Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Latest Health Research

General Health

Mothers who breastfed are 34 percent less likely to die of heart disease

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 10 minutes ago
Mothers who breastfeed their babies have a lower risk of developing or dying from heart disease than those who don't breastfeed, finds new research from the University of Sydney, Australia. Published in *Journal of the American Heart Association*, the study of over 100,000 Australian mothers participating in the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study found women who breastfed had a 14 percent lower risk of developing, and 34 percent lower risk of dying from, cardiovascular disease. This is an important finding given heart disease is the leading cause of death for women worldwide, says lead... more » 

African refugee women experience healthier pregnancies than women born in the United States

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
African refugee women experience healthier pregnancies than women born in the United States, despite receiving less prenatal care, found a recent University at Buffalo study. Compared to U.S.-born black and white women, African refugee women had fewer pre-pregnancy health risks, fewer preterm births and higher rates of vaginal deliveries. Surprisingly, the refugee women were more likely to delay beginning prenatal care until the second trimester. The disparity, says the researchers, may be tied to various unhealthy behaviors and practices present within U.S. culture. For African refu... more »

Early sports specialization tied to increased injury rates

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
Sixty million kids participate in organized athletics each year with ever increasing amounts of children specializing in one sport before the age of 14 with hopes of a college scholarship or professional career on the line. However, researchers presenting their work at the AOSSM/AANA Specialty Day today reveal that this early intense participation might come at the cost of increased injuries during their athletic careers. "Our research indicated that athletes who specialized in their varsity sport before the age of 14 were more likely to report a history of injuries and multiple co... more »

Guidance for preventing heart disease, stroke released

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
The choices we make every day can have a lasting effect on our heart and vascular health. Adopting a heart healthy eating plan, getting more exercise, avoiding tobacco and managing known risk factors are among the key recommendations in the 2019 Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease guideline from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA). Also, it is recommended that aspirin should only rarely be used to help prevent heart attacks and stroke in people without known cardiovascular disease. The guideline, presented today at ACC's 68th An... more » 

 

A nap a day keeps high blood pressure at bay

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
It seems that napping may do more than just reboot our energy level and improve our mood. New research being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session found that people who took advantage of a midday snooze were more likely to have a noticeable drop in blood pressure compared with those who didn't nap. "Midday sleep appears to lower blood pressure levels at the same magnitude as other lifestyle changes. For example, salt and alcohol reduction can bring blood pressure levels down by 3 to 5 mm Hg," said Manolis Kallistratos, MD, cardiologist at t... more »
Diet 

Eating fish may help prevent asthma

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 11 minutes ago
A scientist from James Cook University in Australia says an innovative study has revealed new evidence that eating fish can help prevent asthma. Professor Andreas Lopata from JCU's Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, (AITHM) took part in the study which tested 642 people who worked in a fish processing factory in a small village in South Africa. "Around 334 million people worldwide have asthma, and about a quarter of a million people die from it every year. In Australia, one in nine have asthma (about 2.7 million), and among Indigenous Australians this rate is alm... more » 

Long-term, high nut consumption could be the key to better cognitive health in older people

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 38 minutes ago
Long-term, high nut consumption could be the key to better cognitive health in older people according to new research from the University of South Australia. In a study of 4822 Chinese adults aged 55+ years, researchers found that eating more than 10 grams of nuts a day was positively associated with better mental functioning, including improved thinking, reasoning and memory. Lead researcher, UniSA's Dr Ming Li, says the study is the first to report an association between cognition and nut intake in older Chinese adults, providing important insights into increasing mental health i... more »

Does alcohol consumption have an effect on arthritis?

