Many Years Young

A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Diet and exercise may help prevent diabetes

(Reuters Health) Lifestyle changes made by people at high risk of diabetes appear to reduce their chance of developing the disease over the next two decades, according to a study from China.
The lifestyle changes, which included diet modifications and exercise, also helped lower death rates, especially among women…
"The group based lifestyle interventions over a six-year period have long-term effects on prevention of diabetes beyond the period of active intervention," [Dr. Guangwei] Li said. "It is worth taking active action to prevent diabetes to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality."
"The intervention seemed to have a disproportionately large effect in women," writes Nicholas Wareham in an editorial published with the study.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the effects of type 2 diabetes.
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Too much animal protein tied to higher diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) People who eat the most protein, especially from animal sources, are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, according to a study of European adults.
The new study did not randomly assign participants to eat different amounts of protein, which would have yielded the strongest evidence. Instead, it compared the diets of people who went on to develop diabetes and those who did not get the disease.
But the findings do align with other studies.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the effects of type 2 diabetes.
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With New Health Law, Insurers Target Diabetics

(AP) Insurers are calling diabetics when they don’t pick up prescriptions or miss appointments. They are arranging transportation to get them to the doctor’s office and some are even sending nurses on house calls in an effort to avoid costly complications that will have big impact on their bottom lines.
Before the Affordable Care Act, some diabetics struggled to find insurance because of their pre-existing condition. But the new law no longer allows companies to refuse them or charge more, making early intervention even more critical.
About 60 percent or so people with Type 2 diabetes can keep side effects at bay by simply managing sugar levels, exercising and watching their weight, said Dr. Sam Nussbaum, a former endocrinologist at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital and an executive vice president for the insurer WellPoint.
On the flip side, if the disease is ignored, it can lead to multiple, severe complications. It’s the leading cause of heart disease, strokes, kidney failure and vision loss.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the effects of type 2 diabetes.
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More Information and Recent Research on Diabetes

(CBS News) The percentage of Americans with diabetes has doubled since 1988, with nearly one in 10 adults now diagnosed with the blood-sugar disease, researchers report.
(Reuters Health) Out-of-pocket expenses for diabetes treatment have gone down for many U.S. patients over the past decade, according to a new study. But nearly a quarter of people with diabetes still face high expenses.
(Reuters Health) Dr. Guillaume Charpentier believes a smartphone app he is testing on people with diabetes in France works best when it alerts doctors that frustrated patients need help managing their disease.
(Science Daily) Scientists … investigated the association between self-management behavior and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes… The analysis showed that patients with good diabetes self-management, that is patients with a high self-management index, had a significantly lower mortality risk than patients with a low self-management index. This association exists independent of other factors that can influence mortality, such as age, sex, comorbidities or medication.
(Fox News) When Robert McVey was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, he struggled to find the right treatment option. Then his doctor suggested a service dog.
(Reuters Health) For people with diabetes, one foot ulcer is very likely to lead to another, according to a new study that finds even minor lesions create a major risk of more severe foot wounds.
More . . .

Oven-Fried Pork Chops
This simple oven-fried pork chop recipe is an easy weeknight entrĂ©e and a delicious way to prepare pork chops.  Serve with a mixed green salad and roasted potatoes for a complete meal.
Cashew Salmon with Apricot Couscous
Yogurt sauce flavored with lemon, cumin and cilantro tops this Indian-inspired grilled salmon.
Los Angeles Times:
Mayo Clinic:
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Eggs: 5 Things You Need to Know

(The Supermarket Guru) Eggs are the perfect protein food, great as the main attraction or side to any meal, whether it's an omelet, topping a soup or salad, or grabbing a hard boiled egg for a quick snack, eggs pack a huge nutritional punch. Here are five things you need to know about eggs.
Eggs are a beauty food…
Don’t keep eggs in the refrigerator door…
Allergic to eggs? Look out for eggs or any of the following ingredients: albumin, egg- dried, powdered, solids, white, yolk, eggnog, lysozyme, mayonnaise, meringue, ovalbumin, and surimi…
Blood sugar… Keeping blood sugar stable is key to optimal wellness and weight. Starting off the day with a solid breakfast is key. Some great choices include a veggie omelet with whole grain toast, a yogurt based fresh or frozen fruit smoothie along side eggs.
Cholesterol isn’t all bad. Cholesterol from eggs, pasture raised, grass-fed meats, and dairy foods, when consumed within a whole foods based diet, in moderation is not harmful.
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Health Benefits of Tea

