Week of: Monday, September 28th, 2015Courtesy of:
People with poor thinking skills related to planning, problem-solving, and reasoning may be at a greater risk for either a heart attack or stroke. Researchers analyzed data concerning 3,926 individuals with an average age of 75 who had no history of heart attack, stroke, or dementia. They found that individuals with low scores on tests measuring executive function were 85% more likely to have a heart attack and 51% more likely to suffer a stroke than their peers with high executive function scores during the following three years. Lead researcher Dr. Benham Sabayan adds, "These results show that heart and brain function are more closely related than appearances would suggest… While these results might not have immediate clinical translation, they emphasize that assessment of cognitive function should be part of the evaluation of future cardiovascular risk."
Neurology, August 2015
Regular exposure to automobile air pollution can increase an individual's risk for lung cancer. Researchers examined data collected from 36 studies regarding professional drivers and found that occupational exposure to air pollution can increase lung cancer risk by 27% and the risk of dying from the disease by 14%.
Thoracic Cancer, May 2015
Consuming spicy foods on a regular basis may lower an individual's risk for premature death from cancer, ischemic heart disease, and respiratory disease. Researchers found that participants who ate spicy foods three to seven days a week were 14% less likely to have died during the seven-year study than participants who ate spicy foods less than once a week.
British Medical Journal, August 2015
University of British Columbia researchers report that patients with vascular dementia can improve their memory by simply going for walks on a regular basis. In the study, patients with vascular dementia who walked three times a week at a moderately brisk pace performed better on memory and attention tests than those who did not exercise. Furthermore, those who walked also lost weight and lowered their blood pressure.
Alzheimer's Association International Conference, July 2015
Compared with non-athletic adolescents, teen athletes are less likely to experience neck and back pain. Researchers polled 1,865 participants at the 2012 Quebec summer games and 707 non-athletes from local schools. Not only are teen athletes significantly less likely to report neck pain, upper back pain, and lower back pain but when they do, they are also less likely to miss school because of it.
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, August 2015
An online program that encourages people to wash their hands has been found to reduce the spread of cold and flu viruses within families. The free program, called PRIMIT, offers four weekly sessions that provide simple steps to help participants avoid catching and passing on viruses, monitor users' hand washing habits, and provide feedback. The study included more than 20,000 people who were randomly assigned to use PRIMIT or to a control group that did not visit the website. During the sixteen-week program, 51% of people in the PRIMIT group had at least one respiratory infection, compared with 59% in the control group. Study author Dr. Paul Little notes, "A simple, cheap internet program to encourage hand washing can reduce the risk of infection by around 14 percent."
The Lancet, August 2015
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