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 51 minutes ago
Several previous studies have demonstrated that moderate alcohol consumption is linked with less severe disease and better quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but a new *Arthritis Care & Research* study suggests that this might not be because drinking alcohol is beneficial. In the 16,762-patient study, patients with a higher severity of disease were more likely to discontinue the use of alcohol and less likely to initiate use, and patients with greater disability and poor physical and mental quality of life were less likely to use alcohol over time. Also, alcohol... more »

Drinking hot tea linked with elevated risk of esophageal cancer

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 52 minutes ago
Previous studies have revealed a link between hot tea drinking and risk of esophageal cancer, but until now, no study has examined this association using prospectively and objectively measured tea drinking temperature. A new *International Journal of Cancer* study achieved this by following 50,045 individuals aged 40 to 75 years for a median of 10 years. During follow-up, 317 new cases of esophageal cancer were identified. Compared with drinking less than 700 ml of tea per day at less than 60°C, drinking 700 ml per day or more at a higher temperature (60°C or higher) was associated... more » 

Sugary drinks may be associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened drinks, such as sodas and sports drinks, was associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases and, to a lesser extent, cancers, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal *Circulation*. Among study participants the risk of death rose as people drank more sugar-sweetened drinks. In addition, substituting one sugary drink a day with an artificially sweetened drink was associated with a slightly lower risk of dying, but drinking four or more artificially sweetened drinks a day was associated with a ... more »
 

Higher egg and cholesterol consumption hikes heart disease and early death risk

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 4 days ago
 Cancel the cheese omelet. There is sobering news for egg lovers who have been happily gobbling up their favorite breakfast since the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer limited how much dietary cholesterol or how many eggs they could eat. A large, new Northwestern Medicine study reports adults who ate more eggs and dietary cholesterol had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death from any cause. "The take-home message is really about cholesterol, which happens to be high in eggs and specifically yolks," ... more »

Eating mushrooms may reduce the risk of cognitive decline

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
A team from the Department of Psychological Medicine and Department of Biochemistry at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has found that seniors who consume more than two standard portions of mushrooms weekly may have 50 per cent reduced odds of having mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A portion was defined as three quarters of a cup of cooked mushrooms with an average weight of around 150 grams. Two portions would be equivalent to approximately half a plate. While the portion sizes act as a guideline, it was shown that even one small p... more » 

Yo-yo dieting may increase women's heart disease risk

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Yo-yo dieting may make it harder for women to control a variety of heart disease risk factors, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2019, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population-based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians. "Achieving a healthy weight is generally recommended as heart healthy but maintaining weight loss is difficult and fluctuations in weight may make it harder to achieve ideal cardiovascular health,"... more »
 
 

Moderate alcohol consumption linked with high blood pressure

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
A study of more than 17,000 U.S. adults shows that moderate alcohol consumption--seven to 13 drinks per week--substantially raises one's risk of high blood pressure, or hypertension, according to research being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session. The findings contrast with some previous studies that have associated moderate drinking with a lower risk of some forms of heart disease. Most previous studies, however, have not assessed high blood pressure among moderate drinkers. Since hypertension is a leading risk factor for heart attack... more »
Medicine 

Statins: unexpected benefits

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 13 minutes ago
While investigating why cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins cause negative side effects such as blurred vision, short-term memory loss or increased risk for diabetes, cellular chemists at The University of Toledo discovered several previously unknown benefits. It is well-established statins can help lower the risk of heart attack by lowering blood cholesterol, but statins also may play a protective role in the event of a heart attack because they can suppress a biological process that disrupts cardiac function. By suppressing the activity of key cellular receptors called G pro... more » 

Taking statins for heart disease cuts risk in half, yet only 6 percent of patients taking as directed

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
A new study has found that patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease cut their risk of a second major adverse cardiovascular event by almost 50 percent, if they adhere to taking a statin medication as prescribed by their doctors. While that's good news for patients, the bad news, however, is that researchers from the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City found that only about six percent of patients are in fact following the statin regimen given to them to lower their cholesterol, negating any potential cardiovascular benefits. "A lot of clinical tr... more »
  

Research ties common heartburn medications to kidney disease and failure

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
Common medications prescribed to treat heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers are linked to increased risks for kidney failure and chronic kidney disease, found a recent University at Buffalo study. Use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI), a group of drugs that reduce the production of stomach acid, increases the risk of chronic kidney disease by 20 percent and raises the risk of kidney failure by four times. Risks were highest among people at least 65 years old. The research, published in February in *Pharmacotherapy*, is one of the first large, long-term studies to examine the effects of P... more » 


Statins, which are used to prevent cardiovascular diseases, also guard against brain hemorrhages.