( For centuries, tea has been used in alternative medicine to treat everything from cancer to constipation. Recent research supports these claims: Studies have shown that tea may protect against heart disease, Alzheimer's and many types of cancer. You may think that if you’ve tried one tea, you’ve tried them all, but that’s not the case. There's a wide range of flavors within every type of tea and host of different preventative health benefits. Learn how sipping on a cup of the right kind of tea could be the answer to your health problems.
Passionflower Tea For Anxiety…
Oolong Tea For Weight Loss…
Yerba Mate Tea For Weight Loss…
White Tea For Weight Loss…
Black Tea For Fresh Breath…
Ginger Tea For Headaches…
Ginseng Tea For a Libido Boost…
Green Tea For Overall Health…
Licorice Root Tea For a Sweet Tooth…
Nettle Tea For Allergies…
Peppermint Tea For Constipation…
Valerian Root Tea For Sleep…
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Is reduced salt intake linked to the fall in deaths from cardiovascular disease?

(Medical News Today) Between 2003 and 2011, average salt intake fell by 15% in England, and deaths from heart disease and stroke fell by around 40%.
These impressive declines suggest a convincing link between the two statistics. But the extent to which dietary salt intake contributes to risk factors for heart disease and stroke - such as high blood pressure - is proving a contentious debate lately.
Recently, Medical News Today reported on a study by Danish researchers who pronounced the daily sodium intake recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as "excessively and unrealistically low."
That study considered that 95% of the global population already consume the optimum amount of salt - between 2,645 mg and 4,945 mg of sodium each day - and that attempts by the CDC to drive salt intake down to as little as 1,500 mg per day were actually associated with negative health outcomes.
Study author Dr. Niels Graudal even told Medical News Today that the CDC "would not be able to support the claim that a blood pressure reduction by sodium reduction would lead to a decreased mortality, because such studies do not exist."
However, this is contested by the new study in BMJ Open, which asserts that dietary salt is known to increase blood pressure, "which is itself a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke."
Community: The article doesn’t mention the role of potassium in mitigating the effects of sodium. It could be that the ratio of sodium to potassium may be more important than just the measure of sodium intake.
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USDA considers mandatory reports of deadly pig virus outbreaks: industry group

(Reuters) The United States is considering rules that would require outbreaks of a deadly pig virus to be reported to the government in an effort to improve tracking of the disease, which has already spread to 30 states, an industry group said on Monday.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) has killed millions of baby pigs since it was first detected in the United States a year ago. PEDv has crimped hog supplies in the United States and sent prices to record highs. It remains unclear how the virus entered the country, and farmers have struggled to find ways to contain it.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has discussed the option of mandatory reporting with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, said Tom Burkgren, executive director of the association.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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E-Cigarette News

(Consumer Reports) We're several years into the electronic-cigarette era, and the Food and Drug Administration still has not said how it will regulate the devices. In the meantime, the number of people using them has exploded, as has the number of online retailers selling e-cigs and accessories, such as liquid-nicotine solution. Now a recent review of 59 such sites has found that some of them are using questionable claims to market their wares, including that e-cigarettes provide a health benefit and help people quit tobacco.
(Consumer Reports) Wondering if electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, which deliver an atomized form of nicotine that users call “vapor,” will help you to finally stop smoking? Well, don't count on it: The research is mixed and preliminary… If you or a friend or family member is trying to kick a smoking habit, it’s better to stick with the following strategies that have proved to be effective.
Community: Click through for a list of proven treatments.
(Scientific American) Electronic cigarettes can change gene expression in a similar way to tobacco, according to one of the first studies to investigate the biological effects of the devices… The researchers found that the cells grown in medium exposed to the vapor of e-cigarettes showed a similar pattern of gene expression to those grown in a medium exposed to tobacco smoke.
(Reuters) A smokers' rights group filed a legal challenge on Tuesday to New York City's ban on electronic cigarettes in restaurants, parks and many other public places. The city has increasingly restricted places where regular cigarettes can be smoked over the last decade under the Smoke-Free Air Act. Last year, the city council expanded those laws to include e-cigarettes, a measure that took effect in December.
(KTRH) A new Congressional report raises many of the same concerns about electronic cigarettes as those raised about regular cigarettes decades ago.
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Penicillin Redux: Rearming Proven Warriors for the 21st Century

