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

World 'no tobacco day' puts spotlight on dangers of smoking

(University of Cincinnati) It’s not just smokers who are at-risk when it comes to tobacco smoke exposure—and the health concerns of smoking cigarettes are not limited to the most known consequence: lung cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking contributes to one in five (20 percent) of strokes and has links to heart disease. The habit also increases a person’s risk for frightening vascular conditions like Buerger’s disease, a condition that can lead to hand and feet amputations due to chronic inflammation and blood clots in small and medium-sized veins. Smoking is well known for its links to lung cancer, but it has also been scientifically linked to an increased risk of throat and oral cavity cancers. 
May 31, 2012, is World No Tobacco Day, an initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization to reduce tobacco use across the globe in an effort to improve public health for all. UC Health’s thoracic oncology team hopes the day will give smokers who are considering ditching the habit another reason to make the commitment.
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Quit smoking: Most important decision

(UPI) It's not easy to quit smoking, but it could be the most important decision anybody ever makes, U.S. health officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta began a new campaign -- Tips from Former Smokers -- to show just how harsh tobacco can be, via smoking or by secondhand smoke…
Most know that people could get cancer from smoking, but some might not know smoking is also linked to heart disease, stroke, asthma and other diseases, the CDC said.
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Tips from Former Smokers Share Harsh Realities

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) CDC recently launched a hard hitting ad campaign that shows the graphic realities of smoking.   In these ads, former smokers give current smokers frank tips about how they cope with the consequences of their tobacco use…
Big Tobacco will spend more on marketing in two days than CDC will spend on these ads all year. But we project that the hard realities of smoking that these courageous ex-smokers and their families share will help as many as 50,000 smokers quit.  The campaign will pay for itself in reduced health care costs in just a few years.  And the media campaign will help reduce the suffering, illness, and death that would otherwise be the realities for smokers and their families.
The ads show these Americans’ real stories about how smoking has permanently changed their lives and the lives of their families.  If you smoke, quit. If someone you love smokes, help them quit.  And while most smokers quit on their own, help from quitlines, counseling, and medication more than doubles the likelihood of success. 
If you smoke, quit now. And if you want help, call the national toll-free quitline – 1-800-QUIT-NOW- or visit www.smokefree.gov.
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Smoking prevention efforts get short shrift from states, CDC says

(Booster Shots, Los Angeles Times) Every day, about 3,800 American kids try a cigarette for the first time. A thousand of them will grow up to to have a daily smoking habit, and nearly 300 will wind up dead due to a smoking-related disease. 
Those statistics would be depressing under any circumstances. But they are all the more so considering that states and the federal government collect billions of dollars every year in cigarette taxes and funds from the 1998 tobacco industry settlements. In 2010, that added up to almost $24 billion, according to a study in Friday's edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 
And how much of that $24 billion was used to fund tobacco prevention programs, smoking cessation services and other public health interventions? A mere $640 million, which was spread across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the CDC report…
These days, states have been using their tobacco money primarily to fund general services.
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Smoking Gene May Reveal Why Some People Smoke More

(WebMD Health News) A "smoking gun" gene may play a role in how many cigarettes certain smokers puff each day.
Researchers from 50 medical institutions across the country analyzed genetic material of more than 32,000 African-American smokers and non-smokers to see if certain genes predicted when they began smoking, how many cigarettes they smoked, and how easily they were able to quit…
The findings hold potential for tailoring smoking cessation treatments down the road, (researcher Helena) Furberg says. "The next research step would be to see if currently available smoking cessation medications would work better or differently among people who carry these variants."
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Nicotine vaccine prevents nicotine from reaching the brain

