Many Years Young

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

Moderate Physical Activity Linked With 50 Percent Reduction in Cardiovascular Death in Over-65s

(European Society of Cardiology) Moderate physical activity is associated with a greater than 50% reduction in cardiovascular death in over-65s, according to research… The 12 year study in nearly 2500 adults aged 65 to 74 years found that moderate physical activity reduced the risk of an acute cardiovascular event by more than 30%. High levels of physical activity led to greater risk reductions…
Professor [Riitta] Antikainen said: "Our study provides further evidence that older adults who are physically active have a lower risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and death from cardiovascular disease. The protective effect of leisure time physical activity is dose dependent -- in other words, the more you do, the better. Activity is protective even if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high cholesterol."
She concluded: "Physical exercise may become more challenging with ageing. However, it is important for older people to still get enough safe physical activity to stay healthy after their transition to retirement."
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Sitting too much may raise heart disease risk

(American Heart Association) The old adage “move it or lose it” doesn’t only apply to couch potatoes. Even people who exercise regularly could be at increased risk for heart disease and stroke if they spend lots of time sitting, according to a science advisory from the American Heart Association.
“We spend a lot more time sitting behind computers than we used to. Movement is being engineered out of our lives, and the best advice is that we need to sit less and move more,” said Deborah Rohm Young, Ph.D., chair of the panel that wrote the new advisory…
The statement said evidence suggests too much sedentary time increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and death. Sedentary time is rising, with U.S. adults now spending an estimated six to eight hours a day engaged in sedentary behavior, which includes sitting, driving, reading, TV viewing, screen time and computer use, according to the advisory.
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Half an hour of gardening 'can cut the risk of a heart attack'

(The Telegraph) Pensioners who spend just half an hour a day gardening, fishing or walking can reduce their risk of a fatal heart attack by more than half, a major study has found.
The study into 2,456 men and women, aged between 65 and 74, found that those with an active retirement had far lower death rates.
Until now, much of the evidence about the benefits of exercise in protecting the heart has come from studies into those who are young or middle-aged.
But the new study, presented yesterday at the world's largest cardiac conference, suggested dramatic changes could be achieved later in life.
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Activity Tracker Uses Heart Rate to Personalize Amount of Exercise Needed to Prevent Early Death

(European Society of Cardiology) A novel activity tracker has been developed that uses heart rate data to personalise the amount of exercise needed to reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease…
"People may be insufficiently active because they do not have personalised, meaningful information about how much physical activity they require, and at what intensity," said Dr [Javaid] Nauman…
The current study describes the science behind Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI), the first activity tracking score that uses heart rate to help people achieve optimal health.
PAI translates heart rate data from any physical activity (i.e. walking, swimming, dancing, cycling) and personal information (age, gender, resting and maximum heart rate) into one simple score. "The goal is to keep your PAI score above 100 over a seven-day rolling window to protect yourself from premature death related to heart disease," said Dr Nauman.
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Need to remember something? Exercise four hours later!

(Cell Press) A new study suggests an intriguing strategy to boost memory for what you've just learned: hit the gym four hours later. The findings … show that physical exercise after learning improves memory and memory traces, but only if the exercise is done in a specific time window and not immediately after learning…
The researchers found that those who exercised four hours after their learning session retained the information better two days later than those who exercised either immediately or not at all. The brain images also showed that exercise after a time delay was associated with more precise representations in the hippocampus, an area important to learning and memory, when an individual answered a question correctly.
"Our results suggest that appropriately timed physical exercise can improve long-term memory and highlight the potential of exercise as an intervention in educational and clinical settings," the researchers conclude.
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Exercising After Mentally Demanding Tasks Could Help Prevent Overeating, Study Finds

