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Daily Dose: 10/12/12

Chocolate Makes You Smart: Well, kind of. In an informal study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the per-capita chocolate consumption of 23 countries was found to be significantly correlated to its number of Nobel Prize winners. Switzerland has both the highest chocolate consumption and the most Nobel winners. There are some outliers in the data, but there does seem to be a correlation. The study’s author hypothesizes that maybe it is not the chocolate making the people smart, but that these smart people are aware of the health benefits of chocolate and are therefore more likely to eat it. He also calculated the amount of chocolate that each person in a country needs to eat in order to get one more Nobel winner in that country — the equivalent of nine Hershey’s bars.

Strokes Now Affecting a Younger Generation: Strokes aren’t just a disease for the elderly, anymore. The rate of first strokes in Americans between the ages of 20 and 54 jumped from almost 13% to over 18% between 1993 and 2005. Researchers attribute this shift to an increase of risk factors in that age group, including hypertension, diabetes, and smoking. Conversely, rates of stroke in older patients decreased. Read more about the study and possible reasons for the change here.

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