(Technology Review) If smoking a cigarette no longer delivers pleasure, will smokers quit? It's the idea behind a nicotine vaccine being created by MIT and Harvard researchers, in which an injection of synthetic nanoparticles prompts the immune system to create antibodies. The antibodies bind to incoming nicotine molecules so that they're too large to cross the blood-brain barrier. If the brain doesn't know you're smoking, you don't experience the normal smoking kick…
Although nicotine is not a virus, the nanoparticles target the chemical as if it were by initiating an immune response. Selecta [Biosciences] is using the same strategy to design other synthetic vaccines for non-virus ailments including malaria, cancer, diabetes, and transplant rejection. Once a person receives the nicotine vaccine, the effects should last for several years.
While other smoking aids such as the patch and gum interfere with nicotine cravings by delivering small amounts of nicotine, the vaccine does not try to reduce cravings. Instead, it makes smokers unable to alleviate their cravings by smoking.
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Increased Bodyweight After Stopping Smoking May Be Due to Changes in Insulin Secretion

(Science Daily) Fear of putting on weight is one of the major reasons why smokers do not give up their habit. The reasons for this weight gain are believed to be in part due to metabolic changes in the body, but until now precise details of these changes were not known… [Recent research, however, has] shown that changes in insulin secretion could be related to weight gain after smoking cessation…
[Said Dr. Marietta Stadler,] "We believe that the alterations in insulin secretion could possibly be related to the increased carbohydrate cravings and weight gain experienced by many smokers who give up. However, the increase in insulin secretion and carbohydrate intake seems to be a transient effect of stopping smoking, as these changes were not seen any more after six months, even though the participants had gained more weight."
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Southwest Salsa Burgers
Chipotle chiles and fresh salsa give these burgers a Southwestern kick that will heat up the dinner table in just 20 minutes.
EatingWell:
Seven-Layer Salad
This makeover of a Midwestern classic tops layers of lettuce, peas, bell pepper and tomatoes with a creamy, tangy dressing. The salad stays fresh underneath until it's served and gets even better when held overnight.
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Like Curry? New Biological Role Identified for Compound Used in Ancient Medicine

(Science Daily) New research has discovered that curcumin, a compound found in the cooking spice turmeric, can cause a modest but measurable increase in levels of a protein that's known to be important in the "innate" immune system, helping to prevent infection in humans and other animals.
This cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP, is part of what helps our immune system fight off various bacteria, viruses or fungi even though they hadn't been encountered before. Prior to this, it was known that CAMP levels were increased by vitamin D…
"Curcumin, as part of turmeric, is generally consumed in the diet at fairly low levels," [researcher Adrian] Gombart said. "However, it's possible that sustained consumption over time may be healthy and help protect against infection, especially in the stomach and intestinal tract."
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Drinking Red Wine Is Good for Gut Bacteria

(WebMD Health News) Drinking a daily glass of red wine not only tastes good to many people, but it's also good for the bacteria lining your large intestine…
Since the study results showed that Merlot and low-alcohol red wine had similar positive effects on intestinal bacteria, researchers suspect it's not due to the alcohol but to the polyphenol compounds found in the wine.
Polyphenols are helpful plant-based compounds found in a variety of foods and beverages. Besides red grapes, many other fruits and vegetables are rich sources of polyphenols, as are coffee, tea, chocolate, and some nuts.
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POM's New Ads Stick it to FTC, Quoting Judge Out of Context

(BusinessWeek) Just days after Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Chappell of the Federal Trade Commission ruled that POM Wonderful made “false or misleading” claims about the effects of its drink, the pomegranate-beverage maker launched an ad campaign on May 24 that quotes an “FTC Judge” describing the product as a “…Natural Fruit Product with Health Promoting Characteristics.” The ads pull further quotes from the opinion…
The quote comes from page 103 of the 335-page opinion. The full quote is: “Pomegranate juice is a natural fruit product with health promoting characteristics. The safety of pomegranate juice is not in doubt.”
The opinion found that there was “insufficient competent and reliable scientific evidence to support the implied claims,” in POM’s advertisements, that the juice can combat conditions such as heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction. “The use of the word ‘implied’ is critical because no direct claims were made,” Corey Martin, vice president of corporate communications at Roll Global, POM Wonderful’s sister company, wrote in an e-mail.
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Tide of seaweed promises can ebb and flow