(University of Alabama at Birmingham) A study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests exercise may be the key to curbing your appetite after a long day at the office.
In a paper…, researchers found that people who exercised after doing mental work ate fewer calories compared to those who did mental work and remained sedentary…
Those who took [an] exam and then rested for 15 minutes ate an average of 100 calories more than when they simply relaxed without performing mental work, which reinforces previous studies that suggest working our brains does expend energy and causes feelings of hunger. Participants who exercised after the exam ate 25 calories less than when they simply relaxed for 35 minutes and then ate.
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Zika Funding Delay in Congress Puts Americans at Risk, Obama Says

(NBC News) President Barack Obama urged Congress to make Zika funding its first priority after members return from a seven-week summer break, saying the delay is putting Americans at risk.
"[E]very day that Republican leaders in Congress wait to do their job, every day our experts have to wait to get the resources they need. That has real-life consequences," Obama said in his weekly radio address. "Weaker mosquito-control efforts. Longer wait times to get accurate diagnostic results. Delayed vaccines. It puts more Americans at risk."
Zika virus has caused two outbreaks in Florida and infected 42 people bitten by local mosquitoes. It's been brought to the continental U.S. by more than 2,000 people — probably many more than that — and infected more than 580 pregnant women in U.S. states.
It's caused a full epidemic in Puerto Rico, killed at least two people there and threatens Gulf states where its carrier, the Aedes mosquito, thrives.
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All Donated Blood in US Will Be Tested for Zika

(New York Times) The Food and Drug Administration on Friday took steps to safeguard the nation’s blood supply from the Zika virus, calling for all blood banks to screen donations for the infection even in states where the virus is not circulating.
The recommendations are an acknowledgment that sexual transmission may facilitate the spread of Zika even in areas where mosquitoes carrying the virus are not present. Officials also want to prepare for the possibility that clusters of local infection will continue to pop up in parts of the United States for years to come.
“There could be multiple outbreaks of Zika happening outside the known current ones in South Florida, but because we are not actively looking they could be happening silently,” said Dr. Peter J. Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, who applauded the F.D.A.’s move.
Without federal funds, it is generally not possible for local health departments to conduct active surveillance for Zika virus in the blood or urine of patients with fever or rash, he added.
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EpiPen Users Have Few Options for Generic or Alternate Drugs

(ABC News) The rising cost of EpiPens has led many to wonder whether there are cheaper options available on the market.
The drug epinephrine has been around for decades, but the EpiPen, which is made by Mylan, has become the go-to epinephrine auto injector for many people in the U.S. There are multiple reasons why the EpiPen has become so popular, including diminishing competition and the fact that pharmacists in many states cannot automatically substitute a generic alternative…
“The Adrenaclick is at a lower cost than the EpiPen," Mark Donohue, vice president of investor relations and corporate communications at Impax, told ABC News. “Some pharmacies stock it, and if they do not, they should be able to order it in a day or two."
He did, however, acknowledge that the company does not have the ability to manufacture large quantities of the drug.
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Deaths from Fentanyl, Drug That Killed Prince, Rise Sharply

(Live Science) Overdose deaths from the opioid painkiller fentanyl — the same drug that killed singer-songwriter Prince in April — have increased sharply in a number of U.S. states, according to a new report…
During that same time, the number of drug products that tested positive for fentanyl after being seized by law enforcement officers increased by more than 10 times in the eight states, rising from 293 to 3,340. These products mainly include illegally manufactured fentanyl products that can be mixed with heroin.
The findings suggest that illegally manufactured fentanyl is driving the increase in fentanyl-related deaths, the report said.
"An urgent, collaborative public health and law enforcement response is needed to address the increasing problem of IMF and fentanyl deaths," the researchers said. 
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Surgeon general takes unprecedented step amid opioid epidemic

(CBS News) Opioids cause more than 1,000 emergency room visits and kills 78 people every day.
“I think this is one of our greatest public health threats and it’s one that we have to respond to with speed and with urgency,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told “CBS This Morning” Thursday…
Now, to tackle this health crisis, Dr. Murthy is taking the unprecedented step of mailing letters to the 2.3 million prescribers in America, urging them to to do three things. 
“Number one is to sharpen their prescribing practices, to make sure that we are treating pain safely and effectively. Number two, it’s to connect people to treatment who need it, and right now we have a major treatment gap in this country that we have to close,” Murthy said.  “But the third is we’re asking clinicians to help us change how our country thinks about addiction.”
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Physician advice to patients on e-cigarettes varies, reveals knowledge gaps, study shows

