BBC News 7 June 2017Marriage appears to be good for your health, boosting your survival chances if you have a major heart risk factor such as high cholesterol, say researchers.A loving spouse might spur you on to look after yourself better, they told a heart conference, based on their study of nearly a million UK adults.All of these people had high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes.The married ones fared much better than those who were single.Wedded bliss?Dr Paul Carter and colleagues at Aston Medical School, who carried out the work, have already shown that marriage is linked to a better chance of surviving a heart attack.Their latest research, presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference, hints at why this might be.They suspect marriage helps buffer against big heart disease risk factors, including cholesterol and high blood pressure.The study looked at deaths from all causes, including heart disease.Men and women in their 50s, 60s and 70s with high cholesterol were 16% more likely to be alive at the end of the 14-year ACALM study if they were married rather than single.The same was true for diabetes and high blood pressure, with married people having a survival advantage.READ MORE: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40170287
A team of USC researchers has released a study analyzing the science behind what makes a particular song a hit.Joseph Nunes, a marketing professor at the Marshall School of Business, along with Andrea Ordanini, a marketing professor at Bocconi University in Italy, analyzed Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 list to determine what makes a song a No. 1 hit and what prevents another from ever climbing above No. 90.“There is research on music preferences, but there really [isn’t] a lot that [is] empirical in the sense of going out and getting secondary data, or big data sets and thinking about what became popular and what didn’t based on people’s perceptions of the song,” Nunes said.The goal of the study was to take a consumerist perspective and study what and why certain songs become popular.Nunes enlisted a team of graduate students from the Thornton School of Music to help with the study. The team was led by Brad Sroka, a doctoral candidate studying historical musicology. Together, the research team analyzed all 1,029 songs that took the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 list between 1958 and 2012, as well as the 1,451 songs that made the list but never climbed above the No. 90 spot. Using the audio recordings of as many of those songs as possible, they coded the types of instruments and vocals audible in each hit.Two different methods were used in analyzing the songs. The first, Qualitative Comparative Analysis, involved comparing the set of songs that reached No. 1 with the set of songs that never surpassed No. 90 to determine which combinations of instruments were most common in each set.The second method utilized logistic regression analysis to examine the relationship between the number of different audible instrument types and the popularity of the song.The study found that the main instrument combinations in top songs were background vocals, synthesizers and either clean guitar or distorted electric guitar.Nunes indicated that the success of a song could partially be determined scientifically.“I do think that like most things in life, there is a little bit of science and a little bit of art, and to be truly successful, you have to mix the two,” he said.