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

Vaccinations Aren't Just for Kids

(HealthDay News) Medical science is creating an increasing number of immunizations targeted at adults, to help them avoid life-threatening diseases in middle-age and opportunistic infections when they're older…
One example is the herpes zoster vaccination, which is recommended for everyone 60 or older, according to the CDC. The herpes zoster shot prevents the occurrence of shingles, a painful skin disorder linked to childhood infection with chicken pox, Bridges said.
Other vaccinations recommended for seniors include:
·         A pneumococcal vaccination at age 65, if you've never had the shot before. "We try to tag that to when you become Medicare eligible," Benjamin said.
·         A second dose of the measles/mumps/rubella vaccination. "We encourage people to get a second dose of MMR at the age of 50 and older," he said.
·         A tetanus/diphtheria booster every 10 years after age 65.
·         The influenza vaccine, every year. "Flu is still a major problem in terms of mortality for seniors," Benjamin said.
People at increased risk for certain diseases, either because of work, illness or lifestyle, also might require vaccination as an adult.
Community: Medicare Part B covers the cost of the pneumonococcal vaccine and the yearly flu shots, but not the others, as far as I know. Part B will also pay for Hepatitis B vaccinations. The shingles vaccination is only covered if you have Part D (click here and scroll down to Part D Vaccine Coverage). It’s really, really, expensive and is only about 50% effective in preventing shingles.
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A Simple Way to Avoid Blood Clots

(RealAge.com) A blood clot in the lung -- called a pulmonary embolism (PE) -- is a quick path to a dicey medical emergency. So here's how to avoid getting one: stand up.
In a large study, researchers found that women who sit for more than 41 hours a week are at higher risk of developing a life-threatening PE. So take lots of breaks from that desk chair, couch, or recliner…
Although pulmonary embolism is scary enough in itself, it's also a common cause of heart disease. So what's a good way to avoid all that? Movement. Some studies have shown that exercise can help prevent blood clots from forming. And reducing the amount of time each day that you spend totally inactive will help, too. The less you sit, the better. So check out these easy ways to kiss couch-time goodbye:
Be choosy. Go with your strengths, and choose activities that you like, prefer, even can't live without. Here's how it helps.
Rest your mind. Exercise at the beginning of the day, when your mind is fresh.Here's why a fresh mind means a better workout.
Move while you sit. You can be active while you're in a chair. Check out this video of chair exercises.
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Some Surprising Benefits of Exercise

(SouthBeachDiet.com) It’s no secret that the way to put an end to a sedentary lifestyle and improve your health is to simply get moving, says Dr. Arthur Agatston in his new book, The South Beach Wake-Up Call. And yet, as he also points out, most of us don’t do it. According to recent statistics, about two-thirds of American adults report that they are physically inactive — that is, they are sedentary most of the time. And only about 22 percent of American adults say that they do any meaningful exercise at all. It’s no wonder that about 34 percent of US adults — almost 73 million people in this country — are obese (roughly 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight). Even more disturbing is that now this sedentary way of life is endangering the health of many of our children as well.
It’s widely known that exercising regularly not only boosts your metabolism and helps with weight loss, but it can also reduce the risk of a host of obesity-related health problems, including prediabetes, diabetes, and heart disease. But there are some other benefits of exercise you may not be aware of:
Exercise can boost brainpower. ..
Exercise can protect against many forms of cancer
Exercise can help prevent the common cold
Dr. Agatston recommends getting at least 20 minutes of either cardiovascular conditioning or core-strengthening exercise on most days of the week. Another way to work fitness into your day is to simply make moving a must whether you are at work, at home, or outdoors: Get off at an earlier stop on public transportation; take the stairs instead of the elevator; stand up to take calls; do some arm curls with hand weights at your desk; do leg lifts while washing the dishes; walk the dog (and bring your kids along). The less you sit and the more you move, the healthier you’ll be.
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A Sweet Treat That May Slim You Down

