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Archive for December, 2011

Atrial Fibrillation Info With Special News for Women

December 28, 2011

Atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heartbeat that often has no warning signs, but it is a condition that can cause stroke.  More than 2 million people in US have atrial fibrillation. However, some may not even know they have the condition if they do not experience symptoms and haven’t been screened.  

Obviously the risk of stroke with Afib is dangerous for all who have the condition, but this HealthDay video below has a special information, based on a study, for women, in particular. 

The video, entitled, Heart Fluttering? What Everyone, Particularly Women, Need to Know About Afib can also be found on Life Line Screening’s YouTube channel. If you do not have video capability, I’ve provided the script for you below the video.


Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Here is the script of this video for your convenience:

A common problem that knocks the heart out of rhythm can put women in the path of life-threatening ailments.

More than 2 million Americans have a condition called atrial fibrillation, also called Afib. This condition causes the heart to beat ineffectively, leaving it unable to pump blood like it should.

In a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers looked at how new cases of Afib affect women’s risk of dying.

They included more than 34,000 women. All were older than 45 and none had Afib at the beginning of the study.

Over 15 years, more than 1,000 women developed Afib. These women had a higher risk of dying of cardiovascular problems or dying in general. Their higher risks appeared to be partly due to congestive heart failure and stroke.

The American Heart Association® urges people with Afib to have it treated to reduce their risk of ischemic stroke, which can occur when blood forms a clot in the heart and gets into the blood stream. Treatments for the condition include medications, surgery, or a pacemaker.

I’m Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading: Health news that matters – to you.


Video on What You Can Do to Avoid Osteoporosis

December 21, 2011

Although we may be reminded of it in May, due to National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, we tend forget during the rest of the year just how important bone health is.

For those of us who live in areas of snow and ice, it is especially important to keep up with good bone health as we head toward winter because there is an increased risk of fractures and breaks from falls that occur as a result of the snowy and icy weather.

Remember to stay safe this winter and also get your regular bone density screening from a trusted health source, like Life Line Screening.

For more information on what you can do daily to avoid osteoporosis, watch the HealthDay video below. This and other health videos can also be found on Life Line Screening’s YouTube channel. If you do not have video capability, I’ve provided the script below the video box.


Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Here is the script of this video for your convenience:

Your bones carry you around all year long. So this month, be sure to double check that you’re keeping them healthy enough to do their job. 

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. As part of the event, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is reaching out to make sure that everyone who’s at risk takes this disease seriously. And you, very well, could be one of those people.

While this bone-thinning condition most often affects older women, men get it too. People of all ethnic backgrounds and races can develop osteoporosis. So can young people.

However, some people have an added risk of osteoporosis due to factors they can change. If you smoke, drink too much alcohol, don’t exercise enough, or eat a diet that’s too low in calcium or vitamin D, your chances may be higher.

As a result, now is great time to start living a lifestyle that supports healthy bones. A good place to start is to avoid smoking and drink alcohol in moderation, if you drink. Make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D each day and get plenty of weight-bearing exercise, such as walking.

I’m Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading: Health news that matters – to you.

Friday Roundup: U.S. Nurses’ Health Studies Find Varied Work Schedules Increase Diabetes Risk

December 16, 2011

night shift and diabetesCould nurses be at risk for diabetes!? Nurses who work a varied work schedule could be. A article reports on a recent study, which suggests that the longer nurses worked a rotating schedule, the greater their risk of diabetes.

The study is in accordance, too, with other research that found a connection between night shift or varied work schedules and either risk factors for diabetes, such as obesity and metabolic syndrome, or the disease itself.

The Study: Nurses on Rotating Schedules

For the purpose of the nurses study, published in December’s PlosS Medicine, rotating shift work was outlined as working three or more nights a month, plus days and evenings. The study’s data came from two groups of female nurse participants of the U.S. Nurses’ Health Studies I and II.

More than 69,000 female nurses between the ages of 42 and 67 were involved in Group A, and nearly 108,000 female nurses between the ages of 25 and 42 were part of Group B.

When the women enrolled in the studies, they showed no sign of diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer. During the 18- to 20-year study period, however, 6,165 women from Group A and almost 4,000 women from Group B developed type 2 diabetes.

