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Aug 06, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- MOST DON'T GET ENOUGH SLEEP

About 50 percent of U.S. adults choose work, late-night television or surf the Internet over sleep and it might hurt their health, a survey finds. A survey by the National Sleep Foundation finds the U.S. national average is about 7 hours of sleep a day, compared to 9 to 10 hours of sleep per night a century ago. According to the Harvard Heart Letter most people need eight hours of sleep. Not getting enough sleep increases blood pressure and stress hormone levels, while sleep deprivation makes it difficult for the body to process blood sugar and reduces levels of leptin, an appetite-depressing hormone that could lead to diabetes and weight gain.


A Canadian study finds both sports fishermen and those who buy Great Lakes fish, have detectable blood mercury levels. "Eating fish has well-documented nutritional benefits, such as the cardiovascular protection afforded by its Omega-3 fatty acids," says lead researcher Donald Cole of the University of Toronto. "Men and women who routinely eat Great Lakes fish should pay attention to fish advisories and make appropriate species selection, especially those of reproductive age." The study, published in Environmental Research, finds that 87 percent of the sports fishermen had detectable blood mercury levels, while consumers who bought fish all had detectable blood mercury levels, including two with above the accepted normal range of Health Canada.


The use of Viagra has grown more than 300 percent among younger U.S. men, says a study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research. The study, by Express Scripts, examined Viagra, or sildenafil, use among more than 5 million commercially insured adult beneficiaries 18 years and older from 1998 to 2002 and found that the underlying medical reason declined in all age groups. The findings suggest increased use of Viagra as an enhancement or recreational agent, according to study leader Tom Delate.


U.S. travelers suffering from "Montezuma's revenge" may not have to recover eating broth and bland foods like jello and toast. Traditionally those with travelers' diarrhea have been advised to restrict their diet to clear liquids and simple carbohydrates, like crackers. However, a University of Texas at Houston study finds that those with travelers' diarrhea treated with antibiotics who ate a bland diet did not recover any faster from than those who ate anything they wanted, according to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. "The best way to cure travelers' diarrhea is to seek antibiotic treatment and to keep eating," says Dr. Herbert DuPont. "But prevention is even better, tell the waiter that you're going to require everything served steaming hot."


(Editors: For more information on SLEEP, contact (877) 649-9457. For FISH, Donald Cole at (416) 946-7870 or For VIAGRA, Derrell Carter at (314)702-7584 or For Jeff Minerd, (301) 920-1966 or

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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