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

As Science Unlocks Secrets, Cancer Rates Fall

(HealthDay News) Death rates and diagnosis rates from all cancers combined are declining significantly, both for men and women overall, and for most racial and ethnic populations within the United States, [a] report found…

Incidence and death rates are declining for lung, prostate and colorectal cancer in men, and for breast and colorectal cancer in women, the report said. Also, increases in the other major cancer for women, lung cancer, have tapered off, with rates remaining stable since 2003.

There's no single explanation for the decrease in these major cancers, doctors said. Rather, the decreases are chalked up to effective detection and treatment tools designed for each form of cancer…

But [Dr. Alan G.] Thorson said the biggest breakthroughs in cancer prevention could be ones that people undertake in their everyday lives.

If people begin eating right, exercising and avoiding bad habits such as smoking, then cancer rates will continue to fall, he explained.

"We have the ability to significantly reduce cancer available right now," Thorson said. "Those are things we can do to prevent cancer, which is infinitely better than creating new ways to treat cancer once it's there."

"People forget how much power we do have right now through simple lifestyle changes," he added.

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Early Detection Helps Man Beat Colon Cancer

(HealthDay News) Lee Smith of Marietta, Ga., set himself up with an unusual 50th birthday gift: He scheduled a colonoscopy for a couple of days later…

"They found around 75 precancerous polyps, which is an enormous number," Smith, now 51, said…

Smith said he considers his colonoscopy and surgery "a case study in preventive medicine."

"If I hadn't done it, I wouldn't be here," he said. "I'm healthy. I'm exercising. The good news in all of this is we caught it early and I'll get to see my kids grow up, which I definitely would not have been able to do otherwise," Lee added.

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Moving Closer to Outdoor Recreation Not a Recipe for Being More Physically Active

(Science Daily) You'd think that people choosing to live near to outdoor recreation amenities would have a lower body mass index or BMI thanks to an increase in all that healthy outdoor activity right on one's doorstep. Yet a new University of Alberta study looking at the relationship between reasons for choosing a neighbourhood to live in, physical activity and BMI, shows that's simply not the case…

[Lead researcher Tanya] Berry says the … "For those people who had moved for ease of walking and thought it was important, their BMIs didn't change and they were able to maintain their weight. But for those for whom it was not important at all, they showed an increase in BMI and that was matched with the cross-sectional data."

Berry says that, as expected, those in lower socio-economic status (SES) neighbourhoods had higher BMIs. "That's completely consistent with the literature. There is so much more access to fast food restaurants; there are fewer grocery stores; it may not very pleasant to be active in your neighbourhood. So there's a whole host of issues (that need to be addressed.)

Socio-economic status is an important factor and we really should be paying more attention to how to help people in lower SES neighbourhoods overcome the barriers they face to health," Berry says.

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Staying active on workdays good for the heart

(Reuters Health) Commuting to work on your own two feet, or while spinning two wheels, could help stave off heart failure, suggests a new Finnish study.

And if your job keeps you active during the day too, even better…

Previous studies had found protective effects of regular physical activity on both coronary heart disease and stroke. However, researchers had not yet explored the impact of exercise on the risk of heart failure, or the unique roles of leisure and non-leisure activities on the condition.

Heart failure is characterized by a heart unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the body's needs, and currently affects more than 5 million Americans.

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Magnesium may prevent diabetes

(Reuters Health) Getting enough magnesium in your diet could help prevent diabetes, a new study suggests.

People who consumed the most magnesium in foods and from vitamin supplements were about half as likely to develop diabetes over the next 20 years as people who took in the least magnesium, Dr. Ka He … and colleagues found.

The results may explain in part why consuming whole grains, which are high in magnesium, is also associated with lower diabetes risk…

It's plausible that magnesium could influence diabetes risk because the mineral is needed for the proper functioning of several enzymes that help the body process glucose, the researchers point out.

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Heart-healthy diet doesn't have to be costly

(Reuters Health) Spending more on food isn't the only way to buy the healthiest diet, new research shows.