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 6 days ago
The drugs statins, which are used to prevent cardiovascular diseases, also guard against brain hemorrhages. This is the conclusion of most extensive study ever carried out, which thus also rebuffs suspicions of the opposite being true. As well as lowering blood cholesterol, the medication statin also acts to guard against haemorrhages. This is shown by the results of the largest study in the world so far, which followed more than half-a-million people being treated with statin over a decade. "With this study we refute a concern raised by earlier studies that treatment with statins ... more »

Inactive ingredients in pills and capsules may cause allergic, adverse reactions

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 6 days ago
A new study led by a team of investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found that the vast majority of the most frequently prescribed medications in the U.S. contain at least one ingredient capable of causing an adverse reaction. Known as inactive ingredients, these components are added to improve the taste, shelf-life, absorption and other characteristics of a pill, but the authors found that more than 90 percent of all oral medications tested contained at least one ingredient that can cause allergic or gastrointestinal symptoms... more »
  

Getting a flu shot while hospitalized lowers the chance of a heart attack 

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
There's now another reason to get your yearly flu shot. Not only can it protect you from the body aches, fever and fatigue associated with a bout of influenza, it may even prevent you from having a heart attack, according to research being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session. The study of nearly 30 million hospital records shows that people who got a flu shot while hospitalized had a 10 percent lower risk of having a heart attack that year compared to people who visited a hospital but did not get the vaccine during their stay. The study ... more »

Exercise

Even low levels of leisure time physical activity lowers risk of death

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 35 minutes ago
Even low-level physical activities, such as walking or gardening, are associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer or any cause finds a large observational study published online in the *British Journal of Sports Medicine*. Higher amounts of activity or more vigorous activities, such as running, cycling and competitive sports, are associated with additional health benefits that are not outweighed by the risks of participating in these activities, the authors say. Every year, a representative sample of the US population is asked about their health and lif... more »

Getting active later in life brings benefits

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
Physical activity reduces the risk of many chronic illnesses and increases the odds of a longer, healthier life. But it hasn’t been clear whether the benefits of exercise differ based on when during their lives people are most active. Researchers led by Dr. Pedro Saint-Maurice from NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) wanted to examine this question in more detail. They looked at data collected from more than 300,000 Americans who participated in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. People aged 50 to 71 were invited to join the study in the mid-1990s. They filled out surveys that ca... more »

Light physical activity linked to lower risk of heart disease in older women

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 5 days ago
Light physical activity such as gardening, strolling through a park, and folding clothes might be enough to significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease among women 63 and older, a new study has found. This kind of activity, researchers said, appears to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease events such as stroke or heart failure by up to 22 percent, and the risk of heart attack or coronary death, by as much as 42 percent. The results of the study, which was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, appea... more » 

Engaging in physical activity could reduce long-term mortality

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Cognitive frailty is a heterogeneous clinical manifestation characterized by the simultaneous presence of both physical frailty and cognitive impairment, in the absence of dementia, and it seems to entail a greater death risk than physical frailty or cognitive impairment separately. Despite the potential effect of regular physical activity to slow cognitive decline and its association with lower mortality in nonfrail individuals, no previous studies have investigated whether and to what extent physical activity could attenuate the effect of cognitive frailty on mortality. Colleagues... more »

The ups and downs of sit-stand desks

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Have a seat. No, wait! Stand. With researchers suggesting that "sitting is the new smoking," sit-stand desks (SSD) have become a common tool to quell sedentary behavior in an office environment. As this furniture becomes ubiquitous, conflicting opinions have arisen on its effectiveness. The University of Pittsburgh's Dr. April Chambers worked with collaborators to gather data from 53 studies and published a scoping review article detailing current information on the benefits of SSDs. "There has been a great deal of scientific research about sit-stand desks in the past few years, but... more »

Moderate muscle strength may lower risk for type 2 diabetes

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Of the 30 million Americans with diabetes, 90 to 95 percent have type 2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New research shows building muscle strength may be one way to lower risk for the disease. The study of more than 4,500 adults found moderate muscle mass reduced the risk for type 2 diabetes by 32 percent. The benefits were independent of cardiorespiratory fitness, and higher levels of muscle strength did not provide additional protection. The findings are published in the journal *Mayo Clinic Proceedings*. DC (Duck-chul) Lee, associate professor of k... more » 