(RealAge.com) Next time you want to sweeten your oatmeal, should you use molasses, or brown sugar? If you're watching your waistline, the answer may be molasses.
In a recent animal study, researchers discovered that adding molasses extract to the diet could help keep both body weight and body fat under control…
More study is needed in humans to determine whether molasses has any weight loss benefits for people. But scientists are hopeful. And in the meantime, molasses as a sweetener has plenty of attributes going for it. This byproduct of sugarcane not only is chock-full of disease-fighting polyphenols but also is a good source of iron and calcium.
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Moroccan Pita Sandwiches
Upgrade sandwich night by serving these hearty pita mini burgers. Pair with a small salad for a light, simple dinner in minutes.
Buffalo Chicken Casserole
We took the classic flavors of Buffalo wings—hot sauce, blue cheese, carrots and celery—and created a finger-licking-good casserole. Serve this dish during football season to a hungry crowd and it’s sure to be a hit.
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Drinking Patterns Affect Heart Health, Mouse Study Finds

(HealthDay News) How often you consume alcohol may be more important than how much you consume in determining the risk of heart disease, new research in mice shows.
Researchers have found that binge drinking, defined as having seven drinks a day for two days in a week, may lead to weight gain and an increased risk for atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries" caused by fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries.
But the researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York found the opposite holds true for those who drink moderately on a regular basis. The study, performed in mice, revealed that drinking about two drinks every day may actually decrease the risk for heart disease.
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Doctors Urged to Lead Battle Against Alcohol Abuse

(HealthDay News) Experts around the world have issued a call to doctors to lead the battle against alcohol abuse.
A group of international medical bodies said physicians can help their patients avoid the harmful effects of excess alcohol, and it also urged governments to take action and address the problem, which has become the third leading risk factor in preventable and premature disease, affecting 76 million people globally…
The statement pointed out that doctors are uniquely positioned to tackle the problem of alcohol abuse in their daily practice…
The statement concluded that implementing effective strategies to combat alcohol abuse would improve the health of populations worldwide.
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Lung Cancer Rates Begin to Decline for U.S. Women

(HealthDay News) The rate of new lung cancer cases among American women is finally beginning to decline, much as it has for men in for years, a new U.S. government report shows.
New cases of lung malignancies fell by 2.2 percent per year on average for women between 2006 and 2008, after rising an average of 0.5 percent between 1999 and 2006, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Men's lung cancer incidence continued its long, slow decline, the agency added, but the pace of that decline has sped up in recent years.
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Tinted Glasses to Fight Migraines

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) If you have migraines preceded by a visual aura (such as flashes of light or intense patterns) special precision tinted lenses may help stave off headaches.
The lenses have to be custom made for every patient, according to a researcher at Michigan State University who just published results of a small study. The research demonstrated that the specially tinted lenses helped normalize brain activity that occurs when migraine patients experience auras of patterns and light…
More information on treating migraines.
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Power of suggestion affects heart arteries

(Reuters Health) Simply suggesting that a treatment will ease chest pain may not only dampen the pain, but directly alter heart arteries, a small study concludes.
Among 30 patients having a procedure to evaluate their chest pain, researchers found that those who were told they were being given an infusion of a pain-relieving drug did, on average, report a decrease in pain.
But the participants also showed a measurable change in their heart arteries: a slight but distinct narrowing of the vessels.
Exactly what the findings mean, and whether they have implications for heart disease patients, is not clear…
More studies on this question are still needed, according to [the researchers]. If verbal suggestion does have a measurable effect "at the level of the heart" in people with actual heart disease, they said, that would be important to know.
Community: Important, indeed. We need to know a lot more about the placebo effect, and figure out how to use it to improve our health.
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New Method Could Help Prevent Osteoarthritis

(Science Daily) A new method is set to help doctors diagnose osteoarthritis at such an early stage that it will be possible to delay the progression of the disease by many years, or maybe even stop it entirely.
The joint disease osteoarthritis is one of our most common chronic diseases and one of the primary causes of disability for people around the world.
"Osteoarthritis often attacks the knee and hip joints and breaks down the impact absorbing cartilage found there. For those affected, the progression of the disease usually takes many years, with gradually increasing pain which often leads to disability," says Carl Siversson…
One of the problems with osteoarthritis has been diagnosing and monitoring the disease before symptoms become evident. It has therefore been difficult to change or delay the course of the disease…
"Now we are continuing our work to make the method easy for doctors to use in their practice. Our hope is that the method will also be significant for future drug development," says … Siversson.
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New Method for Detecting Lung Cancer Unveiled

