Heaviest drinkers reduce consumption when prices rise.
When booze became more expensive in British Columbia, a 32% drop in wholly attributable alcohol-related deaths occurred. These deaths included alcohol poisoning, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, and alcoholic gastritis. During the 8 years of the study, the average minimum price of spirits and beer increased by 10%. This was an ecological study that averaged the data over all individuals.
PositiveTip: Total abstinence is still the best way to prevent alcohol-related deaths.
Globally, every six seconds one person dies from using tobacco as indicated.
When used as indicated, tobacco kills half of its users. Each year more than 5 million users and ex-users die from tobacco. More than 600,000 nonsmokers who have been exposed to second-hand smoke die. To put this in perspective, these deaths equal the number of people who would die if 1,200 jumbo jets were to crash each year!
PositiveTip: Don't start smoking, and if you do, quit now.
Cigarette smoking started in early life significantly increases mortality.
Even though the significant negative health effects of cigarette smoking are well known, smoking rates in young people continue to rise. Analysis of data from the Harvard University Alumni Study found that men who reported smoking at age 18 experienced a 30% increase in all-cause mortality (P<0.001). Deaths from smoking-related cancers increased by 91% in these same men (P<0.001). Quitting smoking lowered risks significantly over those who continued.
PositiveTip: Do all you can to encourage young people to never start smoking.
Increased traffic deaths observed on Tax Day.
April 17 is the drop-dead date for paying Federal taxes in the United States this year. It may literally be a life-or-death situation for some taxpayers. A review of fatal vehicular accidents which occured on Tax Day reveals significantly more deaths (P>0.001) compared to control days. An average of three excess deaths have occured on each Tax Day since 1980. University of Toronto researchers suggest that stressful deadlines may impair driving ability, and called for more research.
PositiveTip: Stressed out by taxes? Never forget that faithfulness results in "great peace" (Psalm 119:165).
Cancer rates fall, but poor lifestyle toll mounts.
If you don't smoke, excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity are the greatest risk factors for cancer, according to the 2012 Annual Report to the Nation stated. While cancer incidence and mortality have continued to decline since the early 1990s, cancers associated with these risk factors are a critical concern. Theyh are identified in the report as esopageal, colorectal, kidney, pancreatic, endometrial, and postmenopausal breast cancer.
PositiveTip: Get moving every day and eat only what you need to lower your risk for cancer!
Lifestyle may reduce risk of early death by 42%.
The Cancer Prevention Study ll Nutrition Cohort shows that people who maintain a BMI within normal range, exercise 30 or more minutes daily, and eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains exhibit reduced deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause mortality. For those who met the criteria above, this study shows reductions of 48%, 30%, and 42% for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause mortality in men. For women, the numbers are 58%, 24%, and 42%, respectively.
PositiveTip: Diet, exercise, and maintaining a normal weight significantly reduce the risk of disease and premature death.
Illicit drug use is a substantial cause of mortality and morbidity.
Tracking the use of illegal drugs is a challenge because of their illegality, but researchers from Australia estimate that 149 to 271 million people around the world use them. Pot (cannabis) is the most widely used. This study did not include hallucinogens, inhalants, anabolic steriods or ecstasy. For perspective, the WHO has estimated that illegal drug use causes 250,000 deaths annually, compared with 2.25 million due to alcohol and over 5 million caused by tobacco.
PositiveTip: For health and safety avoid all illegal drugs, along with the more popular legal ones such as alcohol and tobacco!
Fitness alone curbs all-cause and CVD deaths.
Middle-aged men who maintained or increased their fitness over 11 years experienced 30% and 40% reductions, respectively, in cardiovascular disease deaths and all-cause mortality--even without losing weight. When fitness declined during the study period, risk of dying increased.
PositiveTip: What are you doing to stay fit? Make at least 30 minutes of physical activity a part of your life every day.
Harvard freshman with pre-hypertension had higher risk in later life.
Men enrolling at Harvard between 1914 and 1952 who reported elevated systolic blood pressure their freshman year experienced a 20% greater risk for coronary heart disease later in life. Those diagnosed with hypertension in middle age had twice the risk of coronary deaths and stroke compared to those with normal blood pressures.
PositiveTip: Have you had your blood pressure checked recently? Get it taken even if you are young!
Insomnia increases death rates in men four fold.
The Penn State Cohort Study of over 741 men followed for 14 years finds that men suffering from insomnia and sleeping less than 6 hours nightly had 4 times the risk of dying than men that had normal sleep. A trend of insomnia and short sleep coexisting with diabetes and/or hypertension brings with it increased risk of over 7 fold. In women their was no increase in deaths associated with insomnia or short sleep.
PositiveTip: If you suffer from insomnia do not ignore it. Set regular sleep/wake times, exercise daily at least 30 minutes, avoid caffeinated beverages, and skip late, large meals.