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

Room Light Before Bedtime May Impact Health

(Science Daily) According to a recent study…, exposure to electrical light between dusk and bedtime strongly suppresses melatonin levels and may impact physiologic processes regulated by melatonin signaling, such as sleepiness, thermoregulation, blood pressure and glucose homeostasis…
"On a daily basis, millions of people choose to keep the lights on prior to bedtime and during the usual hours of sleep," said Joshua Gooley, PhD…, lead author of the study. "Our study shows that this exposure to indoor light has a strong suppressive effect on the hormone melatonin. This could, in turn, have effects on sleep quality and the body's ability to regulate body temperature, blood pressure and glucose levels."
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Walgreens to expand fresh food offerings at stores

(Chicago Breaking News) Walgreen Co. plans to expand its fresh food offerings in several hundred stores in coming years, company chief executive officer Greg Wasson told shareholders…
The fresh foods go beyond convenience items that Walgreens has carried for years, such as milk and orange juice. The test stores offer more than 750 new products, including fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meat and fish, pasta, rice, beans, eggs and whole-grain cereals…
Walgreens executives say the fresh foods fits the company’s strategy, which will also include stepping up efforts to expand health care services in areas that “don’t have access to medical services,” said Walgreens president of pharmacy services Kermit Crawford.
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Why Coffee Protects Against Diabetes

(Science Daily) [R]esearchers at UCLA have discovered a possible molecular mechanism behind coffee's protective effect. A protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) regulates the biological activity of the body's sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, which have long been thought to play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. And coffee consumption, it turns out, increases plasma levels of SHBG.
Reporting with colleagues in the current edition of the journal Diabetes, first author Atsushi Goto [and colleagues] show that women who drink at least four cups of coffee a day are less than half as likely to develop diabetes as non-coffee drinkers.
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Berries Can Reduce High Blood Pressure

(Science Daily) Eating blueberries can guard against high blood pressure, according to new research…
[T]he new findings show that bioactive compounds in blueberries called anthocyanins offer protection against hypertension. Compared with those who do not eat blueberries, those eating at least one serving a week reduce their risk of developing the condition by 10 per cent.
Anthocyanins belong to the bioactive family of compounds called flavonoids and are found in high amounts in blackcurrants, raspberries, aubergines, blood orange juice and blueberries. Other flavonoids are found in many fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs. The flavonoids present in tea, fruit juice, red wine and dark chocolate are already known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Seared Lamb with Balsamic Sauce
Get a healthy taste of the Mediterranean when you serve these hearty sweet-savory chops over rice pilaf.
Wine & Tomato Braised Chicken
Here chicken thighs cook in a simple herb-infused tomato-and-wine sauce. The bone-in thighs give it plenty of hearty flavor, and since you cook them without the skin, it keeps the dish healthy. There’s plenty of sauce, so serve it over pappardelle or brown rice. Steamed broccoli or sautéed broccoli rabe tossed with olive oil and a splash of lemon juice complete the meal.
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Scientists make chickens that don't spread bird flu

(Reuters) British scientists have developed genetically modified (GM) chickens that cannot transmit bird flu infections -- a step that in future could reduce the risk of avian flu spreading and causing deadly epidemics in humans.
Scientists from Cambridge and Edinburgh universities said that while the transgenic chickens still got sick and died when they were exposed to H5N1 bird flu, they didn't transmit the virus to other chickens they came into contact with.
"Preventing virus transmission in chickens should reduce the economic impact of the disease and reduce the risk posed to people," said Laurence Tiley, of Cambridge's department of veterinary medicine, one of the lead researchers on the study.
Community: I just don’t know about genetically modified food. I hope we fully test the possible consequences of this kind of manipulation before we start eating the results.
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Blood Type O Associated With Less Risk for Heart Attack