(Science Daily) When lung cancer strikes, it often spreads silently into more advanced stages before being detected. In a new article…, biological engineers and medical scientists at the University of Missouri reveal how their discovery could provide a much earlier warning signal.
"Early detection can save lives, but there is currently no proven screening test available for lung cancer," said Michael Wang, MD, PhD…, a corresponding author for the article. "We've developed highly sensitive technology that can detect a specific molecule type in the bloodstream when lung cancer is present."
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World-First Viral Therapy Trial in Cancer Patients

(Science Daily) Researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), the University of Ottawa (uOttawa), Jennerex Inc. and several other institutions have just reported promising results of a world-first cancer therapy trial… The trial is the first to show that an intravenously-delivered viral therapy can consistently infect and spread within tumours without harming normal tissues in humans. It is also the first to show tumour-selective expression of a foreign gene after intravenous delivery…
[Said Dr. John Bell, senior co-author on the publication,] "Intravenous delivery is crucial for cancer treatment because it allows us to target tumours throughout the body as opposed to just those that we can directly inject. The study is also important because it shows that we can use this approach to selectively express foreign genes in tumours, opening the door to a whole new suite of targeted cancer therapies."
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New Class of Stem Cell-Like Cells Discovered Offers Possibility for Spinal Cord Repair

(Science Daily) The Allen Institute for Brain Science has announced the discovery of a new class of cells in the spinal cord that act like neural stem cells, offering a fresh avenue in the search for therapies to treat spinal cord injury and disease…
"By using the Allen Spinal Cord Atlas, we were able to discover a brand new cell type that has previously been overlooked and that could be an important player in all manner of spinal cord injury and disease, including multiple sclerosis and ALS," said Jane Roskams, Ph.D…., senior author of the study.
From disabled veterans to those afflicted with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) or Spinal Muscular Atrophy, spinal cord related diseases and disorders affect people of all ages.
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Local Antibiotic Therapy Stops Lyme Disease

(Science Daily) Blood-sucking ticks are not just a nuisance, they can also transmit dangerous diseases. One of them is Lyme disease, which is caused by bacteria of the genus Borrelia, and requires a course of treatment with antibiotics lasting several weeks. [R]esearchers have come up with a quicker alternative…
[The team] has now shown, in an animal model, that application of a gel containing the antibiotic azithromycin to the site of the bite rapidly terminates the infection. The efficacy of this local antibiotic therapy for the treatment of borreliosis in humans is now being tested in a Phase III clinical trial.
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U.S. government draws fire for pulling doctor data

(Reuters) Consumer advocates and journalism groups are fighting a U.S. government move to cut public access to a database of malpractice claims and damages paid by doctors around the nation.
The Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) and Consumers Union on Thursday joined several groups in criticizing curbs by a U.S. health agency earlier this month on public access to a database of malpractice settlements over concerns of a breach of one doctor's confidentiality…
The reaction from the Obama administration, which has pledged greater transparency, has puzzled journalists who for years have used the publicly available anonymous data to expose medical malpractice.
Community: Confidentiality? Why should doctors have confidentiality? Why isn’t this information part of the public record?
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Health groups warn business could hijack U.N. meeting

(Reuters) A group of public health organizations said on Friday they were concerned that industries selling fatty foods, alcohol and cigarettes could hijack a United Nations meeting on how to tackle chronic disease in order to protect their own interests.
Chronic or non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer, heart disease and diabetes kill 36 million people a year and health groups say the food, drinks and tobacco industries contribute significantly to that toll.
In a letter to The Lancet medical journal, more than 140 international health organizations and campaign groups said the United Nations should ensure industry lobby groups are not able to manipulate the September 19-20 meeting and its outcomes.
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Miami man jailed 50 years for $205 million health fraud

(Reuters) A Miami businessman was sentenced to 50 years in prison on Friday for masterminding a healthcare fraud scheme that sought to bilk the U.S. government out of more than $200 million.
Lawrence Duran, 49, the owner of Miami-based American Therapeutic Corp, was arrested last October on charges that he executed what prosecutors described in court documents as "one of the largest and most brazen healthcare fraud conspiracies in recent memory."
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Serotonin levels affect brain's response to anger

