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

To Get Americans Healthier, U.S. Targets the Heart

(HealthDay News) U.S. health officials and the American Heart Association have put forth an ambitious set of goals for reducing deaths from heart attack, stroke and coronary heart disease.
The goals go further than just setting targets for limiting death and illness, however. They place even greater emphasis on prevention, calling for behavioral change that could benefit overall public health, if successful.
"The goal is to shift the population to a healthier lifestyle," said Dr. Ralph L. Sacco, president of the American Heart Association and chairman of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "It's a much more prevention-oriented goal than we have had in the past."
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Nurse Practitioner Counsels Lifestyle Changes as Key to Heart Health

(HealthDay News) Lynne Braun spends a lot of her time trying to encourage people to do right by their hearts and their health.
Braun, who works as a nurse practitioner at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and teaches at the university's College of Nursing, helps counsel people who are at risk for coronary heart disease as well as those who've had a heart attack or stroke and hope to avoid another occurrence…
Though helpful, medications tend to target one risk factor -- such as high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar. But if people "eat a heart-healthy diet and engage in a regular physical exercise program, that will improve all of their risk factors," she said. "Overall, they'll be healthier."
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Got a Health Goal? Watch Success Stories

(RealAge.com) If you're finding it tough to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, or reach another health goal, here's a way to see results: Start watching success stories.
In a study, people with high blood pressure did a better job of improving their own numbers if they watched DVDs documenting the treatment successes of other people with the same health problem.
Community: The problem is finding videos that are from knowledgeable sources, and not from people with some axe to grind or some crazy notion to promote.
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Engaged workers report good health

(UPI) Those engaged in their work tend to report excellent health but emotionally disconnected workers or the jobless tend to report poor health, a U.S. survey says…
Workplaces that create environments that disengage employees might be creating health risks to those employees as troubling as those of the unemployed, the pollsters say.
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No evidence coffee ups risk of high blood pressure

(Reuters Health) Despite earlier concerns, downing lots of coffee doesn't seem to increase the risk of high blood pressure, according to a new report -- but the evidence isn't conclusive.
High blood pressure has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and a shorter life expectancy, and some scientists have suggested that coffee might fuel the problem.
The new report pools data from six previous studies that included more than 170,000 people in total.
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Pecans may lower bad cholesterol

(UPI) A handful of pecans each day may boost antioxidant levels in the body and help protect the heart, California researchers suggest…
"This study confirms previous research which shows pecans are a healthy food," [Dr. Ella] Haddad says in a statement. "Our study indicates that antioxidants in pecans are absorbed in the body and provide a protective effect against the development of various diseases such as cancer and heart disease."
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Bake with This for Healthier Arteries

(RealAge.com) Nut flours are a great way to pack nutrition into muffins, waffles, breads, and more. And a new study shows that pecan meal may be especially helpful in boosting heart-healthy antioxidants.
In a small study of men and women, eating a test meal made of whole or ground pecans produced some pretty amazing benefits over another meal that contained the same number of calories but was made with refined ingredients. The pecan meal resulted in significantly higher blood concentrations of antioxidants and even doubled the participants' blood levels of gamma-tocopherol -- a form of vitamin E. What's more, 3 hours after eating the test meal made of whole pecans, the men and women had significantly lower blood levels of oxidized LDL -- the stuff that nicks and wears away artery walls.
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Thai Beef Salad
Budget-friendly flank steak paired with traditional Thai flavors gives you a filling salad for dinner that's less than 300 calories.
Roast Leg of Lamb, Cauliflower & Shallots
Even though lamb is available year-round, it’s traditionally associated with spring. Here we slather this vernal meat with a tarragon-and-parsley rub and roast it with shallots and cool-weather-loving cauliflower. Experiment with colored varieties of cauliflower to wow guests or try it with romanesco—the striking spiral-covered relative of broccoli and cauliflower.
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Warm baths in the winter linked to heart threat