"Increased spending on nuts, soy and beans, and whole grains, and less spending on red and processed meats and high-fat dairy, may be the best investment for dietary health," Dr. Adam M. Bernstein and colleagues … conclude.

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The costs of cheap meat

(Chicago Tribune) If you adjust for inflation and income, Americans have never spent less on food than they have in recent years. And yet many feel we've also never paid such a high price…

[A]lthough meat consumption has risen slightly over the past 40 years, its impact on the pocketbook is less than half of what it was in 1970, falling from 4.1 percent to 1.6 percent in 2008.

The majority of this cheap protein is delivered by "factory farms" that house thousands of animals in confinement. These concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, produce mass quantities of food at low cost…

The costs not calculated in the direct consumer price of meat and other animal products — called externalities — touch on a variety of issues. Among them:

Meat producers put antibiotics in feed to make the animals grow faster and to prevent disease. But this summer, officials from several federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified in support of new guidelines that would curb CAFOs' nontherapeutic use of antibiotics, citing a rise in dangerous antibiotic-resistant infections…

A cheap meat supply also may affect health by encouraging people to eat more of it… According to a recently published Harvard School of Public Health study that followed 84,000 women over 26 years, women who ate two servings per day of red meat had a 30 percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than those who had half a serving per day…

While some … supporters say these operations benefit from having enough money to hire consultants who help create safer and more efficient facilities, the multiple violations at the huge Wright County Egg operation at the center of the salmonella outbreak show that larger doesn't always mean safer…

The meat industry doesn't receive direct subsidies from the government. However, it relies heavily on cheap corn and soy feed whose farming soaks up billions in subsidies each year. It also receives government grants for CAFO pollution management, and the government bought $150 million of pork from an industry damaged last year by swine flu fears…

On small traditional farms, animal waste is used to fertilize crops. On CAFOs, there are not enough crops nearby to absorb the enormous amount of waste, which must be stored, pumped out and transported away.

Often, environmentalists say, the excrement creates toxic fumes (both while stored and when sprayed onto fields), leaks into waterways, runs off fields and spills from lagoons and transit vehicles.

Representatives of the meat industry acknowledge that consolidation has contributed to the loss of nearly 5 million independent family farms since 1935.

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Community: As Jim Hightower has said about cheap imports, “How long can we afford these low prices?” (Paraphrased—I can’t find the exact quote.)

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Recipes

EatingWell:

Autumn Chicken Stew
This simple chicken stew stars three of fall’s best crops—apples, carrots and parsnips. Serve with toasted sharp Cheddar cheese sandwiches

Marsala Chicken Stew

Chicken-Sausage & Kale Stew

Chicken Chili with Hominy

Asian-Inspired Chicken Soup

MyRecipes.com:

Pan-Fried Sole with Cucumber and Tomato Salsa
This simple pan-fried fish is brightened with a mild but colorful fresh salsa. Any variety of sole or flounder will work in this recipe - try lemon sole or butter sole.

Pan-Seared Lemon Sole

Sole with Tarragon-Butter Sauce

Nut-Crusted Sole with Citrus Salsa

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Should you get the shingles vaccine?

(Celeste Robb-Nicholson, M.D., Chicago Tribune) The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends the shingles vaccine for most people ages 60 and over, regardless of whether they recall having had the chickenpox or not. (Studies show that 99 percent of people over age 40 have had chickenpox.)…

The shingles vaccine (called Zostavax) reduces the risk of shingles by 50 percent. Even if you do get shingles, your risk of postherpetic neuralgia is much less. The most common side effects were redness, soreness, and some swelling at the injection site…

It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor about your possible risks and benefits of getting the vaccine.

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Community: I had shingles, even though I thought I’d never had chicken pox, and it was EXTREMELY painful. But the vaccination is very expensive—over $200. Medicare only covers it if you have Part D coverage.

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Post-Op Pain May Be Due to Immune Reaction: Study

(HealthDay News) Nerve inflammation may be the cause of pain, numbness and weakness that some patients experience after surgery, according to a new study.

