A DARK SECRET

There's more sweet news about chocolate and your health: A new study suggests that eating a bit of dark chocolate each day may cut the odds of heart attack and stroke in high-risk people. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, antioxidant substances known to have heart-protective effects. Until now, the potential benefits of dark chocolate on heart health have been examined only in short-term studies. In the new study, Australian researchers used a mathematical model to predict the long-term health effects of daily consumption of dark chocolate among more than 2,000 people who had high blood pressure and what's known as the "metabolic syndrome" -- a group of conditions that increases a person's risk of heart disease and diabetes. Daily consumption was set at 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of dark chocolate. The researchers determined that 100 percent compliance with eating dark chocolate every day could potentially prevent 70 nonfatal and 15 fatal cardiovascular events per 10,000 people over 10 years.

DEPRESSION HELP: A PHONE CALL AWAY

Many people drop out of depression therapy before it has a chance to help, but new research suggests that therapy done over the phone might keep more people in treatment. The study found that about 21 percent of people receiving therapy via telephone dropped out, compared to 33 percent of those in face-to-face therapy. "Psychotherapy can be delivered over the phone safely and effectively, and it should be considered as an option for treating depression," said study author David Mohr, a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Results of the study appear in the June 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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