(HealthDay News) Researchers have simultaneously discovered a gene that seems to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, while also noting that having the blood type O might guard against heart attack once arteries become clogged.
"Certain genes predispose to heart artery plaque build-up, whereas different genes lead to heart attack when you already have plaque build-up," said study author Dr. Muredach P. Reilly…
One of the more heart-protective genes also helps direct people to have type O blood, the team reported.
The study suggests the multifaceted relationship between genetics and cardiovascular health, Reilly said. "Not all genes for heart disease are equal and therefore have to be used differently in new treatments for heart disease and when assessing risk of heart disease," he said.
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'Longevity' Protein SIRT1 May Ward Off Precursor to Prostate Cancer

(Science Daily) Researchers … have discovered new evidence that suggests the "longevity" protein SIRT1, known for its life-spanning effects in different species, can inhibit the development of a known precursor to prostate cancer, prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).
Results from the study could lead to new cancer prevention drugs that could not only block prostate cancer but promote longevity…
[Dr. Richard G. Pestell says] his team is now working to test various prevention drugs they've screened for testing in human prostate cancer cells.
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Distrust of Health System Keeps Black Males From Getting Care

(HealthDay News) It's not because they want to appear tough or self-reliant that black men delay going to the doctor; it's because they don't trust the health-care system, researchers at the University of North Carolina report…
[M]en who said they were highly mistrustful of the medical system were more than twice as likely to delay routine check-ups and cholesterol screenings and three times more likely to delay having their blood pressure checked than men who were more trusting, said the researchers…
"To improve the health of African-American men, we should consider addressing why they lack trust in the health-care system and its providers," [study author Wizdom Powell] Hammond said.
"Health-care providers and public health professionals also might consider leveraging traditional masculine self-reliance in interventions and clinical encounters as a way to empower African-American men to 'seize control' of their health. This gendered, patient-centered approach could shift power balances, perhaps inspiring greater health-care system trust among African-American men."
Community: The empowering approach could help all of us take more responsibility for, and control over, our health.
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Many Americans Over 50 Fear Colonoscopy: Survey

(HealthDay News) Many Americans over the age of 50 ignore expert recommendations that they undergo a colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer, a new survey reveals.
Seventy percent of the survey respondents in the age group recommended to get screened admitted that they hadn't done so primarily because of fear of the procedure…
"Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States," Andrew Spiegel, CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance, said in an organization news release. "More than 142,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer this year, yet by getting tested, it could be prevented. The results from this survey reveal that Americans over the age of 50 forgo colonoscopies due in large part to fear."
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New Therapies for Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease Identified

(Science Daily) [A new study] identifies promising pharmaceutical solutions for the devastating condition that affects more than 5 million people in the United States. The BRNI study is the first to achieve fundamental molecular understanding of how synapses are lost in Alzheimer's Disease before the plaques and tangles develop. At the same time, it is the first study to demonstrate the comprehensive benefits of synaptogenic compounds in treating Alzheimer's Disease…
"Alzheimer's Disease is not primarily a disease of plaques and tangles as many had previously concluded, it is most importantly a disease of synapses," said Dr. Daniel Alkon, the scientific director of BRNI and co-author of the study, "This study found that treatments that target the loss of synapses in the Alzheimer's brain, can virtually eliminate all other elements of the disease -- elevation of the toxic protein, A Beta, the loss of neurons, the appearance of plaques, and loss of cognitive function; the animals' brains were normalized."
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Surgical checklists might cut malpractice claims

(Reuters Health) Surgical checklists not only save lives by preventing medical errors, they could also make a big dent in medical malpractice claims, Dutch researchers say.
Scouring data from the largest medical liability insurer in the Netherlands, they found nearly a third of the claims arose from mistakes that likely would have been caught by a checklist.
Putting a price tag on the medical liability system is difficult, but one 2010 study estimated it costs the U.S. more than $55 billion annually, or 2.4 percent of the country's healthcare spending.
Community: Not to mention almost 100,000 avoidable deaths and a whole lotta suffering.

