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THE DANGERS OF EXERCISE
In previous editions, Sophia has taken trouble to encourage a healthy lifestyle including plenty of exercise, but two recent case reports from the sports medicine literature provide reason to reconsider some aspects of this. A rugby player survived sepsis from a lung abscess, which the authors speculate may have followed blood-borne spread of infection from an ear wound, combined with immunodeficiency caused by “overtraining” (Br J Sports Med 2007;41:696–8). In a separate paper, two patients are reported to have suffered rectus sheath haematomas as a result of non-contact exercise in the form of yoga and laughter therapy (Br J Sports Med 2007;41:688–90). Here is proof that it is possible to split your sides with laughter. Back to the sofa everyone!
STRESS AND THE HEART
Whilst on the sofa, it might be wise to read the review article on the cardiovascular toll of stress (Lancet 2007;370:1089–100). It contains extensive elucidation of the mechanisms through which stress can adversely affect the heart. It seems that genetics may account for peripheral …