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Men at more risk for neurodevelopment disorder

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Sex plays a major role in many neurological and psychiatric disorders like hypertension, diabetes and arthritis, a recent study has revealed.

According to findings appeared in the Journal of Nature Communications, depression and anxiety affect females more, while neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, early onset schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity, affect more males.

Males are also more sensitive to prenatal insults, such as gestational stress, maternal infection and drug exposure.

Neurodevelopmental disorders is a disorder of brain function that affects emotion, learning ability, self-control and memory and that unfolds as an individual develops and grows.

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To understand the molecular underpinnings of this disparity, the researchers at the University of Maryland focused on a molecule that plays a key role in placental health.

The researchers focused on the links between stress and subsequent risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and schizophrenia.

Males are also more sensitive to prenatal insults, such as gestational stress, maternal infection and drug exposure.

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Regular physical activity may reduce heart attack risk even in highly polluted areas

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Regular physical activity may reduce the risk of heart attack, even in areas with moderate-to-high levels of traffic pollution, a study has claimed.

Higher levels of pollution were associated with more heart attacks, however, the risk was lower among those who were physically active, the researchers found in the study published in the Journal of the American Heart.

“While exercise is known to reduce cardiovascular disease risk; pollution can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease,” said lead author Nadine Kubesch from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

“Currently there is little data on whether poor air quality cancels out the protective benefits of physical activity in preventing heart attacks,” Kubesch added.

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Researchers in Denmark, Germany and Spain evaluated outdoor physical activity levels (sports, cycling, walking and gardening) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2 pollutant generated by traffic) exposure in 51,868 adults, aged 50-65.

Over a 17.7-year period, there were 2,936 first heart attacks and 324 recurrent heart attacks.

Moderate cycling for four or more hours per week cut risk for recurrent heart attack by 31 per cent; and there was a 58 per cent reduction when all four types of physical activity (together totalling four hours per week or more) were combined, regardless of air quality.

Those who participated in sports had a 15 per cent lower rate of initial heart attacks and there was a 9 per cent risk reduction associated with cycling, regardless of air quality, the researchers said.

Compared to participants with low residential NO2 exposure, those in higher risk areas had a 17 per cent increase risk in first heart attack and 39 per cent for recurrent heart attack, the researchers noted.

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