(Los Angeles Times) Seaweed can shrink your waistline. Grow your hair. Bring down your blood pressure along with your blood sugar. Build up the strength of your bones and your brain. Make your joints stop aching and your bowels get moving. Give cancer short shrift, and give cellulite and wrinkles the old heave-ho.
That is, if you believe the hype — only some of which is backed up by reliable evidence.
The data are strongest that seaweed can reduce inflammation, premenstrual syndrome symptoms and even the growth of tumors (in animals), says Dr. Mary Hardy, a nutrition and food supplement expert at UCLA.
Dr. Karthik Krishnamurthy, a dermatologist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, also cites the widespread use of alginate, a component of seaweed, in wound dressings that yield excellent healing results.
But overall, they and many other doctors, including those at the National Institutes of Health, are reserving judgment. "Seaweed is really big right now," Krishnamurthy says. "Still, a lot of claims about it are unfounded at this time. I hope something comes of it, but we're not there yet."
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Saw palmetto no better than placebo in men with BPH

(Reuters Health) Saw palmetto, a fruit extract some men take to relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, is no more effective than a sugar pill, according to the latest review of research on the herbal remedy.
"Many different preparations (of saw palmetto) have been looked at without convincing evidence that one is better than another," said Dr. Timothy Wilt, senior author of the study and a researcher at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. "I believe we should move on and look elsewhere" for effective treatments.
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Testosterone Replacement Has Health Benefits

(MedPage Today) The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome declined by almost 50% among men who are on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), data from a long-term study showed.
During follow-up for as long as 57 months, the proportion of 261 men with metabolic syndrome decreased from 56% to 30%.
Weight loss appeared to be the driving force in the disappearance of metabolic syndrome components, although lipids and glucose control also improved, Payam Hakimian, MD, reported
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Benefits of Hormone-Replacement Therapy Outweigh Risks, Reviews of Studies Show

(Health Blog, Wall Street Journal) The benefits of hormone-replacement therapy outweigh the risks for women who start it near menopause.
That’s the conclusion of a series of articles…, reversing a widespread impression left by the Women’s Health Initiative, or WHI, ten years ago.
Much of that big government study was halted in July 2002 after data suggested that women taking estrogen-and-progestin replacement had a higher rate of heart disease, stroke and breast cancer than those on a placebo. Millions of women and their doctors were scared away from using hormone-replacement therapy, or HRT, as a result.
Reappraisals in the years since then, as WSJ reported last fall, have found that those risks pertained mainly to women who started HT long after menopause…
Several experts involved in the WHI have reversed their views, or concluded the warnings were over-generalized.
Community: Well, there’s still the breast cancer problem.
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Prices on the new generic Plavix vary widely, so shop around

(Consumer Reports) Those looking to save on the new generic Plavix (clopidogrel) are in luck.
We phoned 30 pharmacies around the U.S. and found the price for a month's supply of the 75 milligram (mg) dose varied from less than $15 at several Costco pharmacies to $175 or more at the CVS, Target, and Walgreens stores we contacted. Walmart consistently quoted us less than $50, as did several independent pharmacies. The online drugstore Healthwarehouse.com lists a 30-day supply for $35.
Bottom line? It pays to shop around.
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Why do my pills look different each time I fill the same prescription?