Marriages may suffer from intimacy anorexia

(UPI) Some marriages end due to a problem many may not be aware of -- intimacy anorexia, the active withholding of intimacy toward a spouse, a U.S. therapist says.
Dr. Douglas Weiss … says intimacy anorexia is a relationship style where one spouse actively withholds emotional and sexual intimacy from the other…
"Intimacy anorexics don't know for the most part they are starving their spouse of intimacy, but most spouses of intimacy anorexics have to beg to be loved, touched or to have sex," Weiss says in a statement.
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The More You Walk, the Lower Your Diabetes Risk: Study

(HealthDay News) The more you walk, the lower your risk of diabetes, say Australian researchers…
These associations were independent of calorie intake and appeared to be largely due to a change in weight, said the researchers…
They calculated that a sedentary person who changed his or her behavior and started walking 10,000 steps every day would achieve a threefold improvement in insulin sensitivity, compared with a similar person who walked 3,000 steps a day, five days a week.
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Exercise may help soothe irritable bowels

(Reuters Health) People with irritable bowel syndrome may be able to find some relief by getting regular exercise, a small clinical trial suggests.
The study, of 102 adults with the disorder, found that those who were told to get some more exercise had better odds of seeing improvements in problems like cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
After three months, 43 percent of the exercisers showed a "clinically significant" improvement in their symptoms -- meaning it was making a difference in their daily lives. That compared with a quarter of the participants who maintained their normal lifestyle.
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How to Cope With Stomach Flu Symptoms

(HealthDay News) If you get the stomach flu (also known as viral gastroenteritis), there are a number of things you can do to cope with the illness, an expert suggests…
[Dr. Christopher] Zipp offered the following tips for coping with stomach flu:
Avoid dehydration by consuming plenty of fluids. The best choices are water or half-strength juices. It's best to avoid sodas or sports drinks, but they can be given to people who can't tolerate the recommended fluids.
Relieve body aches and fever by taking over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain relievers such as acetaminophen, as directed.
Rest as much as possible…                    
"Keep in mind that this illness is caused by a virus. Antibiotics, which work against bacterial infections, will not help you to recover," Zipp explained.
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Microbes in Our Gut Regulate Genes That Control Obesity and Inflammation

(Science Daily) If you are looking to lose weight in the coming year, you may need help from an unexpected place: the bacteria in your gut. That's because scientists have discovered that the bacteria living in your intestines may play a far more significant role in weight loss and gastrointestinal problems than ever imagined…
"Our work highlights the remarkable capacity for an orchestrated reprogramming of the intestinal inflammatory network to overcome significant genetic challenges in the mammalian bowel," said Richard Kellermayer, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "The appropriate exploitation of this remarkable capacity may provide means for the prevention and optimized treatment of common metabolic (such as obesity and diabetes) and gastrointestinal disorders."
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3 New Tips to Help You Lose Weight This Year

(RealAge) [A] few subtle and surprising diet changes could greatly increase your pound-shedding potential.
Heather K. Jones, nutrition expert and author of Good Housekeeping's Drop 5 lbs: The Small Changes, Big Results Diet, recommends these three unusual waist-slimming tactics: Tempt your taste buds with vegetable juice, have a vegetarian lunch once a week, and get a regular seafood fix.
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Dijon Croque Monsieur
Instead of your usual grilled ham and cheese, try this French-style sandwich that's enhanced by the zip of whole-grain mustard.
Jamaican Curried Shrimp & Mango Soup
Transport yourself to the islands with this Jamaican-inspired soup, full of fresh shrimp and sweet mangoes. We loved this soup with regular store-bought curry powder, but if you happen to have Jamaican-style curry powder, which has a hint of allspice, this is a great place to use it. Serve with brown basmati or jasmine rice with sliced pineapple for dessert.
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A Guide to Whole Grains

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Grains are an essential part of [a] healthy eating plan because carbohydrates provide fuel for the body. But not all carbs are created equal. Whole grains (as opposed to refined grains) are considered “good carbs” because they contain important nutrients like fiber, which helps slow down digestion, stabilize blood-sugar levels, and ward off hunger and cravings. Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains can help to lower total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and high triglyceride and insulin levels…
Refined grains…, like those found in white bread, white rice, white pasta, and certain snack foods, are highly processed, which means that the healthful bran and germ have been removed. While processing increases a product’s shelf life, it also makes the grain essentially devoid of fiber and other nutrients. Not only are refined grains less nutritious, they are digested more quickly. The result? Large swings in blood-sugar levels, cravings for more refined carbs, and constant hunger…
[W]hen buying whole-grain pastas, breads, and other products, be sure to check that the label says "100% whole wheat" or "whole grain." If the label uses words like "multigrain" or "100% wheat," there’s no guarantee that the product is truly whole grain. Also make sure that the product contains no more than 3 grams of sugar per serving and has no trans fats.
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'Gluten' dog keeps Mo. student healthy

