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Aug 04, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- DOCTORS CAUTION ATHLETES ABOUT HEAT STROKE

Doctors warn that young athletes and their coaches should be aware of the dangers of heat stress as summer training begins. Between 1995 and 2002, at least 16 high school football players died of heat stroke, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. Football is the sport most often associated with heat stroke deaths because of the uniforms and equipment. But other vigorous sports such as soccer, cross-country running and field hockey pose risk of heat-related sickness. The Allegheny County Health Department recommends every athlete receive a physical exam, practice schedules take into account heat and humidity and gradually can become busier as athletes become acclimated, 10-minute water breaks be taken every 20 minutes of heavy exercise and energy drinks be checked for caffeine or supplements that could cause dehydration.

SWEATING CONDITION AFFECTS MILLIONS

A 150,000-household survey suggests hyperhidrosis -- excessive sweating -- affects almost 8 million Americans, more prevalent than previously thought. "The fact that we had an incredibly large response rate to our survey (70 percent) tells us this is not a mild nuisance experienced by a few people," said Dr. Dee Anna Glaser, professor of dermatology at St. Louis University. The condition can lead to anxiety, depression, isolation and a reduced quality of life, researchers said. About 90 percent of those who reported having the condition said it interfered with their life, at work, socially or romantically. People with hyperhidrosis tend to sweat even in cool environments, sweat under stress, change clothes several times a day because of sweating, and carry a handkerchief to wipe their hands. Treatment options include topical or oral medication, surgery and Botox, Glaser said.

MANY YOUTHS SHOW SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

More than 15 percent of youths between 12 and 17 could have post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, or practice substance abuse, a new study shows. Interviews with more than 4,000 boys and girls in this age group revealed almost 4 percent of boys and over 6 percent of girls reported PTSD symptoms during the six months before the survey. This indicates "a high percentage of youth in the United States encounter traumatic events and experience emotional responses associated with these events, said Dean Kilpatrick, of the Medical University of South Carolina. Major depression was identified in more than 7 percent of boys and almost 16 percent of girls. Substance abuse and dependence was found in more than 8 percent of boys and 6 percent of girls. If the youths were involved in or witnessed violence, such as sexual or physical assault, their risk of PTSD, depression and substance abuse increased.

MIRRORS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO POOR SELF IMAGE

New research suggests that women who exercise in front of mirrors feel worse afterward than those who do not use mirrors. The women in the study who exercised for 20 minutes in front of a mirror said they felt less energized, less relaxed and less positive than women who worked out without a mirror. Even the women who said they felt good about their bodies reported feeling worse after working out in front of their reflections, the researchers said. "As such, the recommended practice of placing mirrors in exercise centers may been to be reconsidered, especially in centers that are trying to attract exercise initiates," said Kathleen Martin Ginis of McMaster University. Currently, the standard guideline for exercise promotion suggests that workout rooms have mirrors on at least two out of four walls. Researchers said further studies should be done to determine how widespread the negative effects of mirrors are.

(Editors: For more information on HEAT, contact Guillermo Col at 412-578-8004 or gcole@achd.net. For SWEAT, Joseph Muehlenkamp at 314-977-8015 or muehlenk@slu.edu. For PTSD, David Partenheimer at 202-336-5706 or dpartenheimer@apa.org. For MIRRORS, Kathleen Martin Ginis at 905-525-9140 or martink@univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca)

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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