Smoking when pregnant may harm your child’s brain: evidence from MRI scans

Smoking in pregnancy

There is an abundance of observational evidence that smoking during pregnancy is harmful to the unborn child. Previous studies have seen an association between prenatal smoking and a range of behavioural and psychiatric problems in childhood and beyond.  A new cohort study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brains of children whose mothers [read the full story…]

Painkiller use during marathons could be a serious health risk

You’re on the starting line raring to go, the starter gun sounds and you’re off, eager and determined to give it your best. There’s a bounce in your step and a smile on your face. Twenty-six and a smidge miles later and everything won’t seem nearly so bright! The marathon will have wreaked havoc on [read the full story…]

Quitting smoking cuts your risk of heart disease even if you gain some weight, new study suggests

Breaking the habit

No Smoking Day saw the publication of a study which is encouraging for those smokers who’ve taken the first steps in quitting but are worried about weight gain. A lot of people find they put on weight when they give up smoking, something I’ve blogged about before (you can find it here), and it raises [read the full story…]

Is job strain a risk factor for a physically inactive lifestyle?

It’s the beginning of another working week here in the Woodland. We’ve still got health and the workplace on the agenda today. It was a big relief to learn on Friday that work stress doesn’t increase your risk of certain cancers but guess what? It seems that job strain can be associated with a physically [read the full story…]

Does work stress increase your risk of cancer?

TGIF. It’s been a busy old week for this little Elf. How are you doing? Feeling frazzled after a long week at work? Looking forward to the weekend? Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with both the Mental and Lifestyle Elves’ blogs this week on health and the workplace. Perhaps you’ve been employing some new tactics [read the full story…]

A diet low in total fat can reduce your body weight

I know, I know, it’s simply not the time of year to be worrying about this kind of thing. Feel free to finish that mince pie, close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and give a loud ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ or two. I’m sure it comes as no surprise but with the World [read the full story…]

Your life, your health – researchers invite you to share what they know about how life gets under your skin

I’m really excited today as I’ve been looking at a wonderful example of research that’s relevant to us all, presented in an accessible way. The team at the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) know they have really interesting findings and want to share them with everyone. They also want your feedback and encourage anyone who’s [read the full story…]

Quitting smoking is always worth it but the sooner the better, finds major new study

A new research study on smoking has hit the headlines this week and rightly so. This large study, from a team at Oxford University, followed over a million women aged 50 to 69 over twelve years to look at the health hazards of smoking over many years and the benefits of quitting. The hazards among people in middle age [read the full story…]

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New ‘traffic light’ blood test gives warning signal to unsafe drinkers

If your doctor told you that your blood test showed that your alcohol consumption was damaging your liver and that there was a significant risk that this would kill you in the next five years, I’m guessing that you might feel pretty motivated to drink less. I know I would. Deaths from liver damage have doubled [read the full story…]