(UPI) A Missouri college student with an extreme allergy to gluten gets help staying healthy from her hardworking gluten-detecting service dog Elias…
[Hollie] Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease two years ago after having spent much of her high school years "in and out of hospitals."
She's now acutely vigilant about checking labels and trying to avoid cross-contamination.
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FDA Lowers Amount of Acetaminophen Allowed in Prescription Painkillers

(HealthDay News) U.S. health officials announced Thursday that they will lower the maximum amount of the pain reliever acetaminophen allowed in prescription opioid products such as Vicodin and Percocet because of reports of severe liver damage…
The FDA will also be mandating that such prescription combination products include "black box" warnings on their labels alerting users to the potential for liver damage…
The new actions do not affect over-the-counter (OTC) products containing acetaminophen such as Tylenol and Nyquil, although [an official] said the agency is considering taking action in that area as well.
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Popular Sleep Medicine Puts Older Adults at Risk for Falls, Cognitive Impairment

(Science Daily) Adults who take one of the world's most commonly prescribed sleep medications are significantly more at risk for nighttime falls and potential injury, according to a new study by the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The study … showed 58 percent of the older adults and 27 percent of the young adults who took a hypnotic, sleep-inducing drug called zolpidem [sold as Ambien] showed a significant loss of balance when awakened two hours after sleep. The findings are important because falls are the leading cause of injury in older adults, and 30 percent of adults 65 and older who fall require hospitalization each year, said … Kenneth Wright, lead study author.
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Falls as Serious for Elderly as Stroke, Heart Attack: Experts

(HealthDay News) Fall screening and prevention should be a regular part of health care for older adults, and all programs to prevent falls should include exercise, according to updated guidelines for preventing falls in the elderly…
"Falls are one of the most common health problems experienced by older adults and are a common cause of losing functional independence. Given their frequency and consequences, falls are as serious a health problem for older persons as heart attacks and strokes," guideline panel co-chair Dr. Mary Tinetti … said.
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Health Disparities Persist in U.S., Report Shows

(HealthDay News) Differences in income, gender and race influence Americans' likelihood of being healthy, sick or dying prematurely, a federal government report released Thursday shows…
For example, low-income people have five to 11 times fewer healthy days per month than those with high incomes; men are nearly four times more likely to commit suicide than women; birth rates for Hispanic and black teens are much higher than for white teens, and affluent people have higher rates of binge drinking.
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Asian Americans show higher diabetes rates

(Reuters Health) Despite being thinner, Asian Americans are more likely than whites to have type diabetes 2 -- and the problem is growing, a new study finds…
Genes are partly to blame, [Hsin-Chieh "Jessica"] Yeh told Reuters Health in an email. But it's the combination of genetic vulnerability and lifestyle that's key, she pointed out…
Specifically, studies have shown that even though Asian adults tend to weigh less than white and black adults, they often have a higher percentage of fat surrounding their abdominal organs. This so-called "visceral" fat is particularly linked to the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Then there is exercise, which is thought to help lower diabetes risk regardless of body weight. Based on health surveys, Asian immigrants to the U.S. are less physically active than native-born non-Asians, Yeh and her colleagues note.
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Most hospitals to adopt medical records

(UPI) Eighty-one percent of U.S. hospitals and 41 percent of physicians say they want to use federal funds to use electronic health records, surveys indicate…
Dr. David Blumenthal of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology says the survey numbers represent a reversal of the low interest in recent years in electronic medical records adoption -- attributed mainly to the cost and time needed to set up a health technology system.
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Taking Short Breaks From Sitting May Help Waistline and Heart