Never too late for adults to benefit from physical activity

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
t may never be too late for adults to become physically active and enjoy some health benefits. This observational study looked at how patterns of leisure-time physical activity from adolescence (15 to 18) to later adulthood (40-61) were associated with risk of dying using data for 315,000 U.S. adults. The results suggest maintaining physical activity from adolescence into later adulthood was associated with lower risk of dying and so was increasing leisure-time physical activity in adulthood, including from age 41 to 60, for adults who had been less active. The study relied on sel... more »
 

Aging

Long-term, high nut consumption could be the key to better cognitive health in older people

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 38 minutes ago
Long-term, high nut consumption could be the key to better cognitive health in older people according to new research from the University of South Australia. In a study of 4822 Chinese adults aged 55+ years, researchers found that eating more than 10 grams of nuts a day was positively associated with better mental functioning, including improved thinking, reasoning and memory. Lead researcher, UniSA's Dr Ming Li, says the study is the first to report an association between cognition and nut intake in older Chinese adults, providing important insights into increasing mental health i... more »

Lowering blood pressure prevents worsening brain damage in elderly

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 day ago
But see: Lower blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of death in adults over the age of 80 Elderly people with high blood pressure, or hypertension, who took medicine to keep their 24-hour systolic blood pressure around 130 mm Hg for three years showed significantly less accumulation of harmful brain lesions compared with those taking medicine to maintain a systolic blood pressure around 145 mm Hg, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session. However, the reduction in brain lesions, visible as bright white spot... more »

Lower blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of death in adults over the age of 80, and in adults who have previously had a heart attack or stroke

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Until recently, physicians had generally assumed that older adults benefit from keeping their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg. However, researchers from Charit√© - Universit√§tsmedizin Berlin have now found that this assumption does not apply to all patients with high blood pressure. The reality is, in fact, quite the opposite: lower blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of death in adults over the age of 80, and in adults who have previously had a heart attack or stroke. Results from this study have been published in the *European Heart Journal**. Approximately 70 to ... more »

For older adults, sense of control tied to feeling younger

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 4 days ago
A recent study finds that older adults feel younger when they feel that they have more control over their daily lives, regardless of stress or health concerns. However, stress and health - not a sense of control - play a significant role in how old younger adults feel. "We recently found that there are things older adults can do to improve their feelings of control in their everyday lives," says Shevaun Neupert, a professor of psychology at North Carolina State University and co-author of a paper on the work. "Now this study highlights how those feelings of control influence percep... more » 

Periodontitis may raise the risk for developing dementia

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 4 days ago
Gum disease (gingivitis) that goes untreated can become periodontitis. When this happens, the infection that affected your gums causes loss in the bone that supports your teeth. Periodontitis is the main cause of tooth loss in adults.Interestingly, periodontitis is also a risk factor for developing dementia, one of the leading causes for disability in older adults. A United Nations forecast estimates that 1 in 85 individuals will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, a form of dementia, by the year 2050. Reducing the risk factors that lead to dementia and Alzheimer's disease could... more »

Older adults should wait until October to get their flu immunization

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 5 days ago
When flu season peaks after mid-winter, tens of thousands of influenza cases and hundreds of deaths can likely be avoided if older adults wait until October to get their flu immunization, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine analysis reveals in the April issue of the *American Journal of Preventive Medicine*. The protection offered by the flu vaccine wanes as the season progresses, a previous study has shown, which indicates that waiting until closer to the start of flu season ensures greater immunity. However, if flu season arrives early or i... more »
 

Light physical activity linked to lower risk of heart disease in older women

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 5 days ago
Light physical activity such as gardening, strolling through a park, and folding clothes might be enough to significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease among women 63 and older, a new study has found. This kind of activity, researchers said, appears to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease events such as stroke or heart failure by up to 22 percent, and the risk of heart attack or coronary death, by as much as 42 percent. The results of the study, which was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, appea... more » 