These problems, called postsurgical neuropathies, are typically believed to be the result of compression or stretching of nerves during surgery. But this new study suggests that, in some patients, neuropathy is the result of the immune system attacking the nerves, leading to inflammation. Immune-suppressing drugs may prove effective in such cases, said the Mayo Clinic researchers.

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'Self-Touch' May Reduce Pain, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) [R]esearchers found that they were able to significantly decrease the levels of pain in the hands of people who thought they were experiencing extreme heat. Their method: they told the participants to touch three fingers on one hand to three fingers on the other.

The effects of the "self-touch" approach sounds more than a little peculiar. But it's a tool that "might create new possibilities for pain treatments," said study co-author Marjolein P.M. Kammers…

At issue is the brain's "body representation," which is a kind of blueprint of your body parts and where they are in the world…

Researchers have directly linked phantom limb pain -- in which amputees feel pain in an arm or leg that is no longer there -- to the body representation system.

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Stress Can Control Our Genes, Researchers Find

(Science Daily) Stress can arise at the cellular level after exposure to pollution, tobacco smoke, bacterial toxins etc, where stressed cells have to react to survive and maintain their normal function. In worst case scenario, cellular stress can lead to development of disease.

[Danish researchers] have just shown that external factors can stress our cells through the control of our genes.

"We found that stress-activating factors can control our genes by turning on certain genes that were supposed to be silenced. It is very important that some genes are on and others are off in order to ensure normal foetal development and correct function of our cells later in life," says [Dr. Klaus] Hansen.

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Talking to death: texts, phones kill 16,000: study

(Reuters) Drivers distracted by talking or texting on cell phones killed an estimated 16,000 people from 2001 to 2007, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

The estimate, one of the first scientific attempts to quantify how many people have died in accidents caused specifically by mobile telephone distractions, also suggests a growing number of these drivers are under 30.

"Our results suggested that recent and rapid increases in texting volumes have resulted in thousands of additional road fatalities in the United States," [the researchers] wrote.

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Breast Cancer Cases in Canada Drop With Decrease in HRT Use

(HealthDay News) A decline in breast cancer rates among postmenopausal women in Canada earlier this decade coincided with a decrease in the use of hormone replacement therapy, a new study shows.

Researchers analyzed national data and found that "the nearly 10 percent drop in invasive breast cancer rates coincided with the decline in use of hormone replacement therapy reported among Canadian women aged 50 to 69 years."

The largest decrease in hormone therapy occurred between 2002 and 2004, when use fell from 12.7 percent to 4.9 percent. During that same period, there was a 9.6 percent decline in breast cancer incidence, said Prithwish De, of the Canadian Cancer Society, and colleagues.

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Anger Amplifies Clinical Pain

(Science Daily) Researchers from Utrecht University who studied the effect of negative emotions on pain perception in women with and without fibromyalgia found that anger and sadness amplified pain equally in both groups…

Both women with and women without FM manifested increased pain in response to the induction of both anger and sadness, and greater emotional reactivity was associated with a greater pain response. "We found no convincing evidence for a larger pain response to anger or sadness in either study group (women with, or without FM), said study leader Henriët van Middendorp, Ph.D. "In women with FM, sensitivity was roughly the same for anger and sadness."

Dr. van Middendorp concludes, "Emotional sensitization of pain may be especially detrimental in people who already have high pain levels. Research should test techniques to facilitate better emotion regulation, emotional awareness, experiencing, and processing."

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Booze Tax Hikes May Reduce Alcohol-Related Problems

(HealthDay News) Boosting taxes on alcohol leads to lower rates of alcohol-related disease, injury, death and crime, researchers say…

The results of the meta-analysis suggest that doubling the average state tax on alcohol would result, on average, in a 35 percent reduction in alcohol-related deaths, an 11 percent reduction in traffic crash deaths, a 6 percent reduction in sexually transmitted diseases, a 2 percent reduction in violence and a 1.4 percent reduction in crime…

The findings "clearly show increasing the price of alcohol will result in significant reductions in many of the undesirable outcomes associated with drinking," lead author Alexander C. Wagenaar, a professor of health outcomes and policy at the University of Florida College of Medicine, said..

