Clenbuterol and the Post Cycle Therapy

Clenbuterol forms an essential part of the Post Cycle Therapy. The sane is used for the reason of bulking cycle and the solution can best help the body builders for the retention of the lean muscle gaining. The agent can well act in cutting down the stored amount of fat in the body. Clen is an essential part of the steroid bulking cycle and it is the popular anabolic solution you can use for a quick increase in the amount of the lean muscle mass. This is the medicine to help you have a gain in strength and now you can enjoy a speedy recovery in the shortest time span.

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Clen is Always the Right Choice

It is time now that you consider the Clenbuterol PCT dosage. The apt dosage will help you retain the right mass and strength. You are in need of Clen PCT for the normal restoration of the hormonal balance. This one even acts in shaping the muscles appositely. This is the right solution to exhibit the sort of muscle sparing for the reason of anti-catabolic effects. The solution can help the bodybuilders and burn down the extra amount of fat and at the same it can cause the retention of the hard earned muscles.

Clen for Post Cycle Therapy

The supplement is considered suitable for the reason of post cycle therapy regimen. This is the best item to be used at the time of Dianabol or Deca-Durabolin PCT. It comes with the rest of the recovery elements such as Clomid, Nolvadex, Arimidex, Cytomel (T3) and Human Growth Hormone (Somatropin). The usage of Clen is even seen after the PCT and you can continue with the medicine for several weeks to help in the process of cutting down extra fat portions and also for the reason of apt muscle preservation. One can easily buy Clenbuterol online. For this, you just need to approach the right online vendor.

Using Clen with Reason

There are reasons for which a bodybuilder makes use of Clenat the time of post cycle therapy and this is done by following the bulking stack. One can make use of the supplement for the reason of PCT. This will help in providing proper protection to the muscles and in the way things are made permanent and right. When having Clen you are in need to have an intake of the right amount of calorie and this is made to happen after the cycle without the probable gain of the body fat.

Right Clen Dosage to Consider

It is vital that you know about the opposite Clenbuterol PCT dosage. There is the version of the Clenbuterol HCL and consumption of the same can help you become the better and energetic athlete on the field. The supplement helps bin improving the rate of athletic performance and the intake of the solution can help you have better stamina. Now, you can feel the intensity at the time of working out. The role of Clen is exactly like PCT and the supplement can help in exhibiting the amount of muscle sparing effects.

Advances in AI and ML are reshaping healthcare

The healthcare technology sector has given rise to some of the most innovative startups in the world, which are poised to help people live longer, better lives. The innovations have primarily been driven by the advent of software and mobility, allowing the health sector to digitize many of the pen and paper-based operations and processes that currently slow down service delivery.

More recently, we’re seeing software become far more intelligent and independent. These new capabilities — studied under the banner of artificial intelligence and machine learning — are accelerating the pace of innovation in healthcare. Thus far, the applications of AI and ML in healthcare have enabled the industry to take on some of its biggest challenges in these areas:

  • Personal genetics
  • Drug discovery
  • Disease identification and management

Upon close evaluation of the opportunities that exist within each area, it becomes obvious that the stakes are high. As such, those that are first to market with a sustainable product differentiation and value-add will benefit tremendously.

Ushering in a new era of personal genetics

The most significant application of AI and ML in genetics is understanding how DNA impacts life. Although the last several years saw the complete sequencing of the human genome and a mastery of the ability to read and edit it, we still don’t know what most of the genome is actually telling us. Genes are constantly acting out of place in combination with other variables such as food, environment and body types.

If we are to understand what influences life and biology, we must first understand the language that is DNA. This is where ML algorithms come in and the advent of systems such as Google’s Deep Mind and IBM’s Watson. Now, more than ever, it has become possible to digest immense amounts of data (e.g. patient records, clinical notes, diagnostic images, treatment plans) and perform pattern recognition in a short period of time — which otherwise would have taken a lifetime to complete.

Businesses such as Deep Genomics are making meaningful progress in this realm. The company is developing the capability to interpret DNA by creating a system that predicts the molecular effects of genetic variation. Their database is able to explain how hundreds of millions of genetic variations can impact a genetic code.

Once a better understanding of human DNA is established, there is an opportunity to go one step further and provide personalized insights to individuals based on their idiosyncratic biological dispositions. This trend is indicative of a new era of “personalized genetics,” whereby individuals are able to take full control of their health through access to unprecedented information about their own bodies.

