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Dec 10, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- ANGER AFFECTS GUM DISEASE

Researchers say people who are constantly angry or who are social hermits are at higher risk for developing gum disease. A study in this month's Journal of the American Dental Association finds men who reported being angry on a daily basis had a 43 percent higher risk of developing periodontitis compared with men who kept their cool. Also, men who said they had at least one close friend had a 30 percent lower risk of developing periodontitis compared with those who did not. The study says stress is associated with poor oral hygiene, as well as increased glucocorticoid secretion, which can depress immune function, and increased insulin resistance. All of those factors potentially can increase the risk of developing gum disease.


The jury is still out when it comes to using testosterone replacement therapy to treat low sex drive and sexual dysfunction in older men. Dr. S. Mitchell Harman, director of the Kronos Longevity Research Institute in Phoenix, writes in the November/December issue of Journal of Andrology that while it is well established that the amount of free testosterone in the blood stream of men decreases with age, what researchers don't know is whether testosterone replacement therapy for older men is safe and if it will bring back the sexual vigor of their youth. Harman says more study is needed so KLRI is beginning a five-year research project looking at the potential increased risk of atherosclerosis as a result of testosterone replacement therapy in aging men.


University of Miami researchers have found the anti-epileptic drug Keppra (levetiracetam) is safe and effective in elderly patients. The drug controlled seizures and was well tolerated by more than 70 percent of elderly patients with epilepsy evaluated in a new study. More than a third of the patients age 60 and over became seizure free and 60 percent took Keppra alone. The results were presented at the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting in Boston. The rate of epilepsy among the elderly is twice that of people under 65 years of age. Many cases are caused by common conditions such as stroke, heart attack and Alzheimer's disease.


Women can control their menstrual cycles by changing the way they take birth control pills, researchers say. Dr. Rosalina Abboud of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., says women can decide when and how often they menstruate -- even postponing periods indefinitely -- by continuously taking birth control pills rather than stopping for a week each month. The option of less frequent periods is welcome news for many women whose health problems, such as anemia, asthma, migraines or epilepsy, are worsened by their periods. Some women also find menstruation painful and debilitating. Women should talk to their doctor before changing how they take birth control pills, however, because for some oral contraceptives present risks, especially for those over age 35, those who smoke or who have high blood pressure.


(EDITORS: For more information about GUM DISEASE, contact Fred Peterson at (312) 440-2806 or For TESTOSTERONE, Denise Resnik at (602) 956-8834. For KEPPRA, Jeanne Antol Krull at (305) 243-4853 and for THE PILL, Carol Lammers, (507) 284-5005 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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