"Simply adjusting decades-old tax rates to account for inflation could save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in law enforcement and health care costs," Wagenaar added.

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Stress Hormone Impacts on Alcohol Recovery

(Science Daily) Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that high levels of a stress hormone in recovering alcoholics could increase the risk of relapse.

The study showed that cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress, is found in high levels in chronic alcoholics, as well as those recovering from the condition. Researchers found that this could result in impaired memory, attention and decision-making functions, which could decrease the patient's ability to engage with treatment…

Dr Abi Rose (lead author of the review) … said: "Drugs targeting the effects of cortisol in the brain might reduce the chances of relapse and reduce the cognitive impairments that interfere with treatment."

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Community: Ditto compulsive overeating? Here's another reason why shows like Thintervention and The Biggest Loser don't help people change behaviors that keep their weight high. They actually increase stress levels. Talk about counter-productive!

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Vitamin C Rapidly Improves Emotional State of Acutely Hospitalized Patients, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) Treatment with vitamin C rapidly improves the emotional state of acutely hospitalized patients, according to a study…

Patients administered vitamin C had a rapid and statistically and clinically significant improvement in mood state, but no significant change in mood occurred with vitamin D, the researchers discovered…

"Earlier studies, both in our hospital and in other centres, demonstrated that the majority of acutely hospitalized patients have subnormal levels of vitamins C and D in their blood," said Dr. L. John Hoffer, MD, PhD…

"About one in five acute-care patients in our hospital have vitamin C levels so low as to be compatible with scurvy," added Hoffer…. "But patients are rarely given vitamin supplements. Most physicians are simply unaware of the problem. Subclinical deficiencies of vitamin C and D have each been linked to psychological abnormalities, so we examined that aspect in our clinical trial."

"The lack of any effect of vitamin D on mood is good evidence we are not dealing with a placebo response," said Dr. Hoffer. "This looks like a true biological effect. Our finding definitely requires follow up in larger studies in other centres," he said. "The treatment is safe, simple and cheap, and could have major clinical practice implications."

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Choose This Creamy Breakfast to Fight Allergies

(RealAge.com) Top it with cereal, fresh fruit, or a little swirl of honey. Any way you serve it up, this creamy breakfast food may be an allergy fighter. We're talking about yogurt.

Research suggests that the powerful probiotic bugs -- called Lactobacillus casei (L. casei) -- in yogurt may decrease body levels of immune substances involved in seasonal allergies. So every cup of goodness means fewer sniffles and "achoos."

Whatever you do, don't ignore sneezes, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. If you have allergies, it's best to nip your symptoms in the bud so they don't turn into something more serious -- like asthma or a sinus infection. Eating yogurt might help, but a comprehensive allergy-treatment plan laid out by your doctor is best. (Here are a dozen ways to give yourself some seasonal allergy relief.)

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Eat This Sauce to Stop a Silent Killer

(RealAge.com) There's a sauce that's rich in apigenin, and that's excellent news for a very delicate body part: women's ovaries.

The sauce in question? Marinara. Or anything red, really. Tomato-based sauces like these are loaded with apigenin, a powerful flavonoid that was credited with reducing the risk of ovarian cancer by an impressive 20 percent in a recent study…

Ovarian cancer has very few early-stage symptoms, and there are no standard or routine screening tests, so it's often not caught until an advanced stage. Controlling what risk factors you can and living an anti-cancer lifestyle may be two of your best options against the disease. And that means controlling your weight and eating a healthful diet -- of which apigenin-rich foods may be a part. Not a tomato fan? You'll find apigenin in celery and red wine, too.

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Online reviews raved about the contrast of flavors provided by tangy tomato chutney, savory chicken, and sharp cheddar cheese. If you can't find tomato chutney, make your own using the recipe provided, or use store-bought barbecue sauce.

Sun-Dried-Tomato, Sausage, and Fontina Pizza

Eggplant, Pesto, and Goat-Cheese Pizza

Apricot and Prosciutto Thin-Crust Pizza

EatingWell:

EatingWell Fish Sticks
You can make these homemade fish sticks in about the same amount of time it takes to bake a box of the frozen kind. Make it a meal: Serve with lemon wedges, coleslaw, roasted new potatoes and a dollop of tartar sauce.

Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks

Beer-Battered Tilapia with Mango Salsa

Oven-Fried Fish Fillets

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Sexual Problems May Arise After Breast Cancer

(HealthDay News) Sexual problems are common among breast cancer survivors, according to new research…

But there's help… [Dr. Christine] Derzko said a woman's physician can suggest a vaginal lubricant or moisturizer to help make sexual intercourse pain-free. "We look at various combinations of things we can do," Derzko said.

Bringing the partner in on the discussion is valuable, she added, because men often fear they will hurt their partner if sex is painful.

For libido and body image issues, Derzko said a woman might consider psychological therapy, ideally with someone trained in sexual issues and body image concerns.

And women who want a satisfying sex life shouldn't think of themselves as frivolous, she said. Some women think they should be thankful just to be alive and not complain about sexual functioning, she said.

But she said she tells them: "This is a part of wellness."

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Surgery to Widen Neck Arteries Cuts 10-Year Stroke Risk: Study

(HealthDay News) For people whose carotid arteries have become narrowed, restricting blood flow to the brain, having a surgical procedure to widen them reduces the risk of stroke over a 10-year period, British researchers report…

For some elderly patients, this risk may outweigh any long-term benefit. But older, healthy patients will likely benefit from the procedure, the study authors noted.

However, Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, professor of neurology and director of the Duke Stroke Center at Duke University Medical Center, who was not involved in the study, suggested that the benefits might be smaller than they appeared in the study.

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Quality of Care at U.S. Hospitals Shows Improvement

(HealthDay News) There have been major improvements in the quality of care provided by U.S. hospitals, according to an annual report released this week by the national organization that accredits hospitals and other health-care organizations and programs.

The Joint Commission's analysis of data from more than 3,000 accredited hospitals found continual improvement over eight years on evidence-based measures of care for heart attack, pneumonia, surgical care and children's asthma care.

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FDA Restricts Access to Avandia

(HealthDay News) In response to major concerns about heart risks, U.S. health officials on Thursday severely restricted use of the diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia) to patients with type 2 diabetes who cannot control their disease on other medications.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials also ordered the drug's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, to get an independent review of a key company-run trial of the drug's heart effects. And they pulled the plug on another company-run trial comparing Avandia to its competitor, pioglitazone (Actos)…

According to the agency, there was not enough evidence of Avandia's cardiovascular risks to pull the drug from the market, which is why it opted to restrict its use instead.

But in Europe, the European Medicines Agency has suspended marketing of the drug, forcing patients to find another drug to control their blood sugar. The suspension will remain in place unless there is new data showing that the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks.

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Brand-name 50 percent discount for seniors

(UPI) Pharmaceutical firms will give 50 percent discounts on brand-name medications next year for those in the Medicare Part D coverage gap, U.S. officials say…

"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of people with Medicare who will fall into the Part D doughnut hole next year will pay less for their prescription drugs," [Vice President Joe] Biden said on a conference call with seniors from across the country.

"The discount manufacturers will pay on brand-name drugs, helping millions of seniors who are struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month, and it's just one of the ways the new healthcare law helps make Medicare stronger."

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Employer-provided health insurance down

(UPI) The number of U.S. adults with employment-based health insurance dropped by more than 2 percentage points last year, a non-partisan research institute says…

"These trends are due to job losses resulting from the recent recession and the slow economic recovery, fewer workers being eligible for health insurance coverage and more workers with coverage choosing to drop it," study author Paul Fronstin says in a statement. "With unemployment remaining high, these trends are almost certain to continue when the data are released for 2010."

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Key Health Law Provisions Begin Sept. 23

(Kaiser Health News) Starting Sept. 23, the new law requires that when health plans renew their coverage for the coming year, they eliminate lifetime limits on coverage.

The elimination of lifetime caps on benefits is one of several provisions that will begin to take effect Sept. 23, six months after enactment of the law. Health plans don't have to implement the provisions until their next annual renewal date; since most plans begin their coverage year on Jan. 1, that's when many consumers will start to see changes.