(HealthDay News) If you sit all day at an office and worry about its effect on your weight and health, take a few breaks.
That's the advice from a new study that finds that people who sit for extended periods of time without taking short breaks are at higher risk for heart disease than those who take more frequent timeouts to stand up and walk around.
Community: It bothers me when they say that TV watching in itself is what’s bad for us. It’s the sitting that’s bad. I watch a lot of TV, but I don’t sit much while doing it.
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10 Steps to Being a Quitter: Stop Smoking in 31 Days

Most successful quitters don't wake up one morning, say, "I quit," and never light up again. In fact, on the RealAge Stop Smoking Center -- where you'll find the patient-proven YOU Can Quit Plan, which is also used at the Cleveland Clinic -- smokers are told not to quit for 31 days. That's how long it takes to prepare for change. Here are 10 steps that will get you ready for your Quit Day, 32 days from today!

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Strategies for Taming Temptation

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Is junk food creeping back into your home? If your family has a taste for ice cream, chips, cookies, and other unhealthy (but tempting!) foods, it’s almost impossible to prevent them from reappearing in your cupboards. So how can you get back on track and ensure that your house is temptation-proof? Here’s how:
Create a Temptation-Free Kitchen
To help you maintain your healthy lifestyle, try these suggestions for “cleansing” your kitchen of foods that aren’t South Beach Diet–friendly:
Plan a monthly cupboard cleaning to throw away any unhealthy foods that have mysteriously sneaked back in.
If foods are still packaged, consider bringing them into your office to give to coworkers.
Make it clear to your family that certain unhealthy foods must not be brought into the house.
Don’t allow yourself to succumb to impulse buys when shopping: Avoid the grocery aisles that contain chips, cookies, and other sweets. Instead, shop the perimeter of the store, where the fresh fruits and vegetables are typically sold.
Retrain Your Brain
Taking the steps to purge your kitchen is invaluable to the success of your [healthy] lifestyle. However, the fact is, temptation will be present wherever you are — whether you’re at work, a friend’s house, or on the road. Learn how to face temptation head-on (even if “head-on” means turning your head away) since you won’t always be able to totally avoid it.
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Top Secrets of Portion Control

(Cooking Light) So many invisible factors cause us to eat more than we want. Here, easy-to-remember tips for becoming "portion aware."
Before Eating, Divide The Plate
Here’s a simple rule to portion a plate properly: Divide it in half. Automatically fill one side with fruits or vegetables, leaving the rest for equal parts protein and starch…
Pre-Portion Tempting Treats
The bigger the package, the more food you’ll pour out of it…
Head Off The Mindless Munch
Five minutes after eating at an Italian restaurant, 31 percent of people couldn’t remember how much bread they ate. If you’re worried you might do the same, have the bread removed from the table.
Downsize The Dishes
If you’re one of the 54 percent of Americans who eat until their plates are clean, make sure those plates are modestly sized…
Limit Your Choices
The more options you have, the more you want to try…
Use Your Power For Good
Most homes have a “nutritional gatekeeper” who controls 72 percent of the food eaten by everyone else. The person who chooses food, buys it, and prepares it wields power. If that’s you, take advantage of it.
Avoid A See-Food Diet
Office workers who kept candy in clear dishes on their desks dipped in for a sample 71 percent more often than those who kept their candy out of sight.
Turn Off The Television
The Vast Wasteland leads to vast waists. It’s not just the couch-sitting. TV distracts you from how much you’re eating, and the more you watch, the more you’re likely to eat…
Think Before You Drink
Pour cranberry juice into two glasses of equal volume: one short and wide, the other tall and thin. Most people pour 19 percent more cranberry juice in the short glass because the eye is a poor judge of volume in relation to height and width.
Serve Good-For-You Foods Family-Style
Not all portion-control strategies are about eating less. You can have as much as you want of some foods. Place the foods you want your family to eat more of―salads and vegetable sides―within easy reach on the dining table.
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Breaded Pork Cutlets
Traditionally deep-fried, these 25-minute cutlets get a slimming makeover using a low-fat cooking spray technique.
Lamb & Chickpea Chili
This spicy chili has a North African spin with lamb, cinnamon and harissa. If you can’t find harissa, use mild chili powder in its place. You can turn up the heat with a little cayenne or hot sauce if you like it spicy. Serve with whole-wheat pita bread and tabbouleh.
Cooking Light:
63 Budget-Friendly Recipes
Feed a family of 4 for less than $10 with these low-cost main dish meals.
Quick Comfort Food
Whether it's soup, mashed potatoes, or mac 'n cheese, if it puts a smile on your face, there's a 20-minute recipe for it here.
New Uses for Pantry Staples
Everyday ingredients work wonders when used in new ways. Try these unexpected applications for everyday ingredients.
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The Fat That’s Healthier for Your Teeth