(Science Daily) Penicillin, one of the scientific marvels of the 20th century, is currently losing a lot of battles it once won against bacterial infections. But scientists at the University of South Carolina have just reported a new approach to restoring its combat effectiveness, even against so-called "superbugs."…
One of the most effective bacterial defenses is an enzyme called beta-lactamase, which chews up the beta-lactam structure. Some bacteria, such as MRSA, have developed the ability to biosynthesize and release beta-lactamase when needed. It's a devastating defense because it's so general, targeting the common structural motif in all of the many beta-lactam antibiotics.
But that also creates the opportunity for a general approach to solving the problem, which is what Carolina's Chuanbing Tang and colleagues just reported…
"Instead of developing new antibiotics, here we ask the question, 'can we recycle the old antibiotics?' " he said. "With traditional antibiotics like penicillin G, amoxicillin, ampicillin and so on, can we give them new life?"
The approach pairs the drug with a protective polymer developed in Tang's chemistry laboratory. In lab tests, graduate student Jiuyang Zhang prepared a cobaltocenium metallopolymer that greatly slowed the destructiveness of beta-lactamase on a model beta-lactam molecule (nitrocefin).
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Patients With Kidney Failure to Get a New Lease on Life

(Science Daily) End stage kidney disease is a global public health problem with an estimated 2.4 million patients on dialysis. The number of new cases is rising (7-8% annually) due to population ageing and increased diabetes prevalence. The NEPHRON+ project is improving the lives of patients by developing a wearable artificial kidney device, enabled with information and communication technologies for remote monitoring. Chronic kidney disease will affect one in ten of us at some point in our lives. For those of us unlucky enough to suffer renal failure as a result, the health consequences can be disastrous.
Without treatment kidney failure is deadly. However, even the best treatments are not ideal. Patients have to be treated with a dialysis machine at home or in hospital, sometimes as often as once every four hours. Patients spend a large part of their lives connected to dialysis equipment. What's more, the life expectancy of a person in their 20s who has suffered kidney failure is just 20 years, unless they're lucky enough to receive a donated organ.
All this could change, however. An EU-funded research consortium has been developing a wearable artificial kidney that would make it possible for dialysis patients to lead a more full and active life while adding another 10 to 16 years to their life expectancy.
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India court recognises transgender people as third gender

(BBC News) India's Supreme Court has recognised transgender people as a third gender, in a landmark ruling. "It is the right of every human being to choose their gender," it said in granting rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female. It ordered the government to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs and education in line with other minorities, as well as key amenities.
According to one estimate, India has about two million transgender people.
In India, a common term used to describe transgender people, transsexuals, cross-dressers, eunuchs and transvestites is hijra.
Campaigners say they live on the fringes of society, often in poverty, ostracised because of their gender identity. Most make a living by singing and dancing or by begging and prostitution. Rights groups say they often face huge discrimination and that sometimes hospitals refuse to admit them. They have been forced to choose either male or female as their gender in most public spheres.
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Doctors Overlook Lucrative Procedures When Naming Unwise Treatments

(Kaiser Health News) When America’s joint surgeons were challenged to come up with a list of unnecessary procedures in their field, their selections shared one thing: none significantly impacted their incomes.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons discouraged patients with joint pain from taking two types of dietary supplements, wearing custom shoe inserts or overusing wrist splints after carpal tunnel surgery. The surgeons also condemned an infrequently performed procedure where doctors wash a pained knee joint with saline. 
"They could have chosen many surgical procedures that are commonly done, where evidence has shown over the years that they don't work or where they're being done with no evidence," said Dr. James Rickert, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Indiana University. "They chose stuff of no material consequence that nobody really does."
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U.S. healthcare usage and spending resumes rise in 2013: report