(Consumer Reports)Q: I've been refilling the same generic drug prescription at my pharmacy for months without incident, but this month, I was given pills that are a different shape and color. The pharmacist says are the same medication. Isn't this confusing? Why does it happen?
A: Yes, it is confusing, and unfortunately, it's fairly common. The same generic drug, made by a different manufacturer, can indeed look different. Due to certain patent laws that govern brand-name medications, generic drug manufacturers are not allowed to copy how a brand-name pill looks in terms of its shape, its color and its size. Additionally, generic drug manufacturers can also take it a step further by producing generic pills that look different from another manufacturer's generics pills…
If you're tech-savvy, you can determine whether you've got the right medication with Drugs.com's Pill Identifier. Search by shape or color, the drug's name or the letters or numbers that appear on it, also called an imprint.
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U.S. Senate passes bipartisan FDA funding bill

(Reuters) The U.S. Senate on Thursday showed near-unanimous support for a bill that helps fund the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a regulatory powerhouse with sweeping influence over the foods Americans eat and the medicines they take.
The bill, which passed by a vote of 96 to 1, aims to speed approval of new drugs and devices and ensure food safety. It reauthorizes fees from companies like Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic Inc and Roche Holding AG that help speed FDA evaluation of new medical products prior to approval.
These so-called user fees could provide almost half of the FDA's proposed $4.5 billion budget for next year. The FDA regulates products that make up about a quarter of the U.S. economy.
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'Personality Genes' May Help Account for Longevity

(Science Daily) "It's in their genes" is a common refrain from scientists when asked about factors that allow centenarians to reach age 100 and beyond. Up until now, research has focused on genetic variations that offer a physiological advantage such as high levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol.
But researchers at … Yeshiva University have found that personality traits like being outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, and enjoying laughter as well as staying engaged in activities may also be part of the longevity genes mix.
Community: But as we’ve seen in many instances, we’re not slaves to our genes. We can learn the traits of longevity, even if we’re not genetically disposed to have them.
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Key Gene Found Responsible for Chronic Inflammation, Accelerated Aging and Cancer

(Science Daily) Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have, for the first time, identified a single gene that simultaneously controls inflammation, accelerated aging and cancer…
"AUF1 is a medical and scientific trinity," Dr. [Robert J.] Schneider said. "Nature has designed a way to simultaneously turn off harmful inflammation and repair our chromosomes, thereby suppressing aging at the cellular level and in the whole animal."
With this new information, Dr. Schneider and colleagues are examining human populations for specific types of genetic alterations in the AUF1 gene that are associated with the co-development of certain immune diseases, increased rates of aging and higher cancer incidence in individuals to determine exactly how the alterations manifest and present themselves clinically.
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Method to Delay Aging of Stem Cells Developed

(Science Daily) Stem cells are essential building blocks for all organisms, from plants to humans. They can divide and renew themselves throughout life, differentiating into the specialized tissues needed during development, as well as cells necessary to repair adult tissue.
Therefore, they can be considered immortal, in that they recreate themselves and regenerate tissues throughout a person's lifetime, but that doesn't mean they don't age. They do, gradually losing their ability to effectively maintain tissues and organs.
Now, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have uncovered a series of biological events that implicate the stem cells' surroundings, known as their "niche," as the culprit in loss of stem cells due to aging. Their findings … have implications for treatment of age-related diseases and for the effectiveness of regenerative medicine.
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Persistent Sensory Experience Is Good for Aging Brain

(Science Daily)  Despite a long-held scientific belief that much of the wiring of the brain is fixed by the time of adolescence, a new study shows that changes in sensory experience can cause massive rewiring of the brain, even as one ages.
In addition, the study found that this rewiring involves fibers that supply the primary input to the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for sensory perception, motor control and cognition. These findings promise to open new avenues of research on brain remodeling and aging.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Peach and Gorgonzola Chicken Pizza
Ditch the tomato sauce and give pizza a makeover by topping with fresh peach slices and two types of cheese. A drizzle of tangy balsamic reduction provides the perfect balance to the sweet summer fruit.
EatingWell:
Grilled Shrimp Skewers over White Bean Salad
Fresh herbs make all the difference in this light, summery bean salad that in turn makes an aromatic bed for the easy grilled shrimp. The shrimp and salad are wonderful together but you could also make them separately. Consider skewering and grilling scallops as another delicious option.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Chock-full of raw vegetables, both whole and juiced, your body will thank you afterwards. The exotic watermelon-avocado garnish elevates this dish above the ordinary, making it a wonderful summer dinner party appetizer.
Food as Medicine
The antioxidant lycopene gives tomatoes their red color, may help protect against prostate cancer, and has been shown to slow macular degeneration.
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4 Healthy Barbecue Tips for Your Summer Cookouts

