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Control of High Blood Pressure

Two recent breakthrough studies on controlling blood pressure found that frequent blood pressure variation between one doctor's appointment and the next is a major risk factor for heart attacks; and, in people with high blood pressure, reducing salt intake can lower their average blood pressure in as little as one week.

All Cancer Patients Should Follow Heart-Attack-Preventing Lifestyles

A study of 937 patients suggests that all cancer patients should follow heart-attack preventing lifestyle changes including a heart-healthy diet such as the Mediterranean, MIND or DASH diets (Presented at the American Heart Association Congress meeting in Philadelphia, November 2023). The study found that having a history of cancer increases heart attack risk and that having heart-attack risk factors is associated with increased cancer risk.

Exercise to Help Prevent Dementia

Sitting and lying without moving for long periods is a significant risk factor for dementia. In a recent study, almost 50,000 non-demented people in the UK, age 60 and older, wore wrist accelerometers 24 hours a day for a week to measure their levels of activity, and were then followed for almost seven years. By the end of the follow-up period, 414 of the participants had been diagnosed with dementia. Compared to sitting for a little over nine hours a day, those who spent 10 hours a day sitting or lying had an eight percent increased risk for becoming demented and those who spent 12 or more hours not moving had a 63 percent increased risk for becoming demented.

Preventing Diabetes to Reduce Erectile Dysfunction

The Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS) followed 568 men with diabetes, pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Erectile dysfunction (ED), inability to achieve and maintain an erection, was reported by 37 percent of men with diabetes and 41 percent of those with pre-diabetes.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia May Be The Same Disease

A recent study found that that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome may actually be the same diseases. It is easy to understand the similarity of the two conditions with different names. Both are characterized by extreme muscle fatigue and tiredness as if a person had just run a marathon, even though they walked only a few feet. Both also involve sleep and memory problems.

High Triglycerides Are a Major Risk Factor for Heart Attacks and Diabetes

Having blood triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) puts you at increased risk for a heart attack, stroke, or heart valve disease, even if your blood cholesterol levels are normal (Eur Heart J, Dec 2021;42(47):4791-4806). About 10 percent of North Americans suffer from high triglyceride levels. High triglycerides are often found in people who are diabetic, obese or alcoholic.

Marijuana Use Linked to Increased Risk for Heart Attacks and Strokes

Two studies were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Studies (2023), showing that regular use of marijuana markedly increases risk for heart attacks and strokes in people with high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol (CNN Health, Nov 6, 2023). Marijuana increases risk for heart failure by about one-third, compared to people who reported never using marijuana.

Body Odor is Usually Harmless

All people can develop body odor when certain bacteria or fungi colonize on their skin. Normal sweat doesn’t smell when it first reaches your skin. The odor usually comes only after certain microbes on the skin’s surface break down the fat in sweat to form chemicals that smell. Most sweat glands produce sweat that contains no fat, but the sweat glands around the breasts, genitals and armpits produce sweat that contains fat.

Running More Effective Than Walking to Help Prevent Heart Attacks

A study from the UK examined the links between having a big belly, amount of physical activity and risk for a heart attack. The study followed 70,830 people, average age 61, for 6.8 years and in that time, 2795 suffered heart attacks. Among those people in the study group who had large bellies, those who jogged regularly for about 30 to 35 minutes per week had their heart attack rate reduced to the same level as people who did not have a big belly.

Statins Can Raise Blood Sugar

Statins may raise your blood sugar levels, but your doctor is still likely to recommended them if you have risk factors for heart attacks or strokes. Reviews of many studies show that statins can raise blood sugar levels, which increases risk for diabetes and cataracts, but they are so effective in to lower the bad LDL cholesterol and to prevent heart attacks that doctors should still prescribe them

Aggressive Treatment of High Blood Pressure

At the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions (November 13, 2023), researchers presented the results of the 11,255 patient ESPRIT trial of patients who also had diabetes and/or a past history of a stroke. When they were treated very aggressively for three years to drop their high systolic blood pressures below 120 mm Hg (compared to the old standard of 140 mm Hg), they had a 12 percent lower incidence of heart attacks and a 39 percent lower incidence of deaths from heart attacks.

Blood Tests to Predict Who Will Live to 100

A study of 44,000 Swedish adults, 64 to 99 years of age, followed for up to 35 years, found that 2.7 percent (1,224) lived to their 100th birthday (Geroscience, Nov 4, 2023). Among the 1,224 centenarians in this study, 84 percent were women. The researchers wanted to find out which blood tests (measures of metabolism, inflammation, liver function, kidney function, anemia, and nutritional status) would appear to predict longevity.

Aspirin May Help to Reduce Liver Fat

Researchers from Harvard recently showed that aspirin could help to treat people with fatty liver disease (Meeting of American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, November 10, 2023). Eighty patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) were randomly assigned to receive either low doses of aspirin (81 mg/day) or placebo for six months. Compared to the placebo group, the 40 patients who took aspirin had reduced amounts of fat in their livers and improved markers of liver inflammation and scarring.

Low-Salt Diet to Help Lower Blood Pressure

A new study found that reducing daily sodium (salt) intake by one teaspoon per day significantly lowered systolic blood pressure in as little as a week. The study participants were 213 adults, ages 50-75, who had• normal blood pressure, or high blood pressure and were taking medication for high blood pressure, or high blood pressure and were not taking medication for high blood pressure.

