Weekly Health Update
“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt
Mental Attitude: A Happy Marriage & Smart Wife May Prompt Men to Get a Colonoscopy.
According to new study, older men are more likely to have a colonoscopy if they’re happily married and have a highly educated wife. The study looked at more than 800 older married couples and found that married men were nearly 20% more likely to have undergone a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer in the past five years than single men. The rate increased to nearly 30% higher among men in happy marriages, and over 40% higher if their wife had a college degree. Study director Dr. William Dale adds, “Women are thought to control the health capital in most households. They act as health gatekeepers, overseeing their husband’s health choices and directing decisions at the margins. Her decisions influence both partners.”
University of Chicago, March 2016Health Alert: Females More Likely to Die from a Severe Heart Attack.
Women are up to twice as likely as men to die from the most dangerous type of heart attack called ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Researchers analyzed data from more than 700,000 STEMI patients from around the world and found that appropriate treatment is often delayed for women and that the in-hospital death rate for women is double that of men. They also note women are 70% more likely to die at 30 days, six months, and one year post-heart attack.
American College of Cardiology Meeting in Chicago, April 2016
Diet: Highly Processed Foods Impact Cancer Risk.
Cutting out sugary drinks and processed foods can reduce an individual’s risk of cancer. Researchers examined health data on 3,100 volunteers and found that consuming sugary drinks and eating processed lunch foods more than doubled the chances of developing prostate cancer among men, while eating legumes, fruits, and vegetables reduced the risk of breast cancer in women by two-thirds.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), April 2016
Exercise: Exercise May Protect You Against Cancer.
Exercise may decrease cancer incidence and slow the rate of tumor growth. A new animal-based study found that mice trained to use an exercise wheel had a lower risk of developing cancer, and those that did develop cancer had tumors that grew at a reduced rate compared with the tumors of sedentary mice. The authors of the study add that the anti-cancer benefits of running are most likely linked to the release of adrenaline that leads to the mobilization of specific immune cells that patrol the body and help fight cancer.
Cell Metabolism, March 2016
Chiropractic: Specific Low Back Exercises Reduce Chronic Low Back Pain.
Doctors of chiropractic often prescribe exercise to be performed in-office or at home as part of a treatment program for patients with musculoskeletal conditions, like back pain. A recent study examined the role of lumbar extensor muscle strengthening for individuals with chronic low back pain. In the study, individuals with persistent low back pain for a minimum of two years participated in an eleven-week lumbar extensor strength training program once per week. The findings revealed that specific lumbar strengthening resulted in clinically relevant improvements in pain (a 28% decrease) and functional disability (a 23% to 36% decrease) in patients with persistent chronic low back pain. The study shows the importance of the role that specific exercises play in the management of chronic low back pain.
The Journal of Sports Management and Physical Fitness, April 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Vitamin D May Reduce Cancer Risk.
Researchers suggest that increasing an individual’s serum level of vitamin D could be a key tool for preventing cancer. According to a recent study, women whose 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood levels were 40 ng/ml or higher had a 67% lower risk of developing cancer than women whose vitamin D levels were 20 ng/ml or lower. The researchers did not comment on what the optimum intake of vitamin D should be, nor did they say if it should be achieved by exposure to sunlight, dietary changes, or supplements. They conclude, “Primary prevention of cancer, rather than expanding early detection or improving treatment, will be essential to reversing the current upward trend of cancer incidence worldwide. This analysis suggests that improving vitamin D status is a key prevention tool.”
PLOS One, April 2016
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