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Archive for September, 2012

Sleep and Heart Health, 4 Tips for Fast Energy, Neighborhoods and Diabetes Risk

September 28, 2012

Snooze Longer to Protect Your Heart

Does lack of sleep make you feel irritable, unproductive and just plain awful? It might be hurting your heart, too.

Specific research from one Norwegian study found that participants who didn’t get enough sleep and woke up not feeling refreshed had an increased risk of heart attack by a full 27 percent. The risk of heart attack jumped up to 30 percent for individuals who had trouble sleeping almost every night for a month. Finally, risk of heart attack increased to 45 percent for those who had difficulty sleeping Snooze Longer to Protect Your Heart every night for a month.

The reason behind the results seems to point to the stress hormone cortisol, typically released when the body doesn’t get enough sleep. Cortisol has been the topic of other health studies, as well, and is known to increase risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, Alzheimer’s disease and high blood pressure.

Getting enough sleep gives you the energy you need to make healthy lifestyle choices, like exercising and avoiding unhealthy foods. One simple way to stop your heart attack risk from rising is by getting enough shut-eye every night. Learn more about health screenings that can identify conditions like heart disease now.

To read the full ABC News article on lazy moves that can help you say healthy, like sleeping, view this link: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/w_DietAndFitness/10-lazy-moves-ramp-health/story?id=17117759

 

4 Tips for a Quick Energy Boost

Still can’t get quite enough sleep and, because of that, need an energy boost fast? Health.com posted some quick tips to get that energy you need to make it through the day.

Tip #1: Yawn Like Crazy

Your body uses yawns as a mechanism to help wake up the brain. Essentially, every yawn works to cool down the brain and, in turn, make it more alert and awake.

Tip #2: Get Up and Move

Are you slouched on the couch because you’re just too tired to exercise? After a brisk, ten-minute walk, you’ll get an energy boost that lasts a whole two hours.

Tip #3: Have a Good Laugh

Is there a particular YouTube video that cracks you up? When you’re feeling drowsy, find it and press play because laughing raises blood pressure and boosts heart rate, giving you that extra oomph you need to get through the day.

Tip #4: Look at Something Red

Put a vase of red flowers on your desk or make your desktop background bright red, because the bold color actually makes your muscles move faster and work harder, according to research from the University of Rochester.

Want to read other tips that can make you go from sluggish to energized? View Health.com’s tips here: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20559973_5,00.html 

 

Can Your Neighborhood Raise Your Diabetes Risk?

According to an article published by the Huffington Post, your neighborhood’s walkability may impact your risk of developing diabetes.

A study produced by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and published in the journal Diabetes Care discovered that risk of diabetes increases by 50 percent among individuals living in less-walkable neighborhoods when compared to individuals in more walkable neighborhoods.

The measure of walkability was determined by several factors, like how well the streets connect, types of stores or destinations within a 10-minute walk in the neighborhood and the amount of people within the neighborhood.

Researchers studied more than 1 million people between ages of 30 to 64 living in Toronto throughout a five-year time span. They took into account their diabetes status, where they lived and the walkability of their local community.

Previous studies have proved a link between neighborhood walkability and obesity, which can in turn contribute to diabetes. This goes to show the important role exercise plays in preventing serious health conditions like diabetes.

Unsure about the state of your health? Learn more about preventive health screenings that can provide valuable information on your health before you find yourself faced with deadly circumstances.

Read more about this study on neighborhood walkability and diabetes here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/neighborhood-walkability-diabetes-walk-health_n_1891676.html 

 

What’s Trending on LifeLongHealth.com

Want to get in on the discussions going on right now at LifeLongHealth.com? Check out what’s trending now:

Water  How much water do you drink to feel healthy? Join the discussion here.

Varicose Veins What kind of procedures can remove those annoying varicose veins? Find out here.

Prescription Mistake – Has it Happened to You? Have you ever been handed the wrong prescription from the pharmacy or been prescribed the wrong medication? Share your experience with us here.




