• U.S.

Your Health: Mar. 1, 1999

2 minute read
Janice M. Horowitz


HAPPY AT LAST Researchers said last week that for most of the Americans between ages 40 and 65 they surveyed, midlife is a time of good health, financial stability and an overall sense of well-being. As for that midlife crisis, only about 10% said they experienced one. For all their optimism, however, most folks tend to underestimate their future risk of cancer and heart disease.

STANDING TALL Synthetic growth hormones help short, healthy kids achieve new heights–sometimes. The first major study to follow such youngsters through adulthood concludes that on average, 50% of patients who received the daily hormone injections grew about 2 in. taller than expected. Doctors, however, can’t predict which children will respond and which won’t. Cost of the gamble? Up to $20,000 a year.


EAT A PEACH? A Consumer Reports study last week alleged that 2 out of 5 peaches harbor potentially dangerous levels of pesticide residue. Though the produce industry challenges the findings, the researchers also claim that apples, pears and winter squash show troubling residue levels. Surprisingly, some imported samples were deemed safer than domestic. Which produce got the best ratings? Bananas, canned corn and–sorry, kids–broccoli. To protect yourself, don’t stop eating fruits and veggies, but choose a variety, wash and peel–or go organic.

POSTURE IMPERFECT Women athletes may be more vulnerable than men to knee injuries because they tend to crouch less when they play sports like basketball and soccer. The upright posture, especially detrimental during landing and pivoting, forces the quadriceps to exert pressure on knee ligaments.

–By Janice M. Horowitz

Sources–Good News: MacArthur Foundation, New England Journal of Medicine (2/17/99); Bad News: Consumer Reports (3/99), American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

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