(RealAge.com) Before you fire up the grill this Memorial Day, did you know that cooking foods containing muscle -- yep, not just red meat but poultry and fish, too -- over sizzling heat forms cancer-causing carcinogens called heterocyclic amines (HCAs)? It's true. High consumption of barbecued, well-done, or fried meats is linked to increased risks of prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. You can easily make grilling healthy and tasty by using these barbecuing tips:
·         Go heavy on the veggies…
·         Use a marinade…
·         Keep heat low and cooking time short…
·         Ditch the charred bits.
Try these hot-off-the-grill EatingWell recipes at your next backyard barbecue:
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Anti-obesity proposal fails again at McDonald's

(Reuters) McDonald's Corp investors soundly rejected a shareholder proposal that would have required the world's biggest fast-food chain to assess its impact on childhood obesity.
The subject was a major topic of discussion at Thursday's annual shareholder meeting, which also served as a send-off for retiring Chief Executive Jim Skinner - whose nearly eight years at the helm will be remembered as a time when the price of McDonald's stock tripled.
The shareholder proposal, which also failed last year, returned amid growing concern over the social and financial costs of obesity in the United States and around the world - not only in terms of healthcare-related expenses but also lower worker productivity and diminished quality of life.
Community: It’s not just children who are susceptible to harm from unhealthy fast food. But why should these stockholders care about the harm they’re doing to the country? They’ve tripled their investment!
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Can Calcium Contribute to Heart Risk?

(The People’s Pharmacy) There is growing concern …that calcium supplements may be harmful for the heart.
A new study … reveals that people who took calcium supplements were at higher risk for heart attacks. This research included more than 23,000 adults who were followed up for 11 years. The investigators estimate that the risk of heart attack more that doubled for those individuals who were taking calcium supplements alone.
This is not the first time calcium has been linked to heart attacks…As the authors of the latest study note, "Several studies have observed a positive association between serum calcium levels and vascular calcification." The most prudent conclusions from these studies would be that getting adequate calcium from the diet through green leafy vegetables, canned salmon or sardines, almonds or sunflower seeds and dried beans as well as milk and yogurt seems better for your heart's health than taking pills.
Community: But, as we’ve seen, taking potassium may reduce the effects of taking a calcium supplement.
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Soy supplement shows no blood pressure benefit

(Reuters Health) Soy-rich diets have been linked to lower rates of heart disease, but a small study suggests that soy supplements may not do anything for older women's blood pressure.
The findings, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, add to the mixed evidence on the health benefits of soy isoflavones -- compounds that are thought to have weak estrogen-like effects in some body tissue.
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Nuisance Seaweed Found to Produce Compounds With Biomedical Potential

(Science Daily) A seaweed considered a threat to the healthy growth of coral reefs in Hawaii may possess the ability to produce substances that could one day treat human diseases, a new study … has revealed.
An analysis … has shown that the seaweed, a tiny photosynthetic organism known as a "cyanobacterium," produces chemical compounds that exhibit promise as anti-inflammatory agents and in combatting bacterial infections.
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Screening finds skin cancer, but does it save lives?

