Category Archives: longevity

Reaction time variation may predict mortality in old age – Study

A common indicator of neurobiological disturbance among the elderly may also be associated with mortality, according to a study published August 9, 2017 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Nicole A. Kochan at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW Sydney.

2-brain

Intraindividual reaction time variability (IIVRT), defined as an individual’s variation in reaction times when completing a single cognitive task across several trials, has been associated with mild cognitive decline, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. The authors of this study investigated whether IIVRT is also associated with mortality in old age by following a cohort of 861 adults aged 70 years to 90 years over an eight-year period.

Kochan and colleagues tested the participants’ baseline reaction time by having them complete two brief computerized cognitive tasks comprising 76 trials to measure the average reaction time and the extent of variation over the trials. Every two years, research psychologists followed up on the participants and conducted a comprehensive medical assessment including a battery of neuropsychological tests to assess the participants’ cognitive function. Cases were also reviewed by a panel of experts to determine a dementia diagnosis in each two year follow-up, and mortality data was collected from the state registry.

Study results indicate that greater IIVRT predicted all-cause mortality, but the average RT did not predict time to death. Researchers found that other risks factors associated with mortality such as dementia, cardiovascular risk and age could not explain the association between IIVRT and mortality prediction. The authors suggested that IIVRT could therefore be an independent predictor of shorter time death.

“The study was the first to comprehensively account for effects of overall cognitive level and dementia on the relationship between intraindividual variability of reaction time and mortality,” says Kochan. “Our findings suggest that greater intraindividual reaction time variability is a behavioural marker that uniquely predicts shorter time to death.”

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health, living longer, longevity, successful aging

Does coffee help you live longer?

I love my morning coffee. I also love a cup of cappuccino after dinner when dining out, so, clearly I have a dog in this fight.

Scientists have found that people who drink coffee appear to live longer.

Drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney disease for African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and whites.

drinkingcoff.jpg

People who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12 percent less likely to die compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. This association was even stronger for those who drank two to three cups a day—18 percent reduced chance of death.

Lower mortality was present regardless of whether people drank regular or decaffeinated coffee, suggesting the association is not tied to caffeine, said Veronica W. Setiawan, lead author of the study and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under coffee, living longer, longevity

If you would like to hear me interviewed …

A reader who happens to be in the business of health, Velocity Athletic Training Radio, enjoys my blog and asked me if I would like to discuss it with her on the radio. You remember radio, don’t you? If you would like to hear it click the link below.

bikingpictures08 copy.JPG

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/velocity-athletic-training/2017/07/05/a-health-wellnes-journey-after-corporate-life

Tony

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, aging brain, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, longevity, radio interview

4 Secrets of lifelong health

One of the courses I have taken from The Great Courses is “Lifelong Health: Achieving Optimum Well-Being at any Age” by Doctor Anthony Goodman. It consists of 36 lectures  and I would recommend the course to anyone in a second if you want to learn how to live well and be functional to a ripe old age.

Dr. Goodman builds the 36 lectures around a foundation of four themes. Learning these is the key to lifelong health. These are quoted directly from the book that accompanies the lectures.

Rule One: Small changes can make a big difference. A one-degree course change for a big ship eventually makes a significant change in that ship’s trajectory. In the same way, if you start with small positive changes, over time, your efforts will culminate in a substantial positive effect on your health.

41yyLMmgOCL._SY300_

Rule Two: Moderation is key. Just as your body is designed to achieve homeostasis, so, too, is it important for you to find balance when making choices regarding food, exercise and other areas that affect your health and well-being. Some parameters and guidelines will tend to serve you well over time and I will encourage you to find the ones that work for you in the long term.

Rule Three: It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature. There are no magical places, times, pills or potions that can keep you eternally young, but there are many things you can do to improve how you feel and you live your life.

Rule Four: Remember the Goldilocks rule. At all times of your life you will have the opportunity to make the best choices that bring you joy and good health and that you can maintain and sustain.

I called this post 4 Secrets of Lifelong Health even though these four rules don’t seem to be secrets to anyone. Yet, looking around us we see 66 percent of us overweight and half of them outright obese. That leads me to the conclusion that most of us don’t know how or simply don’t want to be healthy and achieve lifelong health.

If you follow these rules you will be well on your way to conquering your weight problem and being a happier healthier person.

I am a 77 year old senior citizen and can honestly say that I am healthier and happier than any time in my life. You can be, too.

