Vegetarians might have higher risk of stroke than meat eaters, study says

(CNN)Non-meat diets have soared in popularity with many people ditching beef, pork and chicken in pursuit of health and environmental benefits and concerns about animal welfare. The exact reasons for this higher risk found in vegetarians are not clear, said Tong. It is possible that this is due to “very low cholesterol levels or very low levels of some nutrients,” she said. “There is some evidence which suggests that very low cholesterol levels might be associated with a slightly higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke,” she said. Similarly, other research points to deficiencies of some nutrients, like vitamin B12, may be linked to a higher risk of stroke, said Tong. Still, some researchers were skeptical of the stroke finding. The research …

No ‘gay gene’ can predict sexual orientation, study says

(CNN)Sexual orientation cannot be predicted by a single “gay gene,” new research indicates. Same-sex attraction appears to run in families, and identical twins are more likely to be aligned in their sexuality than either fraternal twins or other siblings, noted the researchers. Both these factors suggest genetic influences are at play. Researchers conducted analyses of data for 477,522 participants in surveys from the UK and US, and then performed comparison testing among some 15,142 people in the US and Sweden. Different base studies provided different survey results. Some surveys recorded whether participants ever had a same-sex partner, and others recorded how people identified their orientation. Several hundred genes appeared to have an influence on sexuality. Five variants showed significant effects, …

Many sudden cardiac deaths linked to prior silent heart attacks, study says

(CNN)Many people who die of sudden cardiac arrest may have had a heart attack earlier in life without ever realizing it, according to a new study. A separate study, published in the American Heart Journal in 2010, found that some 34% of people who had sudden cardiac death showed signs of a previous heart attack that went undetected. Those deaths were evaluated in Minneapolis from 2001 to 2004. The new study involved analyzing data on 5,869 people in Northern Finland who had sudden cardiac deaths between 1998 and 2017. The data came from the Finnish Genetic Study of Arrhythmic Events. Among those sudden cardiac deaths, 4,392 were caused by coronary artery disease, and 3,122 of those had no previous history …

Air pollution ages your lungs faster and increases your risk of COPD, study says

(CNN)Air pollution does a lot more damage to our lungs than scientists realized, according to a new study in Monday’s European Respiratory Journal. Researchers found it ages lungs more quickly and putting us at higher risk of COPD. For people living with air that has more than 10 micrograms per cubic meter of particle pollution, the situation was much worse. Among that group in the most polluted areas, the number of COPD cases was four times higher than if a person lived with smokers, and half that of people who had been smokers. COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a term used to describe lung diseases that block airflow and make it difficult to breathe. It’s the third leading cause …

Psychosis in teens may be linked to an unlikely culprit: air pollution

(CNN)An unexpected danger of urban life: Psychotic experiences are more common among teens exposed to the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide and other forms of air pollution, according to a new study. Nitrogen oxides, including nitrogen dioxide, are tailpipe pollutants, entering the air due to burning fuel. An association but not a cause-effect relationship Sign up here to get The Results Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta every Tuesday from the CNN Health team. “It is especially important to identify other factors that may potentially ameliorate the consequences of air pollution to protect human health,” said Kioumourtzoglou, who had no role in the new research. “These could be lifestyle, nutritional, or neighborhood-level factors.” “As the global population is becoming increasingly …