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Health briefs: Measure cholesterol at age 20

There's reason to measure cholesterol at age 20 and take steps to improve results. People in their 20s and 30s who have high cholesterol are at increased risk for developing signs of coronary artery disease later, says a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers tested cholesterol in those 18-30 for two decades and measured calcium deposits in arteries, an indicator of plaque buildup. Those with high LDL ("bad") cholesterol when young were 3 to 5 times more likely to have calcification at age 45 than those with low LDL levels.


New alcohol study

When people are impaired by alcohol, they often think their mental and physical abilities have recovered before they actually have. In a study in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, university students drank enough to become inebriated, then navigated a maze on a computer screen over the next six hours as their blood alcohol level rose, then fell. Their feeling of inebriation did not correlate with their impairment, and their feeling of recovery improved more quickly than performance. This helps explain why people, thinking they have recovered, drive after drinking.

- University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, January 2011, wellnessletter.com

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