(Reuters) Fluctuating levels of the brain chemical serotonin, often brought on when someone hasn't eaten or is stressed, affect brain regions that enable people to regulate anger, scientists said on Thursday.
In a study using healthy volunteers, researchers from Britain's Cambridge University found that when serotonin levels are low, it may be more difficult for the brain to control emotional responses to anger…
"We are hopeful that our research will lead to improved diagnostics as well as better treatments for this and other conditions."
Community: The 12-Step programs already have the treatment—they call it HALT. Never get Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Or if you do get into one of those conditions, don’t believe what your brain is telling you because it’s lying.
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Peer Pressure? It's Hardwired Into Our Brains, Study Finds

(Science Daily) The rewards outweigh the risks -- when you're in a group, anyway. A new USC study explains why people take stupid chances when all of their friends are watching that they would never take by themselves. According to the study, the human brain places more value on winning in a social setting than it does on winning when you're alone…
The researchers found that the striatum, a part of the brain associated with rewards, showed higher activity when a participant beat a peer in the lottery, as opposed to when the participant won while alone. The medial prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain associated with social reasoning, was more activated as well. Those participants who won in a social setting also tended to engage in more risky and competitive behavior in subsequent lotteries…
"Among animals, there are strong incentives for wanting to be at the top of the social ranking," [researcher Georgio] Coricelli said. "Animals in the dominant position use their status to secure privileged access to resources, such as food and mates."
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Psychologists Discover Gene's Link to Optimism, Self-Esteem

(Science Daily) UCLA life scientists have identified for the first time a particular gene's link to optimism, self-esteem and "mastery," the belief that one has control over one's own life -- three critical psychological resources for coping well with stress and depression…
The gene [senior author Shelley E.] Taylor and her colleagues identified is the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR). Oxytocin is a hormone that increases in response to stress and is associated with good social skills such as empathy and enjoying the company of others.
"This study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first to report a gene associated with psychological resources," said lead study author Shimon Saphire-Bernstein.
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Computerized Anxiety Therapy Found Helpful in Small Trial

(Science Daily) An emerging therapy known as cognitive bias modification, in which software helps subjects divert attention away from anxiety and interpret situations more calmly, helped improve anxiety symptoms in a pilot-scale randomized controlled trial.
A small clinical trial suggests that cognitive bias modification (CBM), a potential anxiety therapy that is delivered entirely on a computer, may be about as effective as in-person therapy or drugs for treating social anxiety disorder.
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New Model for Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

(Science Daily) A new model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that mirrors both symptoms of the disease and the timing of its treatment in humans has been created by University of Chicago researchers, according to a new study.
Using the model, researchers isolated a single neurotransmitter receptor in a specific brain region responsible for their model's OCD-like symptoms, offering new insight into the cause of the disorder. Further research with the model may point the way to new treatments for both OCD and autism, said Nancy Shanahan, PhD, lead author of the paper.
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Problem Drinking Linked to Brain Damage

(HealthDay News) Long-term alcohol abuse can result in significant damage to the brain, a new study shows…
Excessive consumption of alcohol has harmful effects on both types of tissue that support brain function, known as white and gray matter. Alcohol's most significant impact, however, is on the frontal and temporal lobes -- areas of the brain critical to learning, impulse control and other complicated human behaviors, the researchers pointed out in the news release.
"In other words, the very parts of the brain that may be most important for controlling problem drinking are damaged by alcohol, and the more alcohol consumed, the greater the damage," explained [corresponding author Catherine Brawn] Fortier…
The study authors added that even when they stop drinking, former alcoholics can suffer impaired abilities and personality changes due to alcohol's effects on the brain.
"Severe reductions in frontal brain regions can result in a dramatic change to personality and behavior, taking the form of impulsivity, difficulty with self-monitoring, planning, reasoning, poor attention span, inability to alter behavior, a lack of awareness of inappropriate behavior, mood changes, even aggression," added Fortier.
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Laughter is the best medicine; it reduces pain