(Reuters Health) Taking a hot bath on a cold day could spell trouble for the heart, a Japanese study hints…
While it's still unclear how to explain the link, jumping into the hot tub on a frigid day causes a rapid blood pressure drop, which stresses the heart.
As a consequence, the researchers say, "preventive approaches such as warming a bathroom and a hallway or refraining from taking a deep hot bath could be important for high risk people."
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Some heart surgery patients skip statin therapy

(Reuters Health) Heart disease patients who undergo surgery may be less likely to stick with their cholesterol medication than those treated with drugs alone, a new study finds…
It's not clear why surgery patients were less likely to take their statins, [Dr. Niteesh K.] Choudhry said. But one possibility is that they were less likely than medication-only patients to have ongoing problems with chest pain. Without that symptom, some might think their medications are unneeded.
"They might think, 'I underwent this procedure, and now I'm fixed,'" Choudhry said.
However, he added, the reasons that any one person might skip his statin are many.
Cost could be one, Choudhry said. Even with Medicare, an older adult on several medications may not be able to afford all of the co-payments. In other cases, people may stop taking their statins because of side effects, like muscle pain.
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Nature and nurture key in bladder-control problems

(Reuters Health) Genes may play an important role in developing urinary incontinence, while lifestyle -- including diet - may be the biggest factor in overactive bladder, new research suggests…
Exactly what those lifestyle factors are was not clear from the study…
But in a separate study in the same journal, researchers found evidence that diet -- particularly vitamin C and calcium intake -- might be one.
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Anti-Depressants Boost Brain Cells After Injury in Early Studies

(Science Daily) Anti-depressants may help spur the creation and survival of new brain cells after brain injury, according to a study…
Jason Huang, M.D., and colleagues undertook the study after noticing that patients with brain injuries who had been prescribed anti-depressants were doing better in unexpected ways than their counterparts who were not taking such medications. Not only did their depression ease; their memory also seemed improved compared to patients not on the medication…
Scientists aren't sure whether the drug helps spur the creation of more new neurons, or whether it helps newly created neurons survive -- or both. Some of the team's evidence indicates that the drug helps immature stems evolve into useful cells such as neurons and astrocytes, and to travel to the exact areas of the brain where they're needed.
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Devices Might Be Used in Brain Prostheses or Synthetic Brains

(Science Daily) Engineering researchers the University of Southern California have made a significant breakthrough in the use of nanotechnologies for the construction of a synthetic brain. They have built a carbon nanotube synapse circuit whose behavior in tests reproduces the function of a neuron, the building block of the brain.
The team … used an interdisciplinary approach combining circuit design with nanotechnology to address the complex problem of capturing brain function.
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Half of U.S. states have comprehensive smoking bans: CDC

(Reuters) Half of all U.S. states have enacted smoking bans in private worksites, restaurants and bars in the past decade, but a government report says southern states lag in adopting such laws.
The report, released on Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows swift progress in much of the country since 2000 to pass laws to protect nonsmokers from effects of secondhand smoke.
But many southern states still allow smoking at worksites or bars or restaurants, and seven states have no laws prohibiting smoking in these public places.
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It's Easy Being Green

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Sure, you recycle and switch off the lights when you leave a room. You may even bring your own reusable bag to the grocery store. But what else can you do to shrink your carbon footprint? The good news is that following an eco-friendly lifestyle is easier than you think. In fact, most changes are simple and involve making smarter choices, like buying fresh produce… The benefits of following a green lifestyle go beyond just saving the environment — they can also make a positive impact on your overall health. To celebrate the forty-first anniversary of Earth Day, we encourage you to follow these green-living tips:
Buy locally grown foods… In the interest of helping the environment and your diet, buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season from your local farmers’ market… To save money, shop late in the day when the farmers are more likely to cut deals rather than transport unsold produce back to the farm.
Re-use bottles when you drink… [P]urchase a reusable water bottle or canteen made out of polycarbonate or aluminum to carry drinks around. You can also buy an inexpensive water filter, which reduces the amount of fluoride and chlorine that is usually found in tap water.
Walk or bike your way around town… [Y]ou’ll cut down on gas expenses while burning calories.
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Older minds cluttered with irrelevant data