The technology must have access to vast amounts of data in order to better curate lifestyle changes for individuals.

Consumer genetics companies such as 23andMe and Rthm represent a few of the first movers in this domain. They have developed consumerized genetic diagnostic tools to help individuals understand their genetic makeup. With Rthm, users are able to go one step further and leverage the insights produced from their genetic test to implement changes to their everyday routine through a mobile application, all in real time.

As is the case with any application of AI/ML, the technology must have access to vast amounts of data in order to better curate lifestyle changes for individuals. Startups that are focused on mastering the delivery of personal genetics are doing so by considering the following key activities, as highlighted by Japan-based researcher Takashi Kido:

  • Acquiring reliable personal genome data and genetic risk prediction
  • Conducting behavior pattern analyses on people’s attitude to the personal genome to determine what kind of information is valuable/helpful and what type of information is damaging
  • Data mining for scientific discovery

The second point is interesting in that not all genetic information about a patient’s biological predispositions is productive. Being able to control the information in a manner that is conducive to psychological well-being is critical.

Hyper targeted drugs are the future

Another exciting application of AI/ML in healthcare is the reduction of both cost and time in drug discovery. New drugs typically take 12 to 14 years to make it to market, with the average cost hovering around $2.6 billion. During the process of drug discovery, chemical compounds are tested against every possible combination of different cell type, genetic mutation and other conditions relating to a particular ailment.

As the task of doing this is time-consuming, this limits the number of experiments or diseases that scientists can look to attack. ML algorithms can allow computers to “learn” how to make predictions based on the data they have previously processed or choose (and in some cases, even conduct) what experiments need to be done. Similar types of algorithms also can be used to predict the side effects of specific chemical compounds on humans, speeding up approvals.

San Francisco-based startup Atomwise is looking to replace test tubes with supercomputers during the drug development process. The company uses ML and 3D neural networks that sift through a database of molecular structures to uncover therapies, helping to discover the effectiveness of new chemical compounds on diseases and identifying what existing medications can be repurposed to cure another ailment.

In 2015, the company applied its solution and uncovered two new drugs which may significantly reduce Ebola infectivity. The analysis was completed in one day — as opposed to years, which is common using traditional methods of drug development. A recent study by Insilico Medicine solidified the approach Atomwise is taking, showing that deep neural networks can be used to predict pharmacologic properties of drugs and drug repurposing.

The application of AI/ML in healthcare is reshaping the industry and making what was once impossible into a tangible reality.

Berg Health, a Boston-based biopharma company, attacks drug discovery from a different angle. Berg mines patient biological data using AI to determine why some people survive diseases, and then applies this insight to improve current therapies or create new ones.

BenevolentAI, a London-based startup, aims to expedite the drug discovery process by harnessing AI to look for patterns in scientific literature. Only a small portion of globally generated scientific information is actually used or usable by scientists, as new healthcare-related studies are published every 30 seconds. BenevolentAI enables analysis on vast amounts of data to provide experts with insights they need to dramatically expedite drug discovery and research. Recently, the company identified two potential chemical compounds that may work on Alzheimer’s, attracting the attention of pharmaceutical companies.

As advances in ML and AI continue, the future of drug discovery looks promising. A recent Google Research paper notes that using data from various sources can better determine which chemical compounds will serve as “effective drug treatments for a variety of diseases,” and how ML can save a lot of time by testing millions of compounds at scale.

Discovering and managing new diseases

Most diseases are far more than just a simple gene mutation. Despite the healthcare system generating copious amounts of (unstructured) data — which is progressively improving in quality — we have previously not had the necessary hardware and software in place to analyze it and produce meaningful insights.

Disease diagnosis is a complicated process that involves a variety of factors, from the texture of a patient’s skin to the amount of sugar that he or she consumes in a day. For the past 2,000 years, medicine has been governed by symptomatic detection, where a patient’s ailment is diagnosed based on the symptoms they are displaying (e.g. if you have a fever and stuffy nose, you most likely have the flu).

But often the arrival of detectable symptoms is too late, especially when dealing with diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. With ML, the hope is that faint signatures of diseases can be discovered well in advance of detectable symptoms, increasing the probability of survival (sometimes by up to 90 percent) and/or treatment options.

The opportunities continue to grow and inspire healthcare practitioners to find new ways to enhance our health and well-being.