(Reuters) Americans used more health services and spent more on prescription drugs in 2013, reversing a recent trend, though greater use of cheaper generic drugs helped control spending, according to a report issued on Tuesday by a leading healthcare information company.
Spending on medicines rose 3.2 percent in the United States last year to $329.2 billion. While that was far less than the double-digit increases seen in previous decades, it was a rebound from a 1 percent decline in 2012, the report by IMS Health Holdings Inc. found.
Among factors driving the increased spending were the cost of new medicines, price increases on some branded drugs, a $10 billion reduced impact of patent expirations compared with 2012, and the first rise in the use of healthcare services in three years, IMS found.
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Affordable Care Act News

(Reuters) Health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act will cost slightly less than previously thought, helping to slow down the forecast growth of U.S. deficits over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office said on Monday.
(Wall Street Journal) Access to preventive care at no charge to the patient is a key tenet of the federal health law. But questions about what qualifies as "preventive" are causing discord between doctors and patients, particularly when it comes to the traditional annual checkup. Some patients, anticipating free visits to address all their health issues -- past, present and potential -- are upset to find that only some of that qualifies as preventive care, exempt from deductibles and copays.
(Kaiser Health News) To help make sure a patient's claims aren't improperly denied, the Affordable Care Act creates national standards allowing appeals to the insurer and, if necessary, to a third-party reviewer.
(USA Today) Confirmation hearings for the next secretary of health and human services are likely to be more about the health care law than nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Republicans are serving notice that they will use the Burwell hearings to spotlight what they call problems with the health care law, including canceled policies, higher premiums, and delay of some provisions.
(ThinkProgress) Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who's running for Senate, refused to take a firm position on the state's Medicaid expansion.
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Medicare’s Top Billers: Where Are the Women?

(WCG) Only 3 percent of the top 100 Medicare billers were women. Broaden the list to the top 1,000 billers, and women make up more of the pool, but still only hit 7 percent. Even if you look at the top 10,000 recipients of Medicare money, you don’t even get to 11 percent women. It’s not that no women bill Medicare. Take the whole dataset — all 880,000  providers — and women make up almost 40 percent of the names. They’re just hugely under-represented at the top of the list.
It’s a bit mysterious why the ranks of the top-billers should be so overwhelmingly male. Yes: medicine remains heavily male, with women making up about 30 percent of physicians. But there’s a big difference between a 30/70 split and a 3/97 split. What gives?
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As novice runners hit the open road, experts say take it slow

(Reuters) As the days lengthen and the weather warms and novice runners cast an eye outdoors, fitness experts suggest they take a slow start to find their outdoor rhythm and pace to avoid injuries.
Jen Van Allen, a certified running coach and co-author of "The Runner's World Big Book of Running for Beginners" said the first time outdoors everyone else seems like a real runner. And new runners often fear getting hurt, or that they will find running unpleasant or boring.
"Certainly when someone pushes body and mind farther there is going to be some discomfort," said Van Allen, who has completed 48 marathons. "But a lot of people make the mistake of running as fast as they can and they get hurt."
She suggests that even if the goal is to run, newbies should walk and use the first four to six weeks to establish the habit.
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Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud

(Mayo Clinic) Spring means flower buds and blooming trees — and if you're one of the millions of people who have seasonal allergies, it also means sneezing, congestion, runny nose and other bothersome symptoms. Seasonal allergies — also called hay fever and allergic rhinitis — can make you miserable. But before you settle for plastic flowers and artificial turf, try these simple strategies to keep seasonal allergies under control.
To reduce your exposure to the things that trigger your allergy signs and symptoms (allergens):
·         Stay indoors on dry, windy days — the best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
·         Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
·         Remove clothes you've worn outside; you may also want to shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
·         Don't hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
·         Wear a dust mask if you do outside chores.
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