(UPI) Older people have more trouble learning and remembering because their minds tend to be cluttered with irrelevant information, researchers in Canada say.
First author Mervin Blair … said in the study, working memory refers to the ability to both retain and process information…
"Basically, older adults are less able to keep irrelevant information out of their consciousness, which then impacts on other mental abilities."
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Meditation May Help the Brain 'Turn Down the Volume' on Distractions

(Science Daily) The positive effects of mindfulness meditation on pain and working memory may result from an improved ability to regulate a crucial brain wave called the alpha rhythm. This rhythm is thought to "turn down the volume" on distracting information, which suggests that a key value of meditation may be helping the brain deal with an often-overstimulating world…
Although all participants had showed some attention-related alpha rhythm changes at the beginning of the study, at the end of the eight weeks, those who completed the mindfulness meditation training made faster and significantly more pronounced attention-based adjustments to the alpha rhythm than the non-meditators did…
The study also sheds light on how meditation may affect basic brain function, explains Stephanie Jones, PhD…, co-lead author of the paper. "Given what we know about how alpha waves arise from electrical currents in sensory cortical cells, these data suggest that mindfulness meditation practitioners can use the mind to enhance regulation of currents in targeted cortical cells. The implications extend far beyond meditation and give us clues about possible ways to help people better regulate a brain rhythm that is dysregulated in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and other conditions."
You can train yourself in mindfulness meditation using an audio CD made by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., the founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
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Mindfulness Meditation Changes Decision-Making Process

(Science Daily) [New] research shows that Buddhist meditators use different areas of the brain than other people when confronted with unfair choices, enabling them to make decisions rationally rather than emotionally. The meditators had trained their brains to function differently and make better choices in certain situations.
The research "highlights the clinically and socially important possibility that sustained training in mindfulness meditation may impact distinct domains of human decision making," the researchers write.
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Halibut with Caper Salsa Verde
The robust salsa (more of a leafy, less saucy sauce) is a dominant presence on the plate. Sweet and mellow roasted fennel makes a particularly fitting side.
Salmon Burgers with Green Goddess Sauce
The key to perfect salmon burgers is to handle the fish delicately: don't overseason, overhandle or overcook it. Cutting the salmon into small pieces by hand takes a little while, but you want it in tender little bits. Serve over a bed of salad greens with the Green Goddess Sauce dolloped on top.
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Women Line Up for Spider-Vein Treatment

(NBC Dallas-Fort Worth) Asclera, a chemical injectible that destroys the lining of cells, has long been used in Europe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it for use in the United States on March 30.
"It's a different chemical compound that seems to be better at irritating these veins and helping them sclerose down, or shrink down. At the same time, it seems to be having fewer side effects. People aren't having as many complications from the procedure," said Dr. Kent Aftergut, a dermatologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
A tiny needle injects the solution into each unsightly vein. Patients wear compression tights for a month after each treatment.
Doctors say there is a noticeable difference after the first treatment, but most women need three treatments.
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ACE Inhibitors Seem to Raise Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

(HealthDay News) Two commonly used blood pressure medications seem to have opposite effects on the chances of breast cancer recurring in women with a personal history of the disease.
Preliminary findings show that ACE inhibitors increased the risk of recurrence, which surprised even the researchers…
On the other hand, beta blockers seemed to reduce the risk, which is in keeping with prior studies on the subject.
Fortunately, when the two drugs were combined, beta blockers seemed to mitigate the increased risk of recurrence linked with ACE inhibitors.
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When Size Matters, Men Can Turn to Penile Extenders: Study

