Employer-Based Healthcare Dropped Significantly During Recession

Modern Healthcare Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/29, Evans, Subscription Publication) reports that the “percentage of adults covered by employer-sponsored health insurance dropped more significantly during the recession than in prior years during the past decade, according to a new report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.” The report, “which analyzed Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics survey data, found the percentage of adults ages 18 to 65 with health benefits from an employer dropped to 52% in 2009 from 53.3% the prior year and 54.2% the year before that.”

Low Vitamin D Levels May Double Diabetes Risk

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/27, Boerner) reported that low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter in the journal Diabetes Care. For five years, the researchers followed more than 5,000 individuals and found that those with consistently lower-than-average vitamin D levels had a 57% percent increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes compared with people whose average vitamin D levels were within the recommended range. Adults need about 600 IU of vitamin D daily to maintain blood-circulating levels, according to Institute of Medicine recommendations.

Muscular Strength May Be Associated With Reduced Mortality Risk In Men With Hypertension

MedPage Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/26, Neale) reported that “hypertensive men with the most muscle strength appear to have a lower risk of dying than their weaker counterparts,” according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Investigators found, “even after controlling for cardiorespiratory fitness level and other potential confounders,” that “men in the upper third of muscle strength were 34% less likely to die during an average follow-up of about 18 years.” The investigators found that “the men with the greatest reduction in mortality risk were those who had the most muscular strength and high fitness.” To view the full JACC article, click here Share to FacebookShare to Twitter

THIS Makes You Gain Weight

[ The following article was sent to me by Jon Benson, fitness and fat-loss expert. I you’ll it! ]

Caution:

This sounds like a silly question, but it’s really the most important question you can ask:

“What REALLY makes me increase my bodyfat?”

Is it too many calories? Sure. That’s one part. But I know people who can eat 4-5K calories a day and not add an ounce.

Is it dietary fat? Rarely if ever.

Fat is necessary to melt bodyfat. It is true that fat has more calories per gram than protein or carbs, but let’s look at this logically:

40% protein; 40% carbs; 20% fat = 40% fat; 40% protein; 20% carbs

So… no. Increasing your dietary fat does not mean you’ll get fatter…

UNLESS… ready?

Your insulin levels are too high.

Elevated insulin is not only the prime cause of diabetes and a sign of being hypoglycemic, but it’s also the prime numero uno reason people get fat.

And insulin is stimulated most by too many carbohydrates… even the so-called “healthy carbs!”

HOWEVER… ready again?

You can still eat carbs… you do not need a “low-carb” dietplan every day in order to keep your insulin and bodyfat low.

You just have to know what TIME to eat the carbs.

There’s a time and place for everything and carbs are no exception.

I have a presentation here that tells you more about how important timing is and how you can eat your carbs (even sweets) and shed bodyfat…

… here:

The EODD System <–carb-friendly dietplan

That being said:

If I had to cut one thing out of my diet for 1-4 days it would definitely be carbs.

I need fat… fat helps melt bodyfat… and I have trained my body to use its own fat-stores for fuel.

( See how on the linked-page above )

I DEFINITELY need protein… and so do you.

Protein speeds up thermogenesis, or your body’s own fat-burning heat factory.

Protein also blunts your appetite so you naturally eat less.

Some carbs are healthy… and I do not recommend you cut out low-sugar fruits and green veggies… you need that stuff.

But you don’t need grains, breads, etc.

At least for a few days.

THEN… you need them… but only after you do two things.

Find out more here:

The EODD System <–carb-friendly dietplan

Remember: Don’t Quit. Get Fit!

P.S. My favorite “Feed Meal” (that’s what I call meals where I eat a lot of calories and carbs) is this:

Small serving of protein (1/2 my normal serving size) like chicken, tuna, etc.

Brown rice or baked potato

Slice of pecan pie (or Key Lime pie… yum.)

Then later that day I’ll have a few slices of New York-style pizza.

The next day I’m LEANER. It never fails.

The only time this can fail is if you do not set your body UP to receive these carbs and some junk food.

I call this my “Real World Favorite Foods Dietplan.” That’s not the name of my System but it could be! That’s exactly what it is.

