Mental Attitude: Is Early Menopause a Trigger for Depression Later in Life?
A new review suggests that premature menopause may increase the risk of depression later in life. An analysis of 14 published studies that included nearly 68,000 older women revealed that women who began menopause when they were 40 and older had a lower risk of depression in their later years than those with a premature onset of menopause.
JAMA Psychiatry, January 2016
Health Alert: Increased Body Mass Linked to Autonomic Dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease Patients.
Individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who are also overweight or obese may be at an elevated risk for autonomic dysfunction when compared with PD patients with a healthy bodyweight. The autonomic nervous system is the portion of the nervous system that controls basic bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing rate, digestion, and body temperature, among others.
Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, January 2016
Diet: Soda Tax Linked to Reduced Consumption.
In 2014, the Mexican government introduced a 10% sales tax on the sale of sugary drinks, and after one year, sales of such beverages decreased 12% while untaxed beverages such as water experienced a 4% increase in sales. The American Heart Association writes, “Scientific research shows that overconsumption of added sugars contribute to heart disease and other chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Mexico has paved the way for other nations to decrease sugary drink intake and has shown sugar-sweetened beverage taxes are an effective strategy to make healthy choices easier.”
British Medical Journal, January 2016
Exercise: Exercise DVDs May Be Psychologically Harmful.
Home fitness DVDs seem like a good way to reach exercise goals, but experts say these DVDs may also include negative imagery and demotivating language. The fitness DVD industry generates an estimated $250 million dollars in annual revenue, but there is no scientific evidence about their safety or effectiveness and the industry is largely unregulated. Investigators evaluated ten popular commercial exercise DVDs and found the imagery in the fitness videos perpetuates and reinforces hyper-sexualized and unrealistic body images. They also found that 25% of the language used by instructors was motivational, but one of every seven motivational statements could be considered negative. Dr. Brad Cardinal, a kinesiology professor at Oregon State University explains, “These findings raise concerns about the value of exercise DVDs in helping people develop and commit to a workout program… Buyers should beware when making these purchases… Remember that we all have different body shapes and styles, and our bodies may respond differently to the exercises being shown. Don’t expect to get the same results as what you see on the screen or compare yourself to others.”
Oregon State University, January 2016
Chiropractic: Excessive Video Game and Computer Use May Increase Musculoskeletal Pain in Teens.
Using data collected from nearly 1,000 male and female adolescents, a team of Brazilian researchers notes the average teen in their sample spends over five hours per day using a computer or electronic device or playing video games. Additionally, 65.1% of the 963 participants in the study reported the presence of musculoskeletal pain, most notably back pain, and one in five reported upper extremity pain. The research team concludes the excessive use of electronics appears to be a risk factor for musculoskeletal pain among this population.
Journal of Pediatrics, December 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Cancer Death Rates Improving.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that the rate of cancer-related deaths has dropped 23% since 1991. Experts from the ACS add that the decline in cancer deaths is likely due to early detection and treatment advances, along with fewer people smoking. Dr. Steven Rosen, director of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center and Beckman Research Institute in Duarte, California advises those wishing to reduce their risk of cancer-related death to “Eat a healthy diet, exercise, try to be as close as possible to your ideal body weight. Don’t smoke, drink in moderation, and minimize sun exposure.”
CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, January 2016