Women at an Increased Risk for Heart Disease

In the past, heart disease was not as much of a concern for women as it was for men. But, times have changed. According to a recent report from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, women are now at a greater risk of developing heart problems than men. As such, women are actually now more likely to die from a stroke or heart attack.

Even more frightening, the report claims that women are less likely to be treated by a heart specialist or to be treated to a new facility for care. As a result, women are less likely to receive the same life-saving procedures as their male counterparts. This is likely due to the fact that heart problems are perceived as a “male” problem.

“Women need to be aware that heart disease and stroke are equal opportunity killers, and women need to go in and talk to their family doctors at an annual health exam….and talk about a cardiac risk assessment.” - Dr. Beth Abramson, Heart and Stroke Foundation

The rise in female fatalities connected to heart troubles is not fully understood, though specialists believe it is a combination of social and biological factors. The problems within the medical community and the failure to recognize heart problems in women is also a likely contributor. In fact, the risk of a woman dying within 30 days following an incident is up a mind boggling 16% for heart attacks and 11% for stroke.

Of course, women themselves are also responsible for the rise. Women need to be aware of their risks and of the signs and symptoms associated with heart problems. Taking a quick assessment quiz is a good way for a woman to determine her individual risks and to come up with a plan for better health.


Japan Health Minister Offends Women Throughout the Country

The health minister in Japan has really stirred up a ruckus among the women of the country when he referred to them as “birth-giving machines.” Apparently, the health minister was addressing a potentially serious problem in Japan – a decrease in the population.

Contrary to other countries throughout the world, Japan is actually experiencing a decline in population. While other countries are trying to slow down the rate of population growth, Japan is worried about its population drop. This is a major concern for the country because of the possibility of labor shortages in the future as well as the difficulties the country will have with paying pensions and the health bills of the elderly.

In a speech to the country addressing this drop in population, which is primarily because of a decline in births, the health minister states that “The number of birth-giving machines [and] devices is fixed, so all we can ask is that they do their best per head.”

As can be imagined, referring to women as baby making machines did not go over too well with the women of the country. Similarly, the implied request for women to have more babies was not well-received in a country where it is still expected for women to quit their jobs after having a baby. Because of this societal expectation, more Japanese women are deciding not to have children or to only have one child.

The health minister did apologize for the remarks he made, but only because he recognized that his word choices were “too uncivil.” Apparently, he didn’t have a problem with the underlying message of what he had to say.
The leader of the Japanese Democratic Party summed it up nicely when he said, “It was extremely rude to women. Having children or not having children is naturally a matter that women and households are free [to decide themselves


Women Still Being Murdered for Being “Witches”

It appears that the fear of witchcraft is still alive today. Every United States citizen knows about the senselessness of the Salem Witch Trials. The embarrassment of this event is one that the country gladly puts behind it. But, in Papua New Guinea, the fear of sorcery is still leading to unnecessary deaths,

According to a recent report, police in Papua New Guinea discovered the bodies of four women that appeared to have been tortured until admitting to sorcery. Apparently, the women were blamed for the deaths of three prison officers, who were killed together in a car crash. Using hot metal rods, the villagers allegedly tormented the women before finally killing them and burying them in a standing position.

Although the women were actually killed in October, their bodies were only just discovered because the villagers successfully disguised the gravesite by planting a banana tree and free grass on top of it. They also placed a pair of old vehicle tires on top to further disguise the burial site.

According to reports, this case is not a rarity. The nation is well-known for suspecting women of being witches and killing them by burning them to death or hanging them.


Blog Seeks to Help Women Suffering from Domestic Violence

A recently introduced blog is putting a new twist on how people look at blogs. The Hope Centre blog has been created by the Preston Women’s Refuge’s Hope Centre, which is a sanctuary for women that are victims of domestic violence.

"The Hope Centre should stay open. If it wasn't for a flyer I
received at Hope Centre, I'd still be stuck in a nasty situation that would have
just got worse." - Mary, Hope Centre service user.

Apparently, the Centre is facing the possibility of having to shut its doors. So, in an attempt to spread awareness about domestic violence while also raising money to stay open for the women that need them, the Centre as launched what is being referred to as a “fly on the wall” blog.

