Heavy Drinking Raises HIV Risk
Drinking alcohol has a causal effect upon the likelihood of having unsafe sex, conclude researchers. The study, published in Addiction, summarizes 12 experiments which systematically test the cause-and-effect relationship of drinking and unsafe sex. Researchers pooled the results and found that the more alcohol consumed, the stronger the intention of engaging in unsafe sex. "Drinking has a causal effect on the likelihood to engage in unsafe sex, and thus should be included as a major factor in preventive efforts for HIV," notes Dr. J. Rehm, the principal investigator of the study. Rehm says that alcohol puts people who know better at risk because it affects the decision-making process.
Having Bar Nearby Isn't Good
The density of liquor stores or pubs in a neighborhood is linked with rates of domestic violence, say researchers who monitored changes in alcohol availability and cases of domestic violence in Australia. The study revealed that adding just one liquor store per 1,000 residents in a neighborhood was associated with an almost 30 percent increase in local domestic violence. Researchers found that rates of police-reported domestic violence were 6 percent higher per 1,000 residents for each additional pub or hotel allowing the sale of alcohol for consumption on location or off-site. For bars and nightclubs, which offer alcohol for consumption on location only, the increase in domestic violence was 2 percent. Findings are published in the journal Addiction.
Crib Deaths and Alcohol
Alcohol consumption by caretakers is suspected to be the cause of a sharp New Year's Day spike in the number of infants who die from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), also known as "crib death" or "cot death." The SIDS rate surges by 33 percent on New Year's Day, say researchers from the University of California, San Diego. According to sociologist David Phillips and his coauthors, that spike is beyond the normal winter SIDS increase. The researchers, who analyzed 129,090 SIDS cases from 1973 to 2006, published their findings in the journal Addiction. SIDS is the leading cause of death for babies ages 1 month to 1 year. The syndrome, which affects seemingly normal babies while they sleep, is diagnosed when other causes of death are ruled out.
Morning People Smoke Less
Night owls have a more difficult time quitting smoking, and they're more likely to take up smoking than morning people, say researchers from the University of Helsinki in Finland. Research findings, available in the journal Addiction, suggest that smokers who are night owls are more likely to have nicotine dependence. It's not completely understood why evening people are more likely to smoke, but researchers think that perhaps it could be because they're are more likely to stay out late in restaurants and bars where people smoke, says MSNBC. Another explanation is that night owls could be more prone to pleasure-seeking behavior and addiction.
Cigs May Cause Stress
Chronic stress levels may go down once you quit smoking, say researchers writing in the journal Addiction. While people often turn to cigarettes in times of stress, it seems that the smoking habit could affect long-term stress levels. Reuters reports on the new study of 469 smokers who were hospitalized for heart disease and were motivated to quit smoking. Researchers found that the patients who abstained from smoking for a year displayed a reduction in perceived stress levels. However, the patients who continued to smoke had unchanged stress levels. The researchers believe that the findings support the idea that smoking is itself a potential source of chronic stress.