(RealAge) The keys to a young and healthy smile may be brushing and flossing -- and eating plenty of fish.
In a study, people consuming the highest amounts of omega-3 fats -- particularly two kinds found in fish -- were significantly less likely to have periodontitis, a form of gum disease…
Researchers think omega-3 fats may help calm oral inflammation caused by infections. The end result? Less tissue breakdown. 
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New Measure Trumps HDL Levels in Protecting Against Heart Disease

(Science Daily) The discovery that high levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good cholesterol") is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease has fostered intensive research to modify HDL levels for therapeutic gain. However, recent findings have called into question the notion that pharmacologic increases in HDL cholesterol levels are necessarily beneficial to patients. Now, a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine shows that a different metric, a measure of HDL function called cholesterol efflux capacity, is more closely associated with protection against heart disease than HDL cholesterol levels themselves.
Findings from the study could lead to new therapeutic interventions in the fight against heart disease.
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Two Medicines Taken Together Improve Control of Blood Pressure

(Science Daily) New British-led research shows that starting treatment of blood pressure with two medicines rather than the one produces better and faster results and fewer side effects -- findings that could change clinical practice world-wide…
The two medicines can be incorporated into a single pill, simplifying things for patients who will still only have to take one pill. But by including two medicines in the same pill, they are taking a much more effective medicine with fewer side effects.
Professor Morris Brown … said, "The ACCELERATE [aliskiren and the calcium channel blocker amlodipine combination] study breaks the mould for treating hypertension. Most patients can now be prescribed a single combination pill and know that they are optimally protected from strokes and heart attacks."
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Aging Population Could Send Cancer Costs Soaring

(HealthDay News) By 2020, the annual cost of cancer care in the United States is expected to reach at least $158 billion -- a 27 percent jump from 2010, according to a report from the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
The surge in cost will be largely driven by an aging population that is expected to develop more cases of cancer in the near-term. And projected costs could go even higher if the price tag for care rises faster than expected…
"These rising costs raise a challenge for both the federal government and for the private sector," [lead researcher Angela Mariotto] believes. The new data could help policymakers set priorities for managing new treatments and diagnostic technologies, she added.
Community: You’d think they’d be spending more money on prevention—urging people to get more exercise and eat more vegetables.
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Robotic Surgery of 'Tremendous Benefit' to Patients

(Science Daily) Robot-assisted surgery dramatically improves outcomes in patients with uterine, endometrial, and cervical cancer, said researchers…
To date, adoption of robotic surgery has been slowed by fears that it will raise overall healthcare costs. In Canada, robotic procedures are not yet covered by any provincial healthcare plan.
"To the contrary, robotic surgery definitely benefits patients and society," said Dr. Walter H. Gotlieb… "Patient quality of life is dramatically improved, their hospital stays are much shorter and they use far less narcotic pain medication. The majority of our patients need nothing stronger than Tylenol."
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Delivering a Potent Cancer Drug With Nanoparticles Can Lessen Side Effects

(Science Daily) Researchers … have shown that they can deliver the cancer drug cisplatin much more effectively and safely in a form that has been encapsulated in a nanoparticle targeted to prostate tumor cells and is activated once it reaches its target.
Using the new particles, the researchers were able to successfully shrink tumors in mice, using only one-third the amount of conventional cisplatin needed to achieve the same effect. That could help reduce cisplatin's potentially severe side effects, which include kidney damage and nerve damage.
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Measles Virus, a Weapon Against Cancer?