Freenome, a San Francisco-based startup, has created an Adaptive Genomics Engine that helps dynamically detect disease signatures in your blood. To make this possible, the company uses your freenome — the dynamic collection of genetic material floating in your blood that is constantly changing over time and provides a genomic thermometer of who you are as you grow, live and age.

When looking at disease diagnosis and treatment plans, companies such as Enlitic are focused on improving patient outcomes by coupling deep learning with medical data to distill actionable insights from billions of clinical cases. IBM’s Watson is working with Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York to digest reams of data on cancer patients and treatments used over decades to present and suggest treatment options to doctors in dealing with unique cancer cases.

In London, Google’s Deep Mind is mining through medical records of Moorfields Eye Hospital to analyze digital scans of the eye to help doctors better understand and diagnose eye disease. In parallel, Deep Mind also has a project running to help with radiation therapy mapping for patients suffering from neck and head cancer, freeing up hours of planning for oncologists to allow them to focus on more patient care-oriented tasks.

For AI/ML to become pervasive in healthcare, continued access to relevant data is essential to success. The more proprietary data a system can ingest, the “smarter” it will become. As a result, companies are going to great lengths to acquire data (which resides in an anonymized format). For example, IBM bought out healthcare analytics company Truven Health for $2.6 billion in February 2016 primarily to gain access to their repository of data and insights. In addition, they recently partnered with Medtronic to further Watson’s ability to make sense of diabetes through gaining access to real-time insulin data.

As the data becomes richer and the technology keeps advancing, the opportunities continue to grow and inspire healthcare practitioners to find new ways to enhance our health and well-being.

Even with insurance, less affluent kids miss out on eye care

Middle- and lower-income children don’t visit eye doctors as often as wealthier kids, and as a result, thousands of them may have undiagnosed sight-threatening conditions, U.S. researchers say.

All of the nearly 900,000 children in the study were covered by a national health insurer, but still, there were disparities in their access to eye care, researchers report in Health Affairs.

Experts advise that all children under age 5 be screened for two eye diseases, strabismus and amblyopia. In strabismus, the eyes are not aligned with each other, causing double vision. To get rid of the double vision, the brain will ignore sight from one of the eyes, which can lead to the development of amblyopia, or so-called “lazy eye,” in which vision from that eye is permanently reduced.

“The earlier in life strabismus is detected and properly treated, the less likely the eye will become ‘lazy’ and the more likely any vision loss that may have occurred can be reversed,” said lead author Dr. Joshua Stein of the University of Michigan.

People need to know the importance of testing for these sight-threatening diseases in children, Stein added by email.

To determine the effect of wealth on eye care visits and diagnoses of these two conditions, Stein and his colleagues used healthcare data on 890,090 U.S. children between 2001 and 2014. The children were from families of varying wealth levels, but all had the same type of health insurance.

The researchers found that children in the lowest wealth category had 16 percent fewer visits to any eye care professional than those at the middle wealth level, while children at the highest wealth level had 19 percent more visits than middle-income kids.

A similar trend was seen for visits to ophthalmologists, medical doctors who treat eye diseases like strabismus and amblyopia.

For visits to optometrists, who are more likely to conduct screenings and provide glasses, the middle wealth category had the highest number of visits.

Children from less wealthy families were also older at their first visit to the eye doctor.

Compared to those in the middle wealth category, lower income children were 15 percent less likely to have their first eye doctor visit during the study period, while higher net worth children were 19 percent more likely to have a first visit.

Wealthier children were 64 percent more likely to be diagnosed with strabismus by age 10 than the lowest income group and 55 percent more likely to be diagnosed with amblyopia.

Assuming the wealthiest kids were not being misdiagnosed, the authors calculate that the differences mean a lot of cases of eye disease are being missed in less-wealthy children.

Specifically, they estimate there were nearly 13,000 missed strabismus diagnoses and 5,000 missed amblyopia diagnoses over a 10-year period just in their sample group.

Even for families with health insurance, having a lower income can cause logistical issues in seeking eye care, said Cathy Williams, a senior researcher at the National Institute for Health Research.

Williams, who was not involved in the study, said eye care providers might be located far from low-income housing sites and that lower income families may not understand the need for this type of vision screening.

“It may be more difficult for parents to take time off from work to take their children to an eye care professional, compared with more affluent families,” Stein said, adding that copayments and deductibles might also be an issue for lower-wealth families.

