Category Archives: alcohol

Facts about seniors drinking

What we put into our system counts a lot toward our daily health and ultimate longevity. So, I  thought this study on increasing seniors drinking was relevant.

Most older Americans drink alcohol. Given that this segment of the population is projected to almost double by 2050, reaching 112 million, in the future, there will likely be many more older drinkers in the United States than currently. Importantly, older individuals are more sensitive to alcohol’s effects than their younger counterparts, and are also more likely to take prescription medications that can interact negatively with alcohol, potentially leading to falls and other injuries. This study examined trends in drinking status among U.S. adults 60 years of age and older.

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Researchers analyzed data from the 1997-2014 National Health Interview Surveys: 65,303 respondents 60 years of age and older (31,803 men, 33,500 women) were current drinkers; 6,570 men and 1,737 women were binge drinkers. Analysis of respondents by sex, age group, and birth cohort showed differing trends over time. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, alcohol, drinking alcohol, seniors, successful aging

10 Hidden Anxiety Triggers You Need to Avoid

There is a ton of good information in this. Read it and reap!

I have posted previously on:

How important is a good night’s sleep?

Super tools for handling stress

Tony

Our Better Health

Anxiety seems to be a near-universal condition. In the United States alone, approximately 40 million adults – or 18 percent of the population – suffer from an anxiety disorder.

And these numbers represent only the diagnosed (i.e. reported). The actual number is likely to be significantly higher.

The truth is that society is somewhat to blame (not to negate our own sense of responsibility.) We’ve managed to build a 24/7 “constantly connected” infrastructure that has permeated into schools, businesses and elsewhere. Many people are under constant pressure to succeed; most ironically by leveraging this very infrastructure. This only exacerbates the problem.

“Prevention is the best cure” is a universal axiom within the medical community, including within the mental health sphere. Understanding what “triggers” certain symptoms or condition can – in some instances – drastically reduce the likelihood of a symptom or episode.

Here, we focus on ten established “triggers” that…

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Filed under alcohol, anxiety, drinking alcohol, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, good night's sleep, sleep, stress, stress reduction

Drugs and Alcohol – Your Body – Infographic

I ran across this fascinating infographic this morning and thought you might be interested.

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Tony

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New Study Shows Drinking Alcohol, Even Light-to-Moderate Amounts, Provides No Heart Health Benefit

“These new results are critically important to our understanding of how alcohol affects heart disease. Contrary to what earlier reports have shown, it now appears that any exposure to alcohol has a negative impact upon heart health,” says co-lead author Michael Holmes, MD, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of Transplant Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.

The new research reviewed evidence from more than 50 studies that linked drinking habits and cardiovascular health for over 260,000 people. Researchers found that individuals who carry a specific gene which typically leads to lower alcohol consumption over time have, on average, superior cardiovascular health records. Specifically, the results show that individuals who consume 17 percent less alcohol per week have on average a 10 percent reduced risk of…

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Leading Health Indicators Show Improvement – HHS

Must confess that I have heard of the leading economic indicators, but never the leading health ones. The Dept of HHS is a good source, however. This seems a pleasant surprise in terms of results.

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Leading Health Indicators: Progress Update, which shows that we are making progress in more than half of the 26 Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators (LHIs).

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There are 14 health indicators that have either been met or are improving in this first third of the decade, including:
• Fewer adults smoking cigarettes
• Fewer children exposed to secondhand smoke
• More adults meeting physical activity targets
• Fewer adolescents using alcohol or drugs
(My emphasis: I consider smoking to be a horrible killer and crippler of humans. The fact that fewer adults are doing it and fewer children are exposed to second hand smoke is wonderful positive news. You can read my Page –  How Bad is Smoking? for more info.)

As of March 2014, progress generally has been positive toward achieving the HP2020 targets for the 26 LHIs, with 14 indicators (53.9%) having either met their target or shown improvement:

• 4 indicators (15.4%) have met or exceeded their HP2020 targets.
• 10 indicators (38.5%) are improving.
• 8 indicators (30.8%) show little or no detectable change.
• 3 indicators (11.5%) are getting worse.
• 1 indicator (3.8%) has only baseline data.

