Nov 16, 2018
Regularly lifting weights shown to reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70 percent.
(Ames, IA) – Lifting weights for less than an hour a week may reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70 percent, according to a new Iowa State University study. Spending more than an hour in the weight room did not yield any additional benefit, the researchers found.
"People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than 5 minutes could be effective," said DC (Duck-chul) Lee, associate professor of kinesiology.
The results - some of the first to look at resistance exercise and cardiovascular disease - show benefits of strength training are independent of running, walking or other aerobic activity. In other words, you do not have to meet the recommended guidelines for aerobic physical activity to lower your risk; weight training alone is enough. The study is published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
Lee and his colleagues analyzed data of nearly 13,000 adults in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. They measured three health outcomes: cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke that did not result in death, all cardiovascular events including death and any type of death. Lee says resistance exercise reduced the risk for all three...
Nov 16, 2018
Though the surgery is a “marvel of modern medicine” and a godsend to many, a post-surgery condition called “secondary scarring” is serious and prevalent.
(Newark, DE) -- Today's cataract surgery is often described as a marvel of modern medicine, a one-hour outpatient procedure that has spared millions from blindness, especially in developed countries.
But nothing is perfect.
"Modern cataract surgery is one of the most miraculous human health innovations," said Melinda Duncan, professor of biological sciences at the University of Delaware. "It has completely revolutionized eye care and has greatly reduced the incidence of blindness around the world.
"As with any surgery, there are side effects."
Duncan conducts research into those side effects -- both short term and long term -- and is seeking ways to prevent what is called "secondary cataract" that can occur years after a successful surgery. Her research also explores the makeup of cells in the lens of the eye and the way surgery affects them.
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, a process that develops over time and is commonly related to aging. Eventually, individuals with a cataract in one or both eyes feel as if they are looking at the world through a dirty window.
The surgical procedure removes that clouded natural lens through a tiny incision and replaces it with a clear, flexible plastic lens...
Nov 16, 2018
New study is the first to quantify the health costs resulting from ageism.
(New Haven, CT) -- Ageism -- a widespread form of prejudice that is directed at older persons -- led to excess costs of $63 billion for a broad range of health conditions during one year in the United States, a new study by the Yale School of Public Health has found.
Directed by Professor Becca R. Levy, the study is the first to quantify the health costs resulting from ageism.
The researchers also found that ageism was responsible for 17.04 million cases of the eight most expensive health conditions in one year among those 60 and older.
"Ageism is one of the least visible prejudices," said Levy, lead author of the paper, which was published online in the journal the Gerontologist in advance of print publication. "Our study helps to increase the visibility of ageism by looking at its consequences."
The $63 billion cost of ageism amounts to one of every seven dollars spent on the eight most expensive health conditions for all Americans over the age of 60 during one year. Among the health conditions examined were cardiovascular disease, mental disorders, and chronic respiratory disease.
Previous research by Levy and her colleagues has shown that ageism adversely affects the health of older persons because it can create stress, which has been shown to impact many types of health outcomes...
Nov 15, 2018
Dr. Corinne Weaver
Check out the special I'm offering this month!
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from a reader who wanted me to discuss men's health. What I have noticed in my practice for the last 14 years is that men don't go to doctors unless they have a major problem. The fact that men go to the doctor less than women may account for men's shorter life span. When it comes to seeking care, most men will brush off annual visits. But why? Many men claim vague issues like a busy schedule, however, there may be deeper issues at play, including:
Having a "macho" attitude can account for a number of missed visits to the doctor. Studies reveal a link between self-reported masculinity and resisting routine exams.
A recent survey revealed 20% of men report fearing a poor diagnosis as the main reason for getting regular checkups.
Another major reason that accounts for men's lack of enthusiasm for annual visits is being uncomfortable with exams. In particular, rectal exams and other invasive tests are apt to give men hesitation about seeking preventative care.
The bottom line
There is certainly a link between masculinity and vulnerability. Many men wait until symptoms are persistent before seeking medical care...
Nov 15, 2018
The optimal healthy range of fT4 should be reconsidered and redefined.
(Murray, UT) -- For patients who take medication to treat hypothyroidism, being treated with too much medication can lead to an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder associated with stroke, a new study of more than 174,000 patients has found.
The findings were presented by researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City at the American Heart Association Scientific Session conference in Chicago.
"We know patients with hypothyroidism have a higher risk of atrial fibrillation, but we didn't consider increased risk within what's considered the normal range of thyroid hormones," said lead researcher Jeffrey L. Anderson, MD, Distinguished Clinical and Research Physician at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, which is part of the Intermountain Healthcare system. "These findings show we might want to re-consider what we call normal."
In the new study, researchers surveyed the electronic medical records of 174,914 patients treated at Intermountain Healthcare facilities whose free thyroxine (fT4) levels were recorded and who were not on thyroid replacement medication. Researchers then took what's considered a normal range of fT4 levels, divided it into four quartiles, then looked at those patients' records for a current or future diagnosis of atrial fibrillation...
Nov 15, 2018
Personalized medicine is “the future.”
(Israel) – Chronic illness and eventually death result from the fact that none of us was born with crucial extra parts. In that case, organ donations from others of a heart, liver, kidney or other organs can give new life.
But receiving donated organs is complicated, even when the surgery is successful, because recipients have to take drugs for the rest of their lives that suppress the immune system to prevent rejection of the foreign tissue. Even using synthetic substances from animals causes such risky immune responses.
A “breakthrough” in basic research has just been reported by researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) in Israel that could change all this. They have succeeded in developing a technology for engineering all types of body tissues from a tiny piece of fat from the recipient. The results of the groundbreaking study were published in the journal Advanced Materials, and the new technology has been successfully tested on animals and human immune cells.
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Nov 14, 2018
Females will have amelogenin-X in their teeth; males should have both the X and Y versions of the protein.
(Davis, CA) -- A team led by UC Davis researchers have come up with a new way to estimate the biological sex of human skeletal remains based on protein traces from teeth.
Estimating the sex of human remains is important for archaeologists who want to understand ancient societies and peoples. Researchers can measure features of bones that differ between males and females, usually the pelvis. But skeletons of children and adolescents don't show these structural changes, and often sites may only yield a few pieces of bone.
DNA analysis is relatively expensive and DNA is quite fragile compared to other molecules, said UC Davis anthropologist Jelmer Eerkens.
Teeth, on the other hand, preserve well and are often found in archaeological sites.
A tooth can tell us a lot about the person to whom it belonged, Eerkens said.
"Wear patterns on the tooth can tell us about diet. Morphology of the tooth can tell us about ancestry (different populations around the world have slight variations in the shape of teeth). Plaque adhering to the tooth can tell us about bacteria in the person's mouth, including pathogenic bacteria. We can radiocarbon date the tooth to learn how old it is. And stable isotope data can tell us about how a person traveled across the landscape," he said...