Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Live Long and Prosper Newsletter February 2015

This newsletter was compiled from the latest research on health and longevity, by David Donohue, MD, FACP.

Nutrition
1.   Adiposity rather than BMI determines metabolic risk.
   The Body Mass Index (BMI) has come under some fire for painting an inaccurate picture of a person's "fatness" and risk of disease. Probably better to measure body fat, which can be done with a special DEXA machine (used more commonly for determining bone mineral density/osteoporosis). Stay tuned.
February 13, 2014

2.   Association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and sepsis in the critically ill.
   Low vitamin D levels correlate with all sorts of bad things. For example, 80% of obese people are "vitamin D deficient". Most studies that test whether a vitamin D pill cures what ails you come up blank. It seems that vitamin D deficiency is more a marker for suboptimal health than a quick-fix. That said, vitamin D supplementation has been found to be of small benefit for some conditions, like bone thinning and frailty.
February 20, 2014

3.   The Mediterranean-style dietary pattern and mortality among men and women with cardiovascular disease.
   Another study testing the Mediterranean Diet against death from heart disease. This one found a 19% reduction in mortality rate for those who ate the Mediterranean Diet. Add this to the growing list of pro-Mediterranean Diet studies.
February 25, 2014



Exercise
1.   Factors influencing the decline in stroke mortality: a statement from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
   Stroke (brain attack) has moved down on the list of top killers in the US, from #3 to #4. Chronic lung disease is now #3. Whi did they swap? Because stroke rate has dropped greatly over the last half century, probably due to improved control of blood pressure.
February 24, 2014

2.   Effectiveness of home-based pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
   Do you know someone who have COPD or emphysema? Pulmonary Rehabilitation has been found to be quite helpful. This study found that it also works when done at home.
March 8, 2014

3.   The Role of Health Behaviours Across the Life Course in the Socioeconomic Patterning of All-Cause Mortality: The West of Scotland Twenty-07 Prospective Cohort Study
   We have long known that one of the most reliable predictors of how long a person will live is their socioeconomic status. More disadvantaged generally have more than double the death rate of wealthier people. This study tried to identify what aspects of socioeconomic status impact lifespan. Their findings: smoking accounted for 49% of the higher death rate of the disadvantaged, diet 43%, alcohol 13%. Want to live as long as a rich person? Don't smoke, eat a healthy diet, and don't drink much.
March 31, 2014

Lifestyle
1.   Pooled cohort study on height and risk of cancer and cancer death
   Controlling for weight, taller people get more cancer. For each 5cm (2 inch) of extra height, your body packs on extra cancer risk (7% in women per 5cm, 4% in men per 5cm). Which cancer was most affected? Melanoma unsurprisingly.
January 31, 2014

2.   Vitamin D and the Cardiovascular System: An Overview of the Recent Literature
   Vitamin D levels definitely correlate with better health and longevity. However that does not mean that taking a vitamin D supplement will "curewhatailsya" as we say in internal medicine. "there is no clear evidence for a role of vitamin D other than that strictly associated with bone health". Stay tuned, more studies are being done.
January 31, 2014

3.   Marital status shows a strong protective effect on long-term mortality among first acute myocardial infarction-survivors with diagnosed hyperlipidemia - Findings from the MONICA/KORA myocardial infarction registry.
February 1, 2014

Prevention
1.   Telomere length loss due to smoking and metabolic traits.
   We have known for years that the length of the telomeres in your cells (the tips of the chromosomes) is a predictor of how much you have aged and how long you can expect to live. Here is evidence that 2 risk factors increase the rate of shortening of your telomeres/aging of your DNA: smoking and the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of risk factors: abdominal overweight, elevated blood pressure, low HDL, and high triglycerides.
March 14, 2014

2.   An increase in the incidence of hip fractures in Tangshan, China
   With its rapid pace of industrialization, Chinese are seeing steep increase in the rates of all Western diseases, including heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and (per this study) osteoporosis.
March 31, 2014

3.   What should we tell prostate cancer patients about (secondary) prevention?
   Has you or a loved one been diagnosed with prostate cancer? The investigators of this study reviewed the literature and conclude "Patients should be counseled not to use tobacco products; to engage in daily physical activity; to minimize sedentary behavior; to consume plenty of healthy fats (i.e. fish, nuts, vegetable oils, soybeans, avocados, and flaxseed) and vegetables; to focus on getting nutrients from foods rather than supplements; and to limit refined grains, sugars, processed meat, and high-fat dairy."
March 17, 2014

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