Health Watch: March 31st

A new study shows healthy post-menopausal women who drink two or more diet drinks a day may be more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or have other cardiovascular problems. Nearly 60,000 women participated in the study which compared women who never or rarely drank diet drinks to those who had two or more a day. Those who had diet drinks were more likely to suffer from a cardiovascular event and 50% more likely to die from a related disease.

Researchers in Utah say they're a step closer to developing a blood test to determine whether a person with heart disease is in imminent danger of having a heart attack. The study has identified two genetic markers that appear to decline a few days before a person suffers a heart attack. The study showed the genetic markers act like "watch dogs" and when their levels are reduced heart disease takes a turn for the worse.

Brawn matters when it comes to a teenager's health. University of Michigan researchers say adolescents with stronger muscles have a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease and are overall more fit. The study is one of the first to show a link between strength and overall fitness. The study in the Journal Pediatrics also reveals exercise, sports and even recreational activity that contributes to stronger muscles help reduce the risk of serious diseases during adolescence.

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