According to a new study, individuals who consume 12 fluid ounces of soda a day may increase their risk of developing diabetes by 22% or more. The study involved 350,000 people reporting how many sugary and artificially sweetened drinks they consumed daily. The results showed that 12 fluid ounces each day, which is equivalent to one can of soda, could increase the risk of diabetes by 22%. Soda contains high levels of sugar and has been linked to higher obesity rates and type 2 diabetes. A statistics expert from the University College London, Patrick Wolfe said, The bottom line is that sugary soft drinks are not good for you – they have no nutritional value and there is evidence that drinking them every day can increase your relative risk for type 2 diabetes.” More here
Many foods you eat have more than the amount of salt needed already in them, but researchers have proven that small amounts of sodium are good for a healthy diet. Sodium can help muscles contract and relax, balance your bodies fluids and can aid in the process of transmitting nerve impulses. Certain types of food hold more sodium than others and can harm your blood pressure, kidney functions and even lead to diabetes. More here
Nopales, or prickly pear cactus is being regarded as a superfood when considering the health qualities it can bring to one’s diet. This fruit is a high source of fiber, carotenoids and antioxidants while being known for treating high cholesterol and obesity. Nopales also contain anti-inflammatory properties and aid in treating diabetes. Evidence shows that nopales can significantly lower high blood-sugar rates in individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. More here
A new procedure is being tested in the United States to help people with resistant hypertension. Resistant hypertension is a condition where high blood pressure fails to normalize even after taking prescribed medication. Resistant hypertension affects approximately 1 in 11 people who suffer from high blood pressure. It can cause serious health risks such as heart attacks, kidney disease, strokes and heart failure. The procedure consists of a medical machine that sends short bursts of radio waves to kill the sympathetic nerves. Murray Esler, MD, PhD, professor and senior director of the Baker IDI Heart and diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia said “the sympathetic nerves are the stimulant nerves of the kidneys. They are commonly activated in high blood pressure”. More here
Conventional wisdom often links aging to sleep problems. And, according to recent research, sleeplessness can raise the risk of everything from hypertension to diabetes. But though that may seem like a reason for older adults to be concerned, a new study from the University of Pittsburgh’s Sleep and Chronobiology Center and University Center for Social and Urban Research found that seniors aren’t having as much trouble sleeping as as assumed and sleep trouble may have more to do with poor health than age. The study surveyed 1,200 retired seniors. Results showed that 75 percent of respondents reported sleeping more than 6.75 hours a night and just 25 percent reported sleeping less than that. Timothy H. Monk, Ph.D., the study’s lead author, said the stereotype of seniors going to bed early and having trouble staying asleep is inaccurate. More here.
A new study from King’s College London has discovered four existing medications, used to treat conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, that may help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The study’s lead author, Professor Clive Ballard, said developing new drugs to treat dementia is incredibly important but also very expensive. Locating medications that already exist and have shown the potential to benefit dementia patients means quicker results and cheaper treatments. Among the drugs found to have possible benefits, calcium channel blockers have shown strong evidence that they reduce the risk of developing dementia. The authors caution, however, that more study is needed to better understand how these medications may benefit patients with dementia. More here.
A new study from Northwestern Medicine finds that maintaining optimal heart health in middle age may add up to 14 years to your lifespan. The study looked at data collected for the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project and tracked risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and smoking status. The results found that individuals with none of those common risk factors lived free of cardiovascular disease longer than their peers with two or more of those risk factors. John T. Wilkins, M.D., author of the study, said many people develop cardiovascular disease as they live into old age but those with optimal risk factor levels increase their chances that they’ll live longer and healthier lives. More here.
Among people over the age of 65, more than half have at least three chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, or Alzheimer’s disease. But, according to a new report from the American Geriatrics Society, healthcare providers often follow standard clinical guidelines for an individual disease when they may not be the safest or most effective treatment for a patient with multiple conditions. Cynthia M. Boyd, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said a clinician prescribing medications according to standard guidelines for an individual disease may end up with a patient who is taking too many medications and running a risk for drug interactions and harmful side effects. The report recommends a number of guiding principles for caring for seniors with multiple health problems, such as considering patient preferences, weighing risks, benefits, and burdens, interpreting research, and accounting for the complexity and feasibility of treatment options. More here.
A recent study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, finds that working too many hours can raise the risk of developing coronary heart disease. People who worked long hours were found to have an approximately 40 percent higher risk of heart trouble compared to coworkers who worked fewer hours. The research, which looked at 12 studies totaling 22,000 people, notes that long working hours have been previously linked with a number of conditions and habits which contribute to heart disease, such as elevated blood pressure, anxiety, depression, type 2 diabetes, unhealthy diet, smoking, and lower physical activity. Longer working hours are also associated with stress and sleep deprivation, which have been shown to increase cardiovascular risk. Coronary heart disease is currently the leading cause of death and is projected to remain so for the next several decades. More here and here.
More than 100 million American adults suffer from chronic pain, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. That’s nearly one-third of all Americans and more than the number affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. But despite costing nearly $635 billion a year in treatment and lost productivity, chronic pain receives less attention and focus than other diseases and conditions. According to the report, government agencies, healthcare providers, professional associations, educators, and public and private funders of health care need to lead a transformation to better prevent, treat, and understand pain of all types. Among the recommendations offered by the Institute of Medicine were increased education and research to help health professionals better understand pain and the available treatments, as well as improving care by increasingly tailoring it to each patient’s experience. More here and here.