Saturday, March 14, 2015

Live Long and Prosper Newsletter March 2015

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

1.   The association of prevalent kidney stone disease with mortality in US adults: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, 1988-1994.
   People who get kidney stones have double the mortality rate of those who do not. Unclear why. As with all these correlations, it is not clear that this correlation implies causation. However it seems prudent to put yourself into the non-kidney stone forming category. How? Drink 2-2.5 liters of water per day, and eat a diet low in sodium (salt) and low in animal sources of protein. Eat plant foods rich in calcium, like greens, beans, soy, and almonds.
February 25, 2014

2.   [Alcohol intake--a two-edged sword. Part 2: Protective effects of alcohol and recommendations for its safe use].
   These German investigators reviewed the literature and pronounced that the research favors women having about 10-12 gm alcohol per day (about half a glass of wine). For men, their recommendation is twice that.
February 26, 2014

3.   Does obesity associate with mortality among Hispanic persons? Results from the National Health Interview Survey.
   Here is another knock against the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a predictor of health and longevity. In Hispanics under age 60, they found no association between BMI and longevity. Among Hispanics aged 60 and up, they found those in the overweight and obesity grade 1 (BMI 25-35) had a lower mortality rate than those who were "normal". In other studies, waist circumference and % body fat seems to be more important than BMI.
March 4, 2014

1.   Effects of substituting a portion of standard physiotherapy time with virtual reality games among community-dwelling stroke survivors.
   Here's an endorsement for virtual reality games for stroke survivors. As important as physical therapy is, substituting some VR gaming in the rehab process did not detract form rehabilitation. We cannot make any sweeping conclusions but maybe if a loved one has a stroke, VR games might be a better use of their spare time than watching The Price is Right. No wonder stroke victims get depressed.
April 6, 2014

2.   The association between physical activity and gastroesophageal cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis
   "A dose–response analysis of frequency of physical activity and total gastroesophageal cancer risk revealed that the greatest risk reduction [33%] was achieved among those engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity five times per week"
April 5, 2014

3.   Longitudinal Algorithms to Estimate Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Associations with Non-fatal Cardiovascular Disease and Disease-Specific Mortality.
   Another big cohort (43,000 people) followed for 14 years- The more they exercised the lower their death rate over that time. Nuff said.
April 8, 2014

1.   Cognitive lifestyle jointly predicts longitudinal cognitive decline and mortality risk.
   This analysis of 6000 people found that one of the most important predictors of longevity is social contentedness in older age.
March 1, 2014

2.   Coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk: an updated meta-analysis
   Researchers have tried to pin bad things on coffee for decades but the main things that have stuck so far has been slight increased rate of osteoporosis, plus reflux disease. This study looked at all studies done to date on coffee and prostate cancer. They found: "Our meta-analysis suggests that high (e.g., highest ≥4 or 5 cups/day) coffee consumption may not only be associated with a reduced risk of overall prostate cancer, but also inversely associated with fatal and high-grade prostate cancer.
March 1, 2014

3.   Oral cavity and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma in young adults: a review of the literature.
   A growing form of cancer is head and neck cancers in young adults, under age 45. These cancers tend to occur in people who have been exposed to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Although it is not of proven benefit in preventing these cancers, it seems prudent for many people to go ahead and get the Gardisil vaccine (young adult, sexually active, etc.)
March 4, 2014

1.   Optimal body weight for health and longevity: bridging basic, clinical, and population research.
   BMI is a flawed predictor of risk, especially for people who already have diabetes. However in general, there is strong evidence that it is healthiest to have "normal weight" (BMI < 25).
March 19, 2014

2.   Selenium for preventing cancer.
   It doesn't.
April 1, 2014

3.   Extravirgin olive oil consumption reduces risk of atrial fibrillation: the PREDIMED (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea) trial.
   People who were randomized to eat more extravirgin olive oil had 42% reduction in their rate of atrial fibrillation, a nasty heart rhythm disease.
September 3, 2014

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