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Posts Tagged ‘stroke awareness’

Stroke Risk Rises with Lack of Sleep, Study Detects Start of Alzheimer’s 25 Years in Advance, Low-Dosage Aspirin Cuts Risk of Colon Cancer

July 20, 2012

Friday Roundup:

Get Enough Shut-Eye to Lower Your Stroke Risk

One way to keep your risk of stroke low is to ensure you’re getting enough sleep every night.

Researchers in the Netherlands conducted a study on how stress and sleep loss affect a person’s risk of stroke. They found that even for young people, increased levels of stress and high sleep deprivation raise stroke risk.

The scientists conducted the study on healthy young men in a sleep lab by restricting sleep for some and not restricting sleep for others. They found that of the men whose sleep was restricted, the white blood cell count spiked as if their immune systems had been exposed to some type of threat. They found that a lack of sleep puts huge stress on the immune system. This led researchers to the conclusion that people who get six or less hours of sleep per day have a 4.5 percent greater risk of stroke than those who get 7 or more hours of sleep per day.

Although scientists aren’t exactly sure why, they do know that sleep deprivation can cause inflammation, which can have such negative consequences on the body as elevated blood pressure, glucose levels and heart rate. All three factors can lead to higher stroke risk.

Other types of stress can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease, as well. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon believe the reason is cortisol—the stress hormone released whenever we feel scared, anxious or worried. This hormone is almost like adrenaline—it gives a jolt of energy that enables the body to react in ways not normally done, like the ability to sprint away from danger or without thinking, put your safety at risk to help a loved one in trouble.

The longer the immune system is filled with cortisol, the worse our body is able to regulate inflammation. This is because tissues in the body stop releasing as much anti-inflammatory substances and this can lead to illnesses such as heart disease and stroke.

Life Line Screening conducts preventive health screenings for those who may be at risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke. Learn more about the screenings offered by Life Line Screening and schedule a screening today to gain peace of mind about your health status.

To read the full article of how sleep deprivation may increase stroke risk, view the following link:

Can Alzheimer’s Be Predicted 25 Years in Advance?

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that brain changes in people with Alzheimer’s happen earlier than we thought. The changes in the brain were found to develop a full 25 years before memory loss symptoms showed.

The findings offer a timeline of changes in spinal fluid, brain size, appearance of brain plaques and other factors that appear before the onset of Alzheimer’s in people at risk. The results of the study are significant because the memory-loss disease is the only cause of death (within the top ten causes of death in the U.S.) that, so far, can’t be prevented, slowed or cured.

Dr. Randall Bateman of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis led the study. He researched 129 individuals who had family histories of Alzheimer’s to estimate when the participants would start to develop symptoms of the disease. From there, the team created a timeline of changes in the body leading up to the major symptoms of Alzheimer’s, like diminishing thinking skills and memory loss.

Results show that the first of the changes are a drop in the level of a protein called amyloid and can be detected in a person’s spinal fluid as early as 25 years before the disease fully develops.

Other changes include the formulation of the Alzheimer’s protein beta amyloid at 15 years before the onset of the disease, which can be visible in brain scans. At ten years before development of the disease, the brain begins to use glucose less and small instances of memory loss begin.

“What we don’t know is if the time, the order of magnitude and the size of these changes is similar or not,” Bateman said in a Huffington Post article. “It may be many years before we have this information.”

To read the full article on the study of Alzheimer’s brain changes from Huffington Post, visit the following link:

Low-Dosage Aspirin Cuts Risk of Colon Cancer

We already know that aspirin benefits the body in many ways. Not only does it temporarily relieve aches and pains, it’s also been found to help prevent skin cancer. The latest update on aspirin from BBC News reports the drug may also help prevent the development and spread of other types of cancer, like colon cancer.

The study showed that in individuals between the ages of 50 to 70 years old, taking low-doses of aspirin on a regular basis can help kill the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, a known cause of stomach bleeds which can lead to cancer. Swallowing some aspirin can kill the bacteria and therefore decrease the risk of developing cancer.

By taking low-doses of aspirin for five years, an individual cuts their risk of colon cancer in half, according to a study conducted by Prof Cuzick of the University of London. The most recent data showed that daily low-dose aspirin cut the risk of dying from esophageal cancer by 66 percent and cut the risk by 25 percent for lung cancer. The risk of death dropped by 25 percent for all cancers combined.

Another impressive find is aspirin’s effect on the spread of cancer. When taking consistent, low-doses of aspirin, researchers found that the secondary spread of cancer to the lungs, liver and brain was reduced by about 50 percent.

We also know that aspirin can benefit individuals at risk of heart attack or stroke. A low dose of aspirin is already recommended by doctors to be taken to lower risk of these two serious and often fatal conditions.

Life Line Screening conducts preventive health screenings for those who may be at risk of heart attack or stroke. As always, simple lifestyle changes like taking low-doses of aspirin can help prevent such conditions from developing, but you can become fully aware of the state of your health by scheduling a health screening today.

