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Gay men who use dating apps at increased risk for STDs

Gay men who use dating apps appear
to raise risk of STDs

Smartphone dating apps used by gay men to find a sexual partner may make them more susceptible to getting a sexually transmitted infection compared with men who meet online or at a nightclub, bar, or other venue, a new study found.

Researchers at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center tested more than 7,000 gay and bisexual men for sexually transmitted diseases between 2011 and 2013 and asked them about their drug use and the ways they find sexual partners. Thirty-four percent said they only networked in person, 30 percent said they met men in-person and online, and 36 percent said they used dating apps.

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Men who used apps to meet men were 25 percent more likely to have gonorrhea and 37 percent more likely to have chlamydia than those who met men only in person. App users also had higher rates of these diseases than men using online sites. There was no difference in the rate of HIV and syphilis among men, regardless of the way they met partners.

The findings suggest that app users may be more likely to have unprotected sex or have sex with multiple partners, the authors wrote.

BOTTOM LINE: Smartphone dating apps used by gay men to find a sexual partner may put them at increased risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection.

CAUTIONS: The study involved men in one urban health clinic, so the findings may not apply to a wider group.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Sexually Transmitted Infections, June 12

Processed red meat linked to heart failure deaths in men

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Men who eat processed red meat frequently may be at higher risk for developing and dying from heart failure, according to a Swedish study.

The study included more than 37,000 Swedish men ages 45 to 79 who had no medical history of heart failure, heart disease, or cancer. At the beginning of the study, the participants completed a questionnaire about their diet and lifestyle habits. Researchers then monitored the participants’ health from 1998 to 2010.

Men who said they most frequently ate processed red meat — such as cold cuts, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs — were more than twice as likely to die from heart failure compared with men who said they ate it less frequently. The researchers also found that men who said they ate 75 grams per day or more of processed red meat were 28 percent more likely to develop heart failure compared with men who said they ate 25 grams per day or less, even after adjusting for lifestyle differences.

The study did not find the same increased risk among men who said they ate unprocessed red meats.

BOTTOM LINE: Men who eat processed red meat frequently may be at higher risk for developing and dying from heart failure.

CAUTIONS: The study cannot prove that eating red meat causes heart failure, and the results may not apply to women.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Circulation, June 12

LARA SALAHI

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