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</P> Keep the mind sharp through intellectual stimulation - ideally with a frien.

Mid-life mindsavers

Keep the mind sharp through intellectual stimulation - ideally with a friend.

Testing the hypothesis that engaging in leisure intellectual activities helps guard against brain aging, researchers found that leisure activity entailing high cognitive effort or social interaction was associated with better cognitive ability in middle age. They found that people who took evening classes, attended social and cultural events, or played cards were more effective in keeping their minds sharp than were those who only engaged in solitary activities such as gardening or household tasks.

Realistic relationships

Expecting too much from your spouse can weaken the bond and sabotage the health and happiness of your relationship.

Having realistic, positive expectations for the relationship could help make it stronger. Relationship researchers from the Department of Psychology at Ohio State University found that people who expect a partner to fulfill all their needs may end up feeling disappointed when those needs are not met. The researchers noted that while positive expectations can nourish a relationship, high expectations lead to relationship dissatisfaction in the early years of marriage.
Their recipe for a healthy relationship? Expect the best of one another and keep expectations realistic.

Hysterical medicine

Hysterectomy (the surgical removal of the uterus) is often recommended and performed inappropriately.

An assessment to determine the appropriateness of recommending hysterectomies was conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA and published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. The assessment reviewed the medical records for 497 women from Southern California who had hysterectomies between August 1993 and July 1995. Two sets of criteria for the assessment were used: an expert-physician panel, using the RAND/University of California-Los Angeles appropriateness method, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology criteria sets for hysterectomies. The results were shocking. They revealed that 367 of the 497 women (70 percent) had hysterectomies performed that did not meet the level of care recommended by the expert panel and were judged to be recommended inappropriately. The most common reasons the hysterectomies were deemed inappropriate were lack of adequate diagnostic evaluation and failure to try alternative treatments before hysterectomy.

In a separate study, researchers at the University of North Carolina's Department of Medicine compared hysterectomy rates with the age of the gynecologist and discovered that younger gynecologists, educated more recently, performed far fewer hysterectomies than older doctors.

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