Tony

1 Comment

Filed under aging, Exercise, exercise benefits, longevity, successful aging, The Great Courses

Perhaps you don’t want fries with that …

A hundred years ago, it seems, when I ate at McDonald’s regularly, I never missed a chance to enjoy their fries. This study from Medical News Today suggests that wasn’t the best idea. Fortunately, I am no longer a regular at Mickey D’s.
Eating two to three portions of fried potatoes each week could increase the risk of early death.
backyard-burgers-basket-of-fries
Do you want fries with that? A new study provides a good reason to say “no,” after finding that eating two to three portions of fried potatoes every week could raise the risk of early death by twofold.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under fried potatoes, longevity, McDonald's fries, successful aging

7 Simple suggestions to live longer – AHA

Living past 100 is no walk in the park, although including one can prove very helpful. The American Heart Association has created this list with the goal of improved health by educating the public on how best to live longer and healthier.

These measures have one unique thing in common: any person can make these changes, the steps are not expensive to take and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. Start with one or two. This simple, seven step list has been developed to deliver on the hope we all have–to live a long, productive healthy life. 

xheart-health.jpg.pagespeed.ic.1pedeecgyj

Manage Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer.
Learn how to manage your blood pressure. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under American Heart Association, Exercise, exercise benefits, living longer, longevity, smoking, Smoking dangers

Waist size, not weight, better indicator of early death – Study

I have posted several times on the danger of a big waistline. Check out my Page – How dangerous is a big belly? for more details.  Now comes a fresh new study from down under on it.

People with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) who carry their weight around the middle are at the highest risk of death from any cause and cardiovascular causes compared to those who are obese according to BMI but carry their weight elsewhere, a new study co-led by University of Sydney researchers shows.

fat_man_iStock

Published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the study shows that normal weight people who carry fat around the middle of their body are 22 per cent more likely to die from any cause and a 25 per cent higher risk for death from cardiovascular causes compared to those who are classified as normal weight without carrying fat centrally.

The University of Sydney’s Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the Charles Perkins Centre and School of Public Health co-led the research and says the study shows that diagnosis of obesity cannot solely rely on a person’s BMI.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, big waistline, longevity

Cold weather tips – NIA

Regular readers know that I just turned 77 last week. While I enjoy robust good health at present that is not true of many of my fellow senior citizens. A lot of them don’t get out a lot and suffer from limited mobility.

snow-new-york.jpg

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) said that older adults can be particularly vulnerable in cold weather. The NIA offered the following ways to stay safe during the winter months. While these are directed at seniors many apply to any individual deciding to go out and brave the winter winds.

Try to stay away from cold places. Changes in the body that come with aging can make it harder for older adults to be aware of getting cold.

Check the weather forecasts for windy and cold weather. Try to stay inside or in a warm place on cold and windy days. If you have to go out, wear warm clothes including a hat and gloves. A waterproof coat can help you stay warm if it’s cold and snowy.

Wear several layers of loose clothing when it’s cold. The layers will trap warm air between them. Don’t wear tight clothing because it can keep your blood from flowing freely. This can lead to loss of body heat.

Ask your doctor how the medicines you are taking affect body heat. Some medicines used by older people can increase the risk of accidental hypothermia. These include drugs used to treat anxiety, depression, or nausea. Some over-the-counter cold remedies can also cause problems.

When the temperature outside has dropped, drink alcohol moderately, if at all. Alcoholic drinks can make you lose body heat.

Make sure you eat enough food to keep up your weight. If you don’t eat well, you might have less fat under your skin. Body fat helps you to stay warm.

As a Chicagoan, I have dealt with cold weather before in the blog as well as my daily life:

Don’t hibernate in cold weather – Harvard

Cold weather exercising tips

11 Cold weather exercise tips

Tony

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, cold season, cold weather, longevity

Hot chili peppers chill your mortality – Study

Here’s a hot one. Like spicy food? If so, you might live longer, say researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, who found that consumption of hot red chili peppers is associated with a 13 percent reduction in total mortality – primarily in deaths due to heart disease or stroke – in a large prospective study. Seems a small price to pay.

spicy-chili-and-mixed-pepper-kitchen-image-prints.jpg

The study was published recently in PLoS ONE.

Going back for centuries, peppers and spices have been thought to be beneficial in the treatment of diseases, but only one other study – conducted in China and published in 2015 – has previously examined chili pepper consumption and its association with mortality. This new study corroborates the earlier study’s findings.

Using National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III data collected from more than 16,000 Americans who were followed for up to 23 years, medical student Mustafa Chopan ’17 and Professor of Medicine Benjamin Littenberg, M.D., examined the baseline characteristics of the participants according to hot red chili pepper consumption. They found that consumers of hot red chili peppers tended to be “younger, male, white, Mexican-American, married, and to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and consume more vegetables and meats . . . had lower HDL-cholesterol, lower income, and less education,” in comparison to participants who did not consume red chili peppers. They examined data from a median follow-up of 18.9 years and observed the number of deaths and then analyzed specific causes of death.