(HealthDay News) For men who believe size matters -- and that their penises don't measure up -- success can be found in certain non-surgical penile lengthening treatments, a new study analysis by Italian researchers contends.
Concerned that patients were seeking out unproven and potentially dangerous ways of lengthening the penis, the researchers examined the medical literature to see whether popular non-surgical methods had any scientific basis…
But one expert cautioned that men are playing with fire if they tinker with their penis size simply for vanity's sake. Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler…
"It's a very fragile organ to begin with," Kavaler said, "and if you start to do all these things to it you can disfigure it... They should leave it alone."
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Focusing on One Thing May Blind People to the Obvious

(HealthDay News) A new study offers insight into "inattention blindness," a phenomenon that causes people to lose sight of seemingly obvious things while they focus intensely on something else…
Study co-author Jason Watson … said: "The potential implications are that if we are all paying attention as we are driving, some individuals may have enough extra flexibility in their attention to notice distractions that could cause accidents."
But, he continued, "that doesn't mean people ought to be self-distracting by talking on a cell phone while driving -- even if they have better control over their attention. Our prior research has shown that very few individuals [only 2.5 percent] are capable of handling driving and talking on a cell phone without impairment."
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Genes May Affect Whether People Heed Advice

(HealthDay News) Certain gene mutations influence how likely people are to heed advice, even if that advice runs counter to experience, say researchers at Brown University…
They found that people with a variation in a gene called DARPP-32, which affects the response to dopamine in the striatum, learned more quickly from experience when they did not receive advice. But these people were also more likely to heed others' advice.
In these people, the striatum gives more weight to experiences that reinforce the advice stored in the prefrontal cortex and less weight to experiences that contradict the information stored there, the researchers found.
This is called confirmation bias, according to the researchers -- something that's common in many areas, including politics, astrology and science.
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Happiest Places Have Highest Suicide Rates, New Research Finds

(Science Daily) The happiest countries and happiest U.S. states tend to have the highest suicide rates, according to [new] research…
University of Warwick researcher Professor Andrew Oswald said: "Discontented people in a happy place may feel particularly harshly treated by life. Those dark contrasts may in turn increase the risk of suicide. If humans are subject to mood swings, the lows of life may thus be most tolerable in an environment in which other humans are unhappy."
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Antidepressants May Not Improve All Symptoms of Depression, Researchers Find

(Science Daily) Even people who show a clear treatment response with antidepressant medications continue to experience symptoms like insomnia, sadness and decreased concentration, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found after analyzing data from the largest study on the treatment of depression.
"Widely used antidepressant medications, while working overall, missed these symptoms. If patients have persistent residual symptoms, these individuals have a high probability of incomplete recovery," said Dr. Shawn McClintock, assistant professor of psychiatry and lead author of the analysis…
The next step, Dr. McClintock said, will be to develop more targeted antidepressant therapies to decrease depressive symptoms, and to understand better the association between depression and concentration.
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What Are the Advantages of Integrative Medicine?

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Integrative medicine focuses on optimizing the body's natural healing capacity. It aims to enhance healing in body, mind and spirit by using an intelligent combination of conventional and alternative therapies for which there is strong evidence of safety and effectiveness. Watch as Dr. Weil discusses the evidence for integrative vs. strictly conventional medicine, and explains why integrative medicine offers the best hope for more effective, less costly health care.
Watch a video of Dr. Weil in "The Advantages of Integrative Medicine."
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Republicans seek to reassure elderly on Medicare

(Reuters) Republicans pushing deep cuts to government spending are seeking to reassure older Americans that their health insurance will remain intact even if Medicare is privatized.
Elderly voters could be pivotal in the 2012 election, where both Democrats and Republicans will be judged for proposed cuts to the federal health insurance program to reduce deficits.
President Barack Obama has proposed trims to the old-age benefits while denouncing as "radical" a Republican plan that would replace Medicare with vouchers giving recipients a fixed amount of money to buy private insurance.
Pushing back, Republican lawmakers have been holding town halls across the country with a clear message: Medicare is unsustainable in its current form and only their plan will guarantee future seniors access to healthcare.
Community: Medicare is sustainable if the government would use its negotiating power to reduce costs, the way other countries do. Don’t be fooled.
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Parks, green space essential for wellbeing