More vitamin D may improve memory but too much may slow reaction time

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 6 days ago
How much vitamin D can boost memory, learning and decision-making in older adults, and how much is too much? A unique Rutgers-led study found that overweight and obese older women who took more than three times the recommended daily dose of vitamin D showed improvements in memory and learning - but also had slower reaction times. The researchers hypothesize that slower reaction times may increase the risk of falling among older people. The researchers, whose work is in the *Journals of Gerontology: Series A*, used computers to assess the impact of vitamin D on cognitive function. Th... more »

Diet quality in midlife not associated with later risk for dementia

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
The quality of diet for adults in midlife (average age 50) wasn't associated with later risk of dementia in a study that included adults followed for more than two decades. Other observational studies have suggested diet may be linked to cognitive health but those studies often had short follow-up periods that could not cover the long preclinical period before dementia diagnosis. In this study, about 8,200 adults were without dementia in 1991-1993 and 344 cases of dementia were recorded during nearly 25 years of follow-up. During that time, the adults completed diet questionnaires ... more »

Eating mushrooms may reduce the risk of cognitive decline

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
A team from the Department of Psychological Medicine and Department of Biochemistry at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has found that seniors who consume more than two standard portions of mushrooms weekly may have 50 per cent reduced odds of having mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A portion was defined as three quarters of a cup of cooked mushrooms with an average weight of around 150 grams. Two portions would be equivalent to approximately half a plate. While the portion sizes act as a guideline, it was shown that even one small p... more »

Engaging in physical activity could reduce long-term mortality

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Cognitive frailty is a heterogeneous clinical manifestation characterized by the simultaneous presence of both physical frailty and cognitive impairment, in the absence of dementia, and it seems to entail a greater death risk than physical frailty or cognitive impairment separately. Despite the potential effect of regular physical activity to slow cognitive decline and its association with lower mortality in nonfrail individuals, no previous studies have investigated whether and to what extent physical activity could attenuate the effect of cognitive frailty on mortality. Colleagues... more »

Never too late for adults to benefit from physical activity

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
t may never be too late for adults to become physically active and enjoy some health benefits. This observational study looked at how patterns of leisure-time physical activity from adolescence (15 to 18) to later adulthood (40-61) were associated with risk of dying using data for 315,000 U.S. adults. The results suggest maintaining physical activity from adolescence into later adulthood was associated with lower risk of dying and so was increasing leisure-time physical activity in adulthood, including from age 41 to 60, for adults who had been less active. The study relied on sel... more »

At what age do you feel 65?

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
A 30-year gap separates countries with the highest and lowest ages at which people experience the health problems of a 65-year-old, according to a new scientific study. Researchers found 76-year-olds in Japan and 46-year-olds in Papua New Guinea have the same level of age-related health problems as an "average" person aged 65. "These disparate findings show that increased life expectancy at older ages can either be an opportunity or a threat to the overall welfare of populations, depending on the aging-related health problems the population experiences regardless of chronological a... more »

Social support and a purpose in life may help preserve cognitive abilities

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Higher social support and having a sense of purpose in life are each associated with higher cognitive functioning in middle-aged and older Hispanics/Latinos, while loneliness has a detrimental effect on cognition, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2019, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population-based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians. Previous studies have shown that psychological resources (such as optimism... more »

Opioid misuse sending more older adults to emergency departments

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
Emergency department (ED) visits by people age 65 and older who were identified with opioid misuse and dependence more than tripled between 2006 and 2014, according to new research published by researchers at Towson University. The study also discovered that opioid misuse was associated with an increased number of chronic conditions, greater injury risk, and higher rates of alcohol dependence and mental health diagnoses. These outcomes are reported in the article "Increasing Rates of Opioid Misuse Among Older Adults Visiting Emergency Departments" appearing in the journal *Innovatio... more »

Early onset menstruation linked to high blood pressure in late adulthood,

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report - 1 week ago
The age a woman begins menstruation is associated with having high blood pressure later in her life, according to a team of researchers at the University of Georgia. Specifically, researchers found that early onset menstruation significantly increased risk of hypertension in late adulthood, even after controlling for independent social economic factors, lifestyle behaviors, and other metabolic measures. The study, which appeared in *Hypertension Research*, aimed to shed some light on how the age of menarche and menopause may affect chronic disease later in life. Existing research o... more »

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