink red wine in moderation.

9. Get plenty of exercise.

The diet also notes the importance of eating meals slowly with family and friends. Read more about the diet by visiting

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