Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Briefs

By Stephen Luntz

Brief bites of science news for subscribers only.

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Soft Drinks Damage Eyes
Carbohydrate intake, particularly from soft drinks, has been correlated with narrower arteries in the back of children’s eyes. Narrowed arteries in the eyes are associated with a higher risk of heart disease and high blood pressure in future years.

“Children with a high consumption of soft drinks and carbohydrates had a more adverse microvascular profile compared to those who did not drink so many soft drinks or eat so many carbs,” said Dr Bamini Gopinath of Westmead Millennium Institute. The narrowing does not affect vision.

The study of 2000 Sydney students, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, follows on from research showing that television viewing has similar effects on the eye’s arteries (AS, June 2011, p.43).

The children in the study will be tracked in longitudinal research.

Weight Is a Clot Risk
In an unsurprising but significant finding, obesity in middle-aged women has been correlated with venous thromboembolism (VTE) – the formation of blood clots in the legs that can sometimes travel to the lungs.

In Circulation, Dr Lianne Parkin of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago used the UK’s Million Women Study to find that in the 12 weeks after surgery 4.8 women in 1000 with a body mass index of 25 or less...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.