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Stress May Impact Cognitive Performance

Are you under a lot of stress and facing examinations? Relax, your scores will improve!

Chronic stress is a well-known risk factor for major conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders. In healthy individuals it can disrupt creativity, flexible problem solving, and working memory. These are all related to processes dependent on an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex (PFC).

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Meat Lover's Death Rates are Higher

That hamburger could be shortening your life!

A new National Cancer Institute study of over one-half million people reports those who eat the most red or processed meats have a higher death rate than those who eat the least.

if everyone ate like the one-fifth eating the least red and processed meat men would experience 11% less premature death, and women would experience 16% less!

Positive Tip: Those who ate the least red and processed meat consumed less than 5 oz. per week. They ate more fruits and vegetables, also.

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Early Reflections on H1N1 "Swine Flu"

The recent H1N1 flu pandemic scare is more benign than feared, but could come back with a vengeance.

An early review of the recent influenza A H1N1 scare suggests this virus is more transmissible and lethal than the typical seasonal flu viruses. This is the conclusion of a team of epidemiologists who analyzed the recent outbreak of H1N1 in Mexico. They presented several interesting, but tentative observations:

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Could the answer to obesity be as simple as drinking more water?

A school-based initiative to promote water consumption lowered risk for children being overweight.

Researchers in Germany have found by promoting water consumption in grade schools, students do not gain as much weight. In the intervention schools one or two water fountains were installed, the students were given a water bottle at the beginning of the school year and again mid-term, and the teachers presented four prepared classroom lessons about the body's need of water. In the control schools none of these changes were implemented.

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Mouth Exercises May Help Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is significantly improved by simple mouth exercises.

A set of simple exercises designed to strengthen upper airway muscles shows significant promise as an alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Brazilian researchers studied 31 patients with moderate OSA.

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Good News, Bad News!

Americans are doing better at controlling cardiovascular disease, but not diabetes.

Analysis of Americans between 40 and 85 years of age reveals that between 1999 and 2006 the prevalence of hypertension, coronary heart disease and stroke remained stable, but diabetes rose 2%. Significant improvements were found in control of blood pressure, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, and total cholesterol. However, gaps between white and nonwhite patients did not change, although they were smaller after age 65 when universal Medicare insurance begins.

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A Case for Balance in Body Weight

Moderate weight in both men and women assures the lowest death rates--not too heavy and not too thin!

The media today informs us of the growing epidemic of obesity while at the same time placing great value in the beauty industry of the super-thin model. New research shows lowest death rates in those who are neither obese or super thin.

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A Healthy Diet Can Significantly Lower Risk of Heart Failure in Women

Careful compliance to a healthy diet can lower risk of heart failure in women (and probably men also).

A 7 year study of 36,000 Swedish women, 48-83 years old, found those who most closely followed the DASH diet had a 37% lower risk of heart failure than those women who least closely followed the plan. This benefit was seen after adjusting for Body Mass Index, family history, and smoking status.

The DASH eating plan is one high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, low-fat dairy, and whole grains; and low in red and processed meat, salt, and sweetened beverages. 

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A Walk a Day May Keep Breast Cancer Away

Keep working out, ladies. It may help you prevent getting breast cancer.

Ladies, here is more evidence that physical activity may prevent breast cancer. A prospective study conducted at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas examined 14,811 women aged 20 to 83 years old with no history of breast cancer. At the beginning of the study each subject received a maximal exercise test to determine their cardiorespiratory fitness. The results of these tests placed them in low, moderate, or high fitness categories. They were followed for an average of 16 years.

Women in the low fitness group were 2.4 times more likely to develop breast cancer when compared to those in the high fitness group!