Watch your heart

In spring a young man's fancy may turn to thoughts of love - but perhaps he should be worrying more about his heart.

Spring is the season when cases of coronary heart disease in men under 55 reach their peak, researchers from Scotland point out in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The rise in male heart problems, they believe, may be caused by seasonal variations in the production of androgens (male sex hormones), which could also explain seasonal differences in rates of beard growth, sperm production and even rapes.

Unstressful supplement

Now that the market has been saturated with vitamin supplements for women - whether premenstrual, pregnant or menopausal - a new product is being targeted at men. According to the blurb, Serenoa-C aims to help men, particularly those over 35, to cope with the stresses of modern life.

Not only does it include 12 key vitamins and minerals but also Serenoa repens - a traditional North American herb and diuretic that is thought to help to keep the prostate gland healthy.

It is available from chemists and health food shops, at a price of pounds 3.95 for one month's supply.

Housework is healthy

Men take note: vacuuming is good for your health. A conference of the National Institute of Health in Washington has recommended that everyday chores such as housework, carried out for about 30 minutes daily, are just as good for the heart as a brisk walk and other more vigorous exercise.

More housework, done 10 minutes at a time, could achieve a 10-25 per cent reduction in heart disease, they argue in the Lancet.

Man's best friend?

Men who love dogs and children may be trustworthy types, but perhaps they should refrain from becoming too intimate with the former.

Doctors from Winchester describe in the Lancet the case of a 31-year- old man who developed a fever and painful infection of his mouth and throat, known as Ludwig's angina, after romping on the floor with a friend's boxer bitch which had licked him in the face. The disease was caused by Pasteurella multocida, a bacterium cultured from the dog's mouth.

Chemical cancers

Farmers, mechanics and travelling salesmen are at increased risk of stomach cancer compared with men in other professions, a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, has shown. It also found that black men who smoked ran double the risk of developing stomach cancer, compared with a 20 per cent increased risk run by white smokers.

Exposure to chemicals and car fumes might explain the increased risk among some professional groups, say the researchers.