The nurses research study, also found that compared to female nurses who did not do shift work, those who did had an increased diabetes risk that expanded depending on how many years they worked that schedule. The following list shows that if they worked a varied shift:

  • At least 1-2 years, they had a 5% increase risk
  • At least 3-9 years, they had a 20% increased risk
  • At least 10-19 years, they had a 40% increased risk
  • More than 20 years, they had a 58% increased risk

Obviously with these findings, the connection between working a rotating schedule and diabetes risk certainly seems valid. However, the study’s lead author, Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, stated that other factors, including biological and behavioral, must also be acknowledged.

For example, Hu mentioned that rotating shift work disturbs the body’s circadian rhythm (internal clock) as well as disrupts the body’s ability to balance its need for energy. This can cause higher glucose and insulin resistance that are characteristic of type 2 diabetes.

In addition, working rotating shifts affects eating and sleeping behaviors as well as increases the tendency to smoke.

Another doctor mentioned in the article, Dr. Joel Zonszein, Director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, added that the hard and stressful work could also be factors.

So although the findings of the study do not, without argument, point to shift work as the sole cause for diabetes among these nurses, the consistent link between a varying shift and diabetes is apparent: “Shift work is an important risk factor for obesity and type 2 diabetes,” the article quotes Hu. “This study increases the awareness of diabetes risk among people who work on a rotating shift, and the importance of diabetes screening, detection and prevention in this high risk group.”

You can read the study in full detail at:

You can find more diabetes articles courtesy of Life Line Screening at:

Image courtesy of Suat Eman /

Tips to Help Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

December 14, 2011

Walking your dog has health benefits.

Walking your dog burns calories and has other great health benefits. Click on this picture to learn more.

While a little indulging is expected over the holidays, you don’t want to feel like you overdid it. Try these tips to help you maintain a little weight control and get your New Year off to a great start:

  • Start Your Day Right – Eating breakfast will help jump-start your metabolism and keep you full so that you won’t go overboard on other foods throughout the day due to hunger.
  • Let Your Dog Help – Taking your dog for regular walks is great exercise. You will burn calories, and your pooch will love you for it, too. (Don’t have a dog? Borrow the neighbor’s!) 
  • Get Into It – While you go around doing your holiday errands, put an extra spring in your step to burn an extra calorie or two.
  • Step It Up – If you have the option between the elevator or stairs, take the steps.
  • Park and Stroll – When you are out and about, park as far away from entrances as possible to not only get a little extra exercise but also avoid the parking lot mayhem.
  • Just A Few More – Add a few minutes onto your exercise routine to burn more calories.
  • Go Clear or Green – By drinking only water or green tea (without sugar), you can afford to have a soda, beer or wine at the holiday party. (Green tea also amps up your metabolism and can control hunger.)
  • Pass and Save –  Pass on dessert at home so you can have those extra calories at party time.

On behalf of Life Line Screening, have a healthy and safe holiday!



Friday Roundup: Study Finds Colon Cancer Screenings Should Start Earlier for Men

December 9, 2011

A November 30  (a central NY news source) article is just another example of the problem with current health screening recommendations when it comes to prevention of certain medical conditions. This time it is regarding colon cancer.

The article reports on an Austrian study which found that men would benefit from a colon screening prior to the recommended age of 50.

The study looked at the colon screenings of 40,000 men and women and discovered that the men had a higher rate of advanced tumors, developing colon cancer 5 to 10 years earlier than the women.

The conclusion to these findings was that colonoscopy screenings should be based on gender, and men would benefit from getting screened at about 45 years old rather than 50.

However, Dr. Gregory Haber, Director of Gastroenterology at Lenox Hill Hospital, comments on these findings pointing out that women are still at risk for developing some colon cancers not caught on routine screenings.

In addition, Haber says, this study’s findings should not change the current recommendations for black American women, which is 45 years of age the same as black American men. This is due to their higher risk of colon cancer based on race. 

Another medical professonal who was quoted in the article was Dr. Franklin Marsh of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention. Marsh’s opinion: “We don’t want to miss anybody based on this study, but just food for thought that maybe women don’t need to be screened as early as men. I think it would be hard to get women to agree to that.”

It is agreed by other doctors that more research needs to be done before any guidelines change.

This article can be read in full at:–new-study-makes-case-for-earlier-colon-cancer-screenings/.


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