November 27, 2012

Health roundup: Sleep is good, stop slouching, flu shot for heart health, grapefruit and Afilbercept for cancer

Why getting a good night's sleep will keep you slim, get you promoted and save your marriage.  Do you believe Penelope Cruz gets an average of 14 hours of sleep a day?

Stop slouching.  It could be making you sad and depressed.  Just by sitting or standing upright, you better your mood and increase your energy.

It just may be that Exercise can protect the brain from fatty foods.  Exercise seems to stimulate the production of certain biochemical substances that prevent free fatty acids from infiltrating the brain resulting in fewer plaques and better memory.  It does on mice and rats anyway. 

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that more than 1 million women who have had mammograms have been unnecessarily treated for breast cancer over the past three decades.

Could Whole-Genome Testing Increase Insurance Costs?  Yes.  Genetic testing can also make it harder to buy life insurance, disability insurance and long-term care insurance.

There's still time to get your flu shot and protect yourself against a heart attack at the same time.  Flu shot can protect against heart attacks

Getting vaccinated cuts risk for a heart attack or stroke by up to 50 percent, according to two studies presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress….  The findings suggest “that flu vaccine is a heart vaccine", -- Researchers report that up to 91,000 Americans a year die from heart attacks and strokes triggered by flu. --- Another surprising benefit of getting a flu shot is reduced risk for pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs) and deep vein thrombosis (a clot in the legs). 

Other vaccines that reduce heart attack risk is you're over 65: the herpes zoster vaccination against shingles and the vaccine against pneumococcal pneumonia.

Hope for cancer victims as scientists develop drug that sends cells to sleep to stop them spreading

A new drug called Aflibercept tricks tumors into becoming dormant by flipping molecular switches in the structure of the cancer so it cannot spread.  Positive results are being seen already in the UK, where trials have seen patients enjoy a 'significant' extension of life.
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A report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said Aflibercept had a 'statistically significant survival benefit' compared to conventional drug regimes treating bowel cancer that had spread after initial treatment.
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Maybe they will find other cancers where it may be more effective.' Aflibercept is administered as a 30-minute infusion alongside chemotherapy.  It is available in the US, and European approval is expected soon.

Men: Put down that soft drink.  Just one soft drink a day increases your risk of aggressive prostrate cancer by 40 per cent

Men who drink fizzy drinks are not just ruining their teeth and waistlines  - they could be at risk of aggressive prostate cancer as well.
A Swedish study has found just one soft drink a day could increase the risk of developing more serious forms of the cancer by 40%.
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The study, which will be published in the upcoming edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined more than 8,000 men aged between 45 and 73 for an average of 15 years.

Why a breakfast of grapefruit and marmalade on toast could be lethal for people taking medication

Both grapefruit and Seville oranges contain chemicals that can interact with certain drugs such as statins and antidepressants.
Adverse effects can include acute kidney failure, respiratory failure, internal bleeding and sudden death.
Posted by Jill Fallon at November 27, 2012 3:46 PM | Permalink