“Although the mechanism by which peppers could delay mortality is far from certain, Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels, which are primary receptors for pungent agents such as capsaicin (the principal component in chili peppers), may in part be responsible for the observed relationship,” say the study authors.

There are some possible explanations for red chili peppers’ health benefits, state Chopan and Littenberg in the study. Among them are the fact that capsaicin is believed to play a role in cellular and molecular mechanisms that prevent obesity and modulate coronary blood flow, and also possesses antimicrobial properties that “may indirectly affect the host by altering the gut microbiota.”

“Because our study adds to the generalizability of previous findings, chili pepper – or even spicy food – consumption may become a dietary recommendation and/or fuel further research in the form of clinical trials,” says Chopan.

Tony

6 Comments

Filed under hot red chili peppers, longevity

Vitamin D engages longevity gene to increase lifespan – Study

I  have written about the benefits of Vitamin D a number of times. You can check some of the links at the end of this post to read further. Now comes Neuroscience News with a report on  its possible impact on increased longevity.

Research in C. elegans shows the popular supplement engages longevity genes to increase lifespan and prevent the accumulation of toxic proteins linked to many age-related diseases.

A simple Google search for “what does vitamin D do?” highlights the widely used dietary supplement’s role in regulating calcium absorption and promoting bone growth. But now it appears that vitamin D has much wider effects — at least in the nematode worm, C. elegans. Research at the Buck Institute shows that vitamin D works through genes known to influence longevity and impacts processes associated with many human age-related diseases. The study, published in Cell Reports, may explain why vitamin D deficiency has been linked to breast, colon and prostate cancer, as well as obesity, heart disease and depression.

vitamin-d-genetics-aging-neurosceincenews-public.jpg

“Vitamin D engaged with known longevity genes – it extended median lifespan by 33 percent and slowed the aging-related misfolding of hundreds of proteins in the worm,” said Gordon Lithgow, PhD, senior author and Buck Institute professor. “Our findings provide a real connection between aging and disease and give clinicians and other researchers an opportunity to look at vitamin D in a much larger context.” Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under aging, longevity, successful aging, Vitamin D

How Much Do you Need to Exercise?

A little background first if you don’t mind. When I started writing this blog it was all about weight loss. Burn those calories. Now, six years later, the scope has expanded to embrace good health and long life. That sounds so general, doesn’t it? Weight loss is specific. Most people need to and want to do it. But good health and long life – generalities. Hard to get your mitts around airy fairy stuff like that.

long-should-ride-stationary-bike_fba3bc273af85a28

In the early days of this blog I wrote about increasing exercise to burn calories and reduce weight or at least permit yourself to eat more and not gain weight. Well, it turns out, there’s much more to it than that.

On my How to Lose Weight and Keep it off Page, I quote:
According to the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services:
“Adults 18 to 64 should get:
2.5 hours/wk of moderate intensity exercise.
OR 1.25 hours a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity
Or Some combination of the above – equivalent episodes of at least 10 minutes spread throughout the week.”

In 2015, the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute and others did a huge study on exercise and came to some fascinating conclusions, not just about calories and losing weight. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, Exercise, longevity

Increased Activity Decreases Mortality – University Study

I have used the phrases move it or lose it and eat less, move more, live longer more times than I can remember. Any guesses?

Now comes a new University of Pennsylvania study that reiterates those phrases in spades.

8478b233cb320070783ded4e51998d43

Cycling is only one of hundreds of ways we can move our bodies.

That’s the take-home message from a new study from Ezra Fishman, a doctoral candidate in demography at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging and others.

Even for people who already exercised, swapping out just a few minutes of sedentary time with some sort of movement was associated with reduced mortality, according to the research, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Fishman, part of Penn’s Population Studies Center, and the other researchers looked at data from approximately 3,000 people aged 50 to 79 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the study, subjects wore ultra-sensitive activity trackers, called accelerometers, for seven days, generating data compiled by the CDC. For these same people, the agency then tracked mortality for the next eight years.

The results were striking. The least active people were five times more likely to die during that period than the most active people and three times more likely than those in the middle range for activity.

“When we compare people who exercise the same amount, those who sit less and move around more tend to live longer,” said Fishman, the lead author on the paper. “The folks who were walking around, washing the dishes, sweeping the floor tended to live longer than the people who were sitting at a desk.”