In this blog, staff and women staying at the center keep an on-line diary or web-log of sorts. This blog providers readers with a real-time look at what is taking place at the Centre. In addition, it gives the women staying at the Centre the opportunity to express just how much the place means to them.

A visit to the blog can certainly become an eye-opening experience.


Plasma Transfusions from Women are Potentially Fatal

Scientists have discovered that the plasma from female blood donors causes a very serious condition in certain recipients. The condition, called TRALI, is a form of lung injury that affects only a few hundred people each year. But, approximately 10% of those affected ultimately die from the condition.

Not much is understood about TRALI, but it is characterized by the victim’s lungs filling with fluid and unable to breather. And, since most blood transfusion recipients are already ill to begin with, the condition sometimes goes unrecognized until it is too late.

"This is a bigger problem than we were aware of." - Dr.
Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer of the American Red Cross.

TRALI has become such a serious problem, in fact, that the number of reported cases have doubled in just the past two years. In response to this serious issue, the Lewis and Clark Region of the American Red Cross is working toward using only the plasma from male donors for those in need of a transfusion.

The connection between female plasma and TRALI still is not fully understood. It is believed that the antibodies created by the female body during pregnancy has a negative reaction with the white blood cells of the recipient.

The plasma of women still has its important uses. Rather than being used for blood transfusions, it can still be used to make life-saving medications for individuals with blood disorders. In addition, female blood donors are still vitally needed because more red blood cell transfusions are needed than plasma each year. In addition, the number of male donors is far from enough to cover the need.


Womb Transplant to Occur Later This Year

Doctors in the United States are hoping to perform the very first womb transplant from a deceased donor later this year. Already, the screening process has begun for the first woman recipient.

"The desire to have a child is a tremendous driving force for many women. We think we could help many women fulfill this very basic desire." Dr. Del Priore.

Doctors feel as if they are ready to begint the womb transplant process, believinig the surgery could potentially benefitthousands of women that had to have their womb surgically removed for health reasons or that were simply born without one.

The concept of a womb transplant isn't entirely new. In fact, a 26-year-old woman in Saudi Arabia has a womb transplant in 2000. Unfortunately, she suffered from complications and had to have the womb removed only 99 days after the surgery. In addition, the donor womb came from a 46-year-old living woman that agreed to have her womb removed while going through surgery for the removal of ovarian cysts.

The plan to use the womb of a deceased owner is entirely new and is not without complications. The woman receiving the womb will need to wait at least three months before undergoing an embryo transfer or in vitro fertilisation. Once the baby is born, which must be through Caesarean section, the womb also needs to ber removed. During the entire period the womb is in the woman's body, she would need to take anti-rejection drugs in order to prevent her body from rejecting the womb.

To date, womb transplants have been successfully completed on sheep, mice, macaque monkeys, and dogs. Nonetheless, there is controversy as to whether or not doctors are truly ready to try the surgery on a human. According to Thoams Murray from the Hastings Centre bioethics think tank, "This raises a set of very difficult medical and ethical questions. I think it's very questionable. This would be very hard to justify."

Is it hard to justify following through with a womb transplant? Or, should women be able to make the decision for themselves whether or not they should take the risks involved? If it is a woman's choice to end a pregnancy, should she also have the choice to undergo a womb transplant in order to become pregnant? Is science pushing it too far, or is this a step in the right direction for helping those who want to have children?


Women Still Not Becoming Engineers

It appears that not much has changed over the past several years - women are still not showing much interest in technical fields such as engineering. In fact, of the 855 people majoring in engineering at Georgia Tech, only 87 of them are women. On the national scale, only about 1/5 of enginerring students are women.

Why is it that women are not as interested in the field of engineering as their male counterparts? Is it due to stereotyping? Does our educational system fail to encourage women to enter the field? Are women just misinformed when it comes to what an engineer really does? According to one study, many women weren't interested in the field of engineering simply because they didn't perceive it as a field that allowed them to help others. Is this the key to getting more women into the field? Do schools and high school counselors need to better demonstrate to girls the many ways that engineering can impact the lives of others?

