Ask the Experts (Scientific American Special Online Issue by Scientific American

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Additional info for Ask the Experts (Scientific American Special Online Issue No. 25)

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The prevalence of couvade is difficult to measure because of its varied definitions and the skewed rates of symptom reporting. In modern Western populations, estimates of couvade’s frequency range from less than 20 percent to more than 80 percent of expectant fathers. Only recently has this phenomenon received attention from biologists, spawning a variety of hypotheses. For one, change in one partner’s lifestyle can affect the other’s: the cravings and increased appetite of a pregnant woman may pave the way for the father’s weight gain, heartburn and indigestion.

This very thin skin also sits on top of underlying purple muscle and blood vessels and therefore appears darker. In addition, some people have hereditary pigmentation in this area. As we age, fat comes out of the space enclosed by the eye socket, called the orbit, and forms a puffy area under the eye. This fatty tissue can fill with water, making the hollow appear even deeper. The condition becomes even more noticeable when water is retained in the fat pad, which can occur for a variety of reasons, including eating too much salt, lying flat in bed, not getting enough sleep, allergies and monthly hormonal changes.

Cutler, senior scientific adviser for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, responds: The origin of the designation of 120/80 as the threshold for “normal” blood pressure is unknown. ) It may have come from data available early in the 20th century from life insurance physical exams. In any case, epidemiological studies confirm that the risk of a heart attack or stroke begins to increase in adults when the systolic is 115 or greater or the diastolic is 75 or more.

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