(Reuters Health) Doctors find a high number of malignant tumors when a state-wide skin cancer screening program is introduced, says a new study.
Based on results from a program in Germany, researchers say 116 people need to be screened for skin cancer and five people need to have a biopsy to find one malignant tumor.
They, however, cannot say whether the screenings actually saved lives.
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Consumer Reports rates sunscreens; drugstore brand a best buy

(Los Angeles Times) With the unofficial start of summer just days away, it’s time to stock up on sunscreen. Does it matter which one you buy? Consumer Reports tested some popular brands, and found that it does, but the best choices are not necessarily the most expensive.
Of the 18 popular products Consumer Reports tested, none rated excellent in all four categories: UVA and UVB protection, UVB protection after being in the water, and staining fabrics. All Terrain Aqua Sport lotion rated best, scoring 88 of 100 possible points. Thirteen products scored 70 or higher.
Consumer Reports gave “best buy” kudos to No-Ad with Aloe & Vitamin E SPF 45 and Walgreens Continuous Spray Sport SPF 50. 
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Optical Illusion Relieves Arthritis Pain

(Scientific American) Amputees who experience phantom limb pain can sometimes get relief from an optical illusion. This trick involves looking in a mirror at the reflection of a healthy limb from a certain angle, which causes it to appear where the missing limb should be. Seeing the limb move freely fools the brain into relieving the pain. Now a study suggests this technique might also work for arthritis pain.
Cognitive scientist Laura Case … used a modified version of the mirror technique to superimpose a researcher’s healthy hand over a subject’s arthritic hand, which was painfully constricted or contorted. Subjects mimicked the slow, purposeful movements of the researcher’s hand with their own unseen hand. After experiencing the illusion of their hand moving smoothly, subjects rated their arthritis pain slightly lower than before and had an increased range of motion.
The result suggests that the toxic soup of inflammatory molecules bathing an arthritic joint is not the only source of painful sensations. “The brain has learned to associate movement with pain,” says Case, who presented her results at the Society for Neuroscience meeting last November in Washington, D.C. The illusion provides the brain with a way to disconnect the sight from the sensation. Next, the group will investigate whether this type of mirror therapy might provide long-term benefits for arthritis, a condition that affects about 50 million Americans.
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Dispatchers' CPR Coaching Saves Lives When Every Minute Counts

(Shots, NPR) Your chances of surviving a sudden heart attack may depend on where you live; some American cities have survival rates five times higher than others. One difference can be 911 dispatchers.
If they coach someone over the phone to give CPR, the chance of surviving goes up. There's now a push to make it universal, but some cities are slow to implement the necessary training…
The American Heart Association has stopped short of proposing regulations, but recently urged every city and county to voluntarily have its 911 dispatchers coach CPR over the phone.
Dr. Brooke Lerner, a professor of emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, says having operators give coaching is a good way to increase the number of bystanders who take action.
"We need to move people away from feeling like if they haven't had a class that they're going to hurt somebody," she says, "to understanding that if they don't do something, people are going to die — and that it's as simple as putting your hands in the middle of their chest, and pushing hard and fast."
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Doctors Look Likely To Resist Change On PSA Tests

(Scott Hensley, Shots, NPR) Forgive me, if you're suffering from PSA policy fatigue.
But there are a few more things I thought you might want to know about the new guideline from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that says men of all ages should forgo routine blood tests to detect prostate cancer…
Urologists are hopping mad about the guideline. They're the ones who treat prostate cancer once it's found. But how do internists, family doctors and others who order the initial screening tests feel?
The Hopkins researchers surveyed some after a draft version of the task force guidelines was released last October. Among the more than 100 providers of primary care who were familiar with the draft guidelines, only 1.8 percent said they would no longer order PSA tests. And just 21.9 percent said they were much less likely to order the tests…
Why? Nearly three-quarters of the respondents said patients expected regular PSA screening to continue. Two-thirds said, essentially, it would take too much time to explain. And about half cited malpractice concerns…
The American Cancer Society's Dr. Otis Brawley, who supports the task force's recommendation, told NPR reporters Tuesday: "I'm going to predict that people will continue to be unscientific."
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States Encounter Obstacles Moving Elderly And Disabled Into Community