I love it… so will you…

The EODD System <–carb-friendly dietplan

[ I hope you take a look at today’s guest editorial by enjoyed DO check out his latest book(s) using the links found in this blog or the banner below. Highly recommended! ]

Many Americans May Not Be Well Informed About Sea Salt, Red Wine

HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/25, Preidt) reported that “most Americans have heard that red wine has health benefits, but many don’t understand the need to limit consumption, finds an American Heart Association survey.” Most “respondents also mistakenly believe that sea salt is a low-sodium alternative to table salt, the survey found.” Among “the 1,000 adults polled, 76 percent agreed with the statement that wine can be good for your heart, but only 30 percent knew the AHA’s recommended limits for daily wine consumption.”

Death Rate Among Americans With Hypertension May Be Declining

HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/25, Goodwin) reported that “although the death rate among Americans with high blood pressure, or hypertension, has fallen since the 1970s, it still far exceeds the death rate for those with normal blood pressure,” according to a study published in Circulation. Investigators “looked at data on about 23,000 adults aged 25 to 74 from two national health surveys: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) I, which recruited participants between 1971 and 1975; and NHANES III, which enrolled adults between 1988 and 1994.” The “death rates among those with high blood pressure fell between the two time periods, from 18.8 per 1,000 person-years to 14.3 per 1,000 person-years.”

WebMD Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/25, Nierenberg) reported that the rates were “still higher than in people with normal blood pressure.” The researchers also found that, “among women with high blood pressure, smaller declines in the death rate were found than those seen in men, even though a higher percentage of women were receiving treatment and, on average, they also had larger reductions in their blood pressure readings.”

 

Many Patients With Diabetes Wear The Wrong Footwear

WebMD Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/22, Doheny) reported, “Many patients with diabetes fall short on foot care and footwear,” according to a study presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists’ meeting in California. For the study, which was “conducted in Lagos, Nigeria,” researchers “asked 41 patients with type 2 diabetes, on average about 57 years old, to answer questions about their footwear habits and foot care.” The researchers found that 68 percent of the patient’s footwear was inappropriate. About “56% told the researchers they always or occasionally walk around the house without shoes, which is not recommended. Nearly 15% did so outside, too.”

Many Children With Type 1 Diabetes Also Have Other Immune Diseases

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/22, Norton) reports that according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter of 491 children with type 1 diabetes in the journal Diabetes Care, a third of the children have signs of other immune system disorders when they get diagnosed with diabetes. Dr. Jennifer M. Barker, the University of Colorado Denver, and colleagues found that one-quarter had autoantibodies related to thyroid disease and one in eight of those patients had the disease itself. Also, nearly one in eight had antibodies related to celiac disease, and a quarter of those patients had the disease.

 

5 Surprising Tips For Burning More Fat

[ I enjoy role models and fitness inspirations like Jon Benson (and many others)… so when Jon shot over this article to me and gave me to pass it along to you, I jumped on the chance. Read this ton while it’s fresh on your mind! ]

There’s not many people who do not want to burn more bodyfat.

If you are in the fat-burning club, then these 5 easy tips are for you:

5 Easy Fat-Burning Tips <— quick tips

Enjoy, and feel free to share this blog post with others.

P.S. If you would rather watch a short video on 3 keys to greater weight loss, then go here:

3 Keys To Weight Loss <— video tips

[ After this I bet you want to learn more… and you can by checking out the links in this post. Trust me: Jon has some stuff that you don’t want to miss! ]

Vegetarians Have Lower Cataract Risk Than Meat Eaters

WebMD Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/20, Hendrick) reported, “People who eat meat may be at increased risk of developing cataracts compared to vegetarians,” according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. For the study, 27,670 people “were divided into groups according to the amount of meat they ate: highest meat consumption: 3.5 ounces or more a day; mid-range meat consumption: 1.7 to 3.4 ounces a day; low-meat consumption: less than 1.7 ounces a day; fish eaters: Those who ate fish but not meat; vegetarians: Those who did not eat meat or fish but did eat dairy products and/or eggs;” and “vegans: Those who did not eat meat, fish, dairy products, or eggs.” The researchers found that “mid-range meat eaters had a decreased cataract risk of 4%, low-meat eaters 15%, fish eaters 21%, vegetarians 30%, and vegans 40%.”