(UPI) People in greener settings tend to become more generous than others, with more mutual trust and willingness to help others, U.S. researchers said…
Among the [study] findings were:
-- Access to nature and green environments yields better cognitive functioning, more self-discipline and impulse control and greater mental health overall.
-- Less access to nature is linked to exacerbated attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms, higher rates of anxiety disorders and higher rates of clinical depression.
-- Greener environments enhance recovery from surgery, enable and support higher levels of physical activity, improve immune system functioning, help diabetics achieve healthier blood glucose levels and improve functional health status and independent living skills among older adults.
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Happiness Is U-Shaped: It Drops in Middle Age, Rises Later

(LiveScience) The roller coaster of life may be an apt analogy, at least for a person's happiness. After an all-time high as youths, life satisfaction declines as people enter their 40s and 50s. The good news is it rebounds slightly later in life, possibly because worries drop and contentment grows, new research suggests.
Population-level happiness ratings form a U-shaped curve over lifetime, starting out high in youth, maybe because of an optimistic outlook. As people age, enter the work force and start having families, happiness levels drop and eventually bottom out between the late 30s and early 50s.
Happiness levels rebound by about age 60, possibly because people have gained a wisdom or acceptance about their life and are satisfied with the goals that they've obtained.
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Hopeful Consumers Make Healthier Choices Than Happy Ones

(Science Daily) Happy people are more likely to eat candy bars, whereas hopeful people choose fruit, according to a new study… That's because when people feel hope, they're thinking about the future…
Because previous research has explored how feeling sad leads to eating bad, the authors focused on the complicated relationship between positive emotions and food consumption…
"So, the next time you're feeling well, don't focus too much on all the good things in the past. Instead, keep that positive glow and focus on your future, especially all the good things you imagine to come. Your waistline will thank you!" the authors conclude.
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Does Seeing Overweight People Make Us Eat More?

(Science Daily) Consumers will choose and eat more indulgent food after they see someone who is overweight -- unless they consciously think about their health goals, according to a new study…
Because weight problems can spread through social networks, the authors have advice for people who are concerned about overindulging. "Thinking about personal health goals and reminding oneself of the undesirable effects of eating indulgent food at the time of possible consumption can help people avoid eating too much," the authors conclude.
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Spring foods to help you shed your winter weight

(Kerri-Ann Jennings, EatingWell) [M]any springtime foods promote weight loss naturally, and not just because they’re lighter than those hearty winter dishes. Here are my top picks for spring foods to help you slim down.
Strawberries’ fiber content makes them a good choice for weight loss…
Eggs are packed with protein, which staves off hunger…
Salad Greens
Filling up on fiber- and water-rich foods first can help prevent you from overdoing high-calorie fare later…
Mushrooms taste meaty, but have only a fraction of the calories and fat of red meat. Research reports that when people ate mushroom-based entrees, they felt just as satisfied as when they’d eaten those same dishes made with beef.
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Peppery Monterey Jack Pasta Salad
Acini di pepe [ah-CHEE-nee dee-PAY-pay] are tiny pasta rounds resembling peppercorns. Use ditalini (very short tube-shaped macaroni) or any other small pasta shape if you can't find acini di pepe in your supermarket. Serve with Asiago breadsticks.
Chinese Chicken & Noodle Salad
This delicious Chinese-inspired salad is crisp, crunchy and cool with shredded cabbage, carrots and chicken breast tossed with toasted ramen noodles and slivered almonds. The dressing is an addictive orange, sesame, ginger and soy combination—you may want to double the dressing and save some for a salad the next day.
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Protein and Calories Can Help Lessen Effects of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, Report Says

(Science Daily) Evidence from several studies of severely brain-injured patients shows that providing energy and protein to patients early reduces inflammation and improves their outcomes, said the committee of experts who wrote the report…
Several other nutritional approaches show potential for reducing the symptoms of brain injury, but there is not yet enough evidence about their effectiveness to recommend their adoption.
The committee identified the B vitamin choline, the amino acid-like compound creatine, n-3 [omega-3] fatty acids commonly known as EPA and DHA, and zinc as the most promising areas of investigation.
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New Vitamin Research on Improving Blood Sugar