Yoga’s Effect on Atrial Fibrillation

September 24, 2012

Yoga has been known to be a great stress-reliever and calming mechanism. But did you know it may also benefit your heart?

This HealthDay TV video discusses a study that reviewed the effects of yoga on people with atrial fibrillation, a serious heart condition that impacts millions of people. The results, they found, show there may be more benefits to yoga than we initially thought.

Lowering your risk of developing atrial fibrillation doesn’t have to be a challenge. By consuming a healthy diet full of nutrients and vitamins, remaining physically active and avoiding things like smoking and heavy drinking, you can keep your heart as healthy as possible. Learn other ways you can have lifelong health by visiting Life Line Screening’s YouTube channel. For those without video capability, the text is provided below.

Yoga and AFib

Here is the audio text to the video:

“Yoga may be good for your body and mind and it may also calm your heart when it gets out of line. Yoga can help reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol.

In a new study, researchers looked at whether yoga may also be useful for treating atrial fibrillation. This problem causes the heart to beat irregularly, keeping it from pumping blood properly.

The researchers followed 49 people with the condition. For three months they stuck to their usual exercise habits. For the next three months they attended yoga sessions three times a week and learned how to do yoga at home. During the entire study, they answered surveys about their mood and their quality of life.

The participants had fewer episodes of irregular heartbeat while they were practicing yoga. They also reported less anxiety and depression and a better quality of life.

Since yoga is low cost and appears safe, the researchers recommend that people consider using it as part of an overall plan for treating atrial fibrillation.

I’m Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news the doctors are reading, health news that matters to you.”




Divorce and Stroke Risk, 3 Osteoporosis Prevention Tips, Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Connection

September 21, 2012

Are Your Parents Divorced? Your Stroke Risk May Be Higher

 

Are Your Parents Divorced? Your Stroke Risk May Be Higher If you’re a man and your parents divorced before you were 18 years old, your stroke risk may be higher.

That’s what a new study from the University of Toronto and published in the International Journal of Stroke found after researching individuals who had and had not been impacted by divorce in their youth years.

The researchers controlled variables such as income, education, race, age, social support, mental health status, health care coverage and adult health behaviors like obesity, alcohol use, exercise and smoking. Yet they still found that adult men’s risk of stroke is tripled if their parents were divorced before they turned 18 when compared to men whose parents are still married.

The study also found that women with divorced parents have no greater risk of stroke than women with parents who are still together.

“It is particularly perplexing in light of the fact we excluded from our study individuals who had been exposed to any form of family violence or parental addictions,” said Angela Dalton, co-author and recent University of Toronto graduate.

How do the researchers explain the startling results? They turn to the possibility of the increased amount of cortisol released in the body, typically caused by stress. This hormone may have “biological implications” that alter the way the boys deal with stress as they grow older, a Medical News Today article states.

Although increased levels of stress appear to have an impact on stroke risk, there are other ways to get that stroke risk down. Exercising and doing yoga are great ways to relieve stress. A healthy diet, refraining from cigarettes and alcohol and getting plenty of sleep can also help.

If you’re unsure about your stroke risk, consider scheduling a preventive health screening  today. It can provide you with the knowledge you need to be aware of your health and be better suited to stay healthy.

To read the full Medical News Today article, view this link: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/250234.php 

 

3 Tips to Prevent Osteoporosis

Do you have strong bones? Even if you’re nowhere near experiencing osteoporosis, there’s still things you can start doing now to prevent bone loss later. Here are three easy ideas from FitSugar.com:

1. Stay active. Exercising is one of the many ways you can keep your bones strong. Get 30 minutes of physical activity a day and use weight-bearing exercises like running, yoga, or strength training, which all increase bone density.

2. Drink less alcohol and soda. Drinking too many cocktails or soda drinks leads to increased risk of bone loss, and eventually osteoporosis. Limit your intake to one per day.

