All posts by kdtoptometry

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.”

High-Fiber Diet May Reduce Lifetime Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease


USA Today (3/23, Hellmich) reports, “A high-fiber diet appears to reduce your lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease, especially if you are consuming lots of fiber when you are young and middle-aged,” according to a study presented this week at the American Heart Association conference. After analyzing “dietary-recall data from more than 11,000 people, ages 20 and older, who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,” researchers found that “people who are in the top 25% of dietary fiber intake — that is, they consume more than 22 grams of dietary fiber a day — are more likely to have a lower lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.” HealthDay (3/22, Dotinga) also covered the story.
Eating Whole Grain Cereal May Reduce Risk For Developing Hypertension. HealthDay (3/22, Reinberg) reported that, according to a study presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association conference, “eating breakfast cereal — especially whole grain cereal — may reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.” After examining “data on 13,368 male doctors who took part in the Physicians Health Study I,” researchers “found about a 20 percent decreased risk of developing hypertension in those who consumed whole grain breakfasts cereals at least seven times a week.”

Recent Antidepressant Use May Be Associated With Development Of Glaucoma In Seniors


Medscape (3/21, Brauser) reported that, according to research presented at a geriatric psychiatry meeting, “recent use of antidepressants may be linked to the development of acute angle closure glaucoma (AACG) in adults over age 66.” In their study involving 5,000 patients with AACG, researchers “found a significantly increased risk for ‘any antidepressant exposure’ in the time period immediately preceding the condition.” What’s more, they “found a more than two-fold increased risk for AACG in patients in the mixed serotonergic/noradrenergic treatment subgroup.”

Number Of Americans With Prediabetes Increasing


The Los Angeles Times (3/21, Worth) reports, “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released figures in January showing that the number of American adults with prediabetes had jumped from 57 million in 2008 to 79 million in 2010.” At the same time, “the number with full-on diabetes grew from 23.6 million to 26 million, the vast majority of which are type 2 cases.” With changes in diet and exercise, people with prediabetes, which is marked by elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, can avoid developing type 2 diabetes. But, “without such changes, most people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.”
Elevated Levels Of Five Amino Acids Associated With Development Of Type 2 Diabetes. WebMD (3/20, Warner) reported, “Elevated levels of a group of five amino acids may predict the development of diabetes years before any noticeable symptoms occur,” according to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine. After following 2,422 adults for 12 years, “researchers found that blood tests that screened for these amino acids accurately predicted risk of type 2 diabetes in otherwise healthy adults as well as in those with traditional risk factors, such as obesity.” Notably, “elevated levels of five amino acids, isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine, and phenylalanine, were associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.” The UK’s Daily Mail (3/21, Derbyshire) and the UK’s Independent (3/21, O’Connor) also cover the story.

3 Reasons Why Obesity Is… A Disease?

[ Want to read a great fitness article? Then check this one out… it was sent to me by Jon Benson. I have his to pass it along to you. Enjoy! ]

I bet you didn’t know this …

Obesity…even being overfat… is a disease.

No, really.

At least that’s what several social groups wish you to believe. “Suffers Of Obesity” is just one of those groups. Their entire stance is obesity (which, btw, can be only 30lbs or so over your ideal bodyweight) is an actual disease.

Well, is it?

Yes… and no.

Comedian Ricky Gervais has a hilarious go at this stance… that obesity is a disease. You sometimes have to laugh, you know? ; )

“No… it’s not a disease… it’s greed. You just love to eat,” or so Gervais believes.

Well, in my first newsletter for 2010, a new decade with new ideas, I’m here to share a new idea with you:

We really need to redefine some words.

One of those words is “disease”.

Case-in-point:  Wikipedia.com defines disease…

“In human beings, “disease” is often used more broadly to refer to any condition that causes pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems, and/or death to the person afflicted, or similar problems for those in contact with the person. In this broader sense, it sometimes includes injuries, disabilities, disorders, syndromes, infections, isolated symptoms, deviant behaviors, and atypical variations of structure and function, while in other contexts and for other purposes these may be considered distinguishable categories.”

Let’s think about that.

If you bump your knee against a sharp object, is this a new disease called “bumpuskneeitis?” Er… no. It’s an accident. Sure, it may ’cause’ a specific set of symptoms that could broadly (as in as broad as the back-side of a barn) be considered a “disease”, but … no. It’s an accident with biological consequences.

