Thursday, January 18, 2018

Inflammation-causing diets associated with risk of colorectal cancer


Bottom Line: A diet high in foods with the potential to cause inflammation, including meats, refined grains and high-calorie beverages, was associated with increased risk of developing colorectal cancer for men and women.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Colorectal cancer is a common cancer and inflammation is believed to play a role in the development of cancer. What people eat can influence inflammation in the body as measured by inflammatory biomarkers, so diet may be modifiable risk factor to prevent colorectal cancer.

Who and When: 121,050 male and female health care professionals who were followed for 26 years in long-term studies and completed food questionnaires about what they ate; data analysis was done in 2017

What (Study Measures): Scores based on 18 food groups characterized for their inflammatory potential and calculated from participants' food questionnaires administered every four years (exposure); new cases of colorectal cancer (outcome)

How (Study Design): This is an observational cohort study where people were followed over time. Because researchers are not intervening for purposes of the study they cannot control for all the natural differences that could explain the study findings.

Results: Higher scores reflecting inflammation-causing diets were associated with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer in men and women; the risk appeared to be higher among overweight or obese men and lean women and among men and women not consuming alcohol.

100 percent fruit juice does not affect blood sugar levels


One hundred percent juice does not have a significant effect on fasting blood glucose, fasting blood insulin, or insulin resistance according to a new study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science. The findings are consistent with previous research indicating that 100% fruit juice is not associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and support a growing body of evidence that 100% fruit juice has no significant effect on glycemic control.

A comprehensive data analysis quantitatively assessed the relationship between drinking 100% juice and blood glucose control. Using fasting blood glucose and fasting blood insulin levels as biomarkers for diabetes risk, the systematic review and meta-analysis included 18 randomized controlled trials (RCT) to evaluate the impact of 100% juice from fruits, such as apple, berry, citrus, grape, and pomegranate.

According to The American Diabetes Association, about 90% of the 29 million cases of diabetes in adults and children in the United States are considered Type 2. Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the body is unable to respond to insulin.

The first line of defense for preventing and treating Type 2 Diabetes is following a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, exercising regularly and staying at a healthy weight are encouraged. US Dietary Guidelines recommend consumption of a healthy eating pattern which includes fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy and a variety of protein foods. A 4-oz. glass of 100 percent juice counts as one serving (1/2 cup) of fruit, and can complement whole fruit to help individuals add more produce to their diets.



Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Stronger, able older adults have better outcomes when hospitalized with critical illnesses


Older adults are more likely than younger adults to develop critical illnesses that require hospitalization and intensive care. These illnesses include severe pneumonia and other serious respiratory conditions, congestive heart failure), heart attacks, and sepsis (a life-threatening complication from bacterial infections).

Until now, the role of strength before hospitalization has not been well-studied. Strength's effects on how well older adults do following an intensive care unit (ICU) stay also have not been well-studied.

To fill this knowledge gap, a research team created a study. The study was to learn how older adults' strength before they became ill affected how long they stayed in the hospital after being admitted to an ICU. They also learned whether or not the older adults died while in the hospital or within a year after discharge. Their study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers enrolled 575 people who had been admitted to the ICU one or more times.

Participants were between the ages of 70 and 79 and lived in Memphis, TN, and Pittsburgh, PA, between March 1997 and July 1998. The participants had taken strength tests within two years before their admission to the ICU. Tests included walking 20 meters (about 64 feet), completing repeated chair stands, and assessing balance and grip strength.

The researchers learned that:
  • Participants with the slowest walk speeds had an 80 percent higher risk of dying within 30 days of their ICU admission. They had twice the risk of dying within one year of their ICU admission, compared to participants with the fastest walk speeds.
  • Participants with the poorest balance had a 77 percent higher risk of dying within 30 days of their hospital admission compared to participants with the fastest walk speeds.
  • Participants whose balance was rated as "moderate" had a 52 percent higher chance of dying within 30 days of their ICU admission.
What's more, the researchers found that older adults who were weaker had longer hospital stays.
The researchers also noted that slower pre-hospital walk speed in particular was very strongly linked both to death and longer hospital stays.


Low fitness = larger waist size and higher degree of inflammation


Low fitness is associated with a larger waist size and a higher degree of inflammation, according to a study published January 17, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Anne-Sophie Wedell-Neergaard from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues.

Waist circumference can indicate the amount of excess fat found around the abdomen and previous studies have shown excess abdominal fat may increase the risk of chronic system inflammation and metabolic diseases. The authors of the present study sought to investigate the association between fitness and waist circumference as well as the association between fitness and low-grade inflammation, and whether there was a correlation with Body Mass Index (BMI).

The researchers analyzed the previously collected data of 10,976 individuals from The Danish National Health Examination Survey 2007-2008. These individuals took a maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) test to assess their physical fitness. Their waist circumference, weight and height were measured, and blood samples were taken to measure their level of C-reactive protein, a nonspecific biomarker of low-grade inflammation.

The researchers found that higher levels of fitness were associated with a smaller waist circumference and a lower degree of inflammation independently of BMI. The researchers acknowledge that there are possible limitations that may affect the findings of the study, but overall the results suggest that increased fitness has the potential to reduce abdominal fat mass and inflammation which may improve metabolic health irrespective of BMI.