As you sign up for coverage this fall, here's what to look for.

All health plans must permit adult children to remain on their parents' plans until age 26…

Employer plans can no longer refuse to cover children younger than 19 because they were born with or develop a serious medical condition…

A similar ban on coverage exclusions for adults goes into effect in 2014.

In general, employer plans can't impose annual coverage limits of less than $750,000 for "essential" health benefits, including hospital services, drugs, emergency services and maternity and newborn care. The maximum limits increase every year and they are eliminated in 2014. These limits apply to new individual policies, too.

Additional provisions take effect on or after Sept. 23 for new plans offered by employers or purchased by individuals since March 23. These include requirements that insurers:

--Cover the full cost of preventive services that have the highest recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

--Allow women to see an OB-GYN without a referral.

--Do not make plan members pay higher co-payments or coinsurance for out-of-network emergency services.

For more information about the provisions that take effect for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, go to healthcare.gov.

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Mammograms Cut Breast Cancer Death Rates, But Only Modestly: Study

(HealthDay News) Routine mammograms account for only about one-third of the decline in breast cancer death rates, according to a large new analysis of data from Norway's expansive breast cancer screening program…

"This study will only add to the confusion for women and their physicians," said Dr. Daniel B. Kopans, director of breast imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and a radiology professor at Harvard Medical School…

Kopans noted that mammography is still the only test that has been proven to reduce the death rate from breast cancer and that this study should not divert attention away from that fact.

"It's clearly muddying the waters," he said.

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Genetic Factor in Osteoporosis Discovered

(Science Daily) Spanish researchers have confirmed there is a genetic risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures. Although more studies are still needed, these findings will make it possible to take preventive measures…

Osteoporosis is the most common form of bone disease. The human organism is not able to build enough new bone, and old bone is absorbed by the body. One in every three women and one in every 12 men aged over 50 have osteoporosis, an illness that causes millions of bone fractures each year. Post-menopausal women, who have reduced levels of oestrogen and other hormonal deficits, are most at risk.

Bone loss starts from the age of 35. Calcium and vitamin D deficiency, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine consumption and a sedentary lifestyle all raise the risk of osteoporosis. According to the experts, sports and calcium supplements before the menopause can help to maintain bone mass. In some cases, hormonal patches can be used, as long as this is done under strict gynaecological supervision.

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Putting on the Pounds After Weight Loss? Hit the Gym to Maintain Health Gains

(Science Daily) Although obesity is a major risk factor for disease, much of the threat may be associated with the metabolic (or cardiometabolic) syndrome, a cluster of risk factors related to diabetes and heart disease. Losing weight can improve health and reduce many of these risk factors. However, many people struggle to keep the weight off long-term. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that people who perform resistance training while regaining weight can help maintain strides in reducing their risks for chronic disease.

"Long-term weight loss maintenance is uncommon without regular exercise," said Shana Warner, a doctoral student… "It is very important to address other things that can be done to maintain health as opposed to focusing solely on body weight. Our research indicates that following a consistent exercise program can help maintain certain aspects of metabolic health, even in those who experience weight regain."

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Man’s Best Friend Keeps Owners on the Move

(Science Daily) Children whose families own dogs are more active than those without, according to new research. Researchers from St George's, University of London studied 2,065 children aged nine to ten, and found that children from dog-owning families have higher levels of physical activity compared to children without…

[Lead researcher Dr. Christopher] Owen said: "The more active lifestyles of children from dog-owning families is really interesting -- is it that owning a dog makes you more active or that more active families choose to have a dog? It's a bit of a chicken and egg question. Long-term studies are needed to answer it, but it may be a bit of both."

"Previous studies have compared adult activity levels before and after getting a dog, and found that they do become more active afterwards. This study is novel in showing that children who have a dog are more active, but, again, long term studies are needed to see if the effect is seen before and after owning a dog."

Adults who own dogs take 1,700 more steps a day on average than non-dog owners -- a 25 per cent difference.