Social problems?  So, if I decide to read 17 books on why my parents suck as a teenager and develop anti-social behavior, is this a “disease”?  NO!  This is the angst of youth combined, perhaps, with poor parenting!  Sure, it can lead to mental issues that could be classified as “disease”, but guess what?

It’s totally within your control. No one force-fed the books to the teen. And no one is force-feeding you, or anyone you know.

That decision is yours and yours alone… and anyone, repeat ANYONE on the face of planet earth can change their behaviors and attitudes toward food.

Okay, some more thoughts on disease:

Let me give you a few examples of what is typically thought of as “disease”…

— Leprosy

— Cancer

— Hypothyroidism

We’ll just take three… there are thousands as you know.

Now, we can all agree that these three states represent true “disease”. The first you could catch by accident; the second is a combination of genetics, environment, and who-knows-what-else, and the third is almost always genetic.

One, cancer, is something you ‘may’ be able to do something about. For example, lung cancer. 90% of lung cancer patients contract the disease from smoking.

Let’s just cover these 90%, shall we?

And folks, I’m asking for an open mind here…

Is lung cancer, in the case of the 90%, REALLY a disease?

Or is it a biological consequence?

Sure, “cancer” is a disease. But what caused it in this case? Something involuntary? Hardly. Something that could not be stopped?

No way.

The 90% caused it. Period.

Welcome to the real world.

So, I propose this:  We redefine “disease” as an abnormal biological condition that we DO NOT have direct cause or effect over.

Airborne viruses: Disease.  Obesity: NOT a disease.

And yes, lung cancer in chain smokers:  NOT a disease; it’s a biological outcome. The end result should be treated as a disease, of course, but come on: Where is the responsibility folks?

Life, if you want to life it fully and without fear, is ALL about taking total responsibility. That’s empowerment. Anything less is… well, LESS.

In our example, lung cancer is no more a “disease” than, say, me hitting myself over the head with a hammer every day and causing brain damage is a disease.

Brain damage (not self-induced) = disease.

Brain damage caused by self-inflicted hammer-hitting = biological consequence. In this case of sheer stupidity!

Now, one could (and many will) make the argument that I had a “mental” disease that caused me to WANT to hit myself over the head with a hammer… but… well…

At this point we need to redefine the word “disease” in my opinion. Here’s why:

First, if this were the case, I could say that all criminals have a disease.

They all have a mental disease that makes them want to kill, steal… you name it.

This may in fact BE true… we do not know… but do we hold them NOT responsible if it is? No, we do not.

And that brings us back to obesity.

Obesity and being overfat is not a disease folks…

—— >  it’s a biological consequence.

And, with the exception of the extremely ‘rare’ cases of total glandular dysfunction from birth, obesity… your bodyweight… is your responsibility.

Period. End of story.

Sorry, but that’s the way the ball bounces.

Am I being mean? No. I was obese. I have a right to speak my mind about it, and trust me:  My depression (a disease… sorta… some genetic, but a lot of it was caused by eating too much sugar) definitely aided in my obesity.

Then how come I’m not obese any more?

I found a better way to eat. I re-trained my body to crave this style of eating (and exercise) over stuffing myself with pizza and burgers every day.

Here’s what I use:

Click.Here———–>  My No-Disease No-Obesity Wake-up Call!

It torches bellyfat… and it reprograms the body and mind to use food as fuel… especially if you use my “7 Minute Body” workout system (you can get it at 77% off after you pick up EODD on the page above… ; )

So be brave. Be fearless. And be responsible.

Oh… and be sure not to catch “internetemailitis”… its a disease that causes you to want to check your email more than 10 times a day.

I have it. So be careful… may be contagious. : )

P.S. In my journey from obesity to total leanness I had to overcome ‘real’ diseases, like pituitary failure from a high fever (i.e. viral pneumonia that almost killed me) and, yes, clinical depression (partially my fault; partially not… i.e. half disease, half biological consequence.) So I have sympathy, believe me. But I also know what you can do once you have a solid plan in place and a determined mind.

Then no “disease” can stop you… at least the ones that do not kill you.

So go for it… be brave, be responsible… and be lean!

click.here ——>  My No-Disease No-Obesity Wake-up Call!

[ Learn more about Jon and his methods by clicking on the links and/or banner in the article above immediately… and get yourself started on a path to body transformation! ]