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Increasing skirt size linked to breast cancer risk
Increasing skirt size linked to breast cancer risk
September 25, 2014

Women who gain weight around the waist and whose skirt sizes therefore increase between their 20s and 60s may be at higher risk of breast cancer after menopause, a new study from the United Kingdom suggests.

The study, which looked at more than 92,000 women postmenopausal women over age 50, found that going up a skirt size over a period of 10 years after age 25 was linked with a 33 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer after menopause. Going up two skirt sizes was linked with a 77 percent increase in risk.

Overall, the risk that a postmenopausal woman will develop breast cancer over the next five years increases from 1 in 61 to 1 in 51 with one skirt-size increase over a 10-year period, the researchers said. (About 1 percent of women in the study developed breast cancer.)

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

How to Prevent Four of Five Heart Attacks
How to Prevent Four of Five Heart Attacks
September 25, 2014

We've all been told to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart attacks, but a new study shows just how important certain health habits can be.

Researchers in Sweden followed more than 20,000 men for 11 years. The ones who didn't smoke and maintained several good health practices reduced their heart attack rates by 86 percent, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In other words, they prevented four out of five heart attacks.

"What is surprising is how drastically the risk dropped due to these factors," said Agneta Akesson, lead author of the study and nutritional epidemiologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

According to Akesson's study, men at lowest risk for a heart attack didn't smoke, walked or biked for at least 40 minutes per day, exercised at least one hour per week, consumed one to two glasses of alcohol daily, and followed a diet with fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, reduced-fat dairy products, whole grains and fish. A waist measuring less than 38 inches was also associated with fewer heart attacks.

About 1.5 million Americans have a heart attack every year, according to the American Heart Association. But less than 2 percent of Americans follow a heart-healthy lifestyle, according to the authors.

"Everyone wants to quickly grab a hamburger on their way somewhere...our eating habits are very poor," said Dr. Prakash Deedwania, a cardiologist at the University of California San Francisco and member of the American College of Cardiology's Prevention Committee.

But researchers found even a few small habits dramatically decreased the risk of a heart attack. For example, not smoking reduced heart attack rates by 36 percent, while a healthy diet plus moderate alcohol consumption lowered it by 35 percent.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Healthy Lifestyle Changes Linked to Reduced Risk for Dementia
Healthy Lifestyle Changes Linked to Reduced Risk for Dementia
September 18, 2014

Managing diabetes, quitting smoking, controlling high blood pressure, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk for dementia -- even late in life, according to new research.

The World Alzheimer Report 2014, commissioned by Alzheimer's Disease International, revealed that diabetes can increase the risk of dementia by 50 percent. The study noted that obesity and an inactive lifestyle are key risk factors for diabetes as well as high blood pressure.

The researchers suggested that dementia should be included in national public health prevention and detection programs along with other major non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. They pointed out that it's never too late in life to make healthy lifestyle changes.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

List of states with Enterovirus D68 grows
List of states with Enterovirus D68 grows
September 18, 2014

Indiana and Montana have joined the growing list of states with confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68, health officials say.

Four children in Lake County were sickened by Enterovirus D68 and were treated at University of Chicago Hospital, according to a press release from the Indiana Department of Health; all four have since been discharged from the hospital. Lake County is in the northwest corner of the state.

Montana has one confirmed case of Enterovirus D68, says Jon Ebelt, a spokesman for the state's public health department. "A specimen sent to the CDC from a child under the age of 10 has tested positive for the particular strain of enterovirus," he told CNN.

Enteroviruses are very common, especially in the fall and winter months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 10 to 15 million infections occur in the United States each year. But this type of enterovirus -- Enterovirus D68 -- appears to be exacerbating breathing problems in children with asthma.

These viruses usually present like the common cold; symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and a cough. Most people recover without any treatment. But if your child appears to be having trouble breathing, take him or her to a doctor right away.

As of September 11, the CDC had confirmed more than 80 cases of Enterovirus D68 in six states: Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri. New York also announced on Friday that it had more than a dozen confirmed cases of the virus.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Virus hitting Midwest could be 'tip of iceberg,' CDC official says
Virus hitting Midwest could be 'tip of iceberg,' CDC official says
September 11, 2014

A respiratory virus is sending hundreds of children to hospitals throughout the Midwest and beyond, health officials say.

The unusually high number of hospitalizations reported could be "just the tip of the iceberg in terms of severe cases," said Mark Pallansch, a virologist and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Viral Diseases.

Twelve states have contacted the CDC for assistance in investigating clusters of enterovirus: Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Utah. Four -- Colorado, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa -- have confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68, also known as EV-D68.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Long-awaited diet pill gets U.S. approval
Long-awaited diet pill gets U.S. approval
September 11, 2014

A new diet pill Contrave got approval to be sold in the United States on Wednesday, only the third obesity treatment in more than a decade to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Made by Orexigen Therapeutics Inc, Contrave is a combination of the antidepressant bupropion and Orexigen's formulation of naltrexone, designed to prevent drug dependence.

The company did not say when the pill would become available or how much it would cost.

The FDA in June had delayed its decision on the drug by three months due to concerns about adequate warnings on the packaging.

Because Contrave contains an antidepressant, it will carry a warning about increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Ebola outbreak is
Ebola outbreak is "spiraling out of control"
September 4, 2014

The Ebola outbreak is much worse than official figures show and is "spiraling out of control," a leading U.S. official said Tuesday -- due in part, he said, to some countries that inadvertently have made it harder to corral the deadly disease.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden offered his stark commentary to CNN a day after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, voiced dissatisfaction with the world response so far.

"In a way, we feel saddened by the response," President Sirleaf said.

More than 3,000 people have been infected by Ebola in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since the first documented cases in December, according to the World Health Organization. At least 1,552 have died.

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Posted by Ken at 4:50 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

An apple a day reduces risk for heart disease by 40 percent: study
An apple a day reduces risk for heart disease by 40 percent: study
September 4, 2014

A seven-year study involving nearly half a million subjects concludes that daily fruit consumption cuts the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 40 percent.

Dr. Huaidong Du from Oxford, UK presented the study at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Barcelona on Monday.

Participants hailed from the the China Kadoorie Biobank, which covers 10 areas of China. Their sample totaled 451,681 participants with no history of CVD and who were not taking medication for hypertension.

Subjects' fruit consumption habits were recorded and categorized as the following: never, monthly, 1-3 days per week, 4-6 days per week or daily.

About 18 percent of participants consumed fruit daily and 6.3 percent never consumed fruit, with the average daily amount being 1.5 portions, about 150g.

Overall risk of CVD was reduced by 25 to 40 percent for those who ate fruit daily. Eating fruit also lowers blood pressure, according to the study. Daily fruit consumption was associated with a 3.4 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and a 4.1 mmHg lower diastolic blood pressure by comparison to fruit abstainers.

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Posted by Ken at 4:50 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

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