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Am Fam Physician. 1999;59(2):261

Low-fat dairy products can reduce the risk of colon cancer, according to a study in JAMA. Researchers studied 70 people who were at risk for colon cancer. The control group continued regular diets, while the experimental group increased their consumption of low-fat dairy foods to reach 1,500 mg of calcium per day. The mucosal lining of the colon and a number of indicators of colon cancer were evaluated for one year. At six and 12 months, significant positive changes, including a reduction in the growth of abnormal cells, were shown in the experimental group. The increase in dairy product intake may have also returned some precancerous colon cells to normal.

What's an airline flight without a packet of honey roasted peanuts? Lifesaving, if you ask airline passengers who are allergic to peanuts. According to the Food Allergy Network, most of the estimated 125 food-allergy deaths that occur in the United States each year are caused by peanuts. The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed that U.S. airlines offer peanut-free “buffer zones” for passengers with peanut allergy. Rather than keep peanuts out of the air entirely, the snacks would not be allowed to enter the three-by-three seat blocks, reports Physician's Weekly.

What qualities do older adults look for in a romantic partner? The National Council on the Aging recently released a Roper Starch Worldwide survey of 1,300 Americans age 60 or older. According to 90 percent of respondents, a romantic partner must have high moral character, a pleasant personality, brains and a sense of humor. Seventy-six percent of men and 46 percent of women surveyed want a partner who is interested in sex; 67 percent of men and 48 percent of women seek a partner with an attractive body; 58 percent of men and 72 percent of women want a partner who is religious; and 56 percent of men and 85 percent of women want a partner who is financially secure.

Professional soccer players should use their heads when dealing with concussions. A study published in Neurology compared mental abilities of 53 professional soccer players with abilities in 27 elite swimming and track athletes. The soccer players had impaired memory, planning and recognition skills as compared with the other athletes. Soccer players may sustain brain injuries from heading the ball or concussions from colliding with other players. A professional soccer player may take up to 175 lb of force on the head when a ball has been kicked at full power. In one season, players in the study took an average of 800 headers. Seventy-nine percent experienced one or more head-to-head collisions and 54 percent had one or more concussions associated with soccer.

Menopause isn't quite the ordeal it used to be, according to 752 women between the ages of 50 and 65 years who were surveyed by The North American Menopause Society. Being more open about menopause may be the reason for this change. Forty-three percent of women believe they talk about menopause more than their mother's generation did, and 83 percent say they have discussed menopause with someone from their own generation rather than with someone from their mother's generation. Fifty-three percent of women feel they have prepared their daughters for menopause.

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