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How much exercise is enough?

How much exercise is enough? | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment: Here's the answer to the question => What's the least I have to do? Answer: the more you do the better.  Fitness & Fatness independently important.

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“We found that adding low amounts of physical activity to one’s daily routine, such as 75 minutes of brisk walking per week, was associated with increased longevity: a gain of 1.8 years of life expectancy after age 40, compared with doing no such activity"

We all know that exercise is good for you, but how good? While previous studies have shown the link between physical activity and a lower risk of premature mortality, the number of years of life expectancy gained among persons with different activity levels has been unclear — until now.

In a new study from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, researchers have quantified how many years of life are gained by being physically active at different levels, among all individuals as well as among various groups having different body mass indexes (BMI).

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Study Finds No Heart Benefit to Daily Multivitamin

Study Finds No Heart Benefit to Daily Multivitamin | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment - this study of very healthy (had above average rates of exercise and dietary vegetable & fruits) American male physicians showed no benefit on cardiac or vascular events for a long time in allot of patients. There is clearly no benefit of Centrum Silver in healthy Americans men in their 60's.
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Taking a daily multivitamin didn't cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes in a large new study that lasted more than a decade. But earlier results from the same multivitamin study found a small reduction in the risk of cancer.

Seth Bilazarian, MD's insight:

It has been said that Americans have the "most expensive urine in the world" since most of these costly vitamins & supplements provide little benefit.  Patients often accuse physicians of not caring or being intersted in vitamin therapies, but the data is lacking for most supplements and the good qulaity data that does exist generally does not support supplements.

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Personalized Medicine Moves Closer

Personalized Medicine Moves Closer | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it
In a major step toward personalized medicine, researchers reported they have sequenced the complete DNA material of more than 1,000 people from 14 population groups in Europe, Africa, East Asia and the Americas.

Generally, all humans share about 99% of the DNA code that shapes development, health, personality and other traits. But the common genetic variations that most people share account for only a fraction of the risk of inherited disease.

Genetic variation among people refers to the differences in the order of chemical units, known by the shorthand A, G, C, and T, which make up the three billion letters of DNA in the human genome. The differences can be as minute as a single character replaced by another, or can be sequences of characters that are out of order, missing, duplicated or inserted in the wrong place.

"The biggest question is trying to figure out how much of this variation is meaningful"

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Eating Fish, but Not Supplements, Cuts Stroke Risk

Eating Fish, but Not Supplements, Cuts Stroke Risk | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Eating fish -- and the more the better -- appears to be associated with a small but significant decrease in the risk of cerebrovascular events, a meta-analysis showed.

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Marathon Runners Stop Aging Out of the Race

Marathon Runners Stop Aging Out of the Race | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Runners 50 years and older represent one of the fastest-growing age groups participating in marathons. As the total number of runners finishing marathons in the U.S. doubled to 518,000 in the 20 years ended in 2011, the number of finishers age 50 and older nearly tripled to 92,200, or about 18% of the total.  At the ING New York Marathon, this weekend, more than 1 out of every 5 finishers at last year's race, or 9,710 athletes, ran in 50-and-older age groups.

Of course, the stresses of long-distance running are harder on aging joints, feet, muscles and backs, leaving older marathoners more prone to injury than younger competitors. Some coaches say aging marathoners need to adopt different techniques than younger people when training for a race, including more cross-training sessions in the pool and on a bike and allowing extra time for rest and recovery between practice runs.

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Why Cheaper Genetic Testing Could Cost Us a Fortune

Why Cheaper Genetic Testing Could Cost Us a Fortune | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

In an ideal scenario, genetic analysis could save money by catching diseases early, offering targeted treatments and underscoring the most effective preventive measures. In the worst case, it could deluge an already swamped health care system, as patients with ambiguous results begin to seek frequent screenings — and potentially unnecessary procedures — for diseases they might never develop.

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Neuroprotective lifestyles and the aging brain

Neuroprotective lifestyles and the aging brain | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Increased participation in leisure & physical activities may be cognitively protective. Whether activity might protect the integrity of the brain's white matter, or reduce atrophy & white matter lesion (WML) load, was examined in 691adults.

WMLs  are areas of demyelinated cells found in the white matter of the brain. Minor cases that are commonly found in people over 65 years old, are thought to be the result of normal aging. It's not clear how or if white matter lesions directly cause brain dysfunction, they can be used as biomarkers for underlying pathology. There is a proven connection between WMLs and a decrease in brain volume, loss of memory and vision, and a decrease in cognitive ability. 

In this large, narrow-age sample of adults in their 70s, physical activity was associated with less atrophy and WML. Its role as a potential neuroprotective factor is supported; however, the direction of causation is unclear from this observational study.

 

Image from http://diagnijmegen.nl/index.php/White_Matter_Lesions

 

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Lowering Medicare Bills

Lowering Medicare Bills | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it
Are you paying higher Medicare premiums because of your income? Now is the time to try to reduce next year's bill.

The federal health-benefits program for older adults and the disabled has started its annual open-enrollment period, which runs through Dec. 7.