(UPI) A good belly laugh with others helps people feel less pain, but a polite titter has no effect, researchers in Britain found.
Lead author Robin Dunbar, head of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford in England, said watching just 15 minutes of comedy -- "Mr. Bean" and "Friends" -- with others increased the pain threshold by an average of about 10 percent, compared to a group who watched TV clips on how to play golf.
Community: My four-day per week belly laughs are provided by the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.
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Thai Chicken Saute
This delicious Thai chicken makes for an exotic weeknight dinner that comes together quickly. It features traditional Thai flavors like fish sauce, Sriracha, fresh ginger, coconut milk, and cilantro.
Scallop Scampi with Peppers
Use a mixture of bell peppers for a colorful (and vitamin C-packed) scallop stir-fry. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel—if they are wet they will spatter when added to the wok and make the stir-fry too wet. This stir-fry is excellent served over linguine or fettuccine.
Cooking Light:
How To Sauté Chicken
Jazz up a basic chicken breast with a simple pan sauce. This easy technique puts dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
These 10 easy steps, both large and small, let you keep the lid on sodium without a whole lot of sacrifice.
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USDA warns about contaminated cantaloupes

(UPI) Health officials are warning consumers not to eat Rocky Ford Cantaloupe shipped by Colorado-based Jensen Farms because of possible listeriosis contamination.
The Food and Drug Administration is telling consumers to throw away any of the recalled product they may still have in their homes.
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'Super-Spaghetti' With Heart-Healthy Label Now Possible

(Science Daily) Consumers could soon see packages of pasta labeled "good source of dietary fiber" and "may reduce the risk of heart disease" thanks to the development of a new genre of pasta made with barley -- a grain famous for giving beer its characteristic strength and flavor…
[Researchers] explain that barley, a grain that is an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, is gaining interest as an ingredient in so-called "functional foods" -- a genre of foods that are supplemented with healthful additives.
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An Apple a Day Really MAY Keep the Doctor Away

(HealthDay News) Fruits and vegetables whose edible sections are white may lower your risk of stroke more than other fruits and vegetables, Dutch researchers report.
Every 25 grams per day of white fruits and vegetables consumed led to a 9 percent decrease in the risk of stroke, and apples and pears were the most commonly consumed "white fruit," according to the study…
But, [study author Linda M.] Oude Greip pointed out that the findings don't mean it's OK to stop eating other fruits and vegetables. First, she noted, the findings need to be replicated. And, even if future research confirms these findings, "because other fruit and vegetable color groups may protect against other chronic diseases, it remains of importance to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables," she stressed.
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Adult vitamin D consumption declines

(UPI) A University of Minnesota researcher says vitamin D in adult diets has been on the decline for the past 25 years…
[Lisa] Harnack says people -- especially those living in the north -- should aim to include vitamin D rich foods in their diets on a daily basis this winter, including:
-- All types of dairy milk are fortified (added) with vitamin D. However, some brands of soy, rice and other non-dairy milks are fortified with vitamin D while others are not. Read the label to make sure.
-- Some brands of cereal, yogurt, margarine and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D.
-- Some foods like fish and mushrooms naturally contain vitamin D.
The list of foods that are naturally good sources of vitamin D is short, so as people spend less time outdoors in the fall and winter they need to rely on food products fortified with vitamin D to get sufficient vitamin D in their daily diets, Harnack says.
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Reducing Macular Degeneration Risk

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Macular degeneration is a debilitating eye disorder generally considered to be irreversible, and it remains the leading cause of blindness in individuals over the age of 55.
Risks for the disorder commonly run in families, but a new study suggests that the risk can be reduced by not smoking and by a diet high in vitamin D plus the nutrients betaine (found in fish, grains and spinach) and methionine (found in poultry, fish and dairy foods).
Researchers from Tufts Medical Center identified cases of elderly, male identical twins, where one brother had late stage macular degeneration and his sibling's disorder was at an early stage. The researchers found that the more severe cases were found among the twin who was the heavier smoker and that disease progression was slowest among those who had higher intakes of vitamin D from dietary sources such as fish or milk and betaine and methionine.
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Soy may not prevent clogged arteries

(Reuters Health) Taking extra soy supplements did not help stave off artery hardening in a new study of postmenopausal women.
But, researchers said, soy showed a possible benefit in young women just a few years after menopause -- warranting more research in that age group.
The findings add to conflicting data about the role of soy in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease…
Researchers have theorized that since rates of cardiovascular disease are lower in Asia -- where soy is an important component of the diet -- there could be something protective about the nutrient-rich plant.
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Cholesterol Deposits Around Eyes Linked to Heart Risk

