KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — Apple just recently released new updates from its ongoing Heart and Movement Study, as well as the Women’s Health Study.
Both studies are two out of the three ongoing health studies Apple is conducting, with users from selected countries being able to participate in said studies by downloading Apple’s dedicated Research app.
The Apple Women’s Health Study is the largest study of its kind focusing on female reproductive health, in collaboration with the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
A recent finding is that menarche, when periods usually start for those who menstruate, is now happening earlier.
Before, menarche would occur at the average age of 12.5 years for those born between 1930-1969.
Now research has found that people born between 2000-2005 are getting their periods around the average age of 11.9 years.
Interestingly, race and ethnicity will also impact menarche age where non-Hispanic Black or Hispanic study participants were more likely to start menstruating at a younger age than non-Hispanic White participants.
The disparity in age at menarche also has increased over time. As for other factors such as PCOS, location, being born preterm or having infertility issues did not impact the trend of menarche age in the study.
Participants were from across the US, numbering over 71,000.
Zifan Wang, PhD is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health said in a statement:
“Age at menarche is a predictor of health conditions in later life. For example, earlier age at menarche is associated with higher risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. Age at menarche can be impacted by various factors such as nutrition, psychosocial factors, and exposure to environmental toxicants. Other potential factors remain to be discovered.”
Thus, it can be surmised that the data could be useful to gauge potential health risks for women in certain communities.
As for the Heart and Movement Study it has to do with, of all things, pickleball.
If you haven’t heard of it, it is a fairly new sporting activity and the fastest growing sport in the US.
Like tennis, it is a racquet sport but instead of a tennis racket you use a large paddle and a small ball perforated with holes, with different balls for indoor and outdoor use.
The study found that more participants were choosing pickleball over tennis and the most people playing the sport in the US were in Utah.
One in every 16 people participating in the study from Utah had tried pickleball at least once.
Another interesting finding was that the suggested presence of depressed mood were much lower for active pickleball and tennis players than the general participant pool.
Tennis workouts recorded higher peak heart rates and more time in elevated heart rate zones than pickleball but participants tended to play both sports for long periods of time.
Heart rates rising over 70 per cent of the estimated maximum heart rate levels were recorded, on average, for tennis and pickleball players.
Fun fact: Malaysia has been an associate member of the International Federation of Pickleball since 2019.
Just recently in March this year, a Malaysian team won three gold, two silver and four bronze medals at the Asia Pickleball Open 2023 held in Phuket.
While the Apple Research app is not downloadable in Malaysia at the moment, you can still read updates at the following links: