Massive daily blog #2

Mental Attitude: A Sense of Purpose Is Important for Heart Health. A review of past research involving more than 137,000 individuals found that living a life with a strong sense of purpose may lower a person’s risk of early death, heart attack, and stroke. Compared with those lacking a sense of meaning and direction in life, researchers found that study participants possessing a strong sense of purpose had a 23% reduced risk of premature death from any cause and a 19% lower risk for cardiovascular-related events such as heart attack or stroke. Study author Dr. Randy Cohen writes, “Purpose in life is considered a basic psychological need, and has been defined as a sense of meaning and direction in one’s life, which gives the feeling that life is worth living.” American Heart Association, March 2015

Health Alert: Air Pollution May Increase Stroke Risk. A new study has discovered that high levels of small-particle air pollution can increase an individual’s risk for narrowing of the carotid arteries in the neck, a risk factor for stroke. The findings come from screening tests of more than 300,000 people living in New York. Investigators found that those who live in areas with high levels of air pollution were 24% more likely to have narrowing of the arteries that deliver blood to the brain. Lead author Dr. Jonathan Newman adds, “If you’re in good health, the level of air pollution we see in most parts of the United States probably doesn’t pose a significant health risk to you. But for people who are very young, very old, or have other medical problems, air pollution could be a significant source of cardiovascular disease risk.” American College of Cardiology, March 2015

Diet: Lycopene May Reduce Risk of Kidney Cancer in Older Women. Lycopene is an antioxidant compound commonly advertised as a component of tomatoes and tomato products. An analysis of data from over 96,000 postmenopausal women revealed that a higher intake of lycopene is associated with up to a 39% reduced risk for developing renal cell carcinoma. Cancer, February 2015

Exercise: Can Interactive Cycling Games Provide an Alternative to Conventional Exercise? Scientists recently compared the physiological and enjoyment responses between conventional cycling and interactive video game cycling. They found that interactive video game cycling was more enjoyable for study participants and led to a higher overall energy expenditure. Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that interactive cycling games could be a suitable alternative to conventional exercise. PLOS ONE, March 2015

Chiropractic: Back Pain Prevalence and Obesity Around the World. Using data collected from 42,116 individuals from nine countries across five continents, researchers have found that obesity can increase an individual’s risk for back pain 1.4 to 3.3 times when compared with their countrymen whose body mass index scores fall in the normal range. While further studies are needed to identify what factors lead to greater back pain risk for obese adults in some countries, it’s clear that maintaining a healthy weight should be an important part of everyone’s back pain prevention strategy. BMC Public Health, February 2015

Wellness/Prevention: This May Slow Cardiovascular Disease in Patients with Kidney Disease. For kidney disease patients, cardiovascular disease is the main cause of morbidity and mortality. An animal-based study looked at the effect of daily exercise on mice with compromised kidney function. Compared with sedentary mice, researchers observed considerably less aortic plaque buildup in the mice that exercised. Further research is necessary to verify these findings and eventually determine if such benefits translate to human kidney disease patients. PLOS ONE, March 2015

Quote: “There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.” ~ Raymond Chandler

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