Implanted Electrodes, Video Camera Allows Blind Person To Spot Some Objects

AFP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/19) reports that Elias Konstantopoulos of Maryland started losing his sight at age 43. Konstantopoulos, 73, lost his eye sight five years ago. In 2009, he took part in trial of a technology that a researcher thought might help him regain some visual perception. “An electrode array was surgically implanted in his eye, and he was given a pair of glasses equipped with a” small video camera. “Konstantopolous says he can distinguish light-colored objects against dark backgrounds, perceive an automobile passing and orient himself in a room where there is a window or door letting sunlight in from outside.”

Even Modest Weight Loss May Help Reduce Blood Pressure In Real-World Practice

MedPage Today (4/17, Phend) reported that “even modest weight loss helps reduce blood pressure in real-world practice, researchers affirmed in an observational study” presented at a European cardiology meeting. Researchers found that “each 1 kg weight loss (2.2 pounds) was associated with a 0.39 mm Hg decrease in systolic and 0.26 mm Hg decrease in diastolic blood pressure.”

 

HDT: Better Abs In 3 Minutes?

[ There is a junk of bogus weight loss and fitness information out there. That’s why reading Jon Benson’s articles makes sense… and his newest article (which I have his permission to share it with you) really rocked my world. Check it out… ]

Abs.

Everyone wants a tighter tummy.

Guys want a six-pack… ladies want a slim, firm waistline… and yes, some want a six-pack too.

Why be sexist? ; )

So needless to say people are freaked out to find that I train my abs in about 3 minutes.

Total.

Here’s how:

7 and 14-Minute workouts <—discount

Let me give you the dirty facts about my abs.

They are the worst part of my body… and one of the best parts at the same time.

The “worst” bit has nothing to do with muscles or even bodyfat most of the time… but SKIN.

Remember, I was obese… 46-inch waist and 38 percent bodyfat.

So my skin got pretty messed up. It never quite recovered from that and I have a “bit” of loose skin around my abs.

Drives me nuts. I may have it removed! ; )

But other than THAT… my abs are pretty good.

Here’s a pretty recent shot (after a workout taken with an iPhone… so hardly a professional shot… but you get the idea… )

This is after THREE MINUTES of ab training done 2-3 times a week.

Let me spell out my thoughts on this:

If you are training your abs longer than 7 minutes a week you are doing something wrong… or you’re just wasting your time.

Sorry to break it to you, but abs develop fast.

It’s the BODYFAT you need to focus on.

Still, you need abs… and my HDT-Style Training in 7 Minute Body and 7 Minute Muscle will get you those abs uber-fast:

7 and 14-Minute workouts <—about HDT

Go watch and read how it works now.

Before you do, let me give you a substitute exercise for one of the three I recommend during my “3-Minute Abs” routine (found in both books on the page above.)

Hanging leg raises… they are the best when done the way I show you in my book.

BUT some people do not have the gym or the straps I recommend.

So do this instead: Leg raises on a Swiss Ball, bench or even off the floor.

Here’s the tip: Raise the legs, pause at the top for 2 seconds and blow ALL of your air out. Contract your abs HARD at the top.

Then and ONLY then lower the legs slowly.

If you do this right there’s no way to get more than 15 reps. I get about 8 before my abs give out!

That’s all it takes. You do NOT need “high reps” to develop your abs. In fact LOW reps work better…

You just need resistance… and my way of training gives you plenty.

This means a LOT less time doing the exercises and a LOT MORE time enjoying the nice set of tummy muscles you’ve built.

Sounds like a plan.

P.S. Here’s the latest for those interested in my ongoing legal issues with selling rights to a publisher.

This concerns YOU as the price for 7 Minute Muscle and 7 Minute Body will NOT be under my control as soon as the contracts are signed.

This was supposed to happen today… but as luck (for you!) would have it, I got caught in Austin traffic at 5:30pm and missed my 6:00 meeting with the publishers.

The president leaves town tonight-Sunday.

SO NOW… I can extend my half-price (more than half-off the Advanced Videos!) for a few more days…

… so go here:

7 and 14-Minute workouts <—discount

P.P.S. In case you’re wondering, this is not a clever marketing ploy… 7MM and 7MB are both being acquired by a publisher.

The recognize the amazing benefits this style of workouts offer anyone at any age… fatburning and muscle-shaping…

Otherwise they would not be writing such a nice check… : )

I bought a Jeep with it. So it’s not making me a millionaire or anything, but it’s nice to have my hard work rewarded!