3. Get some sun and drink milk. Calcium and vitamin D are both important osteoporosis-preventers. Drink a glass of milk while sitting in the sun for 10 minutes at least three times a week. If you don’t like milk, try almonds, salmon, enriched cereals, orange juice or dark-green veggies. Combining these two will give your bones the minerals they need to stay strong.

By taking care of your bones before osteoporosis sets in, you can avoid experiencing the serious condition. You can also identify whether you’re already at risk for osteoporosis with a health screening from Life Line Screening. Learn more now.

Read the full FitSugar article on osteoporosis tips here: http://www.fitsugar.com/How-Prevent-Osteoporosis-24659254 

 

A Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Connection?

September 21st is World Alzheimer’s Day, so it’s not surprising the topic is in medical news this week.

Many studies have been researching whether Alzheimer’s is actually a disease of age. A growing body of findings shows a link between Alzheimer’s and diet, making it a type of metabolic disease like diabetes.

These observances, published in the September issue of New Scientist, are linked to two possible factors; the first being that with Alzheimer’s disease comes a lack of natural insulin in the body, and the second being that this negatively affects the brain’s ability to respond. Among people who’ve died from Alzheimer’s, low levels of insulin have been found in the brain.

The study shows the dangerousness of diabetes and how it can lead to so many health conditions like heart disease, high cholesterol, depression, skin conditions, stroke or heart attack. Should this link be factual, we could add Alzheimer’s to this list.

“There is no doubt that our diet directly influences the structure and function of our brain and can impact our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” Harvard neurologist Marie Pasinski said in a Diets in Review article. “This important study adds to the growing body of evidence that diabetes is a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Take good care of your health and reduce your risk factors for a handful of diseases by making smart, healthy eating choices. Being proactive through a preventive health screening for diabetes, heart disease or stroke can also be beneficial. Schedule your screening today.

To read the full Diets in Review article on Diabetes and Alzheimer’s, view this link: http://www.dietsinreview.com/diet_column/09/alzheimers-may-be-result-of-poor-diet-some-calling-it-type-3-diabetes/ 

 

What’s Trending on LifeLongHealth.com

Want to get in on the discussions going on right now at LifeLongHealth.com? Check out what’s trending now:

Controlling a Snack Attack Explore and discuss tips and tricks to help avoid or control that pesky urge to snack when your body isn’t hungry.

Anything Besides Fiber to Lower Cholesterol? Join the discussion on which foods other than fiber work best to lower cholesterol levels. Have a suggestion? Share it here.

Help the National Foundation for Cancer Research Chances are you’ve been touched by cancer in some way; whether you’ve had cancer or know someone who has, get involved with supporting NFCR today.




3 Shocking AFib Statistics, Household Chemical Linked to Heart Disease, Preventive Measures Pay Off

September 14, 2012

Friday Roundup:

 

3 Shocking Atrial Fibrillation Statistics

Why should you care about atrial fibrillation? We know this heart arrhythmia is impacting more and more people every year and can lead to serious heart problems, and in honor of Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month, now’s the best time to care.

Atrial Fibrillation Month - Life Line ScreeningEven if you know what AFib is, you probably didn’t know this:

Currently, more than 5.1 million people are living with AFib. StopAFib.org declares this number is expected to triple by 2050. Although many people think atrial fibrillation isn’t serious, it has the ability to weaken the heart and lead to further (and often deadly) health problems like stroke and heart attack.

Treatment of AFib is estimated to cost a total of $6.65 billion per year. This includes the costs of hospitalization, in and outpatient care and medications. Since the number of people affected by AFib is expected to rise, the amount of money spent on its treatment will rise as well.

AFib is responsible for 15 to 20 percent of all ischemic strokes. Most strokes are asymptomatic and sufferers don’t even realize they’re occurring. If you know you have AFib, however, you can manage it to avoid consequences like strokes. For those who have AFib, risk of ischemic stroke increases by five times.

These statistics show that atrial fibrillation is something we should all be aware of and on the lookout for. The condition itself may not directly cause death often, but complications resulting from the improper management of the condition can in fact lead to deadly consequences. Don’t put yourself in that position. Spot AFib early through a preventive health screening and get on the path to treating this dangerous heart condition.

