Mental Attitude: Anxiety Increases Dementia Risk!
After adjusting for depressive symptoms, individuals with high anxiety appear to have a greater risk for dementia later in life. Researchers used data from the Swedish Adoption Twin Study of Aging, a multi-decade study that has followed twins who were separated early in life. They found when only one twin (either identical or fraternal) had a history of high levels of anxiety, they were 6-11% more likely than their sibling to be diagnosed with dementia three decades later.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia, November 2015
Health Alert: Dehydration is Common Among Frail Older Adults.
Serum tests of 188 seniors living in a community setting showed 20% were dehydrated at the time their blood was drawn. Dehydration can be a serious problem among the frail elderly, as it can impair cognition and renal function. The researchers note thirst was not associated with hydration status in this group, suggesting caregivers need to pay closer attention to their residents’ fluid intake.
The Journals of Gerontology, November 2015
Diet: Menus with Calorie Counts May Prompt Healthier Offerings.
Restaurants that list calorie counts on their menus offer more lower-calorie choices than those that don’t provide such information. An analysis of menus from one hundred of the largest chain restaurants in the United States found those with voluntary calorie labeling averaged 140 fewer calories per selection. Co-author Dr. Julia Wolfson writes, “The biggest impact from mandatory menu labeling may come from restaurants decreasing the calories in their menu items rather than expecting consumers to notice the calorie information and, subsequently, order different menu items… Given how often Americans eat in restaurants, if more chain restaurants decrease calories on their menus to a level that we are seeing in restaurants that already label, this has the potential to reduce population-level obesity.”
Health Affairs, November 2015
Exercise: Keeping Physically Active Reduces Depression Risk After a Heart Attack.
The odds of being depressed after a heart attack appear to be significantly lower for those who had been physically active during the years before their heart attack. Researchers found that those who engaged in regular physical activity in the ten years prior to their first heart attack had nearly a 20% lower risk for depression when compared with those who were inactive during the same time period. First author Dr. Linda Ernstsen notes, “Our results add strength to the evidence of a causal link between physical activity and mental health.”
American Journal of Medicine, October 2015
Chiropractic: Manual Therapy Returns Pilot to Air.
Low back pain can be a significant safety risk for a pilot, as it can become a distraction during flight. In a recent case study, a pilot sought a non-pharmacological and noninvasive therapy option for his chronic low back pain. After just three sessions of manual treatment to address sacral, pelvic, and lumbar dysfunction, the pilot reported an 80%+ improvement in pain and was able to return to flight. The case reveals the benefits of manual therapy in the management of chronic back pain among aviators.
Military Medicine, October 2015
Wellness/Prevention: Can Vitamin D Lower Heart Disease Risk?
Vitamin D supplements may improve exercise performance and lower the risk of heart disease. Researchers say that vitamin D can block the action of an enzyme called 11-ßHSD1, which assists in making the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated levels of this hormone can increase blood pressure by restricting the arteries, narrowing blood vessels, and encouraging the kidneys to retain water. Thus, researchers theorize vitamin D could improve exercise performance and lower risk factors for cardiovascular issues by reducing cortisol levels.
Society for Endocrinology Annual Conference, November 2015