Previous activity-tracking studies have drawn similar conclusions. But, according to Fishman, such studies usually ask participants to monitor their own exercise frequency and quantity, numbers they notoriously over-report. Also, the trackers used for NHANES have a higher level of precision than what’s typically employed. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under aging, Exercise, longevity

People with Healthy Habits Live Longer – Study

Duh! What a shocker, right? But please don’t let that obviousness (?) keep you from reading this as it includes quality of life insights which are important.

Back in 1965 a group of researchers decided to study quality of life, not just existence. They wanted to learn the effect of personal health habits on the quality of life, chronic conditions and mortality. The researchers decided to study the health practices of a large sample of the population of Alameda County in California. The information for the study came from 6,928 residents in Alameda county. There were 3,158 men and 3,770 women. The sample included 360 men and 530 women over the age of 65.

Smoking and drinking alcohol to excess contributed to reduced longevity

Each participant answered surveys regarding marital and life satisfaction, parenting, physical activities, employment, childhood experiences, and demographic data. In addition, participants were asked to report levels of disability “without complaints,” “symptomatic,” “chronic conditions,” “disability-less,” and “disability-severe.” Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under healthy habits, longevity, Uncategorized

Longevity Facts Revealed in 50 Year Study of Men Who Made It to 100

“Our findings that there is a correlation with maternal but not paternal longevity are fully consistent with a previous studies,” Dr. Wilhelmsen says.

There is some really good information in this. Once again smoking plays a big part. None of those who made it to 100 were smokers.

As dementia increased over 80 years old, I would once again like to stress the value of exercise. Please read my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits).

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Among interesting discoveries: longevity more closely related to mother’s than father’s; 20% had dementia; cardiovascular disease big killer.

A 50-year study of men born in 1913 has found that only 10 of 855 (1.2%) lived to become centenarians – 100 years of age. The study provides interesting insight after the age of 80 as to the causes of death and the numbers with dementia. The researchers also have some ideas on what it takes to reach the age of 100.

“Survival was related to non-smoking, mothers’ high age at death, high social class and previous high physical working capacity,” the study says.

Over the past half century, the University Gothenburg has hosted one of the world’s first prospective studies of aging. The researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy have followed the health of these Gothenburg men born in 1913.

The first surveys were conducted in 1963. Now that it has been determined…

View original post 434 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under live to 100, longevity

Regular, Vigorous Exercise May Lengthen Your Life: Study

The study involved more than 204,000 people aged 45 or older who were followed for more than six years. Researchers compared those who engaged in only moderate activities — like gentle swimming, social tennis or household chores — with people who got some amount of vigorous activity — such as jogging, aerobics or competitive tennis.

I have written extensively on the value of exercise in boosting longevity, particularly in view of mental powers. Please check out my page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise) for much more on this subject.

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Intense workouts seem more beneficial than less-intense ones, researchers say.

Although any amount of exercise offers health benefits, a new study suggests that rigorous physical activity may be key to boosting longevity.

Australian researchers found that middle-aged or older people who get at least some high-intensity exercise that makes them sweaty and winded may reduce their chances of dying early by up to 13 percent.

The researchers concluded that doctors’ recommendations and public health guidelines should encourage participation in some vigorous types of exercise.

The study involved more than 204,000 people aged 45 or older who were followed for more than six years. Researchers compared those who engaged in only moderate activities — like gentle swimming, social tennis or household chores — with people who got some amount of vigorous activity — such as jogging, aerobics or competitive tennis.

The participants were divided into three groups based on their levels…

View original post 321 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Exercise, longevity

Prescription for Living Longer: Spend Less Time Alone

“Not only are we at the highest recorded rate of living alone across the entire century, but we’re at the highest recorded rates ever on the planet,” said Tim Smith, co-author of the study. “With loneliness on the rise, we are predicting a possible loneliness epidemic in the future.”

Cooking with Kathy Man

Ask people what it takes to live a long life, and they’ll say things like exercise, take Omega-3s, and see your doctor regularly.

Now research from Brigham Young University shows that loneliness and social isolation are just as much a threat to longevity as obesity.

“The effect of this is comparable to obesity, something that public health takes very seriously,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the lead study author. “We need to start taking our social relationships more seriously.”

Loneliness and social isolation can look very different. For example, someone may be surrounded by many people but still feel alone. Other people may isolate themselves because they prefer to be alone. The effect on longevity, however, is much the same for those two scenarios.

The association between loneliness and risk for mortality among young populations is actually greater than among older populations. Although older people are more likely to be lonely and…

View original post 314 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, living longer, longevity