Thursday, October 11, 2007

Medical Spanish: Mejor solo que mal acompañado

Proverbs play an important role in Latin culture. My grandparents had a favorite one: Mejor solo que mal acompañado (better alone than in bad company). The latest issue of Archives of Internal Medicine corroborates its wisdom. Men and women in bad marriages are candidates for heart disease.

Play an important role = juegan un papel importante. Papel is also paper.
Grandparents = abuelos.
Latest, last = último.
Internal Medicine = medicina interna. Related: Internista.
Wisdom = sabiduría.
Marraige = matrimonios.
Heart disease = enfermedades cardiacas, enfermedades del corazón.

A nagging partner can kill you. Previous studies had concluded that single people and those without intimate relationships face health risks. British scientists now say a lousy marriage ranks up there with solitude. Said Roberto De Vogli, a researcher with University College in London: What we add here is that, OK, being married is in general good, but be careful about the kind of person you have married. The quality of the relationship matters.

Nagging = fastidioso/a.
Kill = matar.
Single = soltero/a.
Face = confrontar. Face = cara, rostro.
Health risks = riesgos de salud.
Add = añadir.
OK = bueno.
Be careful = tener cuidado. The command is Tenga cuidado.
The kind of person = el tipo de persona.
Quality = la calidad.
Matters = importa.

The study
Associations between negative aspects of close relationships and incident coronary events were determined during a follow-up period of 12.2 years. Covariates included socio-demographic characteristics (age, sex, marital status, and employment grade), biological factors (obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cholesterol level), psychosocial factors (negative affectivity, depression, and work stress), and health behaviors (smoking, alcohol intake, exercise, and fruit and vegetable consumption).

After adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics, biological factors, and other dimensions of social support, individuals who experienced negative aspects of close relationships had a higher risk of incident coronary events.

Between = entre.
Close relationships = relaciones intimas, cercanas.
Coronary = coronario/a.
Follow-up period = periodo de seguimiento.
Socio-demographic characteristics = características socio-demográficas.
Age = edad.
Sex = sexo.
Maritalk status = estado civil.
Employment = empleo, trabajo.
Biological factors = factores biológicos.
Obesity = obesidad.
Hypertension = hipertensión.
Diabetes = diabetes.
Cholesterol level = nivel de colesterol.
Health Behaviors = comportamiento relacionado a la salud.
Smoking = fumar.
Alcohol intake = consumo de alcohol.
Exercise = ejercicio, actividad física.
Fruit and vegetable consumption = consumo de frutas y vegetales.
Diet = tipo de alimentación. Most people in Spanish understand dieta in the sense of going on a diet.

My Own Unscientific Poll
It’s a proven fact that stress kills you. I posed the following question to a number of people I know: How do you know you are in a bad relationship? The initial reaction to the question was: What? It’s obvious! That is the problem. The obvious can be difficult to detect. Here are five telling symptoms of a stressful relationship:

  1. Talking to your partner makes you more anxious = Hablar con su pareja le pone más nervioso.
  2. Your partner fills you with worries = Su pareja le da mucahs preocupaciones.

  3. Your partner keeps you within an orbit of gloomy thoughts = Su pareja lo mantiene dentro de su órbita de negatividad.
  4. Sex is not good = Las relaciones sexuales no son buenas.
  5. He/she is abusive (physically, psychologically and/or emotionally) = él/ella es abusivo/a (física, psicológica o emocionalmente.)
If you identify with all five, said one of particpant, quoting Paul Simon, take the bus Gus. Another participant, a divorce lawyer, asked: Can I place an ad in you site?

Stress, to a great extent, like disrespect, requires your permission. You can control stress. Five ways of doing it:
  1. Sea usted mismo. Tratar de complacer o dejarse llevar por las expectativas de otros puede ser muy estresante. Be yourself. Trying to conform to others’ expectations can be very stressful.
  2. El pasado pasó, no vale la pena concentrarse en errores del pasado. Hay que seguir adelante. The past is gone; don’t dwell on past mistakes. Move on.
  3. Mantenga a gente negativa a una distancia prudente. Keep negative people at a distance.
  4. Aprenda a ser organizado/a. La organización resuelve muchas situaciones que producen estrés. Learn to be organized. Organization takes care of many stressful situations.
  5. Aprenda español. Aprender un idioma puede ser un pasatiempo magnifico. Abre una ventana a una nueva cultura. Aprender español lo conduce a comida deliciosa, gente alegre, música y baile. Un pasatiempo lo mantiene ocupado. La ociosidad es la madre de muchos males. Learn Spanish. Learning a foreign language can be a great hobby. It opens a window to a different culture. Learning Spanish leads to great food, joyful people, music and dancing. A hobby keeps you occupied. Idleness is the mother of many ills.

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