(Science Daily) Scientists believe that modified measles viruses can be "re-targeted" to attack only tumor cells, and thus transformed into a powerful new therapy for cancer.
Now, a new discovery about the process by which measles invades cells has brought the dream of transforming the virus into a weapon against cancer one step closer to reality. A research team including scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. have produced a detailed picture of the intricate molecular mechanism that measles virus uses to attach to and enter the cells it infects.
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Discovery Greatly Improves Common Disinfectant

(Science Daily) A simple technique to make a common virus-killing material significantly more effective is a breakthrough from … Rice University labs…
Rather than trying to turn the process into profit, the researchers have put it into the public domain. They hope wide adoption will save time, money and perhaps even lives.
The Rice professors and their team reported … that adding silicone to titanium dioxide, a common disinfectant, dramatically increases its ability to degrade aerosol- and water-borne viruses.
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Matching Language, True Love?

(HealthDay News) The next time you have a first date, forget about chemistry and common interests.
What really matters, new research suggests, is whether your language styles match…
The kind of language style the researchers focused on was the use of such words as personal pronouns (I, his, their); articles (a, the); prepositions (in, under), and adverbs (very, rather) -- the types of words most people don't give much thought to…
"You are four times more likely to match and probably go on a date if your language style matching is even just above average," [study author James Pennebaker] said.
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Phone chats plus web program help smokers quit

(Reuters Health) Getting personalized phone counseling along with web-based guidance makes it easier to quit smoking, suggests a new study.
After 18 months, smokers who got phone calls from experienced counselors in addition to following a web-based cessation program had nearly double the quit rates of smokers who just used the web program, according to a report published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine…
About one in five adults in the U.S. smokes, and about half of those who don't quit will die from the habit, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates smoking costs the economy $193 billion every year.
National smoking rates have declined dramatically -- from about 30 percent of the population in 1985. Still, most smokers make multiple attempts before quitting successfully.
Community: Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I ever did. And I tried many times. So those who try and fail should keep on trying.
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Cost of Obesity Approaching $300 Billion a Year

(HealthDay News) The total economic cost of overweight and obesity in the United States is $270 billion per year while the cost in Canada is about $30 billion a year, a new study shows.
The $300 billion total cost in the United States and Canada is the result of: increased need for medical care ($127 billion); loss of worker productivity due to higher rates of death ($49 billion); loss of productivity due to disability of active workers ($43 billion); and loss of productivity due to total disability ($72 billion), said the Society of Actuaries (SOA)…
"We can't stand back and ignore the fact that overweight and obesity are drivers of cost increases and detrimental economic effects. It's time for actuaries, the employer community and the insurance industry to take action and help consumers make smart, healthy decisions," he added.
An SOA online survey of 1,000 adults found that 83 percent would be willing to follow a healthy lifestyle program if they received incentives from their health insurance plan.
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A New Target for Appetite Regulation

(Science Daily) While studying hormone receptors in laboratory mice, neuroscientists identified a new molecular player responsible for the regulation of appetite and metabolism…
"If a person is born with too little gene expression in the leptin pathway, which includes its receptors, or the circuitry is not functioning well, then leptin will not work as well as it should," says the study's lead investigator, neuroscientist Guojun Bu, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic. "Appetite will increase, and body fat will be stored."
Given these results, Dr. Bu says it may be possible to develop a treatment that increases gene expression in one or both of the protein receptors, which then increases the messages meant to decrease appetite sent to the brain.
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How resveratrol may help health

(UPI) U.S. and Chinese researchers have been unraveling how a compound found in grapes -- resveratrol -- may bring a wide spectrum of health benefits.
[The] Researchers … found resveratrol helps promote a fat cell hormone called adiponectin.
"Results from these studies should be of interest to those who are obese, diabetic and growing older," senior author Feng Liu in San Antonio says in a statement. "The findings should also provide important information on the development of novel therapeutic drugs for the treatment of these diseases."
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