To read the full article on aspirin’s effect on decreasing cancer risk, view this link:

Life Line Screening Monday Roundup Post: Omega-3s, Menopause and Osteoporosis and Stroke Awareness

May 7, 2012

Monday Roundup:

Omega-3 May Curb Memory Loss & Alzheimer’s

Researchers at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center have discovered that the inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids in one’s diet – often associated with the so-called Mediterranean Diet of fatty fish like mackerel, trout, tuna, salmon, and other sources such as kale, tofu, soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed and more – may “significantly” lower their risk of developing memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease. What’s more, the researchers think they know why as well.

It turns out that a protein found in the blood called beta-amyloid is associated with memory problems and Alzheimer’s. Indeed, tangles and plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients are clumps of this protein, perhaps akin to cholesterol clumps that accumulate in arteries that can lead to stroke and even heart attack. People in the study – 1,219 individuals over the age of 65 – who consumed foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids had significantly lower levels of beta-amyloid in their blood, with an apparent correlation being that the more omega-3s consumed, the lower the levels of amyloid in the bloodstream.

Interestingly, omega-3 was the only nutrient that showed an association with lower amyloid blood levels, period. This study also correlates with a 2010 study that found that people who ate foods high in omega-3 acids had a 40% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to those who did not consume omega-3s. Although it’s best to get such nutrients from natural sources, omega-3 supplements can also be effective – though you should consult with your doctor before adding fish oil supplements to your diet because they may interact with other medications. Food for thought indeed!

You can read the full article on omega-3s and memory loss by visiting this website page:

Early Menopause Raises Osteoporosis Risk and More

An article published in Medical News Today based on research from Skane University Hospital, Malmo, Sweden, indicates that women who experience menopause earlier than normal (defined as women who start menopause before the age of 47) nearly double their risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Within the test group of women in the research study, 56% of the women who experienced early-onset menopause had osteoporosis by the age of 77, compared to only 30% of the women who started menopause after the age of 47.

According to the senior author of the study, orthopedic surgeon Ola Svejme, “The results of this study suggest that early menopause is a significant risk factor for osteoporosis, fragility fracture and mortality in a long-term perspective. To our knowledge, this is the first prospective study with a follow-up period of more than three decades.”

Life Line Screening believes this kind of study all the more validates the osteoporosis screening service we offer our customers, as understanding bone density loss earlier in its development means that proactive steps can be taken to counteract osteoporosis for a healthier, happier future.

You can read more about early onset menopause and its risk for osteoporosis by visiting this website page:


The History of National Stroke Awareness Month

Did you know that National Stroke Awareness Month has been around for over two decades now, since 1989? That’s right, for 23 years now medical professionals across the country as well as community organizations and health educators have taken upon themselves the task of raising awareness on the 4th largest killer in America – stroke as brought about by carotid artery disease.

On May 11, 1989, President George Bush signed Presidential Proclamation 5975, designating each May as National Stroke Awareness month – largely brought about by the urgings of the National Stroke Association. Since that time, various campaigns have been conducted every May to target the general populace on the dangers and issues surround stroke, as well as to draw attention to specific interest groups who are affected by stroke, such as African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and women.

Life Line Screening is proud of our stroke screening tests we conduct around the United States, and the many thousands upon thousands of men and women we have helped become aware of their personal development of carotid artery disease before a stroke manifested in their lives. This May we continue our work promoting education about stroke and stroke prevention as well as our stroke/carotid artery screenings across the United States.

To learn more about our stroke screening tests, please visit this website page:

You can also set-up an appointment for a stroke screening in your part of the country by going to this page on our website:

May Is National Stroke Awareness Month with Life Line Screening

May 4, 2012

Although we’re always doing our best to let our clients and website visitors know the facts about stroke, there are still individuals out there who are unaware that this silent killer is the fourth leading cause of death for adults in the United States, and leads to much disability amongst those who do not die directly from the initial stroke episode. Sadly and tragically, estimates indicate as many as 80% of strokes could be prevented if people take action and manage the risk factors that lead to stroke – such as diet changes, exercise, eliminating smoking and/or taking medications specifically aimed to reduce the likelihood of stroke.

These facts and more are why we’re excited that National Stroke Awareness Month has come around once again. Sponsored by the National Stroke Association, the month-long program of awareness is designed to get businesses, local organizations and individuals engaged in public education about stroke risk management, the “F.A.S.T.” method for responding to stroke symptoms, and encouraging hope about the possibilities of recovering from stroke. Since knowledge is power, and since Life Line Screening offers stroke screening tests as one of our core services, we’re very happy to align ourselves with this insightful and extremely proactive month of education and events – all designed to reduce stroke and its damaging aftermath in the American people.

So as you read this blog post, consider these important facts about carotid artery disease and its main side effect – stroke:

  • People of all ages, races and genders have strokes
  • Reaching the age of 55 increases your risk of stroke
  • Males have more strokes than females
  • African-Americans, Latinos and Asians/Pacific Islanders have an increased risk of stroke
  • Smoking, alcohol use, and lack of physical exercise increase one’s risk of stroke
  • A stroke screening test for carotid artery disease can provide you with the awareness and motivation to make lifestyle changes to prevent a stroke from happening to you or someone you love

You can read more on National Stroke Awareness Month, including info on the “F.A.S.T.” method for stroke symptom recognition, by visiting this website page:

To schedule a stroke carotid artery screening, please visit this page on our website:


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