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Climate change, gender differences, health among EurekAlert! 10 Most Popular Stories in 2007
Date:1/10/2008

. Thus the authors suggest that factors such as diet and genetics influencing metabolism may play an important part in RA development.

Dr. Ulf Bergstrm from the Malm University Hospital, Sweden, lead investigator on both studies said The determinants for developing RA in any population are clearly complex and often unrelated. These studies help us to add more pieces to the giant jigsaw of risk factors for one of the most common autoimmune diseases, affecting approximately 1 percent of adults worldwide.

A third story related to health -- ranked sixth most popular -- featured a Denmark study showing that noninvasive screening of pregnant women using ultrasound early in pregnancy, combined with maternal blood analysis, reduced the number of children born with Down syndrome by 50 percent.

Karen Brndum-Nielsen, of the Kennedy Institute, Glostrup, Denmark, and lead study author, noted that following a change in national health guidelines making the screening procedures more widely available, localities with women using the screenings showed a marked difference in the prevalence of Down syndrome. Brndum-Nielsen and her team looked at the effects of the new guidelines in 2004, 2005 and 2006, in three counties in Denmark with a total population of 1.1 million inhabitants, or about one-fifth of the population of the country. They compared these findings with national figures obtained from the Central Cytogenetic Registry, which confirmed the reduction in invasive procedures and the number of children born with Down syndrome at national level.

Gender Differences

In the fourth most popular story, a researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that girls who talk extensively about their problems with friends are likely to become more anxious and depressed. The six-month study, which included boys and girls, examined the effects of co-rumination -- excessively talking with friends about problems and concerns. The study revealed that
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Contact: Rahman A. Culver
rculver@aaas.org
202-326-6213
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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