Rounding up science's latest discoveries
POTATOES TIED TO HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE RISK
Eating potatoes four or more times a week - whether boiled, baked, mashed or as French fries - may increase the risk of high blood pressure, a new study has found.
Researchers based at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the US pooled results from three observational studies of 187,453 men and women over 25 years old.
After controlling other factors such as body mass index, physical activity, smoking and drinking, they found that compared to eating potatoes only once a month, having one potato four to six times a week increased the risk of high blood pressure by 11 per cent.
It was worse for French fries - the risk increased by 17 per cent.
They believed that potatoes cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels, which is associated with blood vessel problems and inflammation. This, in turn, increased the risk of hypertension.
WHO NEEDS LOVE?
Romance is a load of rubbish, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found that while we judge potential mates on different criteria, we are less concerned about how well they fulfil our ideals.
Rather, we are more concerned with how well they do compared with other potential mates.
The scientists looked at 119 men and 140 women, who had been in relationships for an average of 7½ years and had them rate the importance of 27 traits, including health, kindness, and attractiveness, in an ideal mate.
Then, they ranked how well both they and their current partners lived up to these traits.
It was found that those with partners who had a higher desirability score than themselves were happy, whether or not their partners matched their ideal preferences.
But those with less desirable partners reported being satisfied when their partner fulfilled their ideal preferences better than the majority of the other potential mates.
ONE IN TWO HEART ATTACK VICTIMS DON'T KNOW THEY HAD AN ATTACK
There are many people who have suffered a heart attack, and didn't realise that they've had one. A study found they just brush it off as something as minor as the flu or believe they have strained a muscle or have indigestion.
Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina found that people who have silent heart attacks are three times more likely to die of heart disease and 34 per cent more likely to die from any cause.
Signs of silent heart attacks include unexplained fatigue and discomfort in the jaw, upper back or arms and such attacks can cause just as much damage as heart attacks which are instantly recognised. But as they do not come with the usual symptoms of chest or arm pain, patients do not seek treatment which can help prevent another.
The research, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, looked at the records of 9,500 middle-aged men and women between 1987 and 2013 and nine years into the study, they found 7.4 per cent of the volunteers had heart attacks. Of that group, 317 volunteers had silent heart attacks, while 386 noticed heart attack symptoms immediately.
They found that silent attacks are more common in men, but are more dangerous for women who are more likely to die from this type of attack.