Mental Attitude: Atrial Fibrillation May Increase Dementia Risk.
After analyzing data regarding 332,665 atrial fibrillation (AF) patients from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database, researchers report that a diagnosis of AF may increase an individual’s risk for dementia by up to 42%, even after adjusting for age, gender, and medication use.
International Journal of Cardiology, July 2015
Health Alert: National Program to Address Sepsis Is Needed!
Sepsis is a condition that occurs when an infection enters the bloodstream, resulting in an inflammatory response throughout the body. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center report that during a two-year period in California, 240,198 patients were readmitted to hospitals for sepsis (almost as many as heart attack and heart failure combined) leading to $500 million dollars in additional healthcare costs. Experts suggest a national program aimed at improving discharge practices, follow-up care, and instructions for patients on how to properly take their medications will go a long way to reduce sepsis-related complications.
Critical Care Medicine, June 2015
Diet: Food Supply Driving Global Obesity Epidemic.
Is the global obesity epidemic simply due to the oversupply of processed foods? Researcher Dr. Stefanie Vandevijvere writes “Much of the increase in available calories over the decades has come from ultra-processed food products, which are highly palatable, relatively inexpensive, and widely advertised, making overconsumption of calories very easy.”
World Health Organization, June 2015
Exercise: Extracurricular Sports Improves Kids’ Academics.
Participating in extracurricular sports may help children develop the discipline they need to excel in school. Researchers note that both a child’s attention span and level of self-control can be positively associated with their participation in organized, after-school sports. Study leader Dr. Linda Pagani adds, “There is something specific to the sporting environment – perhaps the unique sense of belonging to a team, to a special group with a common goal – that appears to help kids understand the importance of respecting the rules and honoring responsibilities.” She hopes these findings will lead to improved access to parks and playgrounds where children can engage in sporting activities.
American Journal of Health Promotion, July 2015
Chiropractic: What Factors May Increase a Patient’s Risk for Another Back Pain Episode?
Researchers conducted MRI scans on 76 patients who had an episode of back pain within the previous three months and followed them for a year in an effort to identify any factors that may indicate whether or not a patient may experience future back pain episodes. After comparing the MRI findings and case history of each patient who had a recurrent back pain episode with those who did not, the researchers found that patients with disk degeneration were 89% more likely to have another episode of back pain within the next twelve months when compared with patients without MRI-confirmed disk generation. For patients with a bulging disk, the risk for a recurrent episode was 84% greater than those without a disk bulge. They also found that each previous episode of back pain increases a patient’s risk for a future episode by 4%.
Spine Journal, July 2015
Wellness/Prevention: Maintain a Healthy Weight to Lower Breast Cancer Risk.
Using thirteen years of data concerning 67,142 postmenopausal women, researchers note that obese women (body mass index > 35) have an 86% greater risk of being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. This news is especially troubling as two-thirds of women in the United States are either overweight or obese.
JAMA Oncology, July 2015