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Study Finds Women Are Twice as Likely to Suffer From Anxiety

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Our tendency to worry apparently has a gender bias: Researchers at the University of Cambridge analyzed studies on anxiety from around the world and found women were twice as likely to experience anxiety as men.

For their “review of reviews”—published in the the journal Brain and Behavior this week—the paper’s authors looked at 1232 reviews on the prevalence of anxiety; after eliminating duplicates and reviews that didn't meet their study criteria, they were left with 48 to analyze. They discovered that women are more prone than men to the kind of excessive worry, apprehension, and fear that can prove disruptive in day-to-day living. Another finding: pregnant women, in particular, were at a higher risk for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)—a form of anxiety disorder—both during and immediately after pregnancy. 

More research is needed before the team can draw any definitive conclusions about why women are more likely to experience anxiety, but co-author Oliva Remes told the BBC that hormonal changes and the pressure of caring for children could be possible contributors.

Forbes points out that according to the World Health Organization, women are also twice as likely to suffer from depression as men, which could potentially predispose them to other nervous disorders. Compounding factors also include income inequality and post-traumatic stress after assaults. 

And gender wasn't the only thing that factors into who experiences anxiety, according to the researchers. They also found that anxiety disorders are more common for residents of North America and Western Europe than for those who live in other parts of the world. (North America tops the list with nearly 8 percent of people suffering from anxiety.) And age is a factor as well: Globally, as many as 10 percent of men and women under 35 had an anxiety disorder.

The WHO reports that just two out of five people who could benefit from mental health treatment seek help within a year of onset. Those in need of counseling can ask their physician for a referral or search for a provider with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

[h/t NY Mag]

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Big Questions
How Long Could a Person Survive With an Unlimited Supply of Water, But No Food at All?
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How long could a person survive if he had unlimited supply of water, but no food at all?

Richard Lee Fulgham:

I happen to know the answer because I have studied starvation, its course, and its utility in committing a painless suicide. (No, I’m not suicidal.)

A healthy human being can live approximately 45 to 65 days without food of any kind, so long as he or she keeps hydrated.

You could survive without any severe symptoms [for] about 30 to 35 days, but after that you would probably experience skin rashes, diarrhea, and of course substantial weight loss.

The body—as you must know—begins eating itself, beginning with adipose tissue (i.e. fat) and next the muscle tissue.

Google Mahatma Gandhi, who starved himself almost to death during 14 voluntary hunger strikes to bring attention to India’s independence movement.

Strangely, there is much evidence that starvation is a painless way to die. In fact, you experience a wonderful euphoria when the body realizes it is about to die. Whether this is a divine gift or merely secretions of the brain is not known.

Of course, the picture is not so pretty for all reports. Some victims of starvation have experienced extreme irritability, unbearably itchy skin rashes, unceasing diarrhea, painful swallowing, and edema.

In most cases, death comes when the organs begin to shut down after six to nine weeks. Usually the heart simply stops.

(Here is a detailed medical report of the longest known fast: 382 days.)

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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Medicine
Why Haven't We Cured Cancer Yet?
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Walkathons, fundraisers, and ribbon-shaped bumper stickers raise research dollars and boost spirits, but cancer—the dreaded disease that affects more than 14 million people and their families at any given time—still remains bereft of a cure.

Why? For starters, cancer isn't just one disease—it's more than 100 of them, with different causes. This makes it impossible to treat each one using a one-size-fits-all method. Secondly, scientists use lab-grown cell lines cultivated from human tumors to develop cancer therapies. Living masses are far more complex, so potential treatments that show promise in lab experiments often don't work on cancer patients. As for the tumors themselves, they're prone to tiny genetic mutations, so just one growth might contain multiple types of cancer cells, and even unique sub-clones of tumors. These distinct entities might not respond the same way, or at all, to the same drug.

These are just a few of the challenges that cancer researchers face—but the good news is that they're working to beat all of them, as this TED-Ed video explains below.

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