The fact is, the United States needs to find a way to get women more interested in the field of engineering if we hope to remain competitive with other countries in the field. Currently, the United States falls far behind other countries such as India and China when it comes to the number of engineers, and scientists in general for that matter, that we graduate from our colleges. Getting more women and minorities interested in the field is key to increasing our numbers of engineers. In addition, the diverse and creative perspective brought in by women can help set the United States apart from other countries. So, it is time to start finding some answers to these questions.


Study Reveals Women are Safer Drivers

According to a recent report, all of the jokes that have long been told about terrible women drivers are completely ungrounded. The report, which was released by Carnegie Mellon University, states that male drivers are actually 77% more likely to die in a car accident than women.

The report was created after viewing Traffic STATS, which provides a risk analysis of all of the road fatality statistics that were created at Carnegie Mellon University. The data details the risk for a variety of age groups and genders. The study didn't analyze why there was a difference in the fatality rates among genders, but theories center around differences in height and weight as well as how seatbelts and airbags are made.

When it comes to elderly women, however, young boys appear to be better drivers. It seems that elderly women over the age of 82 are the most likely to be killed in a car accident. But, young boys between the ages of 18 and 23 are a close second. And, while women are overall safer drivers, middle-aged women are more likely than men to be killed while driving an older car or when on a curvy road.

These statistics are just one more reason for car manufactures to look at the way they make their vehicles. What can they change about their design to improve the safety of all drivers? How roads of the future be changed to make them safer? Do laws need to be looked at more closely in order to improve safety? What should be done to make the roads safer for all?


Breast Cancer Risk Linked to Density

A recent study has concluded that women with extremely dense breasts are more likley to suffer from breast cancer than those with more fatty tissue. The difference in breast make-up is fairly easy to determine with a mammogram, where the fat looks darker than dense tissue. Unfortunately, density cannot be determined without the help of a mammogram.

Frighteningly, tumors are also lighter in color. Obviously, this makes it more difficult to locate tumors within dense breast tissue. In the past, researchers believed women with dense breasts had more cases of breast cancer simply because of the difficulty to locate tumors in the tissue. In reality, the new research has shown that women with dense breasts are actually five times more likely to develop tumors in the first place.

With the new findings, breast density is now added to the list of risk factors associated with breast cancer. Yet, this risk factor remains largely ignored by doctors. The question is, what can women do to get their doctors to take this risk more seriously? With so many women dying from breast cancer every year because risk factors such as density are being overlooked, it seems it is time for the research to be taken more seriously and for women to demand that their doctors take notice.


Belisi Announces Blog

Belisi, which has long been known for its luxury wardrobe accessories such as scarves and handbags, has recently announced a new blog at To start with, the blog won't actually be written by a woman, but the target audience will certainly be women that are interested in luxury fashion. And, as an added little touch, the blog will actually be written by owner Peter Belisi. So, the information presented will be sure to be on the cutting edge of fashion and luxury.

Perhaps one of the most admirable traits of the Belisi brand is the owner's desire to give back to his roots. Having worked his way up to ladder of luxury, Belisis understands the struggles of the working class.

"The Belisi Brand was founded to enhance luxury wardrobes, while making the world a little brighter for everyone." - Peter Belisi

Belisi puts this credo to work with every purchase made of his luxury items, as a portion of the money is used to help fight poverty, to fund medical research, and to help protect the environment.


Drinking yourself to death for a Wii

A young mother that past away from water poisoning while trying to win a Wii for her children. A local CA radio station had a contest entitled "Hold your Wee for a Wii." After consuming a large amount of water in an attempt to win the game system (some estimates say she drank almost 2 gallons of water), the young mother told the judges she had a headache and left the contest. A few hours later, she was found dead.
"It appears the DJs involved in a fatal radio contest were well aware of the risks of drinking too much water during a contest in which listeners drank large amounts of water. A mother of three died after the contest on the Sacrament morning radio show." From CBS13
Not surprisingly, the family is suing the radio station for her death but is the radio station really liable for her death? What about personal responsiblity and saying no? The fact that they fired 10 employees over the matter may not look good at trial.