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Losing smartphone is as stressful as a terrorist attack: Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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LONDON  — Losing a smartphone is as stressful as a terrorist attack, a new study by the Physiological Society, which got men and women across the country to rank life events on a scale of stressfulness, reveals.

The nationwide survey in the United Kingdom was carried out by The Physiological Society, in partnership with the polling firm YouGov, and 2,000 British adults were surveyed.

The researchers asked the participants how stressed they would feel about a range of events, with the death of a loved one and serious illness, quite expectedly, receiving the highest marks for stress levels.

Based on the survey of 2,000 people, the findings showed that life-changing events such as losing a partner were ranked highest for stress — but that everyday events also ranked surprisingly high, such as, moving to a bigger house, going on holiday, and planning a wedding.

Then comes divorce, identity theft, financial problems, and even some events that would seem to be happy ones, but can still cause a lot of stress: starting a new job and giving birth to one’s first child.

There were, however, some surprising findings. The threat of a terrorist attack received a score of 5.84 – only slightly more stressful than losing a smartphone (5.79). Naturally, younger people seemed to be more worried about going without their smartphones.

Researchers believe this is the result of living in 2017, with modern life adding “some stresses that would not have been imagined 50 years ago such as the pervasiveness of social media and smartphones meaning we are connected 24/7.”

Participants were also asked to list some stressful events that they believe the survey had missed, and the most frequent responses were: car breakdowns, waiting in traffic, busy motorways, road rage, and riding with a careless driver.

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Health

Drinking 3 cups of coffee or tea daily may keep stroke risk at bay

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — There have been several conflicting studies on the health benefits of drinking coffee and tea and their various varieties. But drinking up to three cups of coffee or tea in a day is safe because it reduces irregular heartbeat and stroke risk, according to a new study published in the journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.

Coffee has previously been believed to worsen abnormal heart rhythms, as doctors generally discourage patients suffering from the condition. However, the results of this particular study say that a daily consumption of upto 300 mg of caffeine may be safe for arrhythmic patients.

This is because the caffeine acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and blocks the effect of adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical which causes Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).

A single cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine. It acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and works to block the effects of adenosine — a chemical that causes AFib.

AFib is the most common heart rhythm disorder, causes the heart to beat rapidly and skip beats, and if left untreated, can cause strokes.

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“There is a public perception, often based on anecdotal experience, that caffeine is a common acute trigger for heart rhythm problems,” said lead author Peter Kistler, Director at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.

But, “caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea have long-term anti-arrhythmic properties mediated by antioxidant effects and antagonism of adenosine,” he added.

A meta-analysis of 228,465 participants showed that AFib frequency decreasing by 6 per cent in regular coffee drinkers, and an analysis of 115,993 patients showed a 13 per cent reduced risk.

Another study of 103 post-heart attack patients who received an average of 353 mg of caffeine a day showed improvement in heart rate and no significant arrhythmias — or abnormal heart rhythms, that cause the heart to beat too fast, slow or unevenly.

However, in two studies, where patients drank at least 10 cups and nine cups of coffee per day, showed an increased risk for ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) – a condition in which the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) beat very quickly.

On the other hand, patients with pre-existing heart conditions who consumed two or more energy drinks — that contains concentrated caffeine — per day reported palpitations within 24 hours.

With Agency Inputs

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