Researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs and colleagues have been experimenting with a vaccine against shingles. The experiment prevented approximately 51% of cases of the shingles virus. Studies state that 50% of Americans who live to be 85 years old will at some point suffer from the virus. The Shingles Prevention Study consisted of 38,000 elderly men and women. More here
A study of Australians over the age of 45 found those who sat more than 11 hours a day were 40 percent more likely to die over the next three years compared to people who sat less than four hours a day. The study, which looked at more than 200,000 men and women, adds to the growing evidence that sitting too long can be harmful to your health. In addition, the study found that, though exercising helps reduce the effects of sitting, it does not erase them. People who exercised more than five hours a week had a lowered death risk, but it rose with increased inactivity. The study’s authors stressed that public health programs should be focused on getting people more physically active and reducing the amount of time spent sitting. More here and here.
Research examining medical records for more than 11,000 men and women found women reported higher levels of pain than men did. Men and women were asked to rate their pain on a zero-to-ten scale with 10 being the worst pain imaginable. The results found that women rated their pain up to a full point higher than men with the same condition. The greatest differences in reported pain were found in patients with musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory, and digestive disorders. Dr. Atul Butte, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Stanford university and senior author of the study, said though a one-point difference may not seem like much it can be an indication of whether or not a pain treatment is working effectively. More here and here.
An adult’s normal resting heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute. And, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, increases in your resting heart rate over time may mean a greater risk of dying of heart disease. The study looked at 30,000 men and women without any known heart disease and measured their resting heart rate over a 10-year period. The participants whose heart rate was less than 70 beats per minute at the first measurement and more than 85 beats per minute at the next measurement were more likely to die from heart disease or other causes after 12 years of follow-up. Ulrik Wisloff, the study’s lead author, says healthy adults should have a resting heart rate of about 70 beats per minute. If it increases more than 10 beats, it may be time to talk to a doctor. More here.
Recent research found married men and women have better survival rates following coronary bypass surgery than unmarried people. The study, which followed 225 patients preparing to have bypass surgery between 1987 and 1990, showed that 15 years after their surgery, married men were two and a half times more likely to be living and women were twice as likely. Survival rates were better for happily married men and women than they were for the unhappily married. Researchers said it’s reasonable to assume that a supportive spouse helps heart patients maintain good habits, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet. More here.
According to a study from the University of Southern California, Americans are living longer lives with fewer healthy years. Researchers looked at data from the National Health Interview Survey and National Vital Statistics from 1998 through 2006 and found that a 20-year-old today would live one fewer healthy years than a 20-year-old ten years ago. Eileen Crimmins, study researcher and professor at USC, said conditions such as obesity, dementia, and arthritis are among the main factors preventing people from living healthier lives. The study found more incidents of cancer and diabetes in 2006 than in 1998 and an increase in the number of years men and women could expect to eventually spend without basic mobility. More here.