Williams said vision screenings are important to catch other types of sight problems as well. “If having blurred vision in both eyes reduces a child’s ability to learn and engage with their education, as it may, this could lead to lasting reductions in their life chances – all for the want of glasses,” she said by email.

Stein noted that vision screenings sometimes take place at schools or health fairs. “If one’s child has a failed vision screening, it is essential to promptly take him or her to an eye care professional so they can further evaluate the child to check for these serious eye diseases,” he said.

Parents’ at-home genetic screening test leads to son’s rare diagnosis

 

When Rose and her husband welcomed their first child in 2015, they noticed he had an extra pinky on each hand. The new parents, who asked that their last name be withheld, realized that extra fingers did not run on either side of their family and began to worry.

“Our family joke is, you count to make sure you have enough fingers — not if they have extra,” Rose, 34, told FoxNews.com.

While doctors reassured her that her son was otherwise healthy and that the fingers were a cosmetic issue, Rose turned to the internet in search of more information. She found a Wikipedia article that identified five different syndromes in which a symptom could be extra fingers. The information raised a red flag for Rose and her husband— who chose not to disclose his name— but because their son remained asymptomatic, they took the doctor’s word for it.

Less than a year later, the family had a consultation with a hand surgeon, and Rose asked if their son could have a genetic test done to rule out the five syndromes she had read about. The doctor examined her son’s pectoral muscles and a few other points and said he didn’t think it was necessary, but would put in a request to the genetics department. The request was denied.

“They said ‘No, it’s not customary to have genetic testing unless there are signs of a symptom,” but I’m thinking, what if the symptoms aren’t apparent yet, they’re internal, or they come later in life?” Rose said.

She started obsessing over the symptoms, and felt there were a few that could easily be overlooked. Rather than be turned away by another doctor, Rose foundJScreen, an at-home genetic screening kit that tests the parents to determine if they’re carriers for any disorders.

How it works

JScreen was created in association with Emory University School of Medicine by a couple of Jewish heritage in Atlanta, who had a child with a devastating metabolic disorder. Because of the increased risk for certain disorders that Jewish partners face, the couple underwent genetic testing but were not screened for the same amount of mutations, so their child’s diagnosis came as a shock. They created JScreen for couples of all ethnicities and religions that are planning to begin or expand their family.

A JScreen test is conducted at home using a saliva sample from both partners, which is then mailed to a certified laboratory with results returned within four weeks. A genetic counselor from Emory informs the couple of their results, and if they are identified as carriers for any of the 100 genetic diseases that the test can detect, they must participate in a genetic counseling follow-up appointment either via phone or video chat.

“If we learn that a person is a carrier for a genetic disease, we’re going to explain what that disease is, what that would mean if that person would have a child with that genetic disease,” Karen Grinzaid, a genetic counselor with Emory’s Gene Screen Program and senior director of JScreen, told FoxNews.com. “What we need to remember from this testing is a majority of these diseases are recessive – both parents would have to carry a mutation for these diseases— the majority of the time that does not happen.”

JScreen provides couples with information ahead of conception, Grinzaid noted, which can help them plan accordingly or seek other options including in vitro fertilization or egg or sperm donation. If two partners are both found to be carriers of a genetic mutation, they carry a 25 percent risk of passing it on to their biological child. The genetic counselor provides information on alternative conception options and can help them consult a physician. Grinzaid added that JScreen offers a minimum of 94 percent accuracy in detection rate, but for many mutations it’s 99 percent or higher.

While it’s often believed that only couples who have a family history of genetic disease or disorders should consider testing, in many cases it’s the opposite, like with Rose and her family, Grinzaid said.

“Eighty percent of the time a baby is born with a genetic disease; they’re born to parents that have no family history of that disease. Maybe a person is reassured by their family history, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen,” she said.

A long-awaited answer

Rose and her husband ordered the test and within weeks found out they were both carriers of Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS), a genetic disorder that affects many parts of the body with symptoms varying among affected individuals. Neither had a history of it in their family.

“As soon as we found out we were carriers we thought, ‘OK, our son probably has that,’” Rose said. “We were able to use our results to get him genetically tested.”

Rose and her husband presented the JScreen results to their son’s doctor and asked again to have him tested. It would be another two months before the family would receive a confirmed diagnosis of BBS. Though the two-month waiting period was stressful, Rose’s son likely would have gone undiagnosed for a number of years, as a clinical diagnosis is only made when patients present four of the main symptoms, or three major and two minor symptoms.

