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The Hypochondriac's Handbook:
THE HYPOCHONDRIAC'S HANDBOOK is a treasure trove of wild, daft, strange, scary -- and hitherto obscure -- medical research. This is a snappy and amusing guide to over 250 fascinating conditions from the dark corners of medical journalism, compiled by THE TIMES' Health Features Writer. Being tall can mean an early death. But then being short can also kill. As can stormy Mondays and the crease in your ear. Steering clear of sunburn could cause a lethal disease, whereas a full moon boosts your risk of being beaten or bitten. Then there are the perils of sexual sleepwalking, golfer's liver, fracture of the penis and Chinese restaurant syndrome. And, yes, hypochondria can apparently prove lethal -- people who worry about their health turn out to have four times the normal fatality rate. The Hypochondriac's Handbook comes from the drawers-full of intriguingly odd reports which Times journalist John Naish has gathered from the dark corners of respected research journals and hospital libraries over the last decade. It should appeal to all of the neurotic inhabitants of 21st-century world, who just don't have enough to worry about. [via]