Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 3rd 2016 Contents A28
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, June 3, 2016
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
Long-term cannabis use is associated with few
physical health problems in early midlife, according
to new research published on Wednesday.
Researchers found that that the long-term recre-
ational cannabis users studied suffered poor gum
health but found no other physical health problems
across a dozen measures. The study, published on
Wednesday by JAMA Psychiatry, followed more than
1,000 New Zealanders from birth to age 38, tracking
study participants self-reported cannabis use from
"One thing that surprised me is that we didn t see
associations between cannabis use and poorer lung
function," said Madeline Meier, a professor of psy-
chology at Arizona State University and one of the
paper s authors.
Meier added that this finding is consistent with
similar studies looking at the relationship between
marijuana use and cardiovascular health. But she said
unlike past studies, this one did not rely on participants
to report their own wellbeing, and instead included
two physical health exams.
The study compared the health of cannabis users
to that of tobacco users, and found that while marijuana
use was related to few physical health problems, tobacco
use was associated with multiple issues, including
worse lung function and metabolic health.
"What we re seeing is that cannabis may be harmful
in some respects, but possibly not in every way," study
co-author Avshalom Caspi said in a news release. "We
need to recognise that heavy recreational cannabis use
does have some adverse consequences, but overall
damage to physical health is not apparent in this study."
Previous research on the same sample of New
Zealanders has shown that marijuana use is associated
with increased risk of psychotic illness, IQ decline and
downward socioeconomic mobility, Meier said.
In the new study, a team of researchers assessed
periodontal health through clinical attachment loss,
which essentially measures the loss of gum support
around a tooth. According to the study, 55.61 per cent
of those with more than 15 years of regular cannabis
use had periodontal disease, compared with 13.53 per
cent of those who never used cannabis. Meier said
that cannabis users poor gum health wasn t explained
by their dental hygiene or by tobacco smoking or
alcohol abuse. (Guardian UK)
Many top sportswomen continue training after
they get pregnant. A new report commissioned by
the International Olympic Committee confirms there
are fewer risks than you might think.
Female athletes often have irregular menstrual cycles,
so it s not uncommon for them to become pregnant
without knowing. Over the years, at least 17 women
have competed at the Olympics pregnant.
So how safe is it to train and compete while pregnant?
"There are only a few high-quality studies into preg-
nancy among elite athletes or those who exercise a
great deal, but it seems that many do continue to exer-
cise during pregnancy, and it does not affect them in
a negative way," says Prof Kari Bo from the Norwegian
School of Sports Sciences. "It doesn t seem to harm
either the foetus or the mother."
These athletes are no more at risk of problematic
pregnancies or birth defects, though Bo says that
when such things do occur people often mistakenly
make a link to physical activity during pregnancy. At
the same time, there is no evidence that athletes have
an easier time during pregnancy or childbirth.
Historically, advice given to pregnant women relating
to exercise has been muddled and speculative. For a
long time exercise was simply thought to conflict
with a woman s reproductive ability. The roots of this
feeling were unscientific, and more to do with gender
roles than with the health of mother or baby.
But in the 1980s some researchers began to reason
that the demands exercise placed on a woman s body---
in terms of oxygen, blood flow, nutrients and tem-
perature---were similar to those made by a foetus. So
if pregnant women exercised, these doctors suggested,
the foetus might lose out in a battle for resources.
Study says long-term pot
use causes poor gum health
Why it's OK to run
when you are pregnant
Cannabis smoking causes gum disease over a long-term period but not lung
cancer or heart disease.
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