The major clinical symptoms include retinal degeneration, obesity, polydactyly-type limb abnormalities, hypogonadism and genital anomalies, cognitive impairment and renal abnormalities. Minor features include speech delay, developmental delay, diabetes, mellitus, dental anomalies, congenital heart disease, brachydactyly/syndactyly, ataxia/poor coordination, deafness and anosmia/hyposmia.

Because their son is so young, he has only presented the extra fingers and kidney issues. The family won’t know if he is affected by obesity until he’s older, and hypogonadism wouldn’t present itself until puberty. Vision loss typically begins affecting patients around age 8.

“We don’t know how horrible things are yet – so right now they did an ultrasound on his kidneys, bladder and liver, and also an echocardiogram on his heart – so far everything is normal except for his kidneys, we’re having further testing done to find out how bad it is,” Rose said.

Rose is hopeful that because they received the diagnosis early, they will be able to get ahead of any other complications their son may face. They plan to remove the extra fingers, practice early intervention for any intellectual disabilities he may develop, tackle obesity with diet and exercise, and take steps to address his kidney issues.

“It varies a lot, there’s people who are completely normal – graduated college and are accountants, and then there’s some who do have speech delays, or learning disabilities, which could just be because of the vision loss, too,” she said.

Dr. Evelyn Karson, an OB-GYN and geneticist and JScreen consultant spoke with Rose and her husband after they received their results. She acknowledged that as an obstetrician she has seen hundreds of children born with an extra pinky and always asks the parents if there is a family history of the condition, because it is not always a tell-tale sign that something may be wrong.

“Most physicians who would treat a child with extra fingers probably would not think about [BBS] unless the child was otherwise sick or had some other physical characteristic of that condition,” Karson told FoxNews.com. “This little guy didn’t have anything else externally and was meeting the milestones, growing, with no abnormalities.”

Karson also added that the accessibility of JScreen offers the technology a chance to reach couples outside of larger cities. The cost of the test is $149 with private insurance, and there is financial assistance available for others, making it more affordable than traditional procedures, the company claims.

While Rose and her husband sought JScreen as a means for answers, Karson said that typically isn’t the norm, but believes the information is imperative to have for any parent-to-be.

“When should you get tested? When you’re thinking about having unprotected sex,” Karson said. “That’s my bottom line.”

Detroit boy loses leg after contracting flesh-eating bacteria

(Fox Detroit)

 

A 12-year-old Michigan boy is battling illness after being infected by flesh-eating bacteria that caused him to lose most of his left leg.

Dakarai Moore, Jr. was an active child until August 11, when he developed a fever and a greenish-colored rash on the bottom of his feet, Fox 2 Detroitreported.

“My son was complaining just saying his legs were hurting,” Charmaine Norman, his mother, told the news channel. “There was a really tight feeling and his knees were kind of puffy.”

Charmaine rushed him to Detroit Children’s Hospital of Michigan, where a team of doctors was assigned to his care. Days later, as they watched the bacteria work its way up to his torso, Dakari was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis— which is rarely found in children.

Most of the soon-to-be seventh grader’s left leg could not be saved.

“That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life today,” his father Dakarai Moore told Fox 2 Detroit, “sign the papers to get his left leg amputated.”

Dakarai’s parents aren’t sure how he got the infection and are sharing his story to spread awareness.

“We had no understanding about it,” Dakarai Sr. told Fox 2. “If you ask all the questions in the world, and 50 doctors can’t tell you anything for more than a week, we need more people to know about this.”

The boy’s battle isn’t over, though his parents said doctors believe they have slowed the infection down and may have stopped it from spreading further. A fund to help support the family’s medical expenses will be set up.

Survey sheds light on sperm donors who connect with recipients online

sperm egg

A new survey of men who use online sperm donation sites sheds light on their motivations, preferences and experiences with donation.

Most are straight and donate for altruistic reasons, and one-third favor anonymous donation, researchers found.

Only 11 percent of donors are gay and nine percent are bisexual, but these men more often desire open-identity donation and would like contact with their offspring, the results showed.

A concern “about online sperm donation is that it is potentially open to anyone to become donors. By comparison, men who wish to donate via a licensed U.K. clinic have to undergo a stringent recruitment process, including medical screening,” said lead author Tabitha Freeman of the Center for Family Research at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.