Even nicer than that, I get the chance to almost give away my “baby” to you if you don’t have it already…

When the deal is done, here is what you can expect to happen:

1. The page below WILL change, and that includes the price… they think the price is not right. (I think that means too low… ha… ; )

2. The specials will end due to the fact they will send millions of people to the site rather than a few hundred thousand (my readers and my] affiliates send about that much.)

3. The book will end up in some bookstore eventually… and that’s FINE unless they want to alter the content… which I have a provision to prevent.

Sorry to ramble on about this, but I want you to know the integrity of the guy sending you emails every day…

Sure, I like to make a living. Who doesn’t?

But I won’t sell my soul to do it.

I won’t give up what I KNOW works to make a buck or two… so that means I maintain TOTAL creative control over these books even after the publishers take over.

In fact I’m negotiating a position WITH this firm so I can make SURE I maintain control… and folks, I HATE working for other people!

But it is worth it… IF I can keep the quality of the materials where they are.

And they are 100% solid.

And right now they are 200% cheaper than normal… so if you don’t know what all the fuss is about with all of this “7 minute workout” stuff (I prefer the 14-minute advanced workouts, which you can get too) …

then hop over here:

7 and 14-Minute workouts <—discount

[ Another new article by Jon Benson… and there’s more: shoot over to the pages in this post now and swipe a lot more tips on weight loss, fitness and motivation. Enjoy! ]

Study Examines Pregnancy Complication Rates In Older First-Time Mothers

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/15, Grens) reports that, according to a study published online March 31 in the journal Fertility and Sterility, 80% of first time older mothers experienced complications during pregnancy. In the study of 131 women aged 45 to 65 giving birth for the first time, 40% developed gestational diabetes and 20% developed preeclampsia. Notably, about a third of the infants were born prematurely, and almost all of the deliveries were made by C-section.

 

Expert Makes Case That Sugar Is A Toxin

In a lengthy article, Gary Taubes, a Robert Woods Johnson Foundation independent investigator, discusses in the New York Times (4/17, MM47, Taubes, Subscription Publication) claims made by pediatric hormone disorder specialist and childhood obesity expert Robert Lustig, MD, of the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, who makes a “persuasive case…that sugar is a ‘toxin’ or a ‘poison,'” including high-fructose corn syrup. Should Lustig prove to be right, then Americans’ “excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years,” and the sweet substance “is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension, and many common cancers among them.”

 

Study: More Than A Quarter Of US Children May Now Suffer From A Long-Term Health Problem

As part of a continuing series focusing on how childhood is changing in America, USA Today (4/13, Szabo) reports that “26% of children now suffer from a long-term health problem, says a 2010 study of more than 5,000 children ages two to eight in the Journal of the American Medical Association.” What’s more, “more than half of children in that study have had some kind of chronic illness — one that limits their abilities or requires special medication, equipment or services for at least 12 months — sometime in the past six years, the study” found. Unfortunately, young children are now “developing diseases once seen only in middle age: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty livers and type 2 diabetes, says Sandra Hassink, a Delaware pediatrician who specializes in weight management.”

 

Poor Coordination May Be Common In Children With Amblyopia

Medscape (4/11, MacReady) reported that “poor coordination might be added to the list of woes experienced by children with deficient stereopsis or amblyopia, according to findings presented…at the American Society of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus 37th Annual Meeting.” After comparing “the speed and accuracy of reaching and grasping under binocular and monocular conditions in 21 children with amblyopia and deficient stereopsis and 15 normal children,” researchers found that “the children with amblyopia had significantly slower movement times in all three conditions tested (with binocular vision and with monocular vision with both the dominant and nondominant eye).”

 

Severe Seasonal Allergies May Be A Risk Factor For Depression

n the New York Times (4/12, D5, Subscription Publication) “Really?” column, Anahad O’Connor writes, “Severe seasonal allergies may be a risk factor for depression.” A number of “large studies have found that the risk of depression in people with severe allergies is about twice that of those without allergies.” In fact, a 2008 study “reported that this link may help explain a widely established — but poorly understood — increase in suicides during the spring every year.” The New York Times (4/11, Parker-Pope, Subscription Publication) “Well” blog also covered the story.

 

Vitamin D May Help Protect Women Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration

ABC World News (4/11, story 8, 1:55, Stephanopoulos) reported that vitamin D may help protect women against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new study .