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Inner Voice Plays Role in Self Control

(Science Daily) Talking to yourself might not be a bad thing, especially when it comes to exercising self control.

New research … shows that using your inner voice plays an important role in controlling impulsive behaviour.

"We give ourselves messages all the time with the intent of controlling ourselves -- whether that's telling ourselves to keep running when we're tired, to stop eating even though we want one more slice of cake, or to refrain from blowing up on someone in an argument," says Alexa Tullett, PhD Candidate and lead author on the study…

"Through a series of tests, we found that people acted more impulsively when they couldn't use their inner voice or talk themselves through the tasks," says [Associate Psychology Professor Michael] Inzlicht.

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Just Two Drinks Slow Reactions in Older People, Research Shows

(Science Daily) Blood alcohol levels below the current legal limit for driving have a significant negative effect on a person's dexterity. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Research Notes found that just two single vodka and orange drinks were enough to make senior volunteers struggle at an obstacle avoidance test while walking…

[Researchers] said, "The results clearly show that even with low blood alcohol concentrations, reactions to sudden gait perturbations are seriously affected. After ingestion of 2 alcoholic drinks, obstacles were hit twice as often, response times were delayed and response amplitudes were reduced. These changes were most obvious in situations with little available response time."

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Recipes

Cooking Light:

Season's Best: Sweet Potatoes (video)
Sugary, rich, and moist, sweet potatoes have their best flavor and texture in the fall.

Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes

Curry-Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato, Leek, and Ham Soup

Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pilau

100 Weeknight Chicken Recipes
Whether it's grilled, sautéed, baked, or roasted, this is your guide to the ultimate weeknight wonder: Chicken!

Chicken & Cashews

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup

More

MyRecipes.com:

Grilled Chicken and Tomato Salad
This salad recipe may sound ordinary, but you’ll think otherwise once you taste the fresh produce and flavorful goat cheese in every bite.

Chicken Salad with Cumin and Parsley

Caribbean Grilled Chicken Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

Grilled Chicken Salad With Avocado and Mango

EatingWell:

Pork Chops with Apples & Thyme
Round out this lovely autumn meal with barley and pureed winter squash (for added convenience, look for frozen squash).

Boneless Pork Chops with Mushrooms & Thyme

Pork with Dried Apples & Prosciutto

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mustard, Rosemary & Apple Marinade

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Novel Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Shows Early Promise

(HealthDay News) A new targeted medication for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may benefit patients with this chronic autoimmune disease who aren't adequately helped by standard RA drug therapy, researchers say.

The oral medication, known as fostamatinib or R788, is part of a new class of drugs … which work on the cellular level to block specific pathways that are responsible for joint inflammation. The drugs are similar to the breakthrough cancer drug Gleevec, which inhibits the growth of malignant cells.

"Our findings highlights the fact that there are other pathways that can be utilized in order to improve disease activity among people with rheumatoid arthritis," said Dr. Michael E. Weinblatt, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the study.

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Staying on Gleevec Seems to Help Gastro Cancer Patients

(HealthDay News) Continuous treatment with imatinib (Gleevec) is recommended for patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer, a new study suggests…

The findings show that three years of treatment with Gleevec does not totally eliminate cancer-causing cells, which means the disease can recur when treatment is stopped, Dr. Axel Le Cesne, of the Institute Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, and colleagues explained in a news release from the journal's publisher.

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New Procedure for Aortic Valve Replacement Looks Promising

(HealthDay News) For patients who are too sick to withstand surgery to treat a narrowed aortic valve, a new and less invasive heart procedure might keep them alive, researchers say…

Without a valve replacement, which requires surgery to open up the chest, about 50 percent of patients with aortic stenosis die within two or three years of diagnosis…

The new procedure -- transcatheter aortic-valve implantation (TAVI) -- involves routing a large catheter through the femoral artery in the patient's groin into the heart. When the catheter reaches the aortic valve, a balloon inflates and opens the valve. Doctors then implant a cow's heart valve, Leon explained.

The procedure takes less than an hour, and patients leave the hospital after a day or two, he said. Open-heart surgery, on the other hand, can last four to six hours, and recovery may take three months, he noted.