“A striking finding was the number of men – about one third of this sample – who were using the website to pursue anonymous sperm donation,” Freeman told Reuters Health by email.

On the other hand, she noted, “By enabling direct communication between those wishing to donate and obtain sperm, connection websites enable donors to have greater contact with recipient families than clinics which is a key reason that some men wish to donate in this way.”

In the spring of 2014, the researchers surveyed 383 men registered as sperm donors with Pride Angel, a U.K. based connection website for donors and recipients of sperm.

At that time there were more than 5,000 sperm donors registered on the site, although the site also registers sperm recipients, egg donors, egg recipients and co-parents.

Donors who responded to the survey were an average age of 37. Almost 90 percent of donors whose donation eventually led to the live birth of a child were white, and they were more often employed full-time and had a university degree or higher compared to the overall population of donors on the site.

Eighty percent of donors were heterosexual, 11 percent were gay and 9 percent were bisexual, according to self-report. About half were single and did not have children. Most said they wanted to donate to help others or to pass on their genes, and having family or friends who had experienced infertility was also common.

More than half of the men preferred identity release, co-parenting or another arrangement.

Donor anonymity was removed in the U.K. in 2005 – children conceived using sperm donated after that year can find out the identity of their donor when they turn 18, Freeman said.

Women who conceive using donor sperm “may be interested in knowing more about the donor as a person because of the potential for future contact between their child and this man,” she cautioned.

Half of straight donors said they preferred “natural insemination” compared to 26 percent of gay and bisexual men, as reported in Human Reproduction.

In general, there are many more sperm donors on connection websites than in brick-and-mortar clinics, Freeman said.

“Private donation arrangements without the regulatory protection of a licensed clinic raise a number of personal, medical and legal risks,” she said. “It is therefore necessary that those using these websites seek appropriate legal and medical advice.”

Some women may choose to find a donor on a connection website and carry out the actual insemination through a clinic, she said.

“There is a wide variation in the nature of these websites and the motivations of the men who seek to donate sperm in this way, and it is vital that there is further research in this area,” Freeman said. “Although the findings from this research are reassuring in that the men who donated sperm appear to be well-intentioned and responsible, it must be noted that members of only one website took part in this study and the findings may not be representative of all online sperm donors.”

Are people more likely to cheat at the ‘danger age’?

 

The idea that the person you love is betraying your trust and engaging in intimate rendezvous with someone else is emotionally devastating. It’s only natural to look for patterns and warning signs to avoid being cheated on.

Now, a new report suggests that people are twice as likely to cheat at the “danger age” of 39, and are also more likely to have affairs during the last years of other decades — for example, at age 29 or 49 — than at other times. The findings come from research done by the U.K.-based website IllicitEncounters.com, and were first reported by The Sun.

Do other studies of infidelity back up this claim?

There is some research to suggest that, in general, people behave differently when they approach a new decade in their age. In 2014, researchers Adam L. Alter and Hal E. Hershfield at New York University and the University of California, Los Angeles, respectively, performed six studies to investigate the behaviors of adults during their “9-ending ages” (ages 29, 39, 49, etc.), including their propensity for extramarital affairs. The researchers obtained data from an online dating site similar to Illicit Encounters, where users are already in supposedly monogamous relationships. [I Don’t: 5 Myths About Marriage]

Alter and Hershfield calculated the total number of male users on the site (8,077,820) and compared that to the number of 9-ender male users (952,176). They found there were 18 percent more 9-enders registered than there would be if the site’s users represented a completely random sample of ages.

Across the six studies, Alter and Hershfield also found that 9-enders reported being particularly preoccupied with aging, and were more likely to wonder whether their lives were meaningful.

This could lead to a rise in behaviors that “suggest a search for, or a crisis of meaning,” such as an affair, the researchers said.

In general, infidelity is difficult to study because it’s challenging for researchers to find willing participants and to gather accurate reports, and cheating itself is defined inconsistently across relationships, said Christin Munsch, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, who was not affiliated with the Illicit Encounters research but does study infidelity.

The Illicit Encounters’ research may not be unbiased: the company is financially backing the study, methods were not vetted by outside experts, and it was not peer-reviewed.

Munsch said that the findings of the Illicit Encounters study could just suggest that people looking to have affairs might not be honest about their age in their profiles. [How Do I Love Thee? Experts Count 8 Ways]

However, in their research, Alter and Hershfield looked at how people on dating sites might approach lying about their age. They asked users to imagine they were trying to fool a potential date into believing they were as young as possible while remaining within the bounds of plausibility. Their data suggested that the most frequent responses were ages ending in 5.