MedPage Today (4/11, Neale) reported that “looked at data from the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS), which was conducted under the umbrella of the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. In CAREDS, age-related macular degeneration status was assessed an average of six years after serum samples were analyzed for 25(OH)D status.” The new analysis, published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, “included 1,313 women ages 50 to 79.”

WebMD (4/11, Hendrick) reported that “in the study, researchers say women under 75 who got the most vitamin D had a 59% decreased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, compared to women with the lowest vitamin D intake.” The “researchers also found that the women who had a blood vitamin D level higher than 38 nmol/L had a 48% decreased risk of early” AMD. “A blood level of 50 nmol/L is considered sufficient, according to the Institute of Medicine.”

The UK’s Daily Mail (4/12) reports that “these results did not apply to vitamin D absorbed via sunlight — the association was only seen with women who consumed the vitamin in foods and supplements.” The “researchers found that time spent in the sun did not affect risk levels, even though the most important source of vitamin D is it generation in the skin as a reaction to sunlight.” The UK’s Telegraph (4/12, Beckford) also covers the story.

 

Vegetable-Rich Diet Associated With Decreased Risk For Cataracts

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/9, Boerner) reported that, according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter published online March 23 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who are vegans or vegetarians appear to have a 30% to 40% reduced risk for cataracts. In a study involving some 27,600 people over the age of 40, some of which were followed for about 15 years, researchers also found that people who ate more than 3.5 ounces or more of meat each day had the highest risk for developing cataracts.

Some Vegetarians May Face Increased Risk Of Heart Problems From Nutritional Deficiencies. WebMD Share to FacebookShare to Twitter(4/8, Doheny) reported that research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that “some vegetarians may be increasing their risk of heart problems from nutritional deficiencies in their diets.” In a “review of published articles from medical journals,” researchers “found that vegetarian diets are often lacking in some key nutrients. These include vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.”

 

Brief, Intensive Exercise May Help Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors In Adolescents

Medscape Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/8, Kling) reported that “brief, intensive exercise is an effective way to lower cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in adolescents, according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter published online April 6 in the American Journal of Human Biology.”

HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/8, Preidt) reported that after “seven weeks, teens in” a “moderate-intensity group had completed a total of 420 minutes of exercise, compared to 63 minutes for those in the high-intensity group.” All of the children in the study “showed significant improvements in cardio-respiratory fitness, blood pressure, body composition, and insulin resistance.” However, “the teens in the high-intensity group achieved those health benefits with only 15 percent of the exercise time put in by those in the moderate-intensity group.”

 

Sam’s Club Offers Preventive Healthcare Program

Modern Medicine Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/15, Gebhart) reported, “Sam’s Club has initiated what may be the country’s largest retail preventive healthcare program targeting consumers and small businesses.” Sam’s Club will offer “free monthly in-store health-screening programs that include an individual pharmacy consultation, blood-pressure checks, bone-density scans, BMI assessment, cholesterol and blood-glucose testing, hearing exams, and eye exams.” Each participant “receives a personalized health-risk evaluation, specific recommendations and action plans to reduce health risks, health-education resources, and personal coaching sessions by telephone or web-based chat.”

US Achieves New Record High For Life Expectancy

USA Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Hellmich) reports that youngsters “born today can expect to live longer than ever in US history, according to preliminary government data Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (pdf) released Wednesday.” In fact, “life expectancy at birth increased to 78.2 years in 2009, up from 78 years in 2008.” USA Today adds, “‘What this means is that somebody born in 2009 can expect to live to an average of 78.2 years. This is a new record high for life expectancy,’ says Kenneth Kochanek, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Meanwhile, the AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16) reported, “About 2.4 million people died in the United States in 2009 — roughly 36,000 fewer deaths than the year before.” The decrease in the number of deaths is attributed to “a range of causes, from heart disease to homicide, so experts don’t believe there’s one simple explanation for the increase in life expectancy.” Instead, “better medical treatment, vaccination campaigns and public health measures against smoking are believed to be having an impact.”

“The number of Americans who committed suicide rose to 36,547, from 35,933 in 2008, passing blood poisoning and making it the 10th-leading cause of death in the country,” Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Cortez) reports. “The rankings for the top 15 causes of death otherwise remained the same, led by heart disease, cancer, lower respiratory disease, strokes and accidental deaths.”

The Los Angeles Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Forgione) “Booster Shots” blog reported that “death rates…fell to an all-time low of 741 deaths per 100,000, with Hawaii with the lowest and West Virginia the highest.”

