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Health Tips ... from UPI

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International

VOICE INDICATES PHYSICAL FITNESS

A Harris Interactive survey finds 33 percent of U.S. adults admire a good voice and avoid those voices they find irritating. "People make judgments based on voices because the condition of your voice reflects the care you take in maintaining general physical fitness," says Renee Grant-Williams, vocal coach of Faith Hill and other singers. The survey, for Cepacol sore throat-soothing products, also finds that 21 percent feel a person's voice is as important as their looks. For a better voice, Grant-Williams recommends getting adequate rest, drinking lots of fluids, avoiding throat clearing and being conscious of any pressure on vocal cords, such as whispering, which almost is as damaging as yelling.

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MORE SEEKING VEGETARIAN MEALS

A survey finds 41 percent of U.S. adults say they still find meatless substitutes and vegetarian products "too weird." However, 44 percent now eat vegetarian foods as part of a daily diet that also includes meat, because they think vegetarian food is healthy for them, finds a CARAVAN survey of 1,000 adults, conducted by Opinion Research Corp. on behalf of Lightlife, a producer of refrigerated vegetarian food. More than six in 10 Americans are looking past labels and fad diets in the New Year and resolve to eat a sensible diet that is nutritious, the survey finds. Fourteen percent say they usually follow a vegetarian diet, but occasionally eat fish or meat, while 25 percent say they are looking to eat less meat in 2005.

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POST-HEART ATTACK DEPRESSION A RISK

Post-heart attack depression is common, affecting nearly 20 percent of all heart attack patients -- doubling the risk of death, a Dutch study finds. Dr. Joost van Melle of University Hospital Groningen in the Netherlands says patients depressed after their heart attack had a twofold increase in the risk of dying or a new heart problem two years later. The researchers say they are unsure exactly how depression relates to the greater risk of death in these patients. The findings are published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.


PERSISTENT SNORING NOT NORMAL

Persistent snoring -- the result of the airway being partially obstructed -- is not normal and may require a doctor's attention, say Texas researchers. "For mild snoring cases, changes in body or head position may be sufficient," says Dr. John Truelson, of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "Nasal airway problems often contribute to the problem as well -- patients with sleep apnea may be treated with devices or with surgery." Sleep apnea is a potentially serious problem because people periodically stop breathing while asleep, preventing delivery of oxygen to the lungs. The condition carries risks including higher incidence of hypertension, stroke or heart attack.

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(EDITORS: For more information on VOICE, contact Laurie Lindenbaum at (914) 241-0086, ext. 26. For VEGETARIAN, Amy Danis at (312) 228-6894 at amy.danis@ketchum.com. For SNORING, Kara Lenocker at (214) 648-3404)

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