To read more statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control, view this link: http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_atrial_fibrillation.htm

 

Common Household Chemical Linked to Heart Disease

New reports released in early September are stating a common household chemical known as PFOA may be linked to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. The chemical is often found in everyday household objects like polishes, paper coatings, food packaging, fire-retardant foams and lubricants.

According to the NY Daily News, levels of the chemical can be found in 98 percent of Americans. Not only that; the chemical is known to exist in the body for years.

The study that found these results reviewed more than 1,200 men and women with average ages in the 50’s. Results revealed participants with the highest levels of PFOA in their blood had double the risk of developing heart disease or stroke when compared to subjects with the lowest amount of PFOA in their blood.

“Even at the low exposure levels of PFOAs found in most Americans,” said researcher Anoop Shankar, MD, PhD, MPH of the West Virginia University School of Public Health in the article, “there is a positive association between increasing levels of PFOAs and cardiovascular disease.”

Preventive health screenings can identify the threat of heart disease or stroke before it happens. Learn how you can gain priceless peace of mind and schedule your health screening today.

To read the full NY Daily News article on PFOAs and heart disease, view this link: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/study-links-household-chemical-pfoa-heart-disease-strokes-article-1.1153481?localLinksEnabled=false

 

Good News: Study Finds Preventive Measures Pay Off

We really don’t want to say ‘I told you so.’

If you read our blog regularly, you’ve probably seen us mention ways preventive action and lifestyle changes can protect you from conditions like stroke, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and more. This time, we have proof that what we’re saying truly matters.

A new study conducted by researchers in Germany found that when patients with high risk factors for stroke and dementia follow recommended preventive treatment guidelines, they benefit in the long-run.

Researchers studied about 4,000 people over the age of 55 living in Germany who were given prevention recommendations for stroke and dementia from their family doctors. The results from those patients were compared with 13,000 in another town that did not receive prevention recommendations.

In a five-year time span, the amount of long-term care needed by patients who received the recommendations dropped 10 percent in comparison to those who did not receive prevention guidelines.

“We found that not only the risk of long-term care dependence was lower, but also that death rates decreased,” said the study’s lead author, Horst Bickel, senior researcher in the department of psychiatry at the Technical University of Munich in a HealthDay article. “Primary prevention pays off.”

There you have it: an actual study that demonstrates what we’re constantly urging you to do. Taking preventive measures now gives you a better chance of health for the long-run. Learn more about our preventive health screenings now to see what else you can do for your health.

How have preventive measures benefited your health? Share with us below.

 

What’s Trending on LifeLongHealth.com

Want to get in on the discussions going on right now at LifeLongHealth.com? Check out what’s trending now:

Health Law May Increase Doctor Shortage The U.S. already has a shortage of doctors. What exactly will the health care reform do to this gap? Learn more now.

September is AF Awareness Month Join the discussion on atrial fibrillation to call attention to the need for more public education about this dangerous heart condition.

Discuss: Do You Have AF? Lots of people are talking about the experiences they or a loved one has had with atrial fibrillation. Join the discussion here.




What You Should Know About Atrial Fibrillation

September 12, 2012

Heart fluttering? It could be a serious heart condition.

Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of Americans. It can encompass many cardiovascular conditions like atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular heartbeat that can prevent the proper pumping of blood throughout the body.

This video discusses a study conducted on thousands of women who did not have atrial fibrillation. It goes on to reveal how many women developed the condition over time and what type of risks the condition can elevate.

To lower your risk of developing any type of heart condition including atrial fibrillation, you can implement healthy lifestyle choices, like a balanced diet, regular exercise and plenty of rest. Learn other ways you can keep your body healthy by visiting Life Line Screening’s YouTube channel. For those without video capability, the text is provided below.

Heart Flutter

Here is the audio text to the video:

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

More than two 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 fifteen 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 risk 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 the doctors are reading, health news that matters to you.”




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