Mental Attitude: Can Optimism Lead to a Longer Life?
Women who generally believe that good things will happen appear to live longer. Investigators reviewed records concerning 70,000 women who participated in a long-running health study and found that the risk of dying from cancer was 16% lower; the risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, or respiratory disease was almost 40% lower; and the risk of dying from infection was 52% lower for the most optimistic women. The study appears to affirm the power of positive thinking.
American Journal of Epidemiology, December 2016
Health Alert: Lack of Sleep Increases Car Crash Risk.
The findings from a survey of nearly 4,600 police-reported crashes between July 2005 and December 2007 indicate that missing just one to two hours of sleep at night nearly doubles one’s chance of a car crash the following day. Furthermore, driving after only four to five hours of sleep quadruples the risk. Researcher Dr. Brian Tefft comments, “This is the first study to actually quantify the relationship between lack of sleep and the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.”
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, December 2016
Diet: Healthy Diet Equals Longer Life for Kidney Patients.
Researchers have found that a healthy diet may help individuals with kidney disease live longer. An analysis of data concerning more than 15,000 people with chronic kidney disease found an association between a 20-30% lower risk of early death and a diet high in fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, cereals, whole grains, and fiber. Study leader Dr. Giovanni Strippoli notes, “In the absence of randomized trials and large individual cohort studies, this study is the best available evidence to drive clinical decision-making by patients and doctors on whole dietary approaches in chronic kidney disease.”
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, December 2016
Exercise: Ugh! Exercise.
Exercise can sometimes feel like a chore. To prevent this feeling, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends the following: join a walking group or exercise class; ask a friend to exercise with you; build a small garden in your backyard, neighborhood, or community; perform three ten-minute exercise sessions during your day instead of a long workout; switch up your workout so you don’t get bored; and if you don’t feel safe or comfortable exercising outdoors, join a gym.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, December 2016
Chiropractic: Inflammatory Markers and Back Pain.
A recent study followed 155 elderly women for a year following an episode of acute low back pain. The researchers found that the women with lower levels of a pro-inflammatory cytokine called IL-6 reported less pain at the conclusion of the study. This finding suggests a relationship between inflammation and low back pain, and also that higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines promote pain.
American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, November 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Reduce the Risk of Hip Fracture.
Hip fractures are serious injuries, especially among seniors who are at greater risk of falls. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers the following recommendations to reduce your risk: keep your home free of clutter, and make sure it is well lit; install grab bars in bathrooms; exercise regularly to strengthen bones and muscles and improve balance; get an eye exam and a complete physical every year; discuss the potential side effects of all your medications with your doctor; eat a healthy diet rich in vitamin D and calcium; and maintain a healthy weight.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, December 2016