According to the Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Stein) “The Checkup” blog, the new CDC report “analyzed data collected from 96 percent of death certificates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2009” to arrive at these conclusions.

Also covering the story are the Wall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Paletta) “Real Time Economics” blog, Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Krauskopf), the Washington Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/17, Wetzstein), HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Reinberg), WebMD Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Stacy), andMedPage Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (3/16, Gever).

 

New Technique Uses Cold To Temporarily Remove Forehead Wrinkles

HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/1, Goodwin) reported that, according to a study presented at a laser medicine conference, cryoneuromodulation, “a new technology that temporarily zaps away forehead wrinkles by freezing the nerves, shows promise in early clinical trials.” HealthDay added, “The technique, if eventually approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, could provide an alternative to Botox [onabotulinumtoxin A] and Dysport [abobotulinumtoxin A]. Both are injectable forms of Botulinum toxin type A, a neurotoxin that, when injected in small quantities, temporarily paralyzes facial muscles, thereby reducing wrinkles,” HealthDay noted.

Article Details Options Available For Treating Presbyopia

In “Patient Money,” the New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/2, B5, Andrews) discusses presbyopia, a condition that occurs when the “lens of the eye becomes harder and less elastic,” resulting in “a gradual worsening of the ability to focus on objects up close” for those over 40. Having presbyopia is “‘like having a camera with no multifocal option,’ said Dr. Rachel J. Bishop, chief of the consult services section of the National Eye Institute.” The article explains various options for correcting the condition, including reading glasses, bifocal or multi-focal contact lenses, and progressive bifocals. The New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (4/1, Parker-Pope) “Well” blog also covered the story.

Fitness May Be A Better Predictor Than Weight Of Whether Individuals With Certain Heart Problems Will Die In Near Future

Manifestions of Obesity Diagram


Reuters (4/1, Marcus) reports that research published in the American Heart Journal suggests that fitness may be a better predictor than weight of whether individuals with certain heart problems are more likely to die in the near future. Researchers found that individuals who were both somewhat thin and fit had the lowest risk of dying during the study period. Patients who were overweight but still fit had twice the risk of dying during the study, while individuals who were obese but fit had three times the risk of dying during the study. Meanwhile, individuals who were considered unfit and were overweight were almost seven times more likely to die during the study period, but unfit normal-weight individuals faced an even higher risk of dying.

Data Suggest Nearly Half A Million US Deaths Annually Occur From Smoking-Related Diseases


Reuters (3/31, Pittman) reported that nearly half a million mortalities annually in the US are from smoking-related diseases, according to a study in the journal Epidemiology, The researchers analyzed data on about 250,000 people who participated from 2002 to 2006 in a national health survey. By 2006, there were 17,000 deaths. Extrapolating the data to the overall US population, the study authors calculated that roughly 290,000 smoking-related deaths in men and 230,000 in women occurred annually during the same period. The data showed the greatest risk for death occurred in the 65 to 74 age group. When obesity and alcohol consumption were factored in, the researchers estimated that age group had a threefold increased risk for death if they also smoked currently. Reuters noted that a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association substantiates that trend.
High Prices, Inconvenient Policies Prompt More Adolescents To Quit Smoking, Study Finds. Reuters (3/31, Pittman) reported that alerting adolescents to cigarette price increases and new no-smoking rules helped lower the rates of smoking among Australian teens, according to a study in the journal Addiction. From 1990 through 2005, the researchers asked roughly 20,000 high school students, at three-year intervals, whether they had smoked within the last month. The youth were also made aware of cigarette-tax increases and any new anti-smoking policies. Over those 15 years, the Australian teen-smoking rate decreased nearly 50% — from approximately 23% to about 13% — while simultaneously, cigarette costs doubled from 20 cents to 40 cents per cigarette. In contrast, other efforts, such as limiting access to cigarettes, did not lower adolescent smoking rates. Notably, approximately 16% of US high school students currently smoke cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Expanding Waistline May Put Men In Danger Of Developing AMD


The UK’s Daily Mail (4/1, Hagan) reports, “An expanding waistline puts men in danger of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).” After monitoring “changes in the waistlines of more than 21,000 men and women, aged between 40 and 69, over several years,” then following the study population to determine how many cases of AMD developed, Australian researchers discovered that “even small increases in waist size seem to raise the risk of AMD by up to 75 per cent” in men. Women do not seem to be affected, however.

