Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Demanding Relatives May Raise Heart Risks

As a symptom of coronary artery disease, angina is chest pain or discomfort when the heart doesn't get enough blood.

Dealing with worries or demands from family members can increase a person's risk of developing the painful symptoms of angina.

In a 6-year Danish study of 4,500 men and women in their forties and fifties, 9.5% of the men and 9.1% of the women suffered from angina. Most of these participants were in their 50's, less affluent, more depressed and endured the most demanding relationships with their relatives.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New 3-D Device Improves Breast Cancer Detection

On February 11 the U.S. FDA reportedly approved the first mammography device that gives 3-dimensional images of the breast for cancer screening and diagnosis.

The unique and innovative new system is significantly more accurate and provides both 2- and 3-D x-ray images of the breast. Because of difficult screening, the previously conventional 2-dimensional system recommended that 10% of the patients undergo additional testing.

While the dose of radiation will double, it will improve the accuracy by at least 7% with which radiologists will detect breast cancer.

There is a 98% survival rate when breast cancer is detected early and still localized.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

There Are Fish and then There Are Healthy Fish; Which Are You Eating?

The McDonalds and Wendy's commercials hit home. In one you see 3 fishermen looking into a barrel asking, "What is it?"

Fish may be yummy to some (not my daughter-in-law!) but how healthy is it really?

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish helps improve blood pressure, keeps blood vessels healthy and reduces the risk of stroke. That's why the American Heart Association recommends that we should be eating fish like salmon and mackerel that are high in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week.

Most fried fish is not high in omega-3 fatty acids. The process of frying removes the fatty acids and replaces them with cooking oil.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Most People Regain Happiness After Job Loss

A new study in Germany reported that within a year of losing a job, most people return to their former level of happiness. Sixty-nine percent of the participants who were originally distressed about losing their jobs said that they had recovered in about a year.

Another 13%, however, were still unhappy. This group remained depressed and were least likely to be re-employed.

What the study did not take into account was:
How these figures translate in the United States;
The influence of age; and
The nature of the work and whether the people can be retrained.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Exercise, Vitamin D Tied to Fewer Falls

Falls are the leading cause of death, disability and loss of independence for people 65 and older.

According to a new review of 54 studies and 26,000 participants in the United States, exercise that includes balance, strength, flexibility, weight training and general physical activity reduces the risk of falling by 13%.

Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of falling by 17%.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cancer Cells May Be Able to Urge Own Death

Researchers are hopeful they can influence cancer cells.

In a study published online in December, 2010, it was announced that "many cancer cells are equipped with a kind of suicide pill." A protein found on their surfaces give them the ability to send an "eat me" signal to immune cells to destroy them.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Many at High Heart Risk Don't Get Enough Drugs

According to Dr. Gregg Fonarow, cardiologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, people hospitalized for heart attacks often aren't getting the intensive cholesterol-lowering statin drugs that could both lower their chances of getting another heart attack and save their lives.

The National Cholesterol Guidelines recommends an intensive lipid-lowering therapy that uses high doses of certain statins both at the medical facility and upon discharge.

The problem is that:
Many doctors think that lower dosage is better (a conservative wait and see policy);
Some physicians don't understand the recommendations;
Some medical personnel think that the guidelines don't apply to their patients, especially if those patients are older;
It takes time for doctors to accept and adopt new guidelines.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Echinacea No Cure for Common Cold

A study of a small group of participants at the University of Wisconsin found that the herbal remedy echinacea was no better than a placebo in relieving symptoms and for shortening the duration of colds.

Lead research Dr. Bruce Barrett advised, "if you are an adult and believe in echinacea, it's safe and you might get some placebo effect if nothing else."

Monday, March 7, 2011

Phone Chats With Online Smoking Cessation Program Doubles Results

Researchers used an online smoking cessation program plus telephone counseling on smokers who had tried multiple times to quit. Talking on the telephone with an experienced counselor for an average of 5 calls for the first month was most helpful in combination with QuitNet.com, a program where the basic membership is free. The success rate was approximately double the online program only rate.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Inhalers for Asthma and COPD Sufferers May Bring On Diabetes

Sufferers of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who use inhaled corticosteroids may be at increased risk of developing or progressing diabetes.

In a study at McGill University in Montreal involving 380,000 participants it was found that inhaler use was associated with a 34% increase in new diabetes diagnoses and diabetes progression (intensifying therapy to the point including insulin).

Other researchers suggest that steroids could not be fully responsible for the risk. More concentration must be devoted to lifestyle choices especially diet and nutrition.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eating a Diet Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids Might Fight Against AMD

Don't go out and purchase omega-3 supplements yet.

More studies need to confirm that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids appears to protect seniors against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a serious eye disease that can lead to severe vision impairment or blindness.

In just a one year analysis covering nearly 2,400 seniors 65-84, "those who had advanced AMD were significantly less likely to consume high omega-3 fish and seafood," according to study lead author Sheila K. West of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.