Lifelines

 

Children with asthma can win a prize - by contributing poetry about their condition and sending it to the Internet website of the European Federation of Asthma and Allergy Associations, www.efanet.org. The "kids' page" features a cartoon character to help children to learn about their condition, a colouring book, a problem page for teenagers and a facility to send "e-cards".

There is evidence that manic depression runs in families and a major study to attempt to identify the genes responsible is taking place at St James's Hospital in Dublin. Researchers would like to recruit suitable families (with at least two siblings who have experienced an episode of mania or been diagnosed as manic depressive). For further details, contact Dr Aiden Corvin, 016082465.

Women whose diets are high in saturated fat before pregnancy are more likely to experience severe nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy. The condition, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, can lead to dehydration, weight loss and if severe and untreated, liver and kidney damage. For each additional 15 grammes of fat consumed each day, the risk of developing hyperemesis gravidarum increases fivefold - a quarter-pound hamburger contains roughly 15 grammes of saturated fat. US researchers found monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat did not increase the risk. (Epidemiology)

Positively Healthy is the title of the public lecture series on women's health at the Coombe Women's Hospital in Dublin. The lectures this month are: preparing for parenthood (tomorrow), the enigma of endometriosis (10th), what causes miscarriage? (17th) and keyhole surgery in gynaecology (24th). All lectures begin at 8 p.m. in the hospital conference centre.

Fashion victims may have to make extra visits to the dentist, warns a US dentist. Piercing your tongue and inserting rings, posts or studs can result in damaged teeth, since the tapping of metal on teeth can cause microfractures. These hairline cracks, which are invisible to the naked eye, can leave the nerve of the tooth exposed to either temperature changes or small food particles, causing mild to severe pain.

Smoke-related diseases will prematurely kill 50 per cent of today's young smokers - and 80 per cent of all smokers become addicted between the ages of 14 and 16. Despite legislation banning the sale of cigarettes to the under 16s, research has shown that more than 80 per cent of young people who attempt to buy them are successful. This week, the Smoking Target Action Group is starting a campaign to stamp-out the sale of cigarettes to the under-16s, aimed at the local corner shop, and using the catchy slogan, "I have to say no".

The Irish Association for Counselling and Therapy is holding a national conference, Forging Links, to promote communication and strengthen ties between the professional and voluntary sectors in the field of counselling. Workshops include: schools and suicide, counselling and the media. For further details, 01-7031830.