Chewing Food Helps to Lower Blood Sugar in Diabetics

Diabetics who have lost teeth and cannot chew properly have significantly higher blood sugar levels than diabetics who can chew their food well. Correcting dental problems so a person can chew food adequately can help to lower high blood sugar levels. The treatment for both diabetes and general weight control should include eating lots of fiber-rich plants, chewing food properly, and correcting dental problems.

Masks Help to Prevent Infections with Respiratory Viruses

Refusing to wear a mask when you have a respiratory infection and are near other people shows total disregard for their health. We have just gone through the major portion of a COVID-19 epidemic and can expect other epidemics from this and other viruses in the future. Many studies show that a proper mask will block some of the viruses, and droplets spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or talks.

Vigorous Exercise Associated with Larger Plaques

It is overwhelmingly established that exercise helps to prevent heart attacks, but a recent study showed that very vigorous exercise may be associated with increased plaque size. For more than six years, researchers followed 289 men, ages 50 -60, who exercised for an average 41 MET hours per week.

Fish Oil Pills Associated with Increased Risk for Irregular Heartbeats

In Europe, fish oil pills must now list that atrial fibrillation is a common side effect, according to the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee of the European Medicines Agency. Fish oil pills are also called omega-3 supplements and they may be recommended to treat high blood triglyceride levels if lifestyle changes fail to lower triglycerides to normal

How Excess Weight Causes Heart Attacks

More than 40 percent of North American adults are seriously overweight, which puts them at high risk for heart attacks, diabetes, certain cancers and premature death. Researchers at Boston University have explained how being obese is a major cause of heart attacks and death from heart attacks by preventing the bad LDL cholesterol from performing its beneficial functions such as helping to form cell membranes

Who Should Take Statins

It is established that having a high bad LDL cholesterol increases your chances of suffering a heart attack and that reducing high levels of LDL helps to prevent heart attacks. Statins are the most used drugs to treat high cholesterol, but about 75 percent of people suffer muscle pains and other side effects when they take statins.

Every New Contact Puts You At Risk for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 20 million new cases of venereal diseases occur every year. One out of five North American adults have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and STDs cost the U.S. healthcare system nearly $16 billion/year. Worldwide, 31 percent of adults have genital herpes (HPV) that causes many cases of genital and oral cancers

Having High Cholesterol Increases Risk for Dementia

Thirty percent of North Americans over the age of 85 suffer from dementia. A recent study shows that people whose blood cholesterol levels varied the most over a 12 year period had a 19 percent increased risk for Alzheimer's dementia compared to those with little or no variability, and people who had high variations in their triglyceride levels had a 23 percent increased risk for Alzheimer's disease.

MRIs Help to Reduce Prostate Biopsies

A study of 23,802 Swedish men found that getting an MRI before scheduling a prostate biopsy was associated with reduced proportion of men who received biopsies,, reduced biopsies in low-risk prostate cancers (Gleason score of 6 or lower) who usually are not treated, and increased detection of the number of men at high risk for prostate cancer (Gleason score greater than 6) who need immediate treatment

Osteoarthritis and Inflammation

More than half of North American adults over 65 years of age suffer from osteoarthritis. It used to be that you would go to your doctor and tell them that you have pain in your knees, hips, hands or spine. Your doctor would order multiple x-rays and blood tests and most would come back normal, so they would then tell you, “Aha, you have osteoarthritis, ” which meant they didn’t have the foggiest idea why your joints hurt.

Early Diagnosis Helps to Prevent and Treat Colon Cancer

An early colon cancer often has no symptoms whatever, so screening tests can boost survival rates by diagnosing a colon cancer before it has caused symptoms and spread to other parts of the body. Polyps detected in any of the screening tests can be removed, which greatly improves the rates of survival.

Lifestyle Factors Linked to Delaying Memory Loss

A study from Spain called the Vallecas Project has followed 1169 non-demented people, average age 74.4, for six years and found that some of the participants had memory test scores that were equal to people who were 30 years younger. The authors call the high-scorers "superagers" and they have done further testing on 64 of them, with a matched control group of 55 "typical older adults" who had average memory test scores.

Colon Bacteria and Arthritis

Several recent research papers show that inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and reactive arthritis may be caused by harmful bacteria in your colon. Your colon is full of more than 100 trillion bacteria. Some are good and some are bad. The good bacteria are happy with what you eat and do not try to enter your colon cells, while the harmful colon bacteria are not happy with what you eat, so they try to enter the cells lining your colon.

How to Avoid Skin Cancer

Almost all skin cancers are caused by repeated damage to the DNA in skin cells from excessive exposure to sunlight. Every cell in your body is programmed to live for a limited time and then die. This is called apoptosis. For example, red blood cells live for only around 120 days and then die. A new skin cell starts on the inner bottom layer of your skin and then progressively moves to the outside, where it is sloughed off as dander or dandruff at about 28 days.

Arthritis and Colon Bacteria (Long)

Several recent research papers show that inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and reactive arthritis may be caused by harmful bacteria in your colon. Your colon is full of more than 100 trillion bacteria. Some are good and some are bad. The good bacteria are happy with what you eat and do not try to enter your colon cells, while the harmful colon bacteria are not happy with what you eat, so they try to enter the cells lining your colon.

One Alcoholic Drink a Day Linked to Higher Blood Pressure

A recent review of seven studies covering more than 19,000 adults found that taking one alcoholic drink a day for more than four years is associated with a rise in blood pressure, even if a person previously had normal blood pressure. None of the people in the study had previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, alcoholism or binge drinking.