Vital Statistics

A roundup of some unusual studies making news. As always, a mention here doesn’t mean an endorsement.

Men outnumbered by women may live longer lives

According to a study published in the latest issue of Demography, men of marriageable age (18-27) who live in areas where they are outnumbered by women may just live longer. Researchers from both China and the U.S. looked at the relationship between sex ratios and life expectancy and found that only men were affected.

The researchers used data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, which followed thousands of the state’s 1957 high school graduates. The study showed that men who attended schools where boys outnumbered girls by more than 3-to-2, were 40 percent more likely to have died by age 65 than men who went to schools where girls outnumbered boys.

After also examining 12.7 million Medicare and Social Security records, the researchers found that men who reached marriageable age in states that were 52 percent male at the time were slightly more likely to have died than men who came of age in states that were only 47 percent male.

Drinking beer regularly increases risk of psoriasis in women

Women who drink beer on a regular basis may significantly increase their risk of developing psoriasis, according to new research published in the Archives of Dermatology.

Between the years 1991 and 2005, 82,869 women were studied. In comparison with nondrinkers, those who reported drinking at least five non-light beers a week had a 76 percent chance of developing the condition. The researchers adjusted for other risk factors such as age, smoking, obesity, diet and physical activity.

Why do heavier beers seem to contribute and not other alcoholic beverages? The researchers believe that barley, a grain used in the fermentation process of heavier beers, could be to blame. Barley contains gluten, a protein substance that people with psoriasis can be sensitive to.

More and more couples are meeting online, according to new survey

A new survey, How Couples Meet and Stay Together, finds that almost 30 percent of today’s couples have met online. While the web is currently the second-most popular way Americans find a partner, the survey predicts that the Internet will soon be number one.

The survey polled more than 4,000 Americans. The results showed that same-sex relationships were more likely to be the result of meeting online, with 61 percent of the relationships starting between 2007 and 2009 being the product of an online match.

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