ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
CANCER
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Oregano Shown to be the Most Powerful Culinary Herb
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
FITNESS
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
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Laughter Can Boost Heart Health

FRIDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- New research lends weight to the old adage that laughter can be powerful medicine, particularly when it comes to your heart.

Two studies presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting in Seattle found that laughter not only can reduce stress, which can damage the heart, it can lead to improved blood flow, which can help ward off high blood pressure.

The first study included a small group of healthy adults who were asked to watch either a comedy or documentary film. They were then checked for activity of the carotid arteries -- the main arteries in the neck that bring blood to the brain and face -- during the films.

People who watched the comedy displayed improved "arterial compliance" -- the amount of blood that moves through the arteries at a given time. Decreased arterial compliance is often linked with high blood pressure and heart disease, according to an American College of Sports Medicine news release.

"Arterial compliance was improved for a full 24 hours after subjects watched a funny movie," said lead researcher Jun Sugawara. "Laughing is likely not the complete solution to a healthy heart, but it appears to contribute to positive effects."

The second study focused on vascular function and the dilation of blood vessels. When a second group of adults watched either a comedy or a serious documentary, there was more dilation of blood vessels during the comedy. Constricted blood vessels can be a cause of high blood pressure, the news release said.

"Not only did comedies improve vascular dilation, but watching a documentary about a depressing subject was actually harmful to the blood vessels," said Takashi Tarumi, lead researcher on the second study. "These documentaries constricted blood vessels by about 18 percent."

In both studies, the beneficial effects of laughter lasted for 24 hours, the researchers said.

The college's annual meeting concludes May 30.

SOURCES: May 29, 2009, news release, American College of Sports Medicine Published on: May 29, 2009