(HealthDay News) Men and women who develop visible deposits of cholesterol in the skin around their eyelids appear to face a higher risk of heart disease in general and suffering a heart attack in particular, new Danish research suggests.
The link between the skin condition and heart disease, however, is characterized as an association, rather than a clear case of "cause and effect."
Nonetheless, the study team led by Dr. Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen … said that the finding could perhaps help physicians screen for heart disease…
Individuals who have the raised yellow patches around the eyes that indicate the collection of cholesterol in the skin -- known as "xanthelasmata" -- are not always easily identified in blood tests as having high cholesterol, the study authors noted.
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Fail-Safe System May Lead to Cures for Inherited Disorders

(Science Daily) Scientists … have uncovered a previously unknown fail-safe (compensatory) pathway that potentially protects the brain and other organs from genetic and environmental threats.
The discovery could provide new ways to diminish the negative consequences of genetic mutations and environmental toxins that cause neurological diseases and other maladies.
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Judge blocks Florida law gagging doctors' gun talk

(Reuters) A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday blocked a Florida law limiting what doctors can say about guns to their patients, saying it violated free speech protections under the U.S. Constitution…
With all but a few exceptions, the Florida law barred doctors from questioning their patients about guns in their homes or from having discussions with them about firearms safety.
Gun rights supporters had argued that such questioning from doctors violated their right to privacy.
But in her written argument granting the injunction, [U.S. District Judge Marcia] Cooke reasoned that the law also "chilled" free speech.
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CMS sees private Medicare plans growing in 2012

(Reuters) More elderly and disabled Americans will enroll in private Medicare health insurance plans next year, and they will pay lower premiums for the second year in a row, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.
The plans, called Medicare Advantage, are run through private health insurers as an alternative to traditional fee-for-service Medicare plans. Rates are expected to be 4 percent lower next year than in 2011, the government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said.
Community: Medicare Advantage is a scam. It costs more than regular Medicare, of course, since private insurers require making a profit, so the CMS has to subsidize them. That’s privatization for you.
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Lifestyle Changes May Prevent Heart Failure

(HealthDay News) A healthy lifestyle -- including not smoking, shedding excess pounds, exercising and eating lots of vegetables -- could ward off many cases of heart failure, a new study finds…
Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's demands for blood and oxygen.
"Any steps you take to stay healthy can reduce your risk of heart failure," said the study's lead author, Dr. Gang Hu…, in an American Heart Association news release. "Hypothetically, about half of new heart failure cases occurring in this population could have been prevented if everyone engaged in at least three healthy lifestyle behaviors."
Healthy habits had a cumulative effect, researchers said, meaning that the more people incorporated into their lifestyle, the greater the drop in their risk for heart failure.
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Certain Risk Factors Could Spur Heart Failure in Normal-Weight People

(HealthDay News) Normal-weight patients diagnosed with a cluster of factors known as the "metabolic syndrome" could face a higher risk for heart failure than even obese patients without such factors, new research suggests.
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of symptoms -- increased blood pressure, higher-than-normal insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist, high triglycerides and/or abnormal cholesterol levels -- that raise the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes…
Study lead author Dr. Christina Voulgari ... said that the findings suggest that "we should focus not on weight loss at any given cost but (on) a healthier lifestyle" -- one, for example, that embraces exercise and eschews smoking.
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Muscle Training May Benefit Chronic Heart Failure Patients

(HealthDay News) People with chronic heart failure can improve their ability to exercise by focusing their training on their small muscles, researchers say…
Lead study author Dr. Fabio Esposito, of the University of Milan, pointed out in a news release from the American College of Cardiology that the study results "indicate that the skeletal muscle of patients with chronic heart failure still has the potential to adapt in the expected fashion, if given the appropriate stimuli."
The findings could help medical professionals develop better treatment and rehab strategies for patients with chronic heart failure, the team concluded.
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Heart Failure: Doing What Your Doctor Says Works, New Research Suggests

(Science Daily) Doctors have been dispensing advice to heart failure patients and for the first time researchers have found that it works…
This study investigated the relationship between heart failure patients who complied with self-care plans and serum biomarkers of myocardial stress and systemic inflammation. Heart failure patients who followed doctor's advice for self-care (such as taking medications, monitoring and interpreting symptoms, eating a low-sodium diet, and exercising) showed lower levels of myocardial stress and systemic inflammation, thought to be associated with greater risk of mortality, urgent ventricular assist device implantation, and urgent heart transplantation.
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Findings Could Lead to 'Pacemaker in a Bottle'