(Science Codex) If you ask two different doctors about e-cigarettes, you might get two different answers.
Whether you want to know about the safety of the devices -- which create an inhalable aerosol from heated liquid nicotine and flavoring -- or how to use them to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes, physicians range greatly in their responses to patients.
That's one finding from a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine who analyzed more than 500 online interactions between patients and doctors discussing e-cigarettes…
The new observations have already helped inform the development of an educational portal, by [study senior author Judith Prochaska, PhD, MPH,] and colleagues, which aims to teach doctors what's known about the health effects of e-cigarettes and how to communicate the benefits and risks of the devices to patients. Available online through the Stanford Center for Continuing Medical Education, the interactive program provides clinicians with continuing medical education credits.
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Teaching Medical Teamwork Right From The Start

(Shots, NPR) There's a new building going up on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic…
[It] is part of the new Case Western Reserve University Heath Education campus. The joint project with the Cleveland Clinic will eventually house the Case Western Reserve University's medical, dental and nursing schools, as well as the Cleveland Clinic's in-house medical school…
Collaboration is the ultimate goal, those involved in the project say. Health care in the 21st century is increasingly being provided by teams, yet most health care professionals don't encounter their "teammates" until they are well along in their training…
Getting everyone on the same page … is critical to preventing medical mistakes, says Dr. Patricia Thomas, an internist and vice dean overseeing medical education at the Case Western Reserve medical school.
In studying the problem, she says, "the root of many of our errors had to do with the fact that our professions were not working effectively together for patient care.
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Diabetes Prevention Programs Improve Health Profiles

(Emory Health Sciences) A new study ... shows that lifestyle modification programs modeled on diabetes prevention programs (DPP) trials not only achieved weight reduction, but also additional metabolic benefits -specifically, reductions in blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. The researchers compiled data from 44 published studies with nearly 9,000 adults participating in DPP conducted in US communities, clinics, and through online media…
·         "on average, participants in the 44 included studies were similar to participants in the original DPP trial, and achieved less weight loss (3.8 vs. 6.8kg), but similar improvements in glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol reductions; and
·         "programs with a maintenance component (keeping contact with participants even after the core program sessions are complete) were associated with larger benefits."…
The authors conclude: "According to our findings, there is no difference in outcomes based on who or where DPP programs are delivered, and improvement in other cardio-metabolic factors suggests the program may be especially cost-effective. These types of interventions can yield great results for diabetes prevention if distributed nationally."
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Flu vaccine may reduce risk of death for type 2 diabetes patients

(Imperial College London) The flu vaccine may reduce the likelihood of being hospitalised with stroke and heart failure in people with type 2 diabetes, according to new research…
The scientists found that, compared to patients who had not been vaccinated, those who received the jab had a 30 per cent reduction in hospital admissions for stroke, 22 per cent reduction in heart failure admissions and 15 per cent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza.
Furthermore, people who were vaccinated had a 24 per cent lower death rate than patients who were not vaccinated.
The team also found a 19 per cent reduction in hospital admissions for heart attack among vaccinated type 2 diabetes patients during the flu season, however this finding was not statistically significant.
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Greater intake of dietary omega-3 fatty acids associated with lower risk of diabetic retinopathy

 (The JAMA Network Journals) In middle-aged and older individuals with type 2 diabetes, intake of at least 500 mg/d of dietary long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, easily achievable with 2 weekly servings of oily fish, was associated with a decreased risk of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy [(DR)], according to a study…
Aleix Sala-Vila, D.Pharm., Ph.D., of the Lipid Clinic, Barcelona, and colleagues conducted a prospective study within the randomized clinical trial Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea (PREDIMED), testing Mediterranean diets supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts vs a control diet for primary cardiovascular prevention…
After adjusting for age, sex, intervention group, and lifestyle and clinical variables, participants meeting the LCω3PUFA recommendation at baseline (500 mg/d or greater) compared with those not fulfilling this recommendation (less than 500 mg/d) showed a 48 percent relatively reduced risk of incident sight-threatening DR.
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Meet the brothers who reversed their father's diabetes