(RealAge.com) Blood sugar problems? Might want to make sure you get your daily dose of D…
[I]n a study, people with type 2 diabetes had better success in lowering their blood sugar when they followed a diet that included extra vitamin D…
So be sure to get your fair share of vitamin D each day. In the study, the vitamin D drinkers were getting about 1,000 international units (IU) each day -- more than current government recommendations, but in line with what RealAge doctors suggest. RealAge doctors suggest people under 60 get 1,000 IU per day, but people over 60 should get more. (Find out why the RealAge docs recommend this amount of vitamin D.)
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Low Carbohydrate Diet May Reverse Kidney Failure in People With Diabetes

(Science Daily) Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have for the first time determined that the ketogenic diet, a specialized high-fat, low carbohydrate diet, may reverse impaired kidney function in people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They also identified a previously unreported panel of genes associated with diabetes-related kidney failure, whose expression was reversed by the diet…
"Our study is the first to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes," said [Charles Mobbs, PhD]. "This finding has significant implications for the tens of thousands of Americans diagnosed with diabetic kidney failure, and possibly other complications, each year."
The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high-fat diet typically used to control seizures in children with epilepsy.
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Aspirin cuts heart attacks, not deaths or strokes

(Reuters Health) Small doses of aspirin can lower the risk of heart attack in people who never had heart disease, a new look at the medical evidence shows.
But the blood-thinning drug doesn't appear to cut the chances of dying from the disease, at least not enough that researchers can say for certain. And experts warn people to consult their doctor before taking the medication, which increases the risk of bleeding ulcers…
The researchers found a 19-percent reduction in non-fatal heart attacks among participants who took aspirin compared to those who did not…
On the other hand, that analysis also found aspirin increased the rate of bleeding from 0.7 to 1 per 1,000 people per year, making the authors conclude the drug was of "uncertain net value."
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Some support for pancreatic cancer screening

(Reuters Health) For people at high genetic risk of pancreas cancer, screening for the disease might be worthwhile - particularly if they're senior citizens, a new study suggests…
Right now, pancreatic cancer screening is not widely available. Furthermore, since its value isn't proven, insurance companies are unlikely to pay for it - and an average out-of-network MRI scan in the northeast U.S. costs nearly $3,000, according to information from an Aetna Inc. website.
[Lead researcher Dr. Emmy] Ludwig suggested that people from high-risk families who are interested in screening try to enroll in one of the studies being run out of several academic centers worldwide -- which, besides Sloan-Kettering, include centers in Baltimore and Seattle in the U.S., and Liverpool in the U.K.
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Smokers who quit have less aggressive kidney cancer

(Reuters Health) Researchers have found that kidney cancer is not only more common among heavy smokers, it also appears to be more aggressive…
But the findings aren't all bad news. Indeed, former smokers who'd kicked the habit had a smaller chance of turning up with advanced cancer.
While the study wasn't designed to prove that quitting can slow tumor growth, Dr. Thomas J. Polascik, who led the work, said he believes that to be the case.
"It can't bring you down to the risk of a nonsmoker, but it can get you almost there," Polascik … told Reuters Health.
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Office desk job doubles colon cancer risk

(UPI) Employees who spend 10 years or more behind a desk at work have an increased risk of colon cancer, researchers in Australia found.
Corresponding researcher Terry Boyle … and colleagues said the research suggests sedentary behavior may increase the risk of some chronic diseases…
[T]he findings were independent of recreational physical activity -- no matter how much exercise the study participants did, Boyle said.
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Study: Ways to reduce colon cancer risk

