A study released today in the British Medical Journal
indicates that for women, being stressed out on a daily basis reduces the risk of breast cancer
. Due largely to my own stress levels, I don't have time (or energy) to really pick apart the study right now, but on the surface it seems pretty good. The proposed mechanism - that stress reduces estrogen which increases breast cancer rates - seems sound, but you gotta wonder if the reduction in breast cancer risk is worth all the bad side effects of stress.
For a whole different kind of stress, try going into a coma. It's loads of fun, I swear*. The Mayo Clinic has developed a replacement for the 30-something-year-old Glasgow Coma Scale
, which has a number of serious limitations, particularly in severe trauma cases. The new system
, called FOUR
(Full Outline of UnResponsiveness), takes into account new data that were uncollectable when Glasgow was developed. Progress is good.
But again, stress can be a useful thing, even in avoiding stress. How much does it suck to be out for a nice hike, only to have your cell phone
run out power? A new backpack uses the up-and-down movement of walking to generate up to 7 watts of power
- plenty to power your wifi-enabled-cellphone-PDA-MP3-player-crackberry-thing. Which I would find just stressful to have anyways.*This may be how I deal with daily crappy-job stress: "I've had worse."