Bringing you the latest quirky medical stories from around the world
Long in the tooth—Tooth loss is a significant, independent predictor of mortality in the elderly. Researchers conducted oral and medical examinations on 697 Japanese 80 year olds (BMC Public Health 2010;10:386). Participants were followed up for 5.5 years, during which time 157 died. After adjusting for potentially confounding health conditions, socioeconomic status, and lifestyle, tooth loss was significantly associated with mortality in the follow-up period. The association was found to be stronger in women. The mechanism is unknown, but the researchers say that tooth loss may affect eating behaviour, leading to greater consumption of foods high in fat and low in fibre, instead of fruit and vegetables, which are harder to chew.
Sweet revenge—Be wary of offending people with diabetes; they may find it harder to forgive. Our ability to manage conflict depends on how efficiently our bodies use glucose, recent research indicates (Personality and Individual Differences 2010, doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.06.030). Researchers