(UPI) Women with a high-risk profile for colon cancer can adopt a healthier lifestyle to reduce colon cancer risk dramatically, U.S. researchers say…
The study found a 23 percent reduced risk for women if they had been taking post-menopausal hormone, 49 percent reduced risk if they were being physically active, 29 percent reduced risk if they took an aspirin seven days a week vs. no aspirin and a 24 percent reduced risk if they were screened for colon cancer.
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What's Your Gut Type? Gut Bacteria Could Help With Diagnostics and Influence Treatments

(Science Daily) Scientists … have found that humans have three different gut types.
The study … also uncovers microbial genetic markers that are related to traits like age, gender and body-mass index. These bacterial genes could one day be used to help diagnose and predict outcomes for diseases like colo-rectal cancer, while information about a person's gut type could help inform treatment…
The scientists don't yet know why people have these different gut types, but speculate that they could be related to differences in how their immune systems distinguish between 'friendly' and harmful bacteria, or to different ways of releasing hydrogen waste from cells.
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Electronic Healthcare at the Click of a Mouse

(Science Daily) Researchers in Romania have developed a web-based approach -- design for all (DFA) -- solution to the problem of personal health assessment that guides a user through a symptom-orientated process and their medical history in order to determine whether or not a health professional is required or whether a patient can manage their own treatment with appropriate, rest and over-the-counter medication…
The researchers explain that modern information and communications technology are revolutionising healthcare. "E-health promises to bring many advantages like increased efficiency, enhancing quality of care, empowerment of consumers and patients, encouragement of a new relationship between patient and health professional and extending the scope of healthcare beyond its conventional boundaries," the team explains. The benefits are improved well-being for patients and reduced costs to healthcare providers.
Community: I’m very much in favor of taking our health into our own hands.
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Mining Data from Electronic Records: Faster Way to Get Genetic Clues to Disease

(Science Daily) Recruiting thousands of patients to collect health data for genetic clues to disease is expensive and time consuming. But that arduous process of collecting data for genetic studies could be faster and cheaper by instead mining patient data that already exists in electronic medical records, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.
In the study, researchers were able to cull patient information in electronic medical records from routine doctors' visits at five national sites that all used different brands of medical record software. The information allowed researchers to accurately identify patients with five kinds of diseases or health conditions -- type 2 diabetes, dementia, peripheral arterial disease, cataracts and cardiac conduction.
Community: Yes, privacy is a concern. But if it’s adequately addressed, electronic medical records can give a huge boost to medical research.
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Healthy Living Cuts Death Rate in Half: Study

(HealthDay News) A healthy lifestyle nearly halves nonsmokers' risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease and other causes, a new study finds…
The participants were scored based on their adherence to American Cancer Society prevention guidelines regarding body mass index, physical activity, diet and alcohol consumption.
After 14 years of follow-up, participants who were highly compliant with the recommendations had a 42 percent lower risk of death vs. those who were the least compliant. Among those with higher compliance scores, the risk of cardiovascular-related death was 58 percent lower for women and 48 percent lower for men, and the risk of cancer death was 24 percent lower in women and 30 percent lower in men.
The findings were similar for both never and former smokers.
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Eat This Sweet, Chewy Treat to Live Longer

(RealAge.com) You just might live longer if you satisfy your sweet tooth with this chewy, gooey treat: figs.
Why? Because figs are loaded with potassium. And in a recent study of people over age 55, those who reported a potassium-rich diet had a lower risk of dying over the next 5 years.
Potassium is an essential mineral your body needs to regulate your blood pressure. And studies suggest that getting ample amounts of it can help keep blood pressure under control as well as fend off stroke and heart disease. That's probably why the potassium lovers in the recent study, which analyzed the diets of over 5,000 people, had a reduced risk of dying from any cause during the 5-year follow-up period.
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Canola Oil Protects Against Colon Cancer, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) A new study of canola oil finds that it reduces the size and incidence of colon tumors in laboratory animals, a South Dakota State University scientist says. The research suggests using canola oil in household cooking may protect against colon cancer development…
The study showed that canola oil inhibited the average number of tumors per rat by 58 percent compared to one of the other two control diets in the experiment, and inhibited the size of the tumors that occurred by 90 percent.
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