While these aren’t definitive findings, they suggest that a lying 30-year-old is more likely to say they’re 25 than 29.

In her own research, Munsch looked at data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97), an anonymous, nationally representative survey of people born between 1980 and 1984 that was conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor. She compared people’s marital status with their responses to questions about whether they had multiple sex partners in the past year, and whether they had had sex with a stranger. Anyone who was married and answered yes to these questions was coded as unfaithful.

She found that for both men and women, being economically dependent (making less money than your spouse) was correlated to increased rates of cheating.

“The less money you make relative to your spouse, the more likely you are to cheat. We compare ourselves: you don’t want to see yourself coming out on the losing end,” Munsch told Live Science.

In 2012, Munsch reviewed the literature for trends surrounding infidelity. With regards to age, she found that as people get older they are more likely to cheat, and that may be because there are simply more opportunities to be unfaithful.

Munsch said that for men, being economically dependent may be worse because they may feel expected by society to be breadwinners. Cheating can be a way for men to simultaneously bolster their masculinity and get back at their breadwinner wives. [Busted! 6 Gender Myths in the Bedroom & Beyond]

According to Munsch, the recipe for avoiding an affair is pretty simple.

“From a sociological perspective, one of the biggest predictors of infidelity is opportunity. If I’m trying to lose weight, I don’t keep cookies in the house. The same principle applies here. If you’re looking for a ‘magic bullet,’ don’t be in the situation” where cheating could happen.

And although it’s tempting try to analyze data to predict who will cheat, putting the results in perspective is important, she said.For example, her research showed that the likelihood of infidelity jumps from around 5 percent for men whose wives make equal financial contributions to 15 percent for men who are economically dependent on their wives.

“That’s three times more likely. But 85 percent of men [who are dependent on their wives] aren’t cheating,” she said.

Ultimately, many variables factor into infidelity. Munsch said that there are certain psychological traits that are correlated to cheating, such as extreme risk-taking behavior or low morality, and that people’s environment also plays a role. If a person with certain traits gets placed in a situation of high opportunity, that can be a good indicator that infidelity will take place.

But by the same token, a person with all the necessary predispositions can be put in an ideal circumstance to cheat and still not do it.

Munsch said that the “9-ending ages” theory is “certainly plausible,” but that predicting any complex human behavior remains an inexact science.

After age 40, volunteering linked to enhanced mental health

 

Volunteer work may be good for your mental wellbeing, but only after age 40, according to a new study.

“There is a general consensus that volunteering is beneficial to everyone regardless of the age,” said lead author Dr. Faiza Tabassum of Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute at the University of Southampton in the UK.

“However, our study has shown volunteering may be more strongly associated with mental well-being at some points of the life-course than others,” she told Reuters Health by email.

The findings could shape government policy toward engaging the elderly population in volunteering activities, which, if it improves health, would decrease dependence on the healthcare system, she said.

The researchers used survey responses from adults in 5,000 British households, including more than 66,000 responses for 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008. Participants answered questions on mental health status and on formal volunteering.

About 20 percent of people said they had “done unpaid voluntary work,” which was more common for people over age 60 and more frequent for women.

Mental health scores were better for people who had volunteered than for people who never had, and was best for those who volunteered most often – even when marital status, educational attainment, social class, and state of health were accounted for.

But when the researchers accounted for age, the positive link between volunteering and emotional wellbeing was only apparent at age 40 and older, they reported in BMJ Open.

“For middle aged and older people, volunteering has beneficial effects because of the social roles and family connections which are more likely to promote volunteering at that stage of the life-course,” Tabassum said. “An example would be that many parents of school-aged children become involved in school-related activities in various voluntary capacities.”

A person involved in volunteering will have more resources, a larger social network, more power, and more prestige, and this in turn may lead to better physical and mental health, Tabassum said.

“Volunteering may also provide a sense of purpose particularly for those people who have lost their earnings because volunteering regularly helps contribute to the maintenance of social networks and this is especially in case of older people who often live in isolation,” she noted.

But an observational study like this one can’t prove that one thing, like volunteering, causes another thing, like improved emotional wellbeing, she said.

