Mental Attitude: Stroke Prevention Efforts Paying Off.
Fewer people are being treated in emergency rooms for strokes caused by blood clots in the brain, which experts believe is a sign that current prevention methods are working. Between 2001 and 2011, emergency room visits for stroke declined 35% for adults 18 and older and 51% for individuals 55 to 74 years of age. One expert explains that people are preventing strokes by taking steps to better control high blood pressure, not smoking (the greatest risk factor for stroke), and limiting exposure to secondhand smoke.
National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, March 2015
Health Alert: Increasing Alcohol Tax Could Save Lives.
If taxes on the purchase of alcohol were increased, researchers claim that thousand of deaths from motor vehicle accidents could be prevented each year. A team of investigators found that alcohol-related automobile crashes declined 26% after the state of Illinois increased taxes on beer, wine, and spirits in 2009.
American Journal of Public Health, March 2015
Diet: Are American Kids Eating Less Fast Food?
According to a new report, the percentage of children eating fast food on any given day fell from 38.8% in 2003-04 to 32.6% in 2009-10. The authors of the report also observed a decrease in the average number of calories children consumed at hamburger, chicken, and pizza fast food restaurants during this time frame. The findings are promising as childhood obesity has been a growing health concern over the last 30 years.
JAMA Pediatrics, March 2015
Exercise: A 15-Minute Walk Reduces Cravings.
Going for a 15-minute walk may suppress your desire for chocolate or snacks, according to the results of a new study. Researchers found that participants who exercised prior to physically handling sugary snacks demonstrated lower levels of cravings than those who were sedentary in the fifteen minutes before being handed a treat. The authors conclude, “Short bouts of physical activity may reduce the craving for sugary snacks in overweight people. When snacking has become habitual and poorly regulated by overweight people, the promotion of short bouts of physical activity could be valuable for reducing the urge to consume at times when the person may be particularly vulnerable, such as during stress and when snack foods are available.”
PLOS ONE, March 2015
Chiropractic: Common Pain Relief Drug Not Effective for Back Pain or Arthritis.
Acetaminophen appears to be ineffective in the treatment of low back pain and offers little benefit for sufferers of osteoarthritis of the hip or knee according to a new report published in the British Medical Journal. The findings are based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials that were designed to investigate the safety and efficacy of acetaminophen in the management of spinal pain and osteoarthritis. The authors of the report urge patients to pursue physical treatments as the way forward and conclude that “[ongoing] and ever-increasing concerns about pharmacological management of musculoskeletal pain highlights the importance of non-pharmacological options, which form the cornerstone of self-management of spinal pain and osteoarthritis.”
British Medical Journal, March 2015
Wellness/Prevention: How Vitamin D May Protect the Heart…
Though recent published studies have found strong associations between vitamin D deficiency and hypertension, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, and atherosclerosis, the mechanisms by which vitamin D protects the cardiovascular system remain a mystery. In a new paper published in the Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal, Dr. Natália Ribeiro Mandarino postulates that the presence of vitamin D improves the function of the hormone systems that regulate blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and the body’s reaction to oxidative stress.
Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal, March 2015