Early periods, menopause linked to heart disease: study

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Updated 16 January 2018
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Early periods, menopause linked to heart disease: study

PARIS: Women who started menstruating at the age of 11 or younger, or entered menopause before 47, face a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a study published Tuesday.
Miscarriage, stillbirth, undergoing a hysterectomy, and bearing children at a young age were also associated with elevated odds of cardiovascular problems later in life, researchers found.
The additional risk varied from only a few percentage points to more than 40 percent, they reported in the journal Heart.
The findings are not the first to uncover a link between reproductive factors and cardiovascular diseases, and the data do not show a causal relationship, the authors cautioned.
But their findings do strengthen the association, and suggest that women with premature reproductive cycles or a history of adverse events should be frequently screened for heart trouble and conditions leading to blood clots.
The scientists drew data from a long-term health survey in Britain that monitored and tested more than a quarter of a million women from 2006 to 2016. The women’s average age was 56 when monitoring began.
More than four-fifths had been pregnant, and nearly half had two children. On average, they started having their periods at 13, and had their first child at 26.
In 2016, two-thirds of the women had gone through menopause, at an average age of 50.
The study showed that women who began menstruating before the age of 12 faced a 10 percent greater risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those who were 13 or older.
For those who went through menopause before the age of 47, the risk for cardiovascular disease rose by 33 percent, and for stroke alone by 42 percent.
Miscarriages were likewise linked with a greater danger of heart disease, with each stillbirth increasing the risk by six percent.
A hysterectomy was associated with a 20 percent higher chance of developing heart disease, the team found.


Family favorites: Toto’s famous spaghetti and meatballs soup

Updated 21 May 2018
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Family favorites: Toto’s famous spaghetti and meatballs soup

This hearty dish is the middle point between spaghetti and meatballs and soup. It is a family favorite in my household, my kids love it and ask for seconds — and thirds sometimes! As any mother of picky eaters knows, this is a dream come true and I promise you, this soup will have your kids slurping from the bowl.

I was first introduced to this delicious meal by my mother-in-law, whom we affectionately call Toto, and ever since then, it’s become known as Toto’s famous spaghetti and meatballs soup in our home.

It is perfect for a satisfying iftar dish, so why not try it today?

 

Ingredients:

Store bought spaghetti (Toto makes hers from scratch. If you can do that, kudos to you, if not just use store bought spaghetti).

Two peeled potatoes cut into large cubes.

Half-a-pound of minced meat.

One onion, chopped finely.

Six ripe tomatoes and two  tablespoons of tomato paste.

Five garlic cloves, crushed.

A handful of chopped coriander leaves.

 

 Method:

Combine the tomatoes and tomato paste with one liter of water in a blender, with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture into a big pot on the stovetop and bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to let it simmer.  

In a separate bowl, add the minced meat, onions and garlic, with a dash of salt and pepper. Mix until well incorporated and roll into small meatballs.

Cook the meatballs through in a sizzling, oiled pan. Transfer the meatballs into the pot with the simmering tomato soup.

Add the peeled potatoes that have been cut into chunks into the soup.

Let it cook for 10 minutes and add the spaghetti. Continue to cook the dish until the spaghetti is al dente and serve with a garnish of freshly chopped coriander leaves.