Re-evaluating Medicare coverage is as important as rebalancing an investment portfolio. As your needs change, make adjustments—while ensuring you get the same services at the best price.

But very few people do it. Only 15% of 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries who are 65 or older said they had changed their Medicare plans in the past year or plan to do so in the next 12 months, a recent Allsup survey found. Each year, people who use Medicare have to choose at least a few areas of their coverage. In traditional Medicare—comprising parts A (mainly hospitalization), B (outpatient care, including doctor visits) and D (prescription drugs)—you have to choose a drug plan. You also can buy a separate Medigap policy to help insure costs that otherwise aren't covered. Instead of using parts B and D, you can choose a Medicare Advantage plan—technically Part C—which has a set group of providers and might also cover drugs, dental work and eye appointments.

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More Than a Case of Jitters as a Shadow Falls on Energy Drinks

More Than a Case of Jitters as a Shadow Falls on Energy Drinks | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

As consumption of energy drinks soars in the United States, critics say the Food and Drug Administration has allowed the drinks to languish in a regulatory gray area.

 

See our TV program on health effects of energy drinks at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n75p096eyNY 

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Does eating lunch at your desk increase blood clot risk?

Does eating lunch at your desk increase blood clot risk? | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

The claim: “Eating lunch at your desk could increase your risk of DVT”—was the dramatic headline from UK’s Marie Claire magazine which caught my attention. (1) The online story went on to say that “Almost 75 per cent of office staff aged 21-30 who work 10-hour days don’t get up to take a break. This could double chances of a fatal blood clot.” The story was light on citing scientific evidence to back up this claim, so, as someone interested in DVT education (and admittedly, who eats at her desk routinely), I decided to investigate if this assertion is true: Does eating lunch at your desk increase blood clot risk?

The answer: Yes. The act of eating lunch at your desk, in and of itself, does not increase blood clot risk; but the immobility associated with prolonged sitting at your desk, does.

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More Health-Law Changes Coming in 2013

More Health-Law Changes Coming in 2013 | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment: regardless of your support or opposition to ACA (Obamacare) these first set of changes due at the beginning of 2013 are mostly good.  Higher premiums can't really be blamed on the ACA since the graph shows this rate of increase over the last several years is steady.

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Next year will see some of the many significant changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act, including easy-to-read plan summaries and caps on flexible spending accounts.

FIVE changes:

1. Higher Premiums

2. Straightforward Summaries

3. Flexible Spending Account  Limit

4. Dependent Coverage

5. Higher Spending Cap - cap rises to $2 million, from $1.25 million

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Dr Portnay: 5 things that I want my patients to know

Dr Portnay: 5 things that I want my patients to know | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

1. Antibiotics will not help the common cold.

2. A CT scan will not help a headache.

3. Every test has potential side effects.

4. Lifestyle changes make a huge difference.

5. Aspirin is one of few medications that's been definitively shown to help you.

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DNA determinants of Blood Pressure Response to Antihypertensives

DNA determinants of Blood Pressure Response to Antihypertensives | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment:  The personalized medicine revolution is still on the horizon. Being able to evaluate which drug would be best for a patient before trying multiple drugs would be desirable and of great benefit (less cost, less side effects) but insurance payers and guidelines have not yet caught up with this basic science.

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39 genetic association with hypertension (HTN) have been identified. This study looked at DNA characteristics (loci/SNPs) associated with HTN and blood pressure response to antihypertensive drugs (specifically the bgereically available atenolol or hydrochlorothiazide.  768 Caucasian hypertensive participants in the Pharmacogenomics Responses of Antihypertensive Responses (PEAR) study were evaluated.

Genotypes of 37 loci were obtained:  six reached nominal significance (p<0.05) and 3 were associated with atenolol BP response at p < 0.01.

The genetic score of the HCTZ BP lowering alleles was associated with response to HCTZ (p = 0.0006 for SBP; p = 0.0003 for DBP). Both risk score p values were < 0.01.

These findings suggest selected signals from hypertension GWAS may predict BP response to atenolol and HCTZ when assessed through risk scoring.

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How to Get the Best Price on New Generic Plavix (updated Feb 2013)

How to Get the Best Price on New Generic Plavix (updated Feb 2013) | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Price Update as of October 2012: Cost Per Pill
When we queried the large pharmacy providers five months ago, we were told that after a few months competition would set in and prices should drop significantly. Our survey on October 4, 2012 showed only a very small dip in prices. So much for free market competition!

For 75 mg generic clopidogrel, both CVS and Walgreens were quoting slightly more than $5.50 a pill, only an 8% drop from May. WalMart/Sam's Club was offering generic clopidogrel in their in-store pharmacies for approximately $1.80 per pill; $1.50 if you ordered from their centralized home delivery.

But once again, the price winner was Costco. Their cash price is now $0.32 a pill, or under $10 a month!

Worthy of note: Brand-name Plavix is now selling for $7.50/pill at Walgreen's, a significant rise from the pre-generic era. In fact, Walgreen's current generic price of $5.50 is slightly more than the brand-name price was before the drug went generic.