After a year, patients who underwent TAVI had a significantly lower rate of death from any cause compared with patients who got standard therapy (30.7 percent vs. 50.7 percent)…

"It's not just the fact they are living longer, they are feeling dramatically better," [researchers] said.

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Community: The less invasive, the better. Open heart surgery is extremely stressful.

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New Target for Alzheimer's Disease Identified

(Science Daily) Neurological researchers at Rush University Medical Center have found a new therapeutic target that can potentially lead to a new way to prevent the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The target called neutral sphingomyelinase (N-SMase) is a protein that when activated, can cause a chain of reactions in the cell leading to neuronal death and memory loss…

"Understanding how the disease process works is important in identifying effective approaches to protect the brain and stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease," said [ Kalipada Pahan, PhD, neurological researcher and lead investigator]. "The results of this study are very promising and our next step is to translate these findings to the clinic."

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What men want in long-term relationship

(UPI) Men looking for sex are more interested in a woman's body but those looking for a long-term relationship look for a pretty face, U.S. researchers found.

Psychology graduate student Jaime Confer -- who co-authored the research … -- say[s] a woman's body generally provides cues about her state of fertility, but her face gives insight into her long-term reproductive value.

"Men's priorities shift depending on what they want in a mate, with facial features taking on more importance when a long-term relationship is the goal," the study authors say in a statement. "Mating is central to the engine of natural selection. This research helps clarify people's preference."

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Community: “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife. So for my personal point of view, get an ugly girl to marry you.” – Jimmy Soul

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Active Seniors Have Stamina of Those Much Younger

(Science Daily) Senior active skiers have twice the oxygen-uptake capacity of seniors who do not exercise. This is shown in new research at Mid Sweden University.

"The findings show that humans have a great potential to maintain a high level of physical work capacity and thereby better quality of life even at advanced ages," says Per Tesch, professor of sports science…

The results for the active seniors are comparable to values for men who are 40-50 years younger but do not exercise to improve their stamina. Analyses of muscle samples at the molecular and cell level reveal a profile similar to what is found in younger men.

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How to Eat to Ease Back Pain

(Reader's Digest) Back pain is hurting us—in the wallet. According to new government numbers, we spent nearly twice as much on the problem in 2007 as we did in 1997: more than $30 billion, up from an inflation-adjusted $16 billion a decade earlier.

Generally, the passage of time and extra attention to body mechanics are enough to ease the discomfort (pain relievers help too). But you may be able to lower your risk of a recurrence by strolling down the right aisle in the supermarket. The research isn’t all in, but intriguing evidence suggests that certain foods can quash inflammation that contributes to some kinds of back pain—especially bouts linked to arthritis. Here, from Kitchen Cabinet Cures (Reader’s Digest, $31.96), foods to eat and to avoid.

Eat more

  • Cherries. One study showed that drinking 12 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for eight days reduced muscle pain and strain. Fresh or canned tart cherries are also helpful.
  • Olive oil
  • Canned salmon, sardines packed in water or olive oil, mackerel, albacore tuna, flaxseed, and walnuts—all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vegetable protein (such as soy)
  • Vegetables and fruits of every hue (canned or frozen are fine, as long as they’re not packed in heavy syrup or loaded with salt)
  • Nuts of all kinds
  • Green tea
  • Ginger. Try steeping a bit of grated root in boiling water for tea.

Eat less

  • Certain vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, or “mixed” vegetable oils
  • Margarine and vegetable shortening
  • Processed foods
  • Products containing high-fructose corn syrup
  • Foods high in saturated fat, including meat, tropical oils, and full-fat dairy products
  • Foods made with trans fats

A lack of vitamin D, the “sunshine” vitamin, may contribute to back pain. In one study, more than 80 percent of people between 15 and 52 with chronic low-back pain were deficient in the vitamin—and when they started supplementing, their back pain improved. Some nutrition experts suggest taking 1,000 IU of D3 daily.

Source

Community: How convenient! Most of the same foods help prevent diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and a host of other diseases.

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