One Third Of Americans May Not Be Getting Enough Vitamin D


USA Today (3/31, Marcus) reports, “About one third of Americans are not getting enough vitamin D,” according to a National Center for Health Statistics data brief released March 30 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report “parallels what many other studies have suggested in recent years: that a large chunk of the population is at risk for low vitamin D levels.” Although approximately “two-thirds had sufficient levels…about a third were in ranges suggesting risk of either inadequate or deficient levels, says report author Anne Looker, a research scientist with the CDC.”
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times (3/30, Roan) “Booster Shots” blog reported that “1% had blood levels that were too high (greater than 125 nmol/L), putting them at risk of health problems.”
The Washington Post (3/30, Stein) “The Check Up” blog reported that recently, the Institute of Medicine “released new recommendations for how much vitamin D people should be getting on a regular basis.” In spite of “mounting pressure to urge many Americans to sharply boost their vitamin D levels, they did not advocate a huge increase.” In fact, “a 14-member expert committee concluded that most Americans and Canadians up to age 70 need no more than 600 international units of vitamin D per day.”
“The analysis showed that the risk for vitamin D deficiency differed by age, sex and race or ethnicity,” HealthDay (3/30, Preidt) reported.
WebMD (3/30, Mann) reported that people “who were at the lowest risk for vitamin D deficiency or inadequacy were children, males, non-Hispanic whites, and women who were pregnant or breastfeeding,” with the “risk of deficiency…lowest in children ages one to eight and increased with age until about age 30, the study showed.” WebMD also noted, “The analysis was based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys that includes about 5,000 Americans each year.”

Regular Fish Consumption May Help Prevent AMD


In continuing coverage, the Washington Post (3/29, Searing) reports that omega-3 fatty acid fish oils may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published online March 14 in the Archives of Ophthalmology. For the study, researchers analyzed “data on 38,022 women, who averaged 55 years old and had no AMD at the start of the study.” Over the course of ten years, researchers found that women “who regularly consumed at least one serving of fish a week — especially canned tuna or dark-meat fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, bluefish or swordfish — were 42 percent less likely to have developed AMD than were women who ate less than one serving of fish a month.”

US Eye Specialists Welcome Nintendo 3DS Game Device


In continuing coverage, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette (3/27, Svenson) reported, “US eye specialists are welcoming the Nintendo 3DS game device,” saying that it may help detect vision disorders. “These problems are much easier to fix if caught before age 6, when the visual system in our brains is more or less done developing.” Unfortunately, “only 15 percent of preschool children get a comprehensive eye exam that could catch these subtle problems, according to the American Optometric Association.”

Nicotine May Pose Harm To Diabetes Patients By Raising Blood Sugar Levels


HealthDay (3/25, Gordon) reported that “nicotine in cigarettes may be even more deadly for people who have diabetes,” according to findings presented at an American Chemical Society meeting in Anaheim, California. In lab experiments, researchers from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona found that even the smallest dose of nicotine “increased HbA1C levels by 8.8 percent. The highest dose — after two days of nicotine treatment — increased blood sugar levels by 34.5 percent.”
According to the Time (3/27, Park) “Healthland” blog, the study “also implies that if you are a smoker, and not diabetic…your chances of developing diabetes is higher.” Moreover, the results suggest that “nicotine replacement products such as patches and nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes, aren’t a safe option for diabetes patients either. Because they still contain nicotine, these products are just as likely to boost A1c levels as cigarettes are.”

Exercise May Diminish Negative Impact Of High-Salt Diet On Blood Pressure

HealthDay (3/23, Mozes) reported, “Physical activity may diminish the negative impact of a high-salt diet on blood pressure,” according to a study presented Wednesday at the American Heart Association’s conference. For the study, researchers examined data on some 1,900 men and women, all of whom “consumed 3,000 mg of sodium a day in their diet; for another week” and then “were placed on a high-sodium diet — 18,000 mg per day.”
“Researchers also looked at how much physical activity the participants reported on questionnaires,” WebMD (3/23, Goodman) reported. “They found that the more physical activity a person got, the less likely they were to be sensitive to salt.” In fact, “study participants in the group that got the most physical activity had a 38% lower risk of being salt sensitive compared to those who got the least amount of physical activity.”