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Pradaxa (dabigatran) Safety Review of Serious Bleeding Events by FDA

UPDATED 11/02/2012. Results of FDAs Mini-Sentinel assessment indicate that bleeding rates associated with new use of Pradaxa do not appear to be higher than bleeding rates associated with new use of warfarin.
My comment -= I hope this review by the FDA reassures patients that the use of Pradaxa is safe as an alternative to warfarin,. This adds to the randomized trial RE-L. Patients are being unnecessarily frightened by TV ads by malpractice attorneys and decisions about options fro treatment are being complicated without reason.,
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Pradaxa turns 19 (in dog years)

Pradaxa turns 19 (in dog years) | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

As Pradaxa (dabigatran) celebrates its second anniversary since FDA approval, the clock is ticking to 2018, when its first patent is set to expire.  What are the impediments to new blood thinners despite a strong set of data from the development of this first in class new blood thinner. My thoughts in theheart.org Vlog.

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The Unexpected Dangers of Obesity

The Unexpected Dangers of Obesity | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Researchers are discovering more ways that obesity can damage the body. These include altering a person's ability to smell, disrupting sleep and sexual function, and accelerating cancerous tumor growth.

"Obesity is a complex condition," "Many, many things change in the body."

Fat produces numerous hormones, inflammatory molecules and other chemicals that can act directly on nearby organs or travel to wreak havoc in other areas of the body. Better understanding how this works might eventually open new avenues for treatment of obesity and linked conditions, experts say.

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5 biggest medical breakthroughs of the year

5 biggest medical breakthroughs of the year | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it
The most notable medical advances of 2012.

A leadless, subcutaneous defibrillator makes the list of 5 biggest medical breakthroughs of the year.

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Making Sense of Food Labels

Making Sense of Food Labels | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it
What's in a label? A guide to understanding what natural, organic, free-range, hormone-free...really mean. From meat to dairy, produce to pasta, food labels tout all sorts of claims that probably shouldn't be taken at face value.
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Women Who Quit Smoking Do Live Longer

Women Who Quit Smoking Do Live Longer | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it
Life expectancy was dramatically improved among participants in Great Britain's Million Women Study who quit smoking compared with continuous smokers, confirming the previously uncertain benefits of smoking cessation in women, researchers said.

Although women who stopped smoking around age 50 remained at significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality compared with never-smokers (relative risk 1.56, 95% CI 1.49 to 1.64), it was much lower than the tripled risk of death seen in current smokers.

"Even cessation at about 50 years of age avoids at least two-thirds of the continuing smoker's excess mortality in later middle age."

"Stopping well before age 40 years would avoid well over 90% of the excess hazard in continuing smokers."

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Is Your Smartphone Making You Sick?

Is Your Smartphone Making You Sick? | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Cellphones are great for sharing photos—and bacteria. But cleaning may harm screens. Four cleaning methods evaluated.

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Exercise Might Beat Puzzles for Protecting the Aging Brain

Exercise Might Beat Puzzles for Protecting the Aging Brain | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

To help stave off the cognitive decline of aging, you might want to drop the crossword puzzle and head out for a brisk walk or a bike ride.

In a study published in the journal Neurology of almost 700 people born in 1936, researchers found physically active people showed fewer signs of brain shrinkage and other deterioration than those who got less exercise.

At the same time, social and intellectual activities such as visiting family and friends, reading, playing intellectually stimulating games or learning a new language did nearly nothing to ward off the symptoms of an aging brain, the study said.

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James Woolley's curator insight, March 16, 2015 5:39 PM

It would appear that exercise is good for your brain, based on this latest study.

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Seth Bilazarian Vlog: What to do about hospital readmission rates

Seth Bilazarian Vlog: What to do about hospital readmission rates | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

As the CMS moves to cut reimbursement based on high rates of hospital readmission for MI, heart failure, and pneumonia, how can cardiologists—working with other healthcare providers, patients, and their families—provide optimum care and keep people out of the hospital?

Is preventing readmission the base way to judge quality? Can hospitals control social and home life issues that have a huge impact on admission and readmission

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How to Appeal Denied Medicare Claims

How to Appeal Denied Medicare Claims | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

There are several things Medicare beneficiaries can do to reduce their costs. One of the most prominent started last week: the annual open-enrollment period (which runs through Dec. 7), where people can add, drop or switch medical and prescription-drug plans.

But an equally important strategy—and one that most beneficiaries don't pursue—is appealing denied medical claims.

Appeals of denied claims have high success rates. Here are the steps you need to follow.

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Get out of your chair and 'Stand App'

Get out of your chair and 'Stand App' | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

My comment:  There is much enthusiasm about mobile health #mHealth and connected health #cHealth and electronic health #eHealth.  Here's an app for a new category?  Is this immobile health?  Or sedentary health #sHealth?

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Stand App is really straightforward: If you have a desk job, download this free app and tell it at which specific interval you would like to be reminded to get up.

Available on: iPhone
Price: Free
Should you get it? Yes, if you need a reminder to get up from your desk job

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