(Kaiser Health News) A multi-billion dollar federal initiative to move low-income elderly and disabled people from long-term care facilities into the community has fallen far short of its goals, as many states have struggled to cobble together housing and other services…
While advocates strongly support the program and its goals, many say they are disappointed with what they see as its glacial pace, given the $4 billion Congress has authorized and the fact that about 900,000 people living in institutions meet the eligibility requirements…
Officials from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which administers the program, acknowledge that it was tough for many states to get rolling; some states didn't start until 2008. But they say the pace has picked up – placements have doubled in the last few years.
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Study: Veterans Would Benefit Under Health Law

(Kaiser Health News) If the 2010 health law is upheld by the Supreme Court, it would extend health coverage to thousands of the nation’s veterans, a new study says.
The study, released Thursday, said about 630,000 uninsured veterans would likely qualify for Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor, which would be expanded under the law. In addition, 520,000 uninsured vets could qualify for subsidized health coverage in new marketplaces, or insurance exchanges…
One in 10 of the nation’s 12.5 million non-elderly veterans report not having health insurance coverage and not using the Veterans Affairs health system, the study reported.
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Legislation may enable states to offer universal healthcare

(David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times) Universal coverage, Medicare for all, single payer — call it what you will. It's clear that conservative forces are determined to prevent such a system from ever being introduced at the national level. So it's up to the states.
The catch is that to make universal coverage work at the state level, you'd need some way to channel Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare funds into the system. At the moment, that's difficult if not impossible.
But legislation quietly being drafted by Rep. Jim McDermott(D-Wash.) would change that. It would create a mechanism for states to request federal funds after establishing their own health insurance programs.
If passed into law — admittedly a long shot with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives — McDermott's State-Based Universal Healthcare Act would represent a game changer for medical coverage in the United States.
It would, for the first time, create a system under which a Medicare-for-all program could be rolled out on a state-by-state basis.
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Death rate drops among Americans with diabetes - CDC

(Reuters) A 40 percent decline in the death rate of diabetic American adults from heart disease and strokes is a sign that patients are taking better care of themselves and receiving improved treatment, according to a government study released on Tuesday…
Diabetics are less likely to smoke than in the past and more likely to be physically active, the CDC said, although it noted that obesity levels among diabetics continues to rise. Better control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol may also have contributed to the decline in death rates among diabetics, it said…
Despite the significant decline in diabetic deaths from cardiovascular disease, the rate is still twice as high as those without the disease, the CDC said.
Community: Fortunately, there are a number of practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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People with diabetes moodier, depressed

(UPI) People with diabetes are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety and anger if blood sugar levels are poorly controlled, U.S. researchers say…
The article "Does Glycemic Variability Impact Mood and Quality of Life?" found greater glycemic variability may be associated with negative moods and lower quality of life.
Community: There are a number of practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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Diabetes Shrinks Brain

(Science Daily) Elderly people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes suffer from an accelerated decline in brain size and mental capacity in as little as two years according to new research…
While some brain volume loss is a normal part of aging, the researchers found that elderly people with blood sugar levels in flux, as well as type 2 diabetes, lost almost two and a half times more brain volume than their peers over two years. The reduction in size of the frontal lobe -- associated with higher mental functions like decision-making, emotional control, and long term memory -- has a significant impact on cognitive function and quality of life.
Community: There are a number of practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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Eating Fast Increases Diabetes Risk

(Science Daily) People who wolf down their food are two and a half times more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than those who take their time according to new research…
While numerous studies have linked eating quickly to overeating and obesity, this is the first time eating speed has been identified as an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Community: There are a number of practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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Prolonged sitting may raise women's diabetes risk

