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Early sex puts adolescents at high infection risk

Gorkha Post

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SEOUL — Teenagers who experience their first sex at an early age run a more serious danger of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which includes diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HIV or other infection, warns a study.

Sexually transmitted infections are major causes of medical and psychological problems globally.

For the study, the researchers from Yonsei University in Seoul used data from a Korean national survey of youth risk behaviors that is conducted annually by the Korean Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Responses of 22,381 adolescents with sexual intercourse experience were included for the analysis.

Approximately 7.4 percent of boys and 7.5 percent of girls reported having STI. The researchers found that for both boys and girls, the chance of experiencing STIs increased as the age of first sexual intercourse decreased.

“This study shows that earlier initiation of sexual intercourse increases the odds of experiencing STIs,” the researchers said.

“Also as the age gap gets shorter, the odds of experiencing STIs increase. Our study suggests that it is important to consider the time period of first sexual intercourse and to reinforce a monitoring system along with the development of other preventive strategies,” the study said.

Compared to teens who had first intercourse in 12th grade, those whose first experience was in seventh grade were three times more likely to have had an STI, youthhealthmag.com reported.

The findings appeared in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Health

Regular bedtime beneficial for heart and metabolic health among older adults

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But a new study on sleep patterns has suggested that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults too.

Researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in a study of 1,978 older adults, have found that people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.

The study  was published Sept 21 in the journal Scientific Reports.

“From our study, we can’t conclude that sleep irregularity results in health risks, or whether health conditions affect sleep,” said study’s lead author Jessica Lunsford-Avery.

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“Perhaps all of these things are impacting each other.”

African-Americans had the most irregular sleep patterns compared to participants who were white, Chinese-American or Hispanic, the data showed.

Still, the data suggest tracking sleep regularity could help identify people at risk of disease, and where health disparities may impact specific groups.

Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.

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