(The Telegraph) By 2013 complications had set in: [Geoff Whitington] contracted Charcot Foot – a progressive and gory destruction of the joint – which, in addition to diabetes-related ulcers on his other foot, meant a grave risk of amputation.
He fell into near-depression, withdrawing from visiting his sons and grandchildren. Consigned to an early death from diabetes, he even took to writing a will…
[Son] Anthony, a freelance filmmaker, and [son] Ian…, a cameraman, hatched a plan to help their father. The pair also decided to make a documentary, Fixing Dad, to chart Geoff’s progress…
The brothers researched the disease - which affects more than 3.6 million people in the UK - drew up a three-pronged attack on Geoff’s fitness, nutritional and mental hurdles, and set a daunting target: that the three of them would complete a the 100-mile Prudential RideLondon-Surrey cycling event in July 2014…
The journey wasn’t always easy – various explosive arguments are captured at points where the pressure felt too much – but just nine months after he began the programme, Geoff completed the 100-mile ride through London.
Then, in February last year came the news they’d always wished for. The diabetes had been successfully 'resolved’. Geoff was fixed.
Community: Here’s another example: “Reversing diabetes requires lifestyle change.” Bear in mind that the same lifestyle elements that can reverse diabetes can prevent you from getting it in the first place.
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Longer survival likely to be reason for increased numbers with diabetes, rather than increased incidence

(Diabetologia) Overall incidence of type 2 diabetes has stabilised over recent years, according to a new study… , whilst mortality has declined, suggesting that increasing prevalence of the disease within the population may be attributed not to increasing numbers but to longer survival of patients with diabetes. The findings were not equal across the population, however: significant differences are noted based on gender, age, and socioeconomic status…
The authors conclude: "Despite improved mortality rates, type 2 diabetes confers an excess risk of death compared with the non-diabetic population...there is still scope to address the increased mortality associated with diabetes."
They add: "Major inequalities by age, sex and socioeconomic status in type 2 diabetes incidence and mortality indicate that effective approaches to treatment and control will need to address existing inequalities."
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Fluoride consumption linked to diabetes using mathematical models

(Case Western Reserve University) Water fluoridation prevents dental cavities, which are a costly public health concern. But despite the benefits supplemental water fluoridation remains a controversial subject. Some indicate it may cause long term health problems, but studies reporting side effects have been minimal or inconclusive. The long-term effects of ingested fluoride remain unclear.
A recent study … examined links between water fluoridation and diabetes…
Kyle Fluegge, PhD, … used mathematical models to analyze publicly available data on fluoride water levels and diabetes incidence and prevalence rates across 22 states. He also included adjustments for obesity and physical inactivity collected from national telephone surveys to help rule out confounding factors. Two sets of regression analyses suggested that supplemental water fluoridation was significantly associated with increases in diabetes between 2005 and 2010.
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Can Statins Cause Diabetes?

(Well, New York Times) All medications have side effects, and numerous studies have shown that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are linked to a small increase in the risk of Type 2 diabetes, even as they reduce the risk of heart attacks.
The higher the dose of a statin, the greater the diabetes risk, said Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and chief academic officer at Scripps Health. But many heart doctors, including Dr. Mary Norine Walsh, president-elect of the American College of Cardiology, say concern about diabetes should not deter patients from taking statins “if you fall into the higher risk category” for heart disease.
On the other hand, someone who has never had heart disease and who has high cholesterol but no other risk factors is less likely to derive benefit from a statin drug while still facing the risk of diabetes, Dr. Topol said, adding, “There you have a very tight benefit-to-risk ratio.”
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