Space Coast Daily Healthcare Headlines of the Week
By Dr. James Palermo // August 14, 2014
Topics Include: Reducing Breast Cancer Risk Through Exercise; Florida Doctors Oppose Pot Amendment; Vaccinations Aren’t Just For Kids – and More
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Welcome to SpaceCoastDaily’s Healthcare Headlines.
MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN REDUCE BREAST CANCER RISK WITH ‘MODERATE’ EXERCISE
A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and based on the French component of the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition, which included 59,308 French women ages 43 to 78, found that post-menopausal women can reduce their risk of breast cancer by approximately 10 percent with a “modest” amount of exercise.
The researchers refer to “modest” as four hours a week of walking or more intensive physical activity such as cycling for just two hours a week, and found that more physical activity did not decrease the risk of breast cancer further.
The effect was found to exist “independent of weight, body fat, waist circumference and exercise levels from five to nine years earlier.” (Healy, Los Angeles Times, 8/12)
FOR A HEALTHY BRAIN EAT BAKED OR BROILED FISH EVERY WEEK
According to a new study out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, eating baked or broiled fish (not fried) just once a week can help the brain protect itself against the onset of dementia later in life.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish at varying degrees, have been regaled as having an anti-oxidant effect that is linked to improved brain health.
However, although researchers in this study found weekly fish eaters had more grey matter in memory and cognition brain areas, they did not find a link between the brain differences and omega-3 blood levels. (Ellis, Medical News Today, 8/5)
LEVEL OF EXPECTATION KEY TO DETERMINING HAPPINESS
Researchers from University College London conducted an experiment to find out what determines a person’s happiness and found that the human brain continuously recalculates its level of happiness every day based on how outcomes stack up against our expectations.
The researchers were focused on how the brain calculates the determinants of happiness, which they think could be useful in diagnosing and treating depression and other mood disorders.
The study, the results of which were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, showed that disappointment squelches happiness and that your happiness increases only if you do better than you expected. (Shute, NPR, 8/6)
FLORIDA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OPPOSES POT AMENDMENT
Florida voters will have the opportunity to vote yes or no on Amendment 2, which authorizes the implementation of a medical marijuana program. Although a Quinnipiac poll in July indicated a substantial majority of Floridians support the medical marijuana measure, chances are their doctors don’t.
The Florida Medical Association, an organization that represents over 20,000 Florida physicians, recently came out strongly against the amendment based on their contention that the “unintended consequences” associated with the proposal creates a health risk. They are concerned about not having appropriate regulations in place to control who orders the drug and lack of a science-based drug approval process.
In a statement, the FMA warns of the lack of clear definitions in the amendment that would allow health care providers with no training or experience in the ordering of controlled substances to order medical marijuana. (Health News Florida/AP, 8/5)
VACCINATIONS ARE NOT JUST FOR KIDS
August is National Immunization Awareness Month during which one of the priorities is to emphasize that vaccinations are not just for children, and to raise awareness of immunization in adults and encourage them to protect their health by being vaccinated against infectious diseases. Unfortunately, vaccination coverage remains low in the adult population.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults receive an influenza vaccine every year and a Td or Tdap vaccine if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years. In addition, women should get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.
This Medical News Today article looks at the reasons why adults are reluctant to be vaccinated, what can be done to increase coverage, and which vaccines are recommended for different age ranges, lifestyles and health conditions. (Whiteman, Medical News Today, 8/13)
VIDEO SPECIAL: HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED?
ASAPSCIENCE is the creative brainchild of two Canadians, Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, who, after graduating from the University of Guelph with biology degrees, recognized the power of YouTube to inform and entertain.
Their very popular YouTube channel produces three-minute lessons that bring logic, reason, and scientific evidence to some of the most common of questions.
In the video below they address the question: “How much sleep do you actually need?” They site research focused on how much sleep is best to function at an optimum level of efficiency and productivity, and also look at whether or not we can actually “catch up” on lost sleep.
The “sweet-spot” for sleeping seems to be between 7 and 8 hours, with proven health risks on either side of that time frame, but with definite variations depending on genetics.
Take a look–it only takes a couple minutes to learn some fascinating facts about what we do for 24 percent of our lives.