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Life in Brief — week of April 6

AAA says cold Ohioans
flocked to sunny places

When winter has the Buckeye State in its icy grip, Ohioans flock to warmer destinations. This year’s brutal winter pushed even more of us to the sunny south, according to the AAA Ohio Auto Club.

“This is always a busy travel booking time, but there was definitely an increase in people wanting to go to warm-weather destinations this year,” said Krista Whorton, vice president of travel sales for AAA Ohio.

This year saw a 29 percent increase in bookings through AAA to the Caribbean and Mexico compared with the same period last year, Whorton said. The top five destinations are Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; St. Lucia; and Aruba.

Car travelers also headed south from Ohio in big numbers, AAA reports. Six of the top 10 driving destinations from Ohio so far this year are in Florida.

Topping the list was Orlando, Fla., among the top three driving destinations throughout the year, but “we think the cold had a lot to do with it,” Whorton said.

“We’ve also seen people who haven’t traveled in the winter in the past who were booking several days or maybe a long weekend to Las Vegas or Florida just to escape the cold.”

— Steve Stephens

Columbus Dispatch

Hints from Heloise:

Shower-curtain rings
have many possibilities

Valerie in North Little Rock, Ark. writes: I use the inexpensive shower-curtain rings to hang things all over the house. I hang my mops, brooms and gardening tools. I also use them in my sewing room for rulers, tape measures and scissors. They work great to hang scarves on a hanger, or ribbon or necklaces. The possibilities are endless.

— King Features

Married people suffer
less from heart issues

A study of more than 3.5 million Americans finds married people are less likely than singles, divorced or widowed folks to suffer any type of heart or blood vessel problem.

This was true at any age, for women as well as for men, and regardless of other risk factors they had such as high cholesterol or diabetes, researchers found.

Spouses may encourage people to take better care of themselves, said Dr. Jeffrey Berger of NYU Langone Medical Center.

Researchers used health questionnaires that people around the country filled out when they sought various types of tests from an Ohio company, Life Line Screening Inc. The study found:

• Married people had a 5 percent lower risk of any cardiovascular disease compared with single people. Widowed people had a 3 percent greater risk and divorced people, a 5 percent greater risk, compared with married folks.

• Marriage seemed to do the most good for those under age 50; they had a 12 percent lower risk of heart-related disease than singles.

• Smoking was highest among divorced people and lowest in widowed ones. Obesity was most common in those single and divorced. Widowed people had the highest rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and inadequate exercise.

— Marilynn Marchione

Associated Press


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