“As a result, we were unable to examine important selection effects, such as whether poor health might have limited whether or not individuals participate in volunteering particularly at old age,” she said. “Any future study should investigate this aspect.”

Women feeling more confident about their bodies

Model Ashley Graham arrives at the Google, HBO and the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum “Celebration of Creativity” cocktail party to celebrate the White House Correspondents' Association dinner weekend in Washington, U.S., April 29, 2016. Graham, who may be best known for her work as a model at Lane Bryant, became the first plus-size model to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine earlier this year.

Model Ashley Graham arrives at the Google, HBO and the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum “Celebration of Creativity” cocktail party to celebrate the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner weekend in Washington, U.S., April 29, 2016. Graham, who may be best known for her work as a model at Lane Bryant, became the first plus-size model to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine earlier this year. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Despite living amid a culture obsessed with selfies and Kim Kardashian’s weight, for the first time in recent history, more women report feeling confident about their bodies, a new research analysis suggests.

The report’s conclusions, presented recently at the American Psychological Association’s 124th Annual Convention, are in stark contrast to data gathered in the 1990s that suggested women at that time were becoming increasingly unhappy with their weight.

For the new research, authors from the College of Wooster conducted a meta-analysis of more than 250 studies, which involved reports from 100,228 participants between 1981 to 2012, to analyze shifts in their self-perception of body weight. According to a news release, Dr. Bryan Karazsia, an associate psychology professor at Wooster, and his team found that women were generally more dissatisfied with their bodies compared to men, but that their dissatisfaction declined over time. Men’s self-perception of their body weight, on the other hand, remained relatively consistent throughout.

With cultural pressures in mind, researchers conducted a similar meta-analysis to more closely examine men’s body satisfaction regarding muscle size, according to the release. They looked at 81 studies consisting of more than 23,000 participants over a 14-year span. Men regularly reported more dissatisfaction than women with regards to muscle size, but over time, levels were relatively the same for both sexes.

Neither age nor geographic region affected scores in either meta-analysis, study authors noted.

Karazsia said in the release that the findings may be expected, but they were surprising in the sense that Americans are larger today than they’ve ever been historically.

“With more than two-thirds of U.S. adults being overweight or obese, one might expect that body dissatisfaction should be increasing. But we found the opposite,” he said in the release.

Karazsia said he was “cautiously optimistic” that his team’s results signal a shift in women’s perception of themselves amid cultural messaging to fit a certain mold.

“The last two decades have witnessed increasing attention and awareness on a body acceptance movement aimed primarily at girls and women,” Karazsia said in the release.

Quitting smoking may actually widen social network

 

Some smokers fear that quitting will result in losing friends, but the opposite seems to be true, according to a new study.

Smokers may worry that trying to quit will alienate them from other smokers, said coauthor Megan E. Piper of the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. But in practice, people who quit actually gain nonsmoking friends, she told Reuters Health by phone.

“That’s definitely a concern that smokers will tell us; they are worried that their friends won’t want to hang out with them,” Piper said. “Our data suggest they will have fewer smokers in their network but they don’t end up with fewer friends.”

Smoking is less common now than it’s been for many years, so if you’re in the market for friends, the nonsmoking community is much bigger, she noted.

“This is the first time we’ve looked at what happens to the social networks of people who do and don’t quit,” she said.

Piper and her coauthors analyzed the social networks of 691 smokers enrolled in a smoking-cessation trial, including number of friends, new members, smoking habits, and romantic partner smoking.

Over a three-year period, participants were tested for chemical byproducts of smoking to assess whether they had successfully quit, and the researchers matched these results to changes in social networks over time. Participants filled out surveys, first about the 14 most important members of their social networks, and later about the nine most important members.

The researchers classified social networks in several ways: large with many smoking buddies, large with few smoking buddies, small network of friends with a smoking romantic partner, and small network of friends with smoking friends.

People who had quit by year one and two had also experienced social shifts, usually to less contact with smokers and to larger social networks overall, as reported in Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

“Perhaps you haven’t gone and joined a group or team or done an activity because you’ve been worried about not being accepted because you’re a smoker,” but when you quit those activities are more attractive, Piper said.

And smoking may be the activity around which a friendship is built, but when you quit you learn that you have little else in common, she said.

“As doctors listen to smokers and hear what their concerns are, this would be an opportunity if someone expresses a concern about losing friends,” she said. “You may not be friends with all the same people if you quit smoking but you will have friends.”