"We found that fitness is inversely associated with both abdominal adiposity and low-grade inflammation independent of BMI," says Wedell-Neergaard. "These results suggest that, regardless of BMI, high fitness levels lead to a reduction in abdominal fat mass and low-grade inflammation."

Light activity measured with fitness tracker linked to lower mortality in older women


Experts say that a lack of physical activity leads to age-related weakness and poor health in older adults. Official guidelines suggest that healthy older adults spend at least 2.5 hours every week doing moderate activity (such as brisk walking), or at least 1.25 hours per week doing vigorous exercise (such as jogging or running).

Unfortunately, many older adults are not physically able to perform either moderate or vigorous intensity exercise. Researchers created a study to learn more about how much exercise older adults are able to perform, and how that exercise affects their health.

The research team studied 6,489 female participants aged 63 to 99 years old. The researchers published their findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The participants agreed to take in-home exams, answer health questionnaires, and wear accelerometers (devices similar to fitness trackers). The participants also kept sleep logs.

The study was conducted between 2012 and 2013. The researchers reviewed death certificates as of September 2016 to learn how many participants had died.

At the beginning of the study, most participants were in their late 70s and most were considered overweight according to BMI standards (a ratio comparing height to weight). Nearly 30 percent were considered obese.

Most participants scored 8.2 out of a possible 12 points on physical function assessments. Based on accelerometer measurements of the participants:
  • 1 percent performed "low" light-intensity physical activity
  • 29 percent performed "high" light-intensity physical activity
  • 15 percent performed moderate to vigorous physical activity
After examining the deaths in the women according to their activity levels, the researchers learned that older women with higher levels of physical activity were less likely to die than women with lower levels of physical activity, no matter the cause of death.

The researchers concluded that their findings support encouraging older women to increase the amount of time they spend every day in light-intensity activity, and reduce the amount of time spent sitting.

Housework gender differences may affect health in elderly men and women


Elderly men across Europe and the US spend less time on housework than elderly women, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health. Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology found that elderly women on average spent almost five hours a day doing housework compared to only around three hours a day for elderly men. The study also found that while those who did more housework felt healthier, women who did long hours of housework combined with too much or too little sleep reported poorer health.

Nicholas Adjei (Doctoral Researcher in Public Health), the corresponding author said: "Engaging in a few hours of housework may be beneficial to the health of older adults. However, we were surprised to see significant gender differences when looking at the combination of time spent on housework activities and time spent sleeping. Long periods of housework combined with too much or too little sleep -- that is fewer than seven or more than eight hours of sleep, respectively -- was associated with poor health among elderly women, whereas in men the same was associated with good health."

The study found notable differences between the type of housework men and women spent time on. Across all countries included in this study, men spent less time cleaning, cooking and shopping than women (88.7 minutes a day compared to 217.9 minutes a day). However, women were found to spend less time on gardening and maintenance tasks than men (38.5 minutes a day compared to 68.8 minutes a day).

The researchers found that elderly women in Italy and Germany spent the most time on housework (around five hours a day), while women in the US spent the least amount of time doing housework (four hours a day). In contrast, elderly men in Italy spent the least amount of time on housework (2.7 hours a day) and German men spent the most time on housework (4.2 hours a day).

To examine the associations between time spent on housework, time spent sleeping and health, the study used self-reported data from 15,333 men and 20,907 women aged 65 years and over from Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, France, the Netherlands and the US. Participants reported the total time they spent per day on 41 activities in 5, 10 or 15-minute intervals. They also reported the total amount of time they spent sleeping per day, as well as whether they felt they were in poor, fair, good or very good health. Nicholas Adjei said: "The percentage of those aged 65 years and above is increasing globally due to higher life expectancy. It is important to understand how older adults spend their time in these later years and the possible positive and negative implications for their health."

The authors caution that the cross-sectional, observational nature of the study does not allow for conclusions about cause and effect. While the study relied on self-reported data, previous research has demonstrated reliability and accuracy of this kind of data in reflecting current health status, according to the authors.

Don’t like going to the gym? It could be your personality



The effectiveness of someone's exercise regime may depend on their individual personality type, with more creative people better suited to outdoor activities.

That is the key finding of research being presented Thursday 11 January by John Hackston, Chartered Psychologist and Head of Thought Leadership at OPP, at the British Psychological Society's annual conference of the Division of Occupational Psychology in Stratford-upon-Avon.

John Hackston said:
"We were keen to investigate how organisations could help their staff's development through exercise, finding that matching an individual's personality type to a particular type of exercise can increase both the effectiveness and the person's enjoyment of it."
More than 800 people from a range of businesses across several countries were surveyed for the study, which found that people with extraverted personality types were more likely to prefer exercising at the gym.

Staff with a preference for objective logic were also more likely to stick with a regimented exercise plan than those who view feelings and values as being more important.

More creatively minded staff, particularly those who enjoy working with new ideas, were much better suited to outdoor activities such as cycling and running when compared to a structured gym regime.
John Hackston added:

"The most important piece of advice to come out of this research is that there is not one type of exercise that is suited to everyone.
"There can be pressure to follow the crowd to the gym or sign up to the latest exercise fad, but it would be much more effective for them to match their personality type to an exercise plan that is more likely to last the test of time.
"Organisations can help their staff to improve their fitness using this research, with increased fitness potentially leading to lower illness-related absences and increased employee satisfaction."