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Excessive use of smartphone may increase suicide risk in teens

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Teenagers who spend more time on smartphones and other electronic devices may be at the higher risk of developing depression and suicidal tendencies, a new study has claimed.

Researchers from the Florida State University in the US said screen time should be considered a modern-day risk factor for depression and suicide.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, showed that teens who spent more time on the devices were less happy than those who spend more time on nonscreen activities like sports and exercise.

“There is a concerning relationship between excessive screen time and risk for death by suicide, depression, suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts,” said Thomas Joiner, from the Florida State University.

“All of those mental health issues are very serious. I think it’s something parents should ponder,” he added.

The researchers discovered 48 per cent of teenagers who spent five or more hours per day on electronic devices reported a suicide-related behaviour compared to 28 per cent of adolescents who spent less than an hour using electronic devices.

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Those who focused more on nonscreen activities like sports and exercise, talking to friends face to face, doing homework and going to church were more likely to be happy.

Depression and suicide rates for teens between the ages of 13 and 18 increased dramatically since 2010, especially among girls, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study identified excessive use of electronic devices as a likely culprit.

According to CDC statistics, the suicide rate increased 31 per cent among teenagers from 2010 to 2015, while a national survey shows that the number of adolescents reporting symptoms of severe depression rose 33 per cent.

Those increases were largely driven by teenage girls.

Their suicide rate soared 65 per cent and those suffering severe depression increased 58 per cent.
The rate of suicide-related behaviours — feeling hopeless, thinking about suicide or attempting it– increased 14 per cent.

With PTI Inputs

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Health

Type 2 diabetes early in life found to increase risk of fatal heart disease by 60 pc

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Developing Type 2 diabetes early in life increases risk of death linked to heart disease by 60 percent, according to a study published in Diabetologia.

The condition was once considered a disease of the elderly but the obesity epidemic has led to a surge in cases in young adults and even children too.

Research on 744,000 sufferers over 15 years to 2011 found the average diagnosis age was 59 and there were 115,363 deaths during the period.

It was associated with a 60 percent higher relative risk of dying from heart disease or stroke. Not only that, it was linked to almost a 30 percent higher risk of death from any cause, though a lower risk of dying from cancer was seen.

“Type 2 diabetes in young people is somewhat aggressive and leads to higher mortality,” said study co-author Dianna Magliano, head of the diabetes and population health laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

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Dr Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said “Type 2 diabetes has evolved through the years into a different type of disease. It used to be a disease of the elderly.” He was not involved with the study.

“What we see nowadays with Type 2 diabetes is that it’s affecting a younger population and is more aggressive. There’s more weight, more lipotoxicity, more insulin resistance and more inflammation, and inflammation can cause premature cardiovascular disease,” Zonszein said.

Lipotoxicity is when the fats in the blood, or cholesterol, build up in places they shouldn’t, such as the liver, kidneys or heart.

The researchers also think the reason the younger people had fewer cancers is that it’s just more common for older people to have cancer.

They also suggested that because this group of younger people is being treated for Type 2 diabetes, it’s possible that when they do have cancer, it’s getting diagnosed and treated sooner, because they’re already engaged in the health care system.

With Agency Inputs

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