(MyHealthNewsDaily) Prolonged periods of sitting may increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes in women, a new study finds.
In the study, a woman's likelihood of having risk factors for diabetes, such as insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, increased with the more time she spent sitting. No such link was found in men.
Even women who engaged in moderate or vigorous physical activity were at an increased risk for early signs of diabetes if they also were also sedentary for prolonged periods, the study found.
Community: There are a number of practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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High-intensity workout to diabetes-proof your body

(Men’s Health) To ward off diabetes, the solution is simple, according to a new study: Move more. The more you exercise, the better your body handles blood sugar and insulin, scientists found.
It may sound obvious, but up until now research had actually showed mixed results on the effect of cardio on blood sugar. This is the first study to show that the more exercise you do, the better your insulin sensitivity.
Community: There are a number of practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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Losing Weight Can Prevent or Cure Diabetes

(Science Daily) Lowering your BMI by five units can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes, whatever your initial weight, says new research…
Associate Professor Markku Peltonen, Director of Department at the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland, said:
"Our findings show that, whatever your starting weight, losing five BMI units can dramatically reduce your risk of having type 2 diabetes after two and ten years.
"Dropping five BMI units is no mean feat, as the human body is not very good at losing weight. But patients of any weight should take encouragement that by doing so they can really improve their chances of a healthy future."
Community: Here’s a free BMI calculator. There are a number of practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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Caffeine Can Prevent Memory Loss in Diabetes

(Science Daily) [A] study in mice with type 2 diabetes has discovered how diabetes affects a brain area called hippocampus causing memory loss, and also how caffeine can prevent this…
[The] study indicates … that chronic consumption of caffeine can prevent the neurodegeneration and the memory impairment … not only in diabetes, [but also Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s].
So does this means that we should drink eight cups of coffee a day to prevent memory loss in old age or diabetes? 
Not really as Rodrigo Cunha, the team leader explains: “Indeed, the dose of caffeine shown to be effective is just too excessive… Our ultimate goal is the design of a drug more potent and selective (i.e. with less potential side effects) than caffeine itself… It might turn out to be a therapeutic breakthrough for this devastating disease”.
Community: Yeah, and they can’t charge super high prices for plain old coffee. There are a number of practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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Recipes

EatingWell:
Easy Memorial Day Recipes
Keep it simple with our healthy recipes for Inside-Out Cheeseburgers and more picnic favorites.
Potato Salads That Won't Pack on Pounds
You won't give up any flavor—just calories—with these delicious low-calorie potato salad recipes.
Chimichurri Grilled Steak Salad
Chimichurri sauce is a zingy Argentinean sauce made with garlic, parsley, vinegar and oil. Here chimichurri sauce doubles as marinade for flank steak and as salad dressing for this grilled steak salad recipe.
Cooking Light:
Summer Salads
Just in time for your Memorial Day cookout, find great ideas for your favorite salad dishes using fresh summer ingredients.
1-Cooler, 1-Weekend Getaway
We've got a foolproof plan for packing and cooking five easy meals that are perfect for a weekend getaway.
Superfast Grilled Chicken Thighs with Pineapple Relish
Spoon a sweet and spicy relish over grilled chicken thighs for a quick and healthy meal to kick off grilling season.
MyRecipes.com:
Soy Citrus Scallops with Soba Noodles
Entertain dinner guests with a flavorful scallop supper, served on a bed of tender noodles. Steamed peas vinaigrette round out the plate.
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New recommendations to control gout

(UPI) New recommendations highlight lifestyle changes as a key to managing acute gout symptoms, U.S. rheumatologists said.
The recommendations from the American Society of Clinical Rheumatologists, published in Postgraduate Medicine, encourage gout patients to consume a balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, nuts and grains.
More importantly, patients should limit their intake of high fructose corn syrup, a common ingredient in many processed foods and drinks, and purine-rich foods, particularly red meat, beer and shellfish.
Community: Tart cherry juice cured my gout, thanks to a suggestion from Dr. Andrew Weil.
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