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mortality risk

PositiveTip for

"Alternative" Treatments for Cancer

The risk of death may be 5x higher in those choosing alternative treatments.

We all know unproven alternative treatments are risky. Yale researchers have now quantified one type of risk for cancer patients--the risk of death. The results are frightening. By tracking equally matched subjects for 66 months, it was found that those in the alternative treatment group were 2.5 times more likely to die within five years than those in the evidence-based group. Looking specifically at breast cancer, alternative medicine users were 5.7 times more likely to die than those using conventional treatments.

PositiveTip: Think very carefully before substituting alternative treatments for evidence-based treatments.

PositiveTip for

Sedentary Work Offset by One Hour of Daily Exercise

One hour of physical activity daily may offset the risk of sitting at work.

About an hour of moderate-intensity activity (i.e. brisk walking) can erase the increased death rate associated with sitting at work all day. More than 1 million men and women were included in a meta-analysis which found when the least active participants (5 min. per day of moderate activity) sat all day their death rate increased by 27% compared to those sitting less than 4 hours daily. Yet, among the most active individuals (60-75 minutes of daily activity) prolonged sitting was not associated with increased death rates.

PositiveTip: If your job requires sitting all day, be sure to get at least one hour of moderate intensity activity daily.

PositiveTip for

Avoiding Sun May Be as Dangerous as Smoking

Nonsmokers who avoid the sun have a similar risk for death as smokers!

Swedish researchers studied 30,000 women over 20 and found the nonsmokers who stayed out of the sun had a life expectancy similar to smokers with the highest sun exposure. The authors suggest that overexposure should be avoided, but underexposure may be more dangerous than people think. Exercise and lifestyle data were not considered and might have confounded these findings.

PositiveTip: Vitamin D is essential for good health, and appropriate sun exposure is an excellent way of getting it.