Sexual Violence Rate Among NYC Teens More Than National Average
As many as 10 percent of American teenagers experience sexual violence at some point, surveys show, but if that adolescent is from New York City, the percentage climbs to more than 16 percent.
This finding is one of many from a three year research project announced over the weekend from Columbia University researchers and a coalition called The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault.
The entire study will be released in July, according to a news release from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, but the research highlights indicate New York City adolescents face even more exposure to violence related to sexual activity than teens across the country.
"These are alarming statistics any way you look at them," said Harriet Lessel, executive director of the New City Alliance Against Sexual Assault in a statement. "We are hopeful that these findings will highlight an issue that has been kept in the shadows for far too long, and encourage more young people to seek help when they are victimized."
Among other findings, based on survey of 1,300 New York city teenagers:
- Almost 90 percent of those who have experienced sexual violence knew their perpetratrator.
- Among those who experienced physical dating violence, 27.4 percent reported having been pushed or shoved by a dating partner, and 17 percent reported having been slapped or hit.
- Almost 10 percent of students who reported having a dating partner in the last year said that their partner touched them sexually when they didn't want to be touched, and 6.7 percent said they were forced to have sex against their will.
Doctor Who Was Target in U.S. Anthrax Probe, Wins Multimillion Dollar Settlement
The physician and bio-researcher who the U.S. Justice department identified as a "person of interest" in the bizarre series of anthrax incidents that killed 5 people beginning in 2001 has settled his lawsuit against the government.
The New York Times reports that Dr. Steven Hatfill will receive almost $3 million in cash and an additional $150,000 annually for the next 20 years to settle a lawsuit he filed in 2003, charging the FBI and U.S. Justice Department with leaking information to the news media in order to link him to the mailing of letters that contained anthrax spores.
Hatfill has consistently denied having anything to do with the anthrax incidents, in which five people died after inhaling the spore particles and another 17 were hospitalized, in 2001 and 2002.
U.S. Justice Department officials have never explained why Hatfill was such a prominent figure in the investigation, and a government statement said only that the government admitted no liability but decided settlement was "in the best interest of the United States," the newspaper reported.
Mark Grannis one of Hatfill's attorneys, told the Times that the settlement "means that Steven Hatfill is finally an ex-person of interest."
Working While Tired May Harm Heart
Doing mental or physical work while fatigued may lead to hypertension and heart disease, suggests a U.S. study.
It included 80 volunteers who were told they could win a prize by memorizing, in two minutes, a number of meaningless three-letter sequences. Their blood pressure and heart rate were monitored while they tried to memorize the information. Those with moderate fatigue showed stronger blood pressure increases than those with low fatigue, United Press International reported.
The study appears in the July issue of the International Journal of Psychophysiology.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers said their findings support a theory that a fatigued person's cardiovascular system has to work harder when trying to complete tasks, UPI reported.
"Individuals who experience chronically exaggerated cardiovascular responses are believed to be at greater health risk than individuals who do not. Thus, the implication is that chronic fatigue may pose a health risk under some performance conditions," said study leader Rex Wright.
DNA Repair Capacity Affects Lung Cancer Risk in Non-smokers
A lack of DNA repair capacity may be a cause of lung cancers that occur in non-smokers, say researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. About 15 percent of lung cancers occur in non-smokers.
The researchers found that non-smokers with less efficient DNA repair ability were almost twice as likely to develop lung cancer, compared to non-smokers with normal DNA repair capacity, United Press International reported.
Non-smokers with the lowest DNA repair capacity were more than three times more likely than average to develop lung cancer.
"Our findings demonstrate that suboptimal DNA repair capacity together with secondhand smoke exposure are strong lung cancer risk factors in lifetime never smokers," UPI quoted lead author Olga Gorlova as saying in a prepared statement.
The study appears in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
Unsafe Water Causes Many Diseases, Deaths: WHO
More than 9 percent of diseases and 6 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by unsafe water, says a World Health Organization report released Thursday. Dengue fever and diarrhea are among the diseases that can be transmitted via water.
Developing countries are disproportionately affected by water-related health problems. For example, unsafe water causes less than 1 percent of deaths in developed countries, compared with an average of 8 percent in developing countries, Agence France Presse reported.
Death rates in certain poor countries can be much higher, such as 24 percent in Angola.
"In the 35 most affected countries, over 15 percent of diseases could easily be prevented by improved water, sanitation, and hygiene," said report author Annette-Pruss-Ustun, AFP reported.
Low-Fat Milk May Benefit Kidney/Heart Health
Low-fat milk may offer protection against poor kidney function linked to heart disease, according to American and Norwegian researchers.
They measured the kidney function of more than 5,000 adults, ages 45 to 84, and found that those who consumed at least one serving of low-fat milk or milk products a day were 37 percent less likely than those who had little or no low-fat milk to have poor kidney function related to heart disease, United Press International reported.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The authors noted that previous research suggests that milk protein, vitamin D, and magnesium may contribute to milk's potential heart health benefits, UPI reported.