The LHIs are a subset of Healthy People 2020 objectives, which communicate high-priority health issues known to have a major influence in reducing preventable disease and death. These indicators are used to assess the health of the Nation, facilitate collaboration across sectors, and motivate action at the national, State, and community levels to improve the health of the U.S. population.

While progress has been made across several indicators, the LHI Progress Update highlights areas where further work is needed to improve the health of all Americans.

You can see the progress made within each of the 26 leading health indicators.

Tony

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Filed under alcohol, Exercise, Leading Health Indicators, smoking, Weight

Drinking Alcohol Several Times a Week Increases the Risk of Stroke Mortality

The study showed that people who consume alcohol more frequently than twice a week have over a threefold risk of stroke mortality than people who do not consume alcohol at all. The risk of stroke mortality is elevated irrespective of the amount of alcohol consumed.

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Consuming alcohol more frequently than twice a week increases the risk of stroke mortality in men, according to a study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland. The results show that the effects of alcohol are not limited to the amount consumed, but also the frequency of drinking matters. The results were published in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica.

Excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with a variety of different diseases. The relationship between alcohol consumption and ischaemic stroke shows a J curve pattern, which means that in people who are moderate consumers of alcohol, the risk of stroke is the lowest, while heavy consumption of alcohol increases the risk of stroke. The risk of cerebral haemorrhage increases linearly as the consumption of alcohol increases: the higher the amount of alcohol consumed, the higher the risk of stroke. In addition to alcohol, other significant risk factors for stroke include elevated…

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Women More Vulnerable Than Men to Holiday Drinking

I started writing blog posts about healthy eating for the holidays on October 28. This will be the second one that dealt with the drinking side of the equation. Of course, the principles involved here apply year ’round, not just to the holidays, but since we are in the holiday season, it seemed an appropriate subject.

The holiday spirit includes the imbibing of alcoholic spirits. As it turns out, women with their smaller frames tend to be more vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol than men. But, smaller frames doesn’t tell the whole story.

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According to the site Alcohol problems and solutions “Women are affected by alcohol more rapidly because they tend to have a higher proportion of body fat than men. As fat cannot absorb alcohol, it is concentrated at higher levels in the blood. Women also have less of a gastric or stomach enzyme (dehydrogenase) that metabolizes or breaks down alcohol before it enters the bloodstream. Because of this, women absorb up to nearly 30 per cent more alcohol into their bloodstream than men of the same height and weight who drink the same amount of alcohol. Women are also usually shorter and lighter than men, further concentrating alcohol in their blood. Therefore, when women of average size consume one drink, it will have almost the same effect as two drinks do for the average size man. If women eat little or skip food entirely, that compounds the effects of drinking alcohol.”

WebMD has an interesting quiz on alcohol consumption that explains, “Women are more vulnerable to alcohol for a variety of reasons. First, women tend to weigh less than men, so a drink delivers proportionately more alcohol. But even in the case of men and women who weigh the same, alcohol hits women harder because they metabolize it differently. Alcohol is diluted by the body’s water content, and women tend to have a lower water content. This means that alcohol is not as diluted in their bodies, and their organs are exposed to more alcohol.

Women are at higher risk for negative health consequences of drinking, including liver, brain, and heart damage.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control,The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. This definition is referring to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days. The Dietary Guidelines also state that it is not recommended that anyone begin drinking or drink more frequently on the basis of potential health benefits because moderate alcohol intake also is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, violence, drowning, and injuries from falls and motor vehicle crashes.”

Limiting your alcohol consumption is good for your health and you will likely enjoy the holidays more if you do.

Tony

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Filed under after dinner drinks, alcohol, healthy living, water, Weight

Selenium: Why Too Little or Too Much Can be Deadly

If you are a smoker, alcohol drinker, and/or take the pill, it would be wise to have your Selenium levels tested every time you see your physician.

(The Old) Holistic Health & Living

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Selenium is a trace mineral essential to your body’s ability to function normally. Despite its importance, relatively little selenium is needed; yet, failure to consume that minuscule quantity can lead to serious, even life threatening, health problems. And the same holds true for consuming too much. To fully appreciate the importance of this mineral, we must first examine the consequences and symptoms of not getting enough selenium in our diets. … This article has been updated and moved to the new Holistic Health & Living: http://www.holistichealthliving.com/2016/02/selenium-why-too-little-or-too-much-can-be-deadly/ 

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