(Science Daily) Heart specialists at Johns Hopkins have figured out how a widely used pacemaker for heart failure, which makes both sides of the heart beat together to pump effectively, works at the biological level. Their findings … may open the door to drugs or genetic therapies that mimic the effect of the pacemaker and to new ways to use pacemakers for a wider range of heart failure patients…
"We have revealed a key and important underlying biological mechanism that helps us understand how CRT [cardiac resynchronization therapy] works. With this information, we can work to develop completely new treatments, such as a drug or gene therapy, to essentially have a kind of 'pacemaker in a bottle' to help a wide variety of patients with a failing heart," says [David Kass, M.D.].
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Ancho Pork Medallions
Pepper jelly and aromatic spices give your average pork tenderloin a bold new flavor. Serve with a spinach salad for a complete meal.
Beef & Potato Salad with Smoky Chipotle
In central Mexico, this salad is a standard—served as an appetizer, main dish or taco filling. Serve it with lime wedges, warm tortillas or tortilla chips. (Recipe from Fiesta at Rick’s by Rick Bayless; W.W. Norton and Company, July 2010.) [This recipe is one of Quick Weeknight Dinners for $3 or Less. And Rick Bayless owns the Frontera Grill here in Chicago—he was the winner of the first season of Top Chef Masters.]
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Fresh produce grown on supermarket roof

(UPI) The local foods movement involves farmers selling directly to consumers, but a U.S. company calls its plan to grow produce on supermarket roofs "ultra local."
Paul Lightfoot, chief executive officer of BrightFarms, says the New York City company designs, finances and builds greenhouses for retailers' roofs, and then sells the hydroponic lettuce, greens and tomatoes to the stores below…
The average item of food in the United States travels at least 1,500 miles and the gasoline for shipping can account for up to half the value of a head lettuce or pound of tomatoes, Lightfoot says.
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Health benefits of apples

(EatingWell) [A]pples have surprising nutritional benefits that justify the “apple a day” adage. Here are some of apples’ nutritional boons:
Benefit: Nutrition, straight up.
Packing in quite a bit of soluble fiber (4 grams per medium apple) for a modest amount of calories (95) makes apples a filling, sweet snack. Plus, a medium apple counts as 1 cup of fruit, so after eating one you’re well on your way to meeting your daily fruit quota (around 2 cups for adults on a 2,000-calorie diet). They also are a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C (providing 14% of the Daily Value).
Benefit: Weight loss
Apples satisfy hunger for few calories so it’s not surprising that they can be part of a healthy diet that promotes weight loss. And in a recent study, dried apples also helped participants lose some weight…
Benefit: Heart health
Last year, the Iowa Women’s Health Study reported that … apples were associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease…
Benefit: Protect against metabolic syndrome
[R]esearchers who analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES) data, a survey of eating and health habits, found that people who had eaten apples in any form over the past day were 27 percent less likely to have symptoms of metabolic syndrome than those who didn’t…
Benefit: Exercise extender
Eating an apple before you work out may boost your exercise endurance. Apples deliver an antioxidant called quercetin, which aids endurance by making oxygen more available to the lungs. One study showed that quercetin—when taken in supplement form—helped people bike longer.
Community: If I eat an apple when I’m hungry, I feel even hungrier afterward. So to satisfy hunger, I’d have to eat some cheese with it.
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Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease Has Health, Financial and Social Benefits

(Science Daily) The World Alzheimer's Report 2011 'The Benefits of Early Diagnosis and Intervention', released September 13 by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), shows that there are interventions that are effective in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, some of which may be more effective when started earlier, and that there is a strong economic argument in favour of earlier diagnosis and timely intervention…
The new ADI report reveals the following:…
·         Drugs and psychological interventions for people with early-stage dementia can improve cognition, independence, and quality of life. Support and counselling for caregivers can improve mood, reduce strain and delay institutionalization of people with dementia.
·         Governments, concerned about the rising costs of long-term care linked to dementia, should spend now to save later. Based on a review of economic analyses, the report estimates that earlier diagnosis could yield net savings of over US$10,000 per patient in high-income countries.